How Systems Lead to Greater SalesMar 14, 2022
Sales for Introverts Podcast Episode 11 Transcript
[Note: Please excuse any typo’s, punctuation, or odd wording as the software occasionally transcribes it incorrectly. If in doubt, listen to the episode!]
📍 What'd you say everybody?
Welcome back to the sales for introverts podcast. Really excited that you're here still, really excited that you're listening. This is your first episode or listened to. I recommend you start at the beginning because we just.
Break everything up. We have been following a little bit of a progression now. Force is not required, but it might help you understand the context of this discussion so far.
Once again, what we're trying to do here is help integrate introverts into sales roles and a little bit. Easier more natural. Progression. That makes sense for us as introverts. I'm the chief introvert here. My name is Mark Wilson. And I run the website. As well as the podcast, but the website is sales for introverts.com.
Come on over, check it out. See what we have to offer. There is an online course there. Four people. Who are introverts in any sort of a sales capacity? That doesn't mean that your name tag says sales person, but. As we know, there are all kinds of different roles in a company and people with sales facing customer facing.
Type. Responsibilities in their job can benefit from that. Because as we all know, introverts cannot shy away from those kinds of things. You get a phone call coming through and you're like dead cow.
Another phone call. Are you serious right now? And I say. The words, dad gum, because my kids are obsessed with the movie cars. And that's what made her likes to say. But Hey, I'm also from Alabama too. So that's just something that we say here. Which is a little bit weird. I recognize if you're from a different part of the world, but if you're not, then you know what I mean.
Anyways, what we're going to talk about today. Is a big word. And it's something that we don't always talk about much in the sales world. I don't know. I've been doing this since 2008 full time. And. I just don't hear this word used very much. And the word is systems. Now systems is a big deal. On the operation side of the business.
And if you work for a small business where you wear a lot of hats, you understand how important systems are for you. That's how your business war runs like a well-oiled machine. Right. But what about for salespeople? I mean, Does salespeople have a lot of systems? I don't know, maybe, but we don't really talk about it that much. Or maybe it's just.
It's sales is such a simple thing that you don't complicate it so much with systems. Besides, well, you. Get some prospects and you turn them into clients and then you close the deal and then you deliver the goods and then you follow up afterwards and then you try to repeat. Business. You know, that is technically a system it's more of like a, a process flow.
Than a system or just a natural workflow, but that's just sales 1 0 1. That's what you learn on day one is your sales cycle, right? But how many actual systems do you have within that construct?
So we're just going to chat about that a little bit today and let's go ahead and dive into it. The big thing about systems is it can help you accelerate your progress. A lot of people get bogged down salespeople, especially with what I would call busy work. There's really no such thing as busy work and business.
If you have busy work. Then it's a waste of your time. It sounds like you're trying to fill up somebody's day with stuff to do. Now, if you're in high school, I remember busywork. Yeah. I remember that because that's exactly what it was. It would tie up the rest of your 45 minute class because the teacher didn't want to teach or they needed to expand some part of a semester or something, you know, but if, if you're getting paid to do it or you're paying someone else to.
They ain't no such thing as busy work. And if there is, you need to figure that out. Okay. But what I'm talking about is real work. And so what you can do or not do, or have somebody else do in order to get your sales cycle completed quicker or earlier, or more efficient in some way. Right. So let me tell you about my life.
Well, I didn't get into grooves. Okay. I don't like people telling me what to do. So on one hand, I'm strong and independent person, and that might leave room for my own air. And I accept that and I'm good with that. And I, I kind of get to the point where I can't see the forest through the tree sometimes, or to put it simpler. I might be ruling much harder than I need to be just to get ahead. So what I mean by all that is, is I found it a way that I like to do things. I'm going to put my head down. I'm going to crank it out and then we can move on to the next customer.
Right. So while I might be, I might be okay doing that. It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm doing it the right way or the best. Let me give you some actual examples. Okay.
So for like a decade, I had the same laptop computer, and I didn't use it every day. I used it when I traveled for work or when I was working on vacation or something like that. Yeah, that's right. I used to work on vacation and sometimes I still do. I'm not proud of it, but I've gotten a lot better than I used to be at work.
More reasonable hours than I used to . Okay. But I would always complain about this computer because it would take 30 minutes to boot up, but it was my computer. And I would complain about my wife and wife would be like, what is wrong with you? Just go get a new computer. You complain about this all the time.
And I would say over the line, That computer in my career, I probably wasted an entire Workday, like an entire eight hours just dealing with it issues with that stupid computer and my wife, you know, when you take an outside perspective and look in you, you, you're kind of like, you're an idiot, man. Just go get a new computer or just go fix it or go find something else to fix this.
Like well doing that would cost me an hour. You understand it? It would cost me something to go do that, but the amount of time that I would have saved by just doing it five or six years ago was probably an eight hours worth a full Workday. And just to think about what I could accomplish in that eight hours is crazy because time is at a premium these days.
