When working with sales teams and organizations, some of the biggest challenges are related to outdated sales systems and marketing strategies. Do you have an updated sales plan and strategy? If you do, count yourself lucky because, according to research, only 20% of companies have a sales plan. Not having a sales plan is a recipe for failure in business.

On the other side of sales is production. Many of the same companies I work with will invest heavily in new equipment and programs to increase and streamline production. The logic of this strategy is that improved production will deliver a profitable ROI. While this is true, investments in sales development automation should not be sacrificed.

To make matters worse when sales are down, the sales department is often the first place budgets will be cut and the last place for investments in a tough economy.

Lessons From a Successful Burger Joint

I was ordering a double, double animal style at the local IN-N-OUT. If you are not familiar with IN-N-OUT, it is one of the best hamburger creations born in California. Now, I like their hamburgers, however, what fascinates me is the way they build a meal in short order. It is like a factory for creating a burger to perfection. When you place your order, you can watch the crew manufacture your special concoction with fresh ingredients and the aroma is tantalizing. It is the system the company created over 60 years ago that has made In-N-OUT a California success story. With a limited crew, IN-N-OUT can produce more hamburgers because they have a system. It is the system and the culture that makes the difference.

If we take the IN-N-OUT success story and apply it to sales, every business should have a plan for building sales and follow a step-by-step process. If IN-N-OUT can have a plan and a process for burgers, you should have one for sales. Here are a few ideas to consider when building a simple plan for creating more sales.

  • Develop a