(to the tune of “What do you do with a drunken sailor”)
Companies in Calgary have been singing that tune for a couple of years now. Those that survived not only made cuts but also proactively prospected for new business.
Now, the phone is starting to ring, and those organizations that limped along for the past two years are beginning to feel, “Happy to be busy.”
That’s great, but the mindset of the leaders of those organizations is one of demand fulfillment instead of demand creation. Instead of making time to answer questions about where their business is going and how they will get there, those leaders get their emotional needs met by feeling “busy”, which gives control of the economic engine of their business to their clients and prospects.
As your business starts into recovery mode, whether your phone is ringing or not, score yourself 1-10 (1 is low, 10 is high) on how well your organization established these four S’s of a successful sales function.
Your organization split your ideal prospects into clearly understood buckets (we suggest “rabbit, deer, bear, elephant” to our clients) and each of those buckets has clear, distinct identifiers. Your sales team has a specific mix of each bucket to prospect/develop and a specific account/ prospecting plan for each prospect in their mix.
1 = “If they’ll cut a cheque, we’ll sell to them,”
and 10 = “Yes, let me show you those documents.”
Your organization has a documented series of steps, with non-negotiable information required from your prospect under each step to move forward, to qualify a prospect and prevent overselling. Your salespeople are held accountable to following this process for every prospect no matter how hot the lead. Your organization established processes for smooth transition of your new client from “sales” to “delivery/ fulfillment” and holds each staff member accountable to following those procedures.
1 = “They get a proposal/quote/demo, because they asked,”
and 10 = “Not only is that process documented, everyone in our
organization can recite the names of each step in order.”
Your organization has processes documented for recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, and developing staff beyond what’s required by law. All managers involved in hiring are held accountable to following those processes instead of their gut. Performance reviews are held with each team member at least quarterly, clear action plans for continued development are created, and the staff member and their manager are held accountable to following that plan.
1 = “If they fog a mirror and say the right things in the interview, they’re hired,”
and 10 = “The continued success of our business rests on the
continued growth of everyone in our organization.”
Your organization identifies opportunities to coach and role-play on a daily basis to close skills gaps and seeks support to develop the skills of all staff who interact with prospects, clients, and employees.
1 = “I hired them to do a job, and they’ll do it or I’ll fire them,”
and 10 = “If we’re not growing, we’re dying
IF YOU SCORED:
The economic engine of your business is probably running smoothly. You may feel like there’s no need to work on it, but regular maintenance could catch a minor issue before you need a complete overhaul.
It’s probably been a while since you last looked at your economic engine. Most of it is probably running really well, but one or two parts aren’t working optimally, and that’s dragging down overall performance.
That rattling noise you’ve ignored for a while is getting louder every day, and your economic engine is having trouble sustaining speed and power (client relationships).
Your economic engine could definitely use a complete diagnostic and probably an overhaul, or it may need to be written off.
Organizations that sustain, develop when the phone is and isn’t ringing. Keep control of the economic engine of your business, so you can keep having fun, keep your people, and keep to your growth plan.