So, yeah, I should have just gotten a new computer and I wouldn't do it because I was stubborn, but that's, you know, corollary here. That's a good thing to get opinions of people outside of your work day. Maybe have them sit with you for a day and make observations, or especially people from your own company, from different departments that can do.
But here's a sillier example. Sunglasses. I used to be a one pair of , sunglasses kind of guy. And again, this is like the last 15 years. I only had one pair of sunglasses. So whenever I left them somewhere or lost it or put it in a coat pocket for a month and I couldn't find it, I just went without sunglasses.
I don't know, I have to have sunglasses when I'm driving because the bright lights just doesn't work for me for whatever reason. I don't know why. And it helps give me a migraine, but but yeah, so here's a stupid fix. Just go buy two pair of sunglasses or buy three. Next time you go. That way you can have one in different parts of your life or in your car or in a particular book bag or something like that.
So that would resolve that problem quite easily, rather than just being miserable half the time or spending a ton of time looking around your house, trying to find your sunglasses. So what I did about a year ago was lo and behold, And my birthday, I requested that people give me sunglasses.
If you're going to give me anything, you know, my parents, they have to have something to give. My mom does. And then for Christmas, all I want is sunglasses. So I racked up like three or four pairs on my birthday, which is in July. And then I racked up three or four more at Christmas. So now I am flush with sunglasses and yes, I still lose them, but I, by the time that I find it again, I don't have to go look for, I'll just use my other pairs.
And then the other ones pop up. For example, we went on a vacation to the beach several months ago. I'm like, man, I haven't seen these purple sunglasses in a long time. They have like purple lenses and sure enough, they were in a beach bag that set for two months until we went back to the beach and I got my purple sunglasses back.
But anyways, silly example, but it goes to show you when you will stop and take a look at your, in this case, my life, but your, your business process. What can you do slightly different or majorly different in order to Institute some systems that will make your life easier? That will help you sell more.
Maybe you can just go home early or work less. Right. That right there is fantastic. I'll be happy with that.
All right. So let's put myself in your shoes. So if you're listening to this and you probably feel like there are some parts of your job, That you just do a lot. You have a lot of responsibilities and you have a lot of things to do in a day. Okay. And because that's where I am. But. I'm in the same boat.
So if you feel that way. And so do I, so let's think about your company. Again, if you are a small business owner or you work in it and just a really, really small business with a very limited amount of employees, then this may not apply to you as much, but most large companies, larger companies have different departments, right? There's a finance department.
There's a purchasing department, logistics, legal management, marketing.
So, what can you do to offload some tasks or responsibilities to these folks? Let me give you an example. So one thing that I've offloaded recently is ISL physical products and services with warranties involved. And so once you get to a certain point in the sales cycle, the customer is going to request that you put together a packet.
Of all the warranties that apply. Two. The sales and service that you just provided to them. And so the part of that process is you have to have a cover sheet. It has to be signed. It has to be notarized. And then all the warranties follow behind that. And then it gets compiled into one PDF.
Any of that gets mailed hard copies or emailed. To the customer. Okay. Well, I used to do all of that myself and these requests came in two or three times a week.
The reason that I did it was because I just knew how to do it. That was it. I just knew how to do it and nobody else did. And I didn't ask anybody else to, so of course, nobody's going to lesson number one. Ask. Okay. Nobody knows that you have a need until you ask them.
But the second lesson for that is to delegate. If you can. So, or to offload to a different department. So for example, let's say you might be a one person team and you have no support in the office. You are expected to do all of that stuff. So maybe you could, since there is kind of legal implications here,
Let your manager or legal department or whoever that is. Handle this particular task. What I did is that I work on a sales team, that we all have different responsibilities, of course, but I delegated it out to somebody on my team to compile this.
You might be nervous about this though, because it is an important task. Like I said, there is no such thing as busy work in my office. That's ridiculous. It's all important. Necessary work. Or else we need to restructure our team or our responsibilities. But while this might be simple. And it may not be as important.
As a customer, having a catastrophe that you need to go handle, it's still something that needs to get done. So create a system, train somebody. How to do those tasks. So, what I did was I was a little bit nervous because there is a cover page that I have to sign and it has to be notarized. So I did was I explained to this person how I compiled everything up.
How to create the cover sheet. And we created a process where she just brought the whole packet to me, slapped it on my desk and I just gave it a once-over sign in a way. She would handle getting it notarized in hand, handing it over to the customer. Which was fantastic. It, it took, it used to take me 30 minutes of my day.
Per request. And so I got. Maybe two. Three a week. So let's just call it an hour a week that I just got back into my Workday. Where I can spend doing sales activities. Cause this is a service after the sale activity. I can go back to the front end of the sales cycle now. And not have to worry about this backend low priority responsibility.
