You Said It Was Important - Here Are Your Sales Systems On
Using My CRM
FROM BULLETPROOF SELLING:
From Chapter 3: One System To Rule Them All
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. -James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits
BUT WAIT, MANY salespeople and sales managers will say, what we’re doing is generating revenue, so it must work!
If money is coming in, why is it critical we still take the time to systemize our sales? Systems allow us to turn a pattern into a repeatable event. Here’s how we know if you’re leveraging systems or whether your current sales are simply the result of a pattern:
If you were called out of action today, could another salesperson pick up all of your accounts and continue right along with those prospects’ sales cycles, knowing what the next point of scheduled outreach was, when it should occur, by what communication channel, and what that next message should communicate?
Do the strategies you use to overcome objections live somewhere that your team can review and learn from?
Have you captured the reason for every lost sale and have a written plan to prevent sales being lost for those reasons again?
In all the time you’ve been selling, how often do you review your sales systems, ensuring they’re keeping up with technology and changes in your industry? Have you ever?
Bulletproof teams, whether clearing a house or selling a product or service, do all of the above things on a regular basis. That’s what defines something as a Bulletproof sales system: It lives outside the heads of salespeople and is simple enough for someone else to execute with proper training.
Even sales teams with processes may unknowingly be basing them on hope because few processes are regularly re-examined. Adaptable systems, by definition, can’t be static. What keeps sales systems dynamic and up to date with market changes is the fact that they are continually examined, refined, and improved. We’ll go over exactly how to do that in this book, but there’s an old management adage worth revisiting before we convert any processes you have into Bulletproof systems:
Making a broken system more efficient produces more broken results.
Making a subpar sales process faster and more efficient may produce more sales in the short-term, but it will inevitably crash and burn when the next market shift or pandemic occurs. If we’re building a system that can both produce sales and withstand changing markets and industry shifts, we need to take a closer look at the overarching system that allows us to build triggers so we, and our salespeople, will know which systems to bring into effect on prospects at specific times.
Until recently, there hasn’t been a way for salespeople to create systems that lived outside their heads. It’s why hope became the strategy for even well-trained sales teams. Fortunately, there’s a platform that is tailor-made for capturing and refining sales systems. For the Lord of the Rings fans out there, this is the ‘one system to rule them all.’ Conveniently, it’s an inexpensive software platform that goes by a simple three-letter acronym.
The brevity of these three letters can’t possibly communicate the value this platform can have to your own sales team in becoming Bulletproof:
CRM. Customer Relationship Management.
If the combat teams I was with had something akin to a CRM tool, it would look like a searchable database of every house in a neighborhood, along with maps of the roads, addresses of houses scheduled for clearing, timetables for clearing them, blueprints of those house’s layouts, and a profile of everyone in every house they were likely to encounter – all available in an app on the teams’ iPhones. To say such a resource would have saved lives and made these high-performing teams even more effective is an understatement. And yet, every salesperson on the planet can have such a resource at their fingertips – often provided and paid for by the company they’re selling for.
When I began my own journey in sales, I did what most entrepreneurs do and bootstrapped everything, including my bootstraps. To manage a growing list of prospects, I used a mix of Google contacts, an Excel spreadsheet, and a Gmail account. That worked when I was tracking a dozen prospects, but quickly become unwieldy. And that was just for basic communication, not running dynamic selling systems!
There came a point when I had to invest in a platform that was designed to help me facilitate what I was trying to accomplish: managing customer relationships.
Once I had a CRM and spent a few hours setting it up, loading contacts, and tagging them, I had all my prospects in a database that was outside of my head. I could now schedule outreach to prospects via email, phone, LinkedIn, and direct mail. But then questions arose that most salespeople face in establishing outreach:
How often should I reach out? By what methods?
Should I contact some groups of prospects more than others?
Is there a better time of year for me to be in contact with some prospects?
Larger questions also appeared, questions that few business owners or salespeople know to ask to better leverage their CRMs:
How can I use the information in this CRM to make better business decisions?
Is there a way to predict revenue month-by-month from the data in here?
Can I use my account notes to design better products, services, and improve the way I sell, as well as expanding who I sell to?
Of course, the data in a CRM can answer all those questions and many more. By using a database that is shared across an organization whether you’re a sales team of one or 1,000, you have the ability to learn from one another, prevent lost sales in the future, and increase revenue with future deals.
In today’s business landscape, if we don’t learn from each other and work together to improve the value we provide to clients, there’s a plethora of younger, more nimble competitors who are happy to serve our customers in the ways they need help today. For those of us running our own businesses, if we don’t both learn from our own sales mistakes and have the ability to reference those lessons in the future, we’re bound to repeat some or all of them.
As I began to grow in my own capabilities with my CRM and worked with companies to grow theirs, I realized that even basic CRMs can be used as day-by-day barometers of business health. Sales leaders can create campaign or template changes that scale across all their salespeople’s CRMs that affect long-term results in prospect response and therefore, revenue.
Why do I place so much emphasis on what is, in effect, a database?
The Power of Information
I don’t want to give the impression that elite military teams don’t have sophisticated technology – some travel with millions of dollars’ worth of training in their heads and equipment on their backs – but they also have access to databases that save lives. These databases are not advanced and artificial intelligence-based, at least as of this writing. Instead, they’re much more basic and perhaps infinitely more valuable because of it.
Think back across your own history in sales to every sale that wasn’t made. If you’ve been selling longer than a week, you likely have more of these than you care to remember: every phone call that went nowhere, every in-person visit that didn’t close, every proposal that was modified or rejected by a prospect, every instance where financing fell through, and every time a client didn’t give you solid testimonials and referrals to pursue.
There may be hundreds of individual instances, if not thousands, for every salesperson in your organization.
Imagine if you had a database with a running count of every lost deal in your company, why it was lost, what the salesperson learned from it, and what should be done differently in the future with similar prospects. Not just that, but this database also had records of every won deal, why it was won, and what the salesperson learned from the situation that other salespeople could repeat in the future.
Would you close more deals? Would you generate more revenue for yourself and your company with access to that information?
As a sales manager, do you think your sales team would perform better if everyone had access to that information from past won and lost deals, from data updated every week?
It would be a gamechanger for any sales team – and for the first time, this book makes that system available to the world of sales.
Bulletproof selling systems run the gamut of our prospect’s buying stages and sales cycle. Buying stages often define a system’s ‘trigger’ and denote which Bulletproof systems should be applied at what time.
The verticals that live within your CRM are commonly referred to as a pipeline, and building a pipeline is where we’ll start in making your sales Bulletproof.
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We are a leader in systemizing sales processes and solutions for salespeople, teams and organizations. We systemize selling processes so salespeople can replace hope with certainty, close more deals and provide more value to their clients.