Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Task, Completion Plan, System, Goal, Big Picture

Sales and marketing is the most important system in most, if not all of the businesses we consult. It is either their most impressive and valuable tool, or it is the area where they lack the most. Either way can make a tremendous impact, in either a positive or negative light. Certain businesses are very dependent upon relationships for their sales and marketing. An owner with a few good connections or clients who send referrals can build a fairly large clientele. That’s great until they decide they want to cut back on their workload or it is time to sell. At that point, the revenues drop, or prospective buyers will recognize the risk of losing clients. This reduces the value of the business, and I know, you’ve heard me talk about it repeatedly.

So do you have your systems in place?

On the flip side, some businesses build lead generation systems that are not “personality based” or “owner dependent”. They are based on advertising, direct mail, location, or other systematic techniques that have been proven to work.. The lead generation is where it all begins, and is step one in your sales and marketing system.

Step two is giving the leads to trained salespeople who know how to close a reasonable percentage of the prospects. These systems are tracked and fine tuned to improve performance. In our weekly staff meeting this morning I reiterated the reason behind our systems and completion plans – predictable results. Every result we want to achieve is outlined in our Big Picture, and in this case is enrolling new clients in our programs. Our completion plans outline the precise steps in each phase; lead generation, sales appointment, closing, enrollment, program design, renewal, and upsells throughout the process – all have detailed steps and themselves form a system. Software companies, distributors, service businesses and many other businesses use these techniques to improve their business and increase the transferability of the business.

Here’s my question to those who haven’t developed business systems yet:

Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with a sales system that is independent of the you and your personality and proven over time?

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