I want to call out a couple of things that really stop CEOs and Entrepreneurs implementing a proper sales system within their business.
- You really don’t know your target customer: you’re not sure who you are selling to, what their preferences are, where they are located, how long it takes them to buy and hence you’re not sure how to effectively structure your sales process. Particular warning signs of this approach include long sales cycles, inconsistent valuation of deals, forecasting timelines slipping,
- Who is responsible for sales? This is a major mistake of small companies, where there a split responsibilities and many people are responsible for selling the vision but not actually continually bringing in new revenue and new customers. Sometimes what happens is the Founder will then say…”I’ll just go out and sell, hand me all the appointments and I’ll make it happen, it’s not that hard!”
- Tracking your success: I always find it difficult when a tech CEO says to me, we kind of use a mix between CRM and Excel. There needs to be one consistent place that you review the effectiveness of your actions right from lead generation and marketing through to closing revenue and then project or client profitability. We do have multiple tools available and it’s easy to get sidetracked and think that we do not need a single view. Secondly, if you cannot measure, you cannot improve. It’s as simple as that.
- Required activities per stage: it’s amazing to think in a multi-million pound tech company a lot of employees are not sure what they must do at each part of the customer journey. It’s the linkage and visibility of each department within that journey where you achieve real freedom within the sales process. If you are not sure what you need to do at each stage, what all the consideration are, especially if you are in B2B sales, you need to map them out. This could be done on Trello or Asana or a simple project management tool that you can use. This is also a great tool for onboarding, deal review and skill building.
- Unclear on the value of Marketing and Sales: this is an absolute no-go for me. The idea that we don’t have to invest in Sales or Marketing. They both go hand-in-hand and they need to be simply best mates! If we thought of them as best mates, life would be very different. Think about it for a second, is your best mate, similar to you? Is he/she different from you in any way? My opinion is that most people would answer yes to both of these questions. That’s a start! This is how you should perceive Sales and Marketing teams within your organisations. It’s like midfielders and strikers in football, one can be the wizard and the creator the other can make sure you score and increase what’s on the scoreboard.
I’d be interested to find out about what you perceive as the biggest challenges for implementing a proper sales system. Please connect with me, comment, share or just smile thinking this was interesting…