Improving your sales success by reducing waste
by Barry Matties
Mar 30, 2004
If you had a manufacturing process that only yielded 1-5% it would be a crisis. Producing 95% waste is cause for new management! If your drilling room process was producing such horrible results, every-thing would be halted. Engineers, suppliers, and any-one else who might help solve the problem, would be called in immediately.
The reason it would be such a fire, obviously, is that it costs a lot of resources to have such unheard of waste. We don't hear of it because it simply would put us out of business. The good news is, any waste recovered can then be found on the bottom line. You will also see increased happiness of employees, cus-tomers, suppliers, and stockholders. Everyone wins.
What is so difficult, is identifying waste that doesnít have a visible impact. One area that such waste exists is in sales departments. The most expensive part of sales is prospecting for new customers, which every company should be doing. What's amazing is the methodology utilized to locate new customers.
Typically, companies will use sources like Thomas Register, Hoovers, or some other broad-based direc-tories to locate a list of potential clients. The problem with that approach, is that after spending thousands of dollars and hours and hours of labor resource, you will find that the list only contains around 5% of what you're looking for. If you are sifting through companies that will never purchase your products, you are wasting 95% of your resources.
We don't react to the waste because it is invisible. But when you add it up, the waste is staggering. The waste is not limited to the dollars and time wasted calling the wrong companies, but you also have lost opportunity. If your sales force could focus on calling only pre-qualified prospects, their success would increase. Along with that, you will be removing an extremely wasteful process in your business.
If you rely on rep organizations to bring in customers, and feel that you only pay for success, guess again. What you are missing is the opportunity. Make sure you're involved with your reps prospecting processes. Helping them understand your prospecting goals will breed success for all concerned.
If you rely on word-of-mouth, that is not prospecting. Not that word-of-mouth is not good, the problem is you have no control over who becomes your customer. Itís better to take charge of prospecting and approach the companies that you would like to have as a customer.
Take a good look at your sales process, as if it were a manufacturing process. If you see that your prospecting is filled with waste, react as if it were your drilling department! The results will be well worth your efforts.
Extracted with kind permission from The Sales Letter
Available in full at www.thesalesletter.com
Barry is a partner in www.baordbuyers.com