Today we’re reviewing a sales challenge that is pervasive throughout most small businesses, even though it’s one of the easiest problems to resolve.  It’s one of the five challenges we’re reviewing in the “The Five Biggest Sales Pipeline Problems” series:

  1.  Volume ( see blog post from July 13, 2020)
  2. Consistency
  3. Data Management
  4. Training Gaps
  5. Wrong Person, Wrong Seat

Why is it important to create and maintain a consistent approach to prospecting, and more importantly, how do you create a company culture that rewards those who create consistent experiences for your prospects and clients?

Consistency is essential for all business operations – you want your service desk following the same process for all support tickets.  You want your support team documenting after each client interaction.  Your sales process should be managed the same way.

You may believe your sales process is consistent, but I challenge business owners here.

I have only met a handful of MSP owners that have a truly consistent approach to their sales process.  Follow ups get done on the same day every week.  Net new outreach is done daily, at a dedicated time.  Proposals get written and sent on the same day every week.  Proposal meetings are always scheduled on-site, and presented in the same way. They have their prospecting processes dialed in,  and they are incredibly consistent.  Their growth reflects it.  These MSPs are well over the 2MM “barrier” (there are more than 80,000 self-identified MSPs in North America, only 10,000 of them are over 2MM in revenue), and these business owners (pre-Covid) haven’t had a flat year in over six years.

Your first step towards inclusion in this elite group?

Be consistent.

If you believe you are prospecting consistently, but your growth doesn’t mirror the description of the MSPs in the above paragraph, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I prospecting daily, even when there is a client emergency or we are short staffed?

  2. Can I predict my sales for the upcoming quarter and following year based on historical results and measurable key performance indicators?

  3. Do I follow up and follow through on every potential opportunity at the time I was asked to, or do I push the follow up activities that I deem “less important” when I have other things on my to-do list?

  4. Do I spend my time prospecting, or do I spend my time avoiding prospecting and doing other things like writing emails, sending messages on LinkedIn or researching companies online?

  5. Do I set goals that I can achieve, and am I doing so daily, weekly, monthly and annually?

If you are unable to answer these questions with a “yes”, you aren’t there yet – and it’s time to begin building consistency culture in your organization.

The good news?  Creating consistency is simple.

(Enforcing it?  Not as simple!)

Here are some things you can start working on today. If you create consistent process today,  then improve it daily, your sales numbers will be predictable a year from now!

  1. Define Your Sales Culture.  One day you might want to stop prospecting, but it will likely fall to you to train the person who will replace you. If it isn’t important to you, it isn’t important. Create a disciplined sales culture long before you need to transfer knowledge, and you will eliminate most of the costly mistakes that companies make when hiring sales executives. Your sales team will be only as good as your sales process allows them to be.
  2. Learn your sales numbers, then learn how to improve them. Approach this task with curiosity and caution. If you are changing more than one variable at a time, you won’t be able to effectively isolate the areas that are causing friction.  If you’re starting with no understanding of your numbers – meaning you don’t know how much it costs you to sign a new client, and you don’t know how much activity it requires for you  to sign a new client – you’re going to have to start by tracking things before you can improve them.  My advice?  Start where you are, try not to overcomplicate it.  You can track activity with a pencil and paper while you figure out which numbers are important to you.
  3. Prioritize the activities that are essential to sales success, and then schedule time for those activities weekly. Identify how much time each activity takes, and budget for it.   Put them on your calendar.
  4. Separate the tasks that require personal attention from the tasks that can be automated or outsourced. Consistency means you’re not leaving tasks incomplete, not completing all tasks yourself.

Need help defining repeatable sales process, documenting it, and educating your team?  Managed Sales Pros can help.  Email us at hello@managedsalespros.com and we’ll happily chat with you about your choices.