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As a small business owner, it’s tempting to spend too much time on the details instead of leveraging systems and processes to grow your business.
Scott Beebe serves small business owners and works to free them from the chaos of constantly working on the details of owning a business. He teaches them how to avoid having to put out fires and moves them toward the freedom of working on their business.
As sellers and entrepreneurs, many of us don’t have the kind of systems in place that will help us succeed.
Zig Ziglar pointed out that we are all sellers. Even if you can’t immediately see how processes will help you in your own role, it’s likely that you’ll benefit from them.
Some sellers are in the Wild West style selling situation while others are in a more starched, blue-collar kind of setting. Those sellers with very well-defined roles may have a hard time expanding outside that role into less well-defined roles.
Vehicles are a great example of a series of systems. Within each system under the hood of your car, there are additional systems and processes: the cooling system, the combustion system, and thousands of others. Whether you’re in the gun-slinging or the starched side of sales, you still need systems.
In sales, your systems drive what you do.
Begin by thinking about the systems and processes that you’re haphazardly bandaging together, and how you might achieve more success if you could put a defined process in place.
Many sellers fail because they don’t know what to do next.
Whether you’re an owner, a seller, or a manager, the number one barrier to processes and systems is the pain of sitting down and doing it. Most people who invest the time to do it hate doing it.
What makes you great is taking the time to develop your back-end systems and processes so you can go out and do what you do best.
Rory Vaden, author of the book Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, outlines a concept he calls the 30x principle. If you identify a 5-minute task and 30x that task, that’s about the amount of time it will take you to train someone else to do that task.
We look at that and think, “I’m not going to invest two-and-a-half hours to teach someone to do a 5-minute task.” Now imagine that 5-minute task over the course of 250 working days, and then ask yourself if it’s worth the two-plus hours of your time to get back more than 20 hours time.
It’s the equivalent of about 70% return on your time investment.
Begin by articulating where you’re going. On Scott’s Business On Purpose podcast he refers to it as the “vision story.”
If we plan a trip, and I give you a destination, you might be inclined to go along. But if I give you specific details about where we’re headed and what we’ll see while we’re there, and what kinds of experiences we will have when we arrive, you’ll likely be much more excited about the trip, and more likely to want to go along.
Many salespeople just want to make more money without any ceilings, but everything comes with a cost.
We can build the fanciest systems and processes, but if you don’t have any idea where you’re going, you’ll end up in the middle of nowhere.
When you lay out your vision, you’ll give people the opportunity to decide whether they’ll get on board.
Use this template to create processes for your business:
Find a place where you can document the process. Write out the individual steps in the process.
Once you’ve done that, you can review it with your employee. Then, you can use Screencast-O-Matic or ScreenFlow to record the process. Once you’ve presented it, you never have to do it again.
You can also listen to our conversation with Rory Vaden on TSE episode 109.
This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If you put in a lot of hard work in 2018 but weren’t able to close many of your deals, we can help you fix that. We have a new semester beginning in April and it would be an honor to have you join. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/CST.
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On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Chirag Gupta, founder of NoD Coworking, about documenting processes and how it will help your organization become more efficient and more profitable.
Chirag has been an entrepreneur since college, and his coworking space in Dallas has achieved profitability, a goal many startups never achieve, largely as a result of documenting processes.
Like many entrepreneurs, Chirag initially found himself wearing many hats. He discovered that operating that way isn’t profitable, even though it’s a means to conserve cash. It simply isn’t sustainable.
He realized he was working long hours without delivering the best possible experience to his customers.
Chirag discovered a book called Work the System, which helped him understand that juggling all aspects of the business prevented him from running the business.
You can work in your business, or you can work on your business, and the difference between the two is subtle.
Once he discovered the difference, he understood the need to begin documenting processes, specifically those for sales.
In the early days of the business, each transaction was unique. Chirag negotiated with every client instead of establishing a specific membership process.
Because there was money coming in, he didn’t immediately recognize the need to document processes for his business.
When he did, he felt like he got a huge chunk of his life back.
The idea for NoD emerged when Chirag was in Chicago working in a coworking space on an idea for a social networking app.
He discovered that he was encountering other successful Internet entrepreneurs, angel investors, and mentors, and he realized what a powerful resource it was.
He decided that his second business, after his Internet startup was thriving, would be a coworking space.
When the Internet startup died, he returned to the idea of the coworking space.
He moved back to Dallas and started running meetups with the startup community simply to make new connections. He was looking for networking opportunities among the tech startup community.
