Alex Chan | Paul O’Donohue
Here’s a question for you. If you’re a business owner or CEO, are you recession ready? This session discusses step number four of the SalesStar High-Performance Pathway Systems and KPI. And once again here to join us to talk about this nine step high performance pathway is SalesStar founder and CEO Paul O’Donohue. Paul, welcome back. This is an important topic, Systems and KPIs, isn’t it?
It’s absolutely critical, Alex. You know, as a business owner, as a sales leader, a CEO, it irks me! I can’t sleep at night if I don’t have the right systems and KPIs. It’s literally like flying a plane without a dashboard. Imagine that! You don’t know when you’re going to run out of fuel. In a similar fashion, sales leaders and business owners need to have the right KPIs and the right systems to really ensure they’ve got oxygen in their business. You know, it’s absolutely imperative that we are driving our business with the right KPIs and ensuring that our health of our business is predicated on our pipeline.
Okay. So you’re mentioning systems and you’re mentioning KPIs. Now, these are two separate but very, very connected, very, very related subjects. I want to talk about systems first (I want to look at them both), but let’s start from systems. Okay. Now, it’s really important that our viewers have the right platform. Isn’t it.
Imperative. You know, it’s whatever platform you’re using, it’s about visibility and it’s about visibility, real time data on the right KPIs, so us as leaders can make the right decisions, you know, as to which levers do we pull to improve not only the effectiveness but the results for our company.
Right. And would you say that it has to have certain features, whatever platform they use? We’re talking about pipeline management tools here in particular, aren’t we?
Well, pipeline management tools, yes. 100% a lot of pipeline management tools. In fact there’s there’s very few that can actually manage your pipeline in relation to sales process. Right. One of my favorite tools, is a company in Sweden called Membrain, we use it. So you know, we’re product of the product. We love it because what it does is it maps out your unique sales process and it forces behavior of salespeople to follow that process. And now as a leader and a mentor, it becomes easy to do your job. Like the number one job of the sales manager is to grow your people, to grow sales. And so you can’t coach and you can’t lead and you can’t hold them accountable if they’re not following a sales process. So having the right systems that can replicate your process is a fantastic and what I would call best in class to manage a pipeline. And if you want to get access to what we’re talking about in a bit of a best in class, there’s a video attached to this. Click on that link and you’ll have a look at that Membrain pipeline system that we’re referring to.
What I like about Membrain is that you can see it in a Kanban format and you can overlay your forecasting on top of the process, which if we’re going to bring science to this kind of thing, it’s how we ought to be doing it. So I love that. Good recommendation. Paul, I want to talk now about KPIs and one of our high performance coaches is fond of using the phrase engineering sales in tough times. So can we use KPIs to actually engineer sales success even in a recessionary climate?
In any climate, you know, the best thing to do is engineer sales success, backwards engineer. So you’ve obviously got to be really clear on your revenue targets and how do you get there? That’s a lagging indicator, obviously. Engineering your KPIs is working backwards through the different steps and the sales process to really work out what the right level of KPIs and activity should be to yield an outcome, you know, so you’ll need to know your average sales cycle, you’ll need to know your conversion rates in order to work that one out. But, you know, other things we look for, especially when you’ve got the right systems, like a system like Membrain is sales cycles, which are really important to look out for and to measure and manage. And, you know, you’ve got to inspect what you expect. So through recessions that we’ve already mentioned that sales cycles blowout, it’s one of those things we can keep an eye on and try to manage as best as we can.
Yeah, right number of presentations of proposals, the right number of discovery meetings, the right number of prospecting calls. It’s all about driving behavior and accountability. Isn’t it?
Yeah, it absolutely is. And there’s some fundamental things to change through a recession, and we’ve got to be more ruthless at the front of the process where we’ve got to be ruthless at disqualifying opportunities that can, you know, waste a lot of time and we’ve got to spend more time with winnable deals. So part of our process should be really getting clear on qualifications and checklists. You know, what would warrant a prospect for us to spend more time with that deal? And how do we run a checklist to disqualify opportunities that are going to waste our time and not go anywhere?
Paul, is there an asset you can recommend that people download? You talked about the Membrain download, but is there another asset that they could download to help them with this?
Oh well, we’re talking about KPIs. The one page sales plan is a perfect asset. On the left hand side of the plan is all about KPIs. We start off with the leading KPIs. It’s really getting clear on where your revenue is going to come from. Is it going to come from new business, existing business, new products or services to existing, in other words, growing share of wallet, then we backwards engineer that. So you’ll get all your leading indicators by following the one page plan, and we’ll make that available on a link below.
Okay. So download the one page plan. If you want to know more. Remember, you can always reach out to a SalesStar high performance coach. We’re here to help. Follow the series and get the full picture on how to be recession ready as we continue our journey through the SalesStar nine step high performance pathway and remember to watch out the key strategic moves later in this series. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.