Salespeople are paid on results – and that is a double-edged sword.
Companies need sales to stay in business, but that often leads to salespeople trying to sell as quickly as possible and losing prospects in the process.
There has to be a happy medium; moving prospects through a sales process and doing it in a way that ensures a steady flow of sales. It’s that solution we sat down to discuss with Eric Martin, a sales leader who’s spent his career in an industry that relies on systems. In the franchise world, Eric’s relied on systems to not only run franchises but also to ensure he and his salespeople weren’t rushing prospects through a sales cycle.
In the world of franchise, folks are purchasing a ready-made business and that means that moving too quickly could lead to an unsuccessful franchisee. However, customers rushed through a sales process in any industry have a less-than optimal experience and therefore, less than optimal results.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: Because we’re building a template for a system that could be used anywhere in our pipelines and sales processes, Eric recommends we first map out our current pipeline verticals. What steps do you need to move a prospect through on their journey to become a customer? And what is the length of time each prospect should spend in each of those verticals?
Once we understand what stages we’re using, we can focus on each stage or the one we need to improve upon the most as we build our sales system.
Our next trigger in this process is to determine what we’re sending our prospect that’s relevant to that stage of their buying journey. Eric recommends it be something that prospects can respond to or fill out so they have some buy-in with time before we allow them to move forward in our sales process. If a prospect crosses their time threshold within that stage, it can generate a red flag for us to decide if additional effort is needed or if they need to be put into a long-term nurture campaign.
R – Repeatable: To ensure salespeople take their sales process one step at a time no matter where a prospect is in their pipelines, Eric says to start with asking the client where they’re at and how they’re feeling about what they’ve heard so far.
Only after doing that can we determine whether we need to prepare them for the next step or stage in our sales process or whether we need to hit pause and answer questions or provide testimonials to get the prospect more comfortable and prepared to move into the next stage.
If the prospect is ready to move into the next stage, we can look at our sales cycle we mapped in the ‘Trigger’ step of this process and immediately know what comes net and what we need to send to the prospect to maintain their participation and buy-in.
I – Improvable: Eric says to improve a system like this, it’s a great idea to look at the materials you’re asking your prospects to fill out and the campaign steps you’re walking them through and occasionally ask, “Is this still relevant?”
Because the stages within our sales cycle may occasionally change and our prospects’ worlds are constantly changing, we need to ensure the materials we’re sending and how we’re engaging with them in between conversations continues to add value to the world we’re living in today.
M – Measurable: To measure a system designed to keep salespeople moving prospects through our sales cycle ‘one step at a time,’ Eric says to measure participation from salespeople on their use of the small steps like whether a prospect questionnaire was sent and whether the campaigns mapped for each stage of the sales cycle are being used. That way, salespeople can focus on being present with their prospects instead of rushing them to the end of a sale as quickly as possible.