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January 2012
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June 2012

This is Your Responsibility When Hiring Salespeople

Juggling SalesmanThis always surprises me and occurs at even the largest companies.

Most of the time businesses that are hiring sales people do NOT have a well tested and effective sales process to hand to the new sales hire.

The fact is, most business owners and executives incorrectly believe that marketing, client attraction, the system of selling, client relationship management (CRM) and online sales lead generation is up to the new sales hire.

This fundamental misunderstanding costs businesses hundreds of thousand of dollars every year.

Developing a sales process, testing it and ensuring it works properly is the responsibility of the business owner. 

It should not be in the job description of the new sales department hire.

Set your sales team up for success from the beginning. Hand them a complete sales process strategy that is tested and proven to work. 

When you do this you'll see a 10% to 40% (or more) increase in your top-line sales results.

Image: Realtyworks

Sales is Lifeblood of Business

Sales and MarketingOne adage in small business states that no one has ever gone out of business because they made too many sales. 

However, every small business who goes out of business does so because they did not have enough sales to survive, let alone thrive.

Based on these facts, it's reasonable to say that sales and marketing is the lifeblood of every small business.

But how do sales actually occur in a small business?

Sales, in the most successful businesses, occur from following a plan. That plan is called the "Sales Process." It blends marketing and sales successfully. 

If sales is the lifeblood of business then the sales process would be the heart that keeps the lifeblood pumping.

The sales process is the plan, outlined step-by-step, for attracting a prospect into your sales funnel (marketing), converting that attraction into revenue (sales system) and maintaining a relationship with that client ongoing (CRM).

In today's world, having a tested online sales strategy is also a large part of your overall sales process development.

If your website is a brochure that only tells me what you do, you're missing many opportunities for new sales. As a result, your website is not an effective marketing tool. 

When your website generates leads for your business, you are using online marketing effectively. 

Take a look at your sales process today. Think  through the steps you follow to:

  1. Attract leads
  2. Convert them into revenue
  3. Continue to serve existing clients
  4. Market your business and gain leads through your website

When you look at your sales process in this way you'll find gaps, which you can fill, to create a stronger and more profitable business.

Sales, Sales Process and Marketing's Role

Sales graphOver the past few months I've been very focused on building sales processes. When it comes creating sales in a business through the sales process and understanding marketing's role in small business development it's important to utilize four distinct small business development steps. 

Step 1: Attraction: Marketing's job is to attract people to your offer. Your marketing plan should include a sales "soft-step", which allows interested people to take a small step toward you without risk. 

Step 2: The System of Selling: This is where the majority of sales training begins and ends. Your sales system (or sales presentation method) should allow you to convert attraction gained in marketing into revenue 1-in-3 to 1-in-5 times. That means, for every 3 to 5 sales presentations you give, you should create 1 sale.

Step 3: CRM: Client relationship management (CRM) are the processes (plural) you use to continue working with and assisting your existing clients. Most businesses miss this step completely and also miss opportunities for additional sales from existing clients. Remember, it costs far less to continue selling to existing clients than it does to attract new clients. 

Step 4: Online and Social Media marketing (attraction online): The majority of businesses never track their online and social media results. Without this information, countless hours are wasted on activities that do not accomplish the purpose of marketing, which is to attract sales opportunities. 

Lack of a well developed 4-step sales process strategy can cost businesses between 10% to 40% of revenues. 

That means that for every $100,000 in revenue earned, a small business can lose between $10,000 to $40,000 in revenues they would otherwise gain if they had a sales process plan in place.