At one point he was running five different meetups using a vacant office space.
One of the guys in a meetup insisted on paying him to use the space. He could see the vision and the value of a coworking space in that part of the city.
Process is key for everyone.
Chirag learned that once you write something down, you can test it and measure it and tweak it and optimize it. If you don’t write it down, it’s hard to replicate or scale.
He started by documenting the process for lead generation. Once he had written down the individual steps, he was able to see new insights and find ways to streamline the processes.
Processes have helped him trust that his customers are always getting the same consistent process that his team developed. The result has been amazing growth for his company. His profit has roughly doubled as a result of the effort.
As an added benefit, the company is getting more five-star reviews because they’ve streamlined the processes.
This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.
This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.
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In order for your organization to operate at its best, the people within must be empowered. The team must feel confident working together and it must believe in the process. But believing in the process begins with the leadership, which is why you must empower yourself before you can empower others.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Joe Pardo, who is an accomplished business coach, consultant, speaker, podcaster, author and DJ, shares his experience working in his family business, and his thoughts on learning to empower yourself first before you can empower others.
His newest book, Sales Won’t Save Your Business: Focus on the T.O.P., addresses the importance of developing confidence in your team, your customer, and yourself on the way to increasing profit.
Joe believes that processes are the cornerstone of every business. They affect how your team operates, how you structure offers, and how your customers see you.
It’s the concept behind his new book, because you may land a deal, but if your customer has a bad experience, he won’t be back. He’ll tell others how horrible the experience was and your business won’t be in a good place.
Organizations that find themselves with frequent turnover, which results in constantly training new people, should immediately look to their processes.
Consistency makes a difference for your client base. You need a system that makes people want to come into work.
Sometimes negativity seeps into an organization. Even if it doesn’t exist within the leadership, negativity within a team can become visible to your customers.
Before you can help your team, you have to figure out what makes you tick. You have to be able to remind yourself of the “magic” that keeps you doing what you do.
During a period when Joe was working for his family business, his team was resistant to an upcoming structure change. He wasn’t really “in charge” of anyone, so he wasn’t empowered to fire anyone.
He immediately understood the danger of publicly second-guessing those in leadership above you, because it forces the team to choose sides. As a result, he understood the importance of hiring the right people to start with, so that no one second-guesses each other.
Leaders who understand people’s “why” will be better equipped to create a place people want to be. If you communicate to your people that you care about them and about their goals, they will buy into the mission and they will grow.
They will want to help your company and they’ll be open to your guidance.
What do your team members have on their walls? What kind of books are on their bookshelves? If you’re willing to take time to learn a little bit about the things they are interested in, it will carry you so far with your team members.
Your goal is to create as many touch points as possible so you can relate things back to them.
If one of your team members has interest in writing a book, put him in contact with a friend who has walked through the process before.
Give away baseball tickets that your vendor gave you to a team member who loves baseball.
If you’re in a leadership position, or you want to be, get used to creating processes for yourself and your team. Processes don’t have to eliminate spontaneity; they simply ensure that certain things happen within a certain time period.
You might, for example, ensure that new employees spend time with veterans of the company. It allows them to see the opportunity available within the organization.
Consider simple ideas like creating a budget that allows you to buy a breakfast sandwich for your team members as a way to build community with them.
Make a point to get to know people personally. Your team members will feel a loyalty if you tap into their personal lives.
Processes can be passed on to the next person when you move on to something else.
You can connect with Super Joe Pardo at his website, where you can also find a copy of his book, Sales Won’t Save Your Business: Focus on the T.O.P.
Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.
Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here. Grab your copy of the SlideShare.
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Today on The Sales Evangelist podcast, we talk with Chris Rothstein about the ways to align your sales efforts, and the success that results when you do.
Two developments demand the need for greater alignment: improved tracking capability and increased specialization within companies. Because companies used specialized departments to accomplish specific tasks, many handoffs occur throughout the sales process.
When different teams operate according to different criteria, the result is often finger-pointing rather than collaboration.
If, for example, a marketing department gathers 1,000 business cards in a fishbowl, those may not actually be qualified leads. The marketing department may perceive that it achieved its goal, while the sales team may believe otherwise.
When everyone within a company speaks the same language, the company becomes more effective.
To achieve that goal, Rothstein’s company Groove tracks all forms of communication and collects data from it. The company syncs all emails and calendars, and classifies every meeting that takes place.
Armed with that information, they can determine where in the sales process deals are dying and where the sales reps need help. They record sales calls and provide follow-on, specialized coaching.
