Before I talk about sales it is important that the company has A Sound business, strategic and operational plan. These plans are well thought through by management to ensure the company is moving in the direction as planned. These plans have come about through various inputs by staff in the organization. They are usually communicated down to the correct levels in an organization.
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. – Chinese Proverb

The sales teams are directly responsible for revenue to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization. So you will find that the company has set revenue targets that must be achieved.

It is important that a company has a sales system that ensures a common business language within the sales team. So, if you don’t have a sales methodology one needs to get this in place ASAP. You may even have one but is it working for you? For an organization to be successful a sales system needs to be put in place that is clearly understood by the entire team. It also needs to be supported by business processes.
We need to work together to optimize the system as a whole, not to seek to optimize separate pieces…Optimizing separate pieces destroys the effectiveness of the whole. For the organization to work well as a whole, the components must work together. – Quote - Brian Joiner

A typical sales system will have its customer in the centre of all its business. The sales team would therefore be responsible to create leads/opportunities, manage those opportunities and manage customer relationship. There needs to be support from business operations to ensure all sales results in revenue for the company. I’ll expand more on what a sales system includes as we embark on this journey in understanding this topic. So in essence the sales team is responsible to promote and selling the company’s highly recognized leading brands and ensure customers have a positive experience which will result in repeated business. I will also cover the topic relating to sales best practices in a later article. We will also look at the sales teams who need to develop account strategies and prioritize their efforts.


As mentioned we need to be more customer focused to achieve sustainable revenue and to ensure customer retention. 

 It’s important that you design a complete strategy so that you are a customer centric service organization. Therefore the customer must be at the centre of your efforts. After this point it may be a good idea to review your current system and see if you can honestly say the customers is at the Centre of your sales effort.

If you don’t have a sales system in place I would encourage you to do it as soon as possible.

Brands depend upon customers and if companies remember this, then they can only succeed. If however they get so tied up in their products & services that they forget their customer, they may enjoy their work but their brands will always be vulnerable to competition – Company brand


Customer-Focused Actions:

Every interaction with a customer is too important to leave to chance. Customer-Focused Interactions helps sales staff better prepare for their time with customers. The result is purposeful meetings and Win-Win outcomes. To maintain a highly-competitive position sales must maximise every interaction with customers. All efforts must be conducted to either move an opportunity forward or improve the relationship. Anytime team members meets with a customer there are two processes happening simultaneously. When we focus on the selling process, from the customer’s perspective there is also a buying process that must be recognized and understood. Solving this misalignment between these two processes is an outcome of Customer-Focused Interactions.

Create Leads & Opportunities

Optimizing every interaction with the customer. An approach when creating leads and converting them to opportunities is to strategize at a macro level first when targeting, prospecting and scoping the field of play. It is very important that the method that you’re using when creating leads and or opportunities is to have access to the company’s catalogue.

The marketing department has spent a lot of time and effort to ensure this catalogue will support the sales process.

It’s a good idea that you have sales meetings (some companies calls them sales funnel meetings) to go over the sales strategy where you would for example qualify sales, products/services quotas, etc. You also need to look at things like sales targets and prospects. It is always good to do opportunity scoping where you would align yourselves with your strategic plan, annual performance, etc. As a team you would need to understand what your focus or activity areas are. This is where you want to convert the leads/ opportunities to business (ensure buy-in of decision-makers). Make sure that you have a customer engagement plan especially on some of the deals where you’re not only dealing with one or so products/services. There are many sources of leads/opportunities that present themselves every day to you as a sales team. An example of this is business intelligent information that already resides in your company. For example customers are buying from you all the time and this is recorded on your internal systems. Look at this data and see if you can spot the lead or opportunity that will lead to a sale. Marketing will also drive certain initiatives to create them on for your product or service. Understand what they’re trying to do as this will help you to generate sales.

It is important to engage with your customer to assess and analyse the customers’ business needs. When we present our package solution, we must show our unique offerings strengths (value proposition/key benefits), and we must gain commitment to keep the sale moving forward. We must focus our efforts on getting to decision makers and having strong, persuasive dialogue at this level. Our ultimate goal is to ensure we are Customer-Focused. Management must ensure we have a highly skilled sales professional that differentiates their sales team against competition. Engage cross-functional departments in our customer management strategy. Ensure opportunities are advancing toward closed business with every interaction whilst strengthen customer relationships. Although this is the end of part one please note that once all the articles have been completed one should get a better picture of what a sales system should cover. In fact when we done we should have a better understanding of how sales methodology.

As this article is from my own perspective I do welcome comments, possible enhancements, and suggestions to improve where applicable. This is a typical journey that we can enjoy together as we grow the revenue of our organizations.

End of Part 1


The next article that will follow will be called PART 2: MANAGED OPPORTUNITIES

In this article we will be discussing the sales teams need to develop comprehensive strategies to win sales opportunities. We will discuss things like action plans which will be required to successfully sell solutions that often require approval from an individual or multiple decision-makers in a typical customer organization. Visibility into sales opportunities and documenting plans is expected as part of the sales team responsibility. The key to success is learning how to focus time and energy on those opportunities most likely to become profitable, long-term customers.

 Article written by Charles Meyer and approved by the KATS CEO

KATS Marketing: Should you wish to do our Service Advisor course please do not hesitate to contact Charles Meyer @ 0833766745, KATS Training, www.katstraining.co.za

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