Simple Sales Tracking Blog

Do You Have A Sales Process?

Every business says they have a sales process, however many of these businesses do not have a process so much as an evolved way of doing things. When asked what is working well and what is not the answers are vague at best. It is very hard to measure something that isn’t managed.

A major study in 2006 in the States found that 51% of businesses do not have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for their sales teams. From my personal experience over the past 14 years I would have to say the figure in New Zealand would have to be much higher.

The consequences for these businesses can be very expensive.

Problems caused by the lack of sales procedure include –

• Inconsistency in sales
Which means an inability to budget accurately

• Lack of sales systems and structure
Which means reduced closing ratios

• Poor client management systems
Which means lost clients and opportunities

• Poor reporting and measurement systems
Which means a lack of accountability

• Lack of a detailed sales plan
Which means average results

• Salespeople spending all their time servicing existing and favourite clients
Which means a lack of growth

• Lack of structured prospecting activity
Which means inconsistent growth

While these may not all apply to you, any one of these could be impacting your profitability.

The advantages of developing standard operating procedures for sales include –

A systemised process for selling
Which means – more consistent sales

A systemised prospecting system
Which means – increased numbers of qualified prospects through referrals

Increased closing ratios
Which means – most efficient use of time and increased profitability

Reduced sales cycle
Which means – most efficient use of time and increased profitability

System for maximising existing accounts
Which means – reduced costs of sales

A systemised presentation structure
Which means – increased motivation and confidence of the sales team

The key areas that need to be systemized are –

• Sales Planning
• Prospecting
• Presentations
• Follow-up and 90 day contact system

In these so called tougher times businesses are looking to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. The key area to increased efficiency is in sales.

By developing a systemized approach to the selling process you should be able to increase your sales team’s closing ratio by a minimum of 10%

What would a 10% increase in turnover mean to your business?

My point is it is vital to the success of any business to standardize their sales process. This starts with all of those involved in sales using the same processes and this is achieved through a customized sales training programme which then becomes a standard operating procedure for all the sales team.

Training is the first step – you learn process through training then practice and eventually it becomes habit.

We will begin to look at sales planning in my next article.

Quote of the Week:

“If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got”
Action Step:
To record all your sales processes and identify key areas that need to be standardized.

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group Limited.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

Ways to Double Your Sales in 2009

At the January workshop, the question was posed to the group – How do we double our sales income in 2009. The results follow:

1. Invest in training (see me)

2. Join BNI (Business Referral Group)

3. Have a goal – plan and strategy

4. Make more time – measure-measure-measure

5. Self appraisal (post presentation – what did I do right)

6. Increase the average price of the sale

7. Packaging the product with similar products or services

8. Review the marketing – measure-measure-measure

9. Brand awareness – have a focus to create this

10. Feedback to the client – systemize

11. Ask for the sale every time!! – don’t be scared to!

12. Elevating the product presentations

13. Sales Plan with prepared questions

14. Listen for the buying signals

15. Ask for referrals

16. Keep good customer records

17. Sales Systems – prospecting, presentation and sales planning.

18. Watch the Funnel – work your numbers – keep it full!

19. Prospecting existing customers to gain wallet share

20. Continually develop new COI’s

21. Networking – join clubs i.e. Chamber of Commerce to meet like minded people

22. Targeted marketing campaign

23. Allocate specific time for prospecting and planning

24. Improved customer contact with existing customers – 90 day rule

25. Up-selling to existing clients

26. Well developed business plan with defined goals and targets

27. Refine and follow proven sales processes

The real formula to double your income in 2009 is to get every one of your clients to refer another client just like them to you and for you to covert them to a new client – simple isn’t it!

It is only simple if you have a process to follow – develop your systems!

Next workshop is on Wednesday 18 March at 4.30-5.30 at MR Print in Hastings, New Zealand. It does pay to book as we only had three spare seats left at the last workshop.

Remember these workshops are free to current and past clients and those who may be contemplating undertaking training with our company. Clients are welcome to bring guests.

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group Limited.


Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, ,

What Is It Costing You Not To Have a Systemised Sales Process?

Last time we were looking at why we need to develop good questioning processes. I want to explore this subject more, however let’s look at why it is so important to follow a questioning process in your sales presentation.

We know that following a process will increase your closing ratio and will therefore reduce the overall cost of making sales.