Finally, they collaborate to identify the companies they’ll pursue in their sales process so that they are all focused on the same targets.
Many organizations cast too wide a net.
They undertake a huge list of prospects with a goal to connect with a small number of them. Because the list is so large, it’s tough for sales people to achieve any depth in the relationship.
If, on the other hand, companies will restrict the number of prospects they target, they’ll achieve better results because they can focus better.
In an account-based approach, each person has a unique role, and the customer will experience a unified process.
The sales cadence model will vary according to your industry. In every industry, though, a successful cadence will require multiple touches.
Email boasts a big impact in the software industry, for example, but not in the restaurant industry. Each industry in your company’s profile will demand unique touches and processes.
Evaluate how long your process should be, and make it longer than you think it should be. Then stick with it.
You’ve heard me talk about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program for sellers of all levels. We understand the importance of cadence and repeatable action steps. We help participants understand the concepts and then apply what they’ve learned.
The easiest step you can take is to apply for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to see if you qualify for the program. Our next semester begins April 26 and will focus on building more value. We’d be honored to have you join us.
Audio provided by Free SFX.
Today on The Sales Evangelist, Douglas Vigliotti helps us understand how sales fundamentals can help us grow our business.
As a strategic selling partner for small business owners, Vigliotti understands that businesses without processes don’t progress or grow.
The most important question a salesperson can ask himself is this: Am I selling products and services or am I helping to solve a problem?
Sales professionals have been conditioned to sell by their bosses, their investors, and a host of other people. What drives the process, though, is helping someone solve a problem. When the customer gets what he wants, the sales professional gets what she wants.
People innately think of themselves first.
Imagine you’re at a party with a group of friends and someone takes a picture. When you look at the picture, who do you look to first? We look at ourselves first, of course. If we don’t like how we look, we may stipulate that the picture can’t be posted.
Tactics are interchangeable.
One day the focus might be Facebook, and another day it’s Google.
Your sales focus must be on strategy rather than tactics because without a rock-solid strategy, you’ll never reproduce your success.
The key to business relationships lies in positioning the deal so that both parties win. Reducing the social, emotional and financial risk makes it easier for the customer to say yes.
When you make it easy for the customer to come on board, you increase the likelihood that they’ll choose you repeatedly.
Never confuse simplicity and ease.
Simplicity is the key to reproducibility. If you strive for clarity about your process, you’ll be able to reproduce it.
The number one skillset for entrepreneurs is problem-solving, and Vigliotti offers a framework for creating solutions. He calls them CRINGE solutions: they’re so good that customers would cringe at the idea of saying no.
Customer first: Does my customer feel like he has won?
Real problem: Am I solving the customer’s true problem or a problem I perceive he has?
Immense value: Can I provide value, either real or intangible, that increases the value of my customer?
Non-negotiable: Am I communicating my belief that you’re better off with me than you would be without me?
Good timing: We can do everything right, but if the timing is off you won’t win the deal. Optimize timing by improving the speed of delivery.
Easy to say yes: The most powerful acquisition strategy is making it easier for the customer to say yes.
In order to solve problems for our customers, we must know how to solve problems and provide value. If you aren’t sure how to do that, help is available.
The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group training program that will help you learn processes that you can apply immediately in order to see results.
It’s a weekly live training session that will help you become more influential and be more successful. We’ll help you find more leads, build more value, close more deals and do big things.
If you enjoy our podcast, leave us a review wherever you consume this content. Share it with someone else who can benefit from it.
Sound in this episode provided by Free SFX.
Are you bogged down with so much stuff and admin work that you’re not seeing any increase in sales? As entrepreneurs and sellers, we have to systematically grow our business and have processes in place. Oftentimes, all you need to do is provide the right system. My guest today, Eric Taussig, gives us some great insights on how you can create the systems that can help you maximize and focus on your one thing.
Eric Taussig is the Founder of Prialto, a virtual assistance company that leverages the human cloud from their overseas offshore service centers to help amplify people by reinventing the executive assistant role enabled by technology and a global workforce.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Eric:
The biggest issues entrepreneurs face in growing their businesses:
Ways to increase your productivity:
Strategies in growing your business:
The power of having systems:
Strategies in developing your systems:
How having a virtual team can help you become more productive:
Eric’s Major Takeaway:
Give to get. If you want your business up and running, give away the credit and ownership to your people so they’d feel invested. Your goal is to build an entity that as many people in your team can see themselves fit. You’ll know you’re successful when your company can take on the inevitability of forward movement without you.
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