There is no doubt that sales are important. Without them, you could never run a viable business. So why then didn't we start the Wardell program with this? Because sales are important enough to be undertaken by a business with a solid foundation, whose marketing, finance, and operations departments are prepared to build and bring to life a world class sales system.
Organizational Structure — We’ll start with a look at the organizational structure of your Marketing Department. It’s important to be sure people are clear about their accountabilities for all aspects of your business.
Sales — In this chapter we’ll examine and organize your Sales System. This is the process of converting leads into customers. The more efficiently we do this, the more business we can wring out of your “promotional” activities. There is a cost saving benefit here as well. Promotions tend to be expensive, so the greater the percentage of leads who become customers, the better.
Your Sales System also impacts your prospects impressions of your business. Give them a poor purchasing experience and you can damage your reputation, in spite of your “operational” excellence. The long-term effect can actually be a reduction in sales because fewer prospects return or send referrals and, as you know, disgruntled customers and prospects tend to tell others of their misfortunes.
Promotions — Here we’ll examine and organize your Promotional System. Its purpose is to attract a continuous stream of qualified leads from your Target Market, thereby keeping your Sales Funnel filled with qualified leads. You will accomplish this by identifying the best methods of communicating with your Target Market and by creating messages designed to attract their interest and peak their curiosity. The three basic categories are:
In many cases, however, the line between sales and promotion is blurred. Imagine making a cold call to a prospect who ends up making a purchase, for example. Where does the promotional aspect of the call leave off and the sales aspect of the call begin? Technically, the shift happens the moment your prospect expresses an interest in your products or services, but as with everything else, in the end you will need to use your common sense. If you need to design a system that combines aspects of both, then do it. The boundaries designed into this program are there to help, not hinder, your systems development.
Beginning With The End in Mind
At the end of Leadership, you developed your company’s Strategic Objectives. This is the set of goals that guides your company forward, each objective being a key component to fulfilling your company’s vision. As a part of that process, you set out some objectives for Sales. As you progress through Sales “Building Customer Relationships” keep your Sales Objectives in mind. Here, you will begin the work of building the systems that comprise the strategies which will achieve your Objectives. As you encounter new ideas, think about how they can be used to bring about progress towards the goals you have set for your company. In other words, let’s begin with the end in mind, and continue to make progress towards your goals.
Strategic Objective Review
Let’s review the objectives you set that are directly influenced by your sales department. Some of your objectives will need to be carried out by a number of interdependent departments. For instance, you will quite likely have set profitability objectives. For your company to be profitable, your operations department will have to be performing at a specific level, creating product, distributing product, or delivering services. Your sales department will have to be busy selling these same products or services, and your marketing department will be responsible for marketing them. Each department will have targets, and action plans for reaching those targets. You will have chosen Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to let you know about progress made towards those targets, and a system for collecting and reviewing your KPI data.
What you will see as you lay out the sales related objectives is that in most cases, your sales department will influence progress towards the Strategic Objective, but each Strategic Objective will need to be broken down into supporting departmental objectives. For Example, your sales department influences profitability in a number of ways, but in most cases it does not have the power in and of itself to determine overall profitability. For that reason, you will want to set objectives for your sales department that support each overall Strategic Objective. Profitability is made up of two components, revenues and expenses. You may decided that your sales department will need to reduce expenses in order to contribute to the overall profitability goal. On the other hand, you may decide that your sales department will need to open new markets, and you will have to increase your sales expenses in order to achieve a significant profitability increase. Whatever the case, you will need to decide on a course of action, set your targets, put action plans in place to achieve them, and KPIs in place to measure your progress.
Key Performance Indicators
In Management, you began measuring progress towards your goals with Key Performance Indicators. Here you will continue this process, but with a focus on Sales. When you worked your way through the Marketing, you recorded the KPIs, or "vital statistics" that let you know what is happening both with your Target Market as a whole, as well as with your particular share of the market. Now, in "Sales", you'll record the KPIs that monitor the influx of new and repeat business.
In this chapter you should have designed, shared, and made a plan to review your:
- Objectives for your Sales Department based off of your company's Strategic Objectives.
- 3-5 KPIs to track your progress towards your top Sales Objectives.