The cost of making a face to face sales call can range from $90 – $500 depending on the location and time.

What many of us fail to take into account when working out these costs are the hidden cost such as technical support, administration support, ongoing training – the list goes on.

Using $150/hr as an example lets look at what goes into making a sale

Preparation and getting the appointment – 1 hour
Face to Face presentation (including travel) – 2 hours
Preparing Proposal – 2 hours
Follow-up appointment to present/discuss proposal – 1.5 hours
Miscellaneous – phoning, research etc – 1.5 hours

The equation is 8 hours x 150 = $1200

This is assuming that you make the sale however there are very few companies in the world who have a 100% closing ratio. Most companies average 35%. This relates to proactive selling (you approach the prospect) as opposed to reactive selling (the prospects approach you)

A company I spoke with recently that actually measures its closing ratio admitted it was 23%.

For our example let’s work on 50% – this means that the cost of making a sale is around $2400. Even if it was only half this figure, it is still a huge cost.

Certainly makes you think about the skills of your sales team in relation to asking for the sale.

Studies have shown that in 62% of presentations the buyer is never asked to buy.

There can be a number of factors that cause low ratios including lack of process, poor prospects, failing to qualify, failing to establish a need or return on investment. Many of these issues can be rectified with training.

Businesses spend thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising to generate leads but are reluctant to invest in training their salespeople to maximise the rate at which they convert these leads into sales.

This in turn results in the very high cost of making each sale which brings me back to the importance of good questioning which I will come back to in my next article.

Quote of the Week –
Success is 20% skills and 80% attitude
Sales are 20% questioning and 80% listening

Brett Burgess

BRETT BURGESS is a programme developer and facilitator for Sales Impact Group Ltd.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy,

Are You Listening for the Buying Signals?

We have been discussing buying signals loosely defined as –  “cues given by
the buyer that they may be ready to commit”.

In a typical sales presentation where the seller has identified a key need
of the buyer, the buyer will give buying signals.  This is great if our
salesperson is following a logical planned presentation process however in
the majority of presentations, in fact by study 51% (this is still a
majority!) there is no planned process.  So what we end up with is fairly
random questions with buying signals here and there – the result for the
buyer is mixed feeling as to their exact needs and for the seller mixed
buying signals hence the reluctance to ask for the business.

A planned process helps both parties to get a clear idea of the need, if one
exists, to progress.  For the buyer consistent buying signals create the
clarity and urgency to address the needs or opportunities and for the seller
it creates the confidence to present the best solution and ask for the

There are buying signals that many salespeople miss that are embedded much
earlier in the selling process.   To catch them requires listening and
thinking about whom you are working with and what type of buyers they are.
Salespeople should listen to determine what the buying style of the prospect
actually is.   Some people buy based on logic.  Some people buy on emotion.
Some people buy on what they perceive to be the ultimate consensus, or just
plain politics, which is how they think the other people in the organization
will perceive their buying action.  If you listen, those people will tell
you how you can sell them.

Buyer questions are good buying signals.  Some examples are –

  1. Questions about availability or time – “Are these in stock?…”

  2. Questions about delivery – “How soon can someone be here?”…”How
    much notice do I have to give you?”

  3. Specific questions about rates, price, or statements about
    affordability –  “How much does this model cost?”.”What is the price of this
    fax machine?”.”I don’t know if I can afford that model.”

  4. Any questions or statements about money – “How much money would I
    have to put down to get this?”

  5. Positive questions about you or your business – “How long have you
    been with the company?”.. “How long has your company been in business?”

  6. Wanting something repeated – “What was that you said before about
    financing?”.”Tell me about the.again”

  7. Questions about productivity – “How many copies per month is this
    machine rated for?”

  8. Questions about quality, guarantee, or warranty – “How long is this
    under warranty?”..”How long will this last?”

  9. Questions about qualifications (yours or the companies) – “Can all
    of your people answer questions on the phone?”

This is not the entire list but I’m sure you get the picture.

We will continue with the subject of closing in my next article.

Have a successful week!

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and
Associates International.

Quote of the Week:

A mediocre salesman tells
A good salesman explains
A superior salesman demonstrates
Great salesmen inspire buyers to see the benefits as their own
Carolyn Shamis

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, ,


Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
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