A Selling System Is Essential To Maximize Results From A Sales Team

Posted by: Neil Saviano on December 19, 2015

Michael Gerber, in his bestselling business book “The E-Myth”, quoted the following:  

“For ordinary people to do extraordinary things, a system—‘a way of doing things’—is absolutely essential.”

Gerber expounded on this quote in his book. He related it to the plight of many companies who try hard to replicate the traits of their most talented workers (The super stars) into those less talented workers, only to be disappointed ongoing.

The answer, he says, is in the creation of a system that isn't intended to clone the most talented people, but a system that can produce similar results from ordinary people. This approach far lessens the enormous dependency in many companies on these most talented workers, and spreads extraordinary results more evenly across the organization from those less talented (ordinary) workers. 

The relevance of Gerber's message in a sales and marketing environment is high.  Most sales-focused companies realize a representative percentage of their sales from the most talented and proactive sales people. However, sales results from the rest of the sales force gets skewed downward. This scenario sets the stage to put a "system" in place to help drive sales up from the less talented and perhaps less proactive members of the sales team. 

A good place for a company to start to address a sales system is to make CRM and a form of marketing automation an integral part of their model. Though the objective of a selling system is not to clone the top sales producers, their keys
to success (traits) can certainly be paramount in considering system development. Upon examination of how these "super stars" work, the dominant trait appears to be consistency, and manifests itself in the following areas:

  • A consistent level of prospecting for new customers. 
  • A consistent follow up on prospects that produces a much higher
    than average conversion rate to new customers, often because of a keen
    sense of timing.
  • The consistent use of information gathered and used, resulting in far more effective and winning presentations.
  • The consistent timing on follow up with existing customers to help with driving more business through cross selling, as well as driving business in additional products and services.

The results of this examination is not surprising, and CRM with marketing automation/automated workflow is ideal to produce a system around consistency that results in a highly effective sales proess for the rest of the sales force. Let's take a look at how a technology-driven system helps drive all this through the following few examples:

* Prospect lists for sales people based on territory, or individual market specialties are easily created on a consistent basis and assigned to sales people by the CRM. Once created in the CRM the prospect lists are attached to marketing automation or automated workflow and automated campaigns can ensue.

* Sales people are alerted consistently when pre-defined prospect activity from campaigns or automated workflow identifies them as partially qualified targets. This information flows into the CRM and provides sales people a chronicle of this activity. It provides enough information to form effective and consistent follow up presentations based on the prospects' perceived interests-and at the right time!

This is a prime example that mirrors what Gerber is saying-applied to a sales and marketing environment: It sets a “system” that gives ALL sales people the tools to maximize their "consistency", and ultimately their effectiveness. In essence it becomes a virtual sales assistant for them.  

As alluded to above, a system also addresses processes to drive cross selling and additional product opportunities to existing customers. This is helped in the system when buying history is integrated into the CRM from company accounting and ordering and Point of Sale systems. Marketing automation and workflow plays a key role here as well-providing automated touches to these buying customers. As with prospects-it does this at the right time!

This is another example of a “system” that leverages technology
to help provide ordinary sales people the tools and processes to drive extraordinary results and just drive more business from current customers. By the way-this is four times easier than developing new customers!

A system-related bonus for companies is that this technology-based system doesn’t only bring ordinary sales people to extraordinary new levels; it often makes the top producers we allude to better. As good and consistent as they are, they can’t easily replicate the power of this technology within their own effective sales processes. This makes it win-win for the company-it makes everyone better!

As companies become more system-centric the CRM’s vast reporting functionality is able to measure and monitor the system’s effectiveness at many levels and provide the basis for constant tweaking. The reporting also sets up levels of accountability, especially to keep the previously low producing sales people on pace.

Michael Gerber’s E-Myth addresses many industries, and many divisions within these industries. However, his message here is applied to sales and marketing organizations of all sizes. It helps the plethora of organizations who get sub-par results from a representative percent of their sales force improve exponentially.

We highly recommend Gerber’s book. There’s also a sequel called “The E-Myth Revisited”. Though these are older publications, their message transcends time. This is evidenced by the many available E-Myth seminars and workshops available across the country and the world.

CRM International is a partner for SugarCRM and Act-On marketing automation software. We do full CRM and Marketing Automation implementations.