Every now and then CFS asks a customer: “What is your sales system?” A common response is: “What sales system?” The lack of a Sales Management System is often directly responsible for a sales team underachieving. When a sales team lacks a system, we call it “winging it.” It’s almost impossible to maintain any long term sales success if your team is constantly winging it. The problem is that most companies—especially young companies–don’t know where to start or what to do when it comes to establishing a Sales Management System. While it sounds complex, the concept of a Sales Management System is actually fairly simple.
Essentially, a Sales Management System is a form of structure for your sales team. Sales Management Systems combine many different aspects of sales and incorporates them all together. The main objective of a Sales Management System is to have discipline and promote success within your sales team.
Here are three major components of a good Sales Management System:
Meetings – One of the common pitfalls of sales teams are that they have unstructured meetings or don’t have any meetings at all. Having consistent meetings is very important to sales success. Meetings—if done correctly—allow the sales director to assess the status of his team. Without meetings, salespeople have free reign and no oversight to make sure they keep their eyes on the prize. By the same token the sales team will be equally unsuccessful if their meetings are infrequent and lack structure. Meetings should be consistent and take place on a set day, whether they are held weekly, biweekly, or even tri weekly is up to the company. Additionally, meetings should always be conducted in the same manner. There should be some set pattern that each meeting follows, going over various important points of order.
CRM System – Having a good CRM system can also be vital to getting a good Sales Management System put in place. While it is not essential, it provides a structure that little else can provide. CRM systems, such as salesforce.com, give sales teams an invaluable database that only requires simple data entry. Using a CRM allows you to track the status of certain prospects and document the conversations you have had with said prospects. You can then use that information to dictate what your current approach to a given prospect should be.
Hiring – Hiring the right people is another important part of a Sales Management System. You have to look for certain qualities in the salespeople you hire. As our founder, Charles Bernard, wrote in the “You Sell Like You Buy” blog, you want to hire decisive people for your sales team. In the interview, look for answers that get right to the point. If you are hearing the same generic or bland answer, the odds are that this is not someone you want to hire. If they give you bland and generic answers, they will probably accept the same kind of answers from prospects. Remember, your Sales Management System can be perfect, but if you don’t have good salespeople, your team will still underperform.