So, what is it for you? What can you identify? Anywhere in that priority spectrum. That you can offload. Or that you can systematize even for your own good, even if you're still doing everything, what systems, what spreadsheets, what. Processes. Or processes. If you're British, can you create. To help.
Shorten. All of those things. Okay. So maybe it's paperwork, maybe it's back office work, maybe it's simple customer service type requests and inquiries.
Here's the question that you need to ask yourself. . What is preventing you from taking more orders?
And one of my previous jobs. Somebody actually did ask me that question. But. I, I was in a spot where I had a lot of margin, both in my personal life and in my professional life, I had time. To do things, anything that I wanted really.
In our sales process was not too complicated. It was a sort of a. You know, calling customers and cold calling was a part of it, but a lot of the transactions could take place within just a few minutes. And you either got the sale or you didn't. Because we worked for a distribution company and basically it was like around having the right products.
At the right price and at the right delivery timeframe, those were like three main criteria. So if you emit some of those and if you didn't, you could try to wiggle your way. You know, try to still save the sale. Or you could make outbound phone calls and attempt to sell what you had, you know,
Which is fine. It's not, it, it was a very B2B type situation with the set customer. Base and that's, that's how we operated, like a lot of distributors do. So. One day, our boss came to us and said, what's preventing you from writing more orders. What's preventing you. What's stopping you.
From being on the phone. Or being able to answer phone calls and so. And there just really wasn't that many administrative tasks that I was doing at the time. So there was really nothing for me to offload. I was like, ah, I don't know this. Sheet of paper needs to be faxed to somebody. This is back. Manufacturers were still around.
And w which is a two minute task at best. And I felt kind of bad. But now the way that I work is I have a ton. Of back office work to do. Related to my sales business. And so the systematized. Atmosphere is still extremely important now.
So once again, you need to ask yourself what is preventing you from taking more orders are doing more sales type activities. And if you honestly can't think of anything, then you're you're okay. You don't have to worry about it so much. But.
If you can identify several things, then you want to start thinking about, well, how can you create a system? To minimize that part of your day and to maximize part of your day where you're actually selling and growing your territory. Maybe you can justify adding a headcount. If you're handling a bunch of $5 issues, when you want to be handling $500,000.
Issues, maybe it's simply just a capacity issue. You need more help. Or you need to be able to offload stuff. To other departments or other people.
And yeah, like I mentioned before, I w I was nervous about giving up control. But you, because you don't know what other people are going to say. Now, the people that are talking to your precious little customers that you've curated into the certain image. For the company. But if that's you and that's me by the way, but if that's you too.
Then just. Train your own staff as to how you like.
To talk to customers and you should probably talk to them the same way. Right? To, to, to, to hold them with the same. Caring nature that you take care of your customers with. Now, if you're kind of like me, you kind of old curmudgeon. But My coworkers might attest, but hopefully they can still see a little bit of fun.
And the twinkle in my eye, so to speak. But yeah, training them on that kind of stuff. And how to handle your customers will easily put those fears to bed.
And last little observation is a lot of times people carry responsibilities from old jobs and old positions within the company. So, for example, maybe you still do a little bit of purchasing. And I'm like 30 minutes a day or maybe 30 minutes a week. You help replenish your stock levels. Just because you're the best at it.
And you know how to do it, and people expect you to do it. Well, does that mean that you should be doing that? If you have a purchasing department or purchasing staff. Maybe just let them handle it. And teach them how to do it.
The bottom line is if you want to grow, something's gotta go. Okay. So I encourage you. To look into your Workday to see what you can find. Where you can go and where you can grow. Okay.
Well, that's going to just about wrap it up. But as you know, I like to end. Our shows with talking about something cathartic, you know, what is, where can you find some rest and renewal in your day? And for me.
This might sound kind of weird, but my favorite weather is rainstorm. Okay. I'm all about nice breezy, hot summer days with a lot of sunshine. I mean, you're going to, you need that. If you're going to be outside, you're going to go to the beach. You're going to go on a bike ride or something, but maybe once a week, if we just get a good downpour for like five hours straight.
I just feel so good and it's so weird, but it just kind of fits. My introverted personality, I guess. And I know there's other people out there that like rainstorms, some people like those notions of rain on a tin roof, you know? I'm good with that too. Just hanging out on a porch during a rainstorm, but for me, it's really kind of being inside and.
Having the lights down low and it's raining outside and watching a movie or something like that. So. That is. My kind of time. So anyways. Really hope you enjoyed today's episode of the 📍 sales for introverts podcast. That is going to wrap us up. You hear that music plan? That is a friend of mine. Robbie Gomez. You can check him out.
In the show notes and you can check us out at sales for introverts. Dot com. Online courses there. Also, you can find us on YouTube as well as Facebook, but. You want to find more about us sales for introverts.com or just hang out until the next episode? Feel free to subscribe. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.
If you're an introvert in the sales world, you'll want to check out my free Introvert Kickstart. It's time to reframe your whole career!