Delegating Outside Sales Work
You’ve Never Done Before
What if you don’t like cold calling, but you need a telemarketer or sales rep for your business to grow? You’ve never cold called in your life, and now you’re faced with being the expert, and teaching another person how to do it for you. You’re feeling pressured.
It’s important that you know just enough about the performance situation to measure and hold another accountable. In this brief I’ll walk you through what you need to know. Most businesses fail because they have don’t have a system at all, so use your lack of sales experience as a reason to create a system.
It’s a blessing that you don’t know much, because bad habits have a way of creating the same for generations to come. Starting from scratch is actually the best leap off point, because you can discover the path as it emerges through action. As a successful business owner, trial and error is the way into gathering data that you can live by.
I’m going to walk you through 11 key steps. These eleven solid steps lead to the build-out of a successful sales system for generating new business. Later on, you can use the same principles to gather more business from your existing business. If you’re not doing this yet, you should, and optimizing it is smart; less risk, less cost, and more growth. Even though your greatest asset is your client, and you’ve got a diamond in your backyard, create a system for development of new prospective clients. Here’s how:
Step 1: Ask the individual to create the system with you. Let go of needing to prove you know what you’re doing, don’t be phony or give false indications. Instead, use your product knowledge as a key ingredient. Make a list of the most unique and valuable features, benefits, and capabilities that you offer, and then rate each from 1 to 10 – 10 being the best.
Step 2: Create a straw man. This is a customer mock-up including her pains, her desires, her goals, and her current position. If they’re in the chain of command, what is their most important goal or metric to meet in their job description? What pains prohibit them?
Step 3: Mark up your value proposition. Above all that you do for customers, identify the impact you believe you can have on your customer, and via what abilities and resources. How would you make that happen in three steps? Eg.“We believe that entrepreneurs can triple their income and free time through the process of coaching them, with the intent to make them better at the creative process, confident in leading a top team, and manifesting a fulfilling quality of life plan.”
Step 4: Look at what your three biggest competitors are offering. Take an hour this afternoon to be a secret shopper and research their offerings. Find out how they approach a new lead, and how they bias you to their product or service.
Step 5: Write down the top 5 most common objections that your buyers have displayed over the years that keep them from buying your product or service. Now put together the 5 come-backs or counter-measures to their remarks. Think like Karate Kid – come back with a great counter move with swift clock speed, thinking quickly on your toes.
Step 6: Create a Business Development Prompter. This is the initial call script that works. This system has been field tested in our coach program:
“We haven’t spoken before, but this is (name). We’ve been working with other (titles) for the past X years, and their chief frustrations have been (pain), (pain), and (pain). We’ve been able to help them with (feature, benefit, capability) so that (impact). We’d like to share some more examples with you…”
Practice leaving this on your own voicemail and ask your telemarketer to do the same. Say your name and number at the front and back of your message in writing speed. Setup a role play with your telemarketer and other staff to sharpen the saw of the talk-track.
Step 7. Ready, Fire, Aim. Execute and learn from new information gathered. Inherit the philosophy that “everything is practice.” Evangelize this message everywhere to help you gain clarity by acting in an instant on less than optimal processes. By taking immediate action using fast feedback over a 3 day time period, you’d work the kinks out of your emerging system. Remember, you want data you can live by. And this feedback can help you see a path to improve upon your system.
Ask your telemarketer to suggest changes and make suggestions. They tend to utilize systems they help create, because there’s a sense of ownership.
Step 8: Track your Numbers. What’s measured gets done. Amen! Track your daily numbers and tally them up weekly with a simple dashboard like the one below. Compare week-to-week and month-to-month to see trends. You could also compare month-to-date or year-to-date cumulative sums to the goals you’re shooting for. By comparing the actual to the expected, you’ll see exactly where, when, and how to make the changes needed to better the performance curve. Here are some suggested ones:
# of initial calls
# of initial contacts
# of qualified suspects
# of appointments
# of closes
# of new clients
# of referrals
You can also create a grading system to correlate with the sequential steps of your sales process. Your sales process is composed of 5-12 milestones that, much like yards on a football field, measure distance made incrementally through a series of conversations. You can establish a set of conversion averages or expectations around these markers as a means to determine which skills or activities need tweaking in the sales process.
Step 9. Arrange a pay structure that’s exciting. This is outside sales, not inside. You’re not hiring an order taker, you’re appointing a hunter. Hunters are often paid on commission, they eat what they kill. Write down the number 100k. Every sales person on the planet who isn’t there wants this and more. That’s why they’ve chosen the highest paying hard work on the planet, and the lowest paying easy work, sales!
Put together a proposed trajectory from activity levels to results expected. 10 sales calls = 2 initial contacts = 1 qualified appointment = .5 closes. To earn one client 20 sales calls are needed. These are statistics that you can learn by implementing your system. Identify an average transaction size of a sale.
Look at your numbers, what is your income now? How much is your income a percentage of the revenue? If it’s 100k great, what percentage of revenue is your 100k salary? Come up with a % of the revenue that you can live with. I recommend this instead of commission earned on profit.
Profit income commission structures are best suited for sales reps that both create and maintain accounts. They can influence costs as wells as revenue. But your sales rep is revenue focused and new business centric. He can select the price and disqualify a bad prospect—that is his authority.
So let’s say to get the person to a 100k, your average sale is 5k and out of this you’ll pay them 10% = $500. Essentially they’ll need to generate 20 new clients per month. To do that, they’ll need to make 400 initial calls per month, 80 initial contacts, to reach it. Show your sales rep a trajectory that follows this conversion path to the income result. They’ll appreciate the clarity, because it lowers resistance, and increases confidence in seeing a clear way forward.
Step 10: Sign a sales rep agreement. Limit your liability, limit your risk, and get your business attorney to draft a sales rep agreement with a non-compete clause, non-disclosure clauses, and all the bells and whistles to make it legally sound and risk-free for your business to grow.
Step 11: Multiply your masters. Ask your sales rep if they’re interested in growing into management and sticking around. They could be the prodigal performer to clone, so ask them if they’ll help build a lean and mean sales machine and collect overrides and bonus pay from recruiting, training, and motivating others to master the system. A third level could be company equity as a junior partner or VP.