сряда, 14 септември 2011 г.


неделя, 9 май 2010 г.

Implementing your sales design

While looking at your sales process as a whole, you probably see that there is a room for improvement. How could this improvement be implemented in such a way, that your sales force remains flexible, adaptable and responsive to the needs of the market, while in the same time embracing the changes in its structure and performance management?

1. Analyze the situation - Find out who are your sales reps. What are their capabilities, their strengths and weaknesses? What is their potential for growth? Then study carefully their motivation and values. Look at their behavior. If you find out why they are not selling enough in this process, hold on for a moment. Don't hurry offering early solutions.
2. Craft your proposition - Here you have to align your findings with the company's goals. Be careful not to move away from your mission staring at the profits. Be sure your proposition is improving revenue delivery and scalability.
3. Manage and support the process - Establish agreement from all sides about your solution. We will talk about how you could do this in later posts. Then start managing the process. This means reinforcing the correct behavior and eliminating the wrong before they become a problem.
4. Continue improving - After the initial implementation you must stick to the process of continual improvement no matter how great everything goes.
The most important understanding you have to make in implementing your sales design is that it must be a holistic process. It is not about an individual performance. You must look for balancing process and alignment to objectives first. As a consequence the sales reps will improve their performance and eliminate wasted time.

неделя, 28 март 2010 г.

The worst enemy of successful sales

To have a successful sales design a company must get rid of its worst enemy - the enemy within. And here we don't have in mind healthy issues like resistance to change. Resistance to change might mean that the system is strong and have potential. There is hidden enemy, which often can't be seen nor realized from inside.
What is the combination of symptoms, which must tell you there is such enemy?
1. No orders. There could be many reasons why the enterprise doesn't have orders. But the case here is that...
2. Guilty for the problem are the customers. Most of the time they are stupid or corrupted (in B2B sales). No matter how "great" is the solution the company offers there are no clients.
3. Permanent moaning. No one seeks the problem within, but everyone moans about how misunderstood are their great efforts.
Consider the following case. Small consulting firm is struggling with the times of financial crisis. They have no offers for the last 6 months, almost all of their consultants have left and they are in very tough position. Nonetheless instead of thinking about some core change in their strategy, they are constantly moaning about how corrupted their clients and competitors are. None of them sees that they offer the same stuff as hundred other consultants, that they already have earned bad name in the business, and that they are insulting their clients and personnel. All they are doing is becoming more aggressive towards the market, treating their leads like sheep. The result is less competent leads in their sales funnel and no orders. Which of course reinforces the belief that clients are stupid and that is why they don't buy.
The problem deep within this organization is their image of themselves. They don't bother to see how customers perceive them. They don't even think about the perceived value of their services. The only focus is closing the deal. But if they are so stuck with this point of view they will never understand the market and will not be able to adapt to it. Their worst enemy is within. It doesn't matter if they implement sales 2.0 approach or artificial marketing or whatever fancy subject from the consulting terms. Unless they handle with their limited beliefs they won't make it.
What could be done?
The situation is not so bad. The company must review their market - start thinking from the customers' point. What it is about the offer that is not suitable for them. How the customer sees their image - are they respectable name, do they have long-term clients, what they know about them. Study the competition and why not - work with them if there is an area where they could be used.
All of these must be analyzed and then the problem will inevitably arise - there is a large difference between the way the company perceives itself and the way the market perceives it. As with the consulting company from our example all troubles are within. The good news about it is that they can be fixed. Before that someone have to see there is a problem indeed.

петък, 26 март 2010 г.

3 key principles before restructure

No matter at what level of your organization you are, you probably see there is something wrong. It can be the lack of money, the lack of managerial skills or the necessity to work in late hours. Most of the time all three of these are over your head. As with football and politics everyone has their own opinion about what is the reason behind all problems. How can one be sure that the deletion of the perceived problem won't cause another problem, hidden until that moment. If you run a small company and you suspect some of your representatives having bad time management and low results you could fire them. With this action you lose large part of your clients and have more expenses looking for new persons. There is no guarantee that they will handle the job better in the same conditions. Then, where is the problem?
If you burn your hand in the oven, you know the cause is you putting your hand there. The time-frame between these two actions is relatively small.That is why you perceive the one as a function of the other. In more complex systems like sales and companies, this is not always the case. Sales are just part of a system. If something somewhere isn't working as it should, the consequences can show themselves anywhere. It may take some time also. In the case of the small company from our example, the reason could lie in the excess of administrative work which the representatives have to take, or the wrong initial territory design. There are some variables which can be considered for sure before restructuring the department.
If sales really are a system, what conclusions can we drive from this?
1. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Which means we need to understand the whole system, not her different parts. We must look for the weakest link in our sales system and it is not always the one that is malfunctioning. This also means we should consider ourselves as part of the whole and see our function in it. Such a view will help to prevent future mistakes.
2. Uneven streams are caused by constrains. Constrains are giving the system lags in time. It resolves in times when people have nothing to do and times when they are up to their necks in work.This cause a lot of productive time thrown away and a lot of stress for everybody.
3. Restructuring is hard. When you pull a net towards you, in the minute you release it will be back in it's place. It is hard to re-arrange a whole system, when you are not sure of the consequences. Better bring some little improvements which will result in a bigger improvement for longer period.
Watch closely your system and don't put too much effort in just one place. It is good to have a balance. Use this three key principles in your work and see if they are applied in your organization. If not - you can start with them.

четвъртък, 25 март 2010 г.


This will be a blog about sales, sales processes, design of processes, sales tips and other stuff about sales. It is targeted towards sales people, managers on different levels and others interested in the subject.
Sales are important part of our lives. We are selling ourselves, our ideas, our lifestyles all the time. My view on sales is not so profit-oriented. I see them as part of the system of the enterprise or of the society. That is why you won't see here advice like "Sell them no matter what!" or "Remember: every time you don't make a sell someone else does!".
Well, you already saw them, but they are just tools. Like the most of the things in this site. Sometimes you could use them, sometimes you'd better not. It is good to have them. It is even better to know where to get them from. And if you have the frame to put them in - it's perfect. The process of arranging them there is what I call sales design.