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Steal My Sales Management System

Austin Church

by Austin Church


Mar 22, 2013


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I know some creative professionals who have a strong reaction against the idea of a sales management system.

If they start paying more attention to their prospects, meetings, proposals, and sales, then they will immediately morph into a greaseball in a plaid suit selling clunkers, right?

Rest assured, you can become good at sales without using extra pomade. 

I keep sales simple. I try to be helpful. I ask a lot of questions to see whether or not I can help a prospective client. I don't try to force anything. Part of the sales process then is helping people get out of their own way so that they can accomplish their goals:

  1. Ask questions about goals. 
  2. Brainstorm the best strategies to meet those goals.
  3. Brainstorm the best tactics to fill out those strategies.
  4. Create one or two Aha! moments for the prospect. 

Maybe your service offerings are a good fit for that prospect's goals; maybe they aren't. If I'm not a good fit, I take myself out of the picture, but I still try to refer that prospect to another business that is a good fit. 

My sales management system involves intentionally giving away business.

Giving business away is often the best way to build your business. People trust immediately if you take yourself out of the picture. They'll know you truly care about helping them, and they'll often become a great source of referrals. 

People only refer people whom they trust.

I do track my prospects, meetings, proposals, and sales, but I keep that "funnel" very simple by using a service called SalesActivities.com. The two men, Lance Cooper and Steve Suggs, who created the platform, are clients of mine.

The site has a set-up wizard walks you through several simple questions:

What is your yearly revenue goal?

Divide by 12, and you have your monthly revenue target.

How much is your average project worth?

Divide your monthly revenue target by that number, and you know about how many projects you need to sell each month.

From there, you back the numbers up and estimate how many of your proposals get accepted, how many of your meetings lead to requests for proposals, and how many of your prospects ask for a meeting of some sort.

Your funnel will look something like this:

20 prospects → 15 meetings → 8 proposals → 5 sales

Once you have a clear understanding of monthly targets for prospects, meetings, proposals, and sales, you can better manage the time you spend on each sales activity. If you get to the 15th of the month, and you've only got 3 sales, then you can look back across your funnel and figure out which activities you need to hit hard through the end of the month.

  • Follow up with people.
  • Ask friends for referrals.
  • Propose a minimum engagement to close a hesitant prospect.
  • Pitch new work to an existing client.
  • Maybe—{shiver}—you even need to go to a networking event.

Find prospects, set up meetings, and get your proposals turned around in 24 hours. Fill up your pipeline.

Like I said, keeping it simple will help you stay consistent.

Staying profitable each and every month isn't some kind of divine appointment. You just need to put a repeatable system in place and trust your numbers. Do whatever it takes to fill up your pipeline.

And even if you turn business away, be helpful.

Be generous.

Trust your numbers.

Fill your pipeline.

And go easy on the pomade.

That's it. That's my sales management system. Steal it.

Categories: Business, Complete Elephant, Growing, Marketing | Tags: sales management system


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