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Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

There’s More Than One Step To A Sale

Date - 25 May 2016/ Category - How To Sell
How to sell

A while back I was sent away for 8 weeks to recover a failing call centre. The centre itself had been set up with state of the art equipment and had not only an experienced manager but a sales trainer too.

When I arrived I was introduced to the team that I would be helping and in essence told that everything was ok. It was all smiles.

Pretty quickly it became apparent that no one had a clue what they were doing. The experienced manager had a great CV but hadn’t really contributed to any of the achievements they were able to list.

The sales trainer, despite being the highest paid person in the company hadn’t trained the team very well and was stuck in the past.

After 5 days I was sat down by my boss and told something had to change. The team rallied round and the senior management drew out the plan on the board.

The plan was utter crap. I knew it so I told them to go home and I would write a new one overnight.

You see unlike the rest of the team I didn’t believe everything I heard, I didn’t take for granted that the telephone system was good, or that the set up was perfect. I had sat and watched and listened for 5 days and in those 5 days developed a plan of action.

When I came in the next day I typed up my plan and sent it out to the key people. To this day my plan is still regurgitated by the sales trainer as his own, my ready to shop theory has been adopted as his own; it’s pretty flattering really.

So here’s what I did. I broke down every component of the sales process to its basics.

First I tackled the lead generation process by learning the telephone system for myself and re-writing the processes by which data was entered into and taken out of it.

I then re-wrote the whole sales process and re-trained the team members I thought were right for the role. The ones that weren’t were moved on and new team members were recruited.

The apps started flying in – but as much as we got apps, we didn’t get money from these apps because potential clients kept falling out of the process.

You see what had happened was that I had fixed only part of the sales process. In reality a sale isn’t done when someone signed on the dotted line. The sale is done when the client pays you and then keeps on coming back for more. In fact it’s not even done then, a great sale means you get referrals for new customers too.

When the apps started coming in the team thought the hard work was done, but much like getting your first app is the hardest thing you’ll do so is getting a client to the end of their journey.

In order to be an effective sales team you need to control and optimise every part of the sales journey.

Most business think that marketing, sales or admin are all separate but they aren’t. They all contribute to the sales process.

Because companies fail to control or understand that the initial sale doesn’t mean the job is done, they can go from no apps to lots of apps and still get disappointed quickly.

The lack of reaching an end point can be disheartening and can often lead to perceived failure when really all you’re doing is moving closer and closer to success, the trick is not to give up before you get there.

Because it takes time to perfect a sales process, this disillusionment can often lead to the perception that things are getting worse before they begin; but this is actually counter intuitive. The darkness is always worst before the dawn and it’s a natural part of fixing a problem that they will get worse before they get better, you just need to keep the faith.

Chapter Summary:

• Things will get worse before they get better
• A sale isn’t done until you get to the end of the sales process
• Fixing one part of the process doesn’t fix the whole thing
• Don’t forget that a sale is more than just a sales person, it’s a team effort

Read our next blog post “Choose your words for your audience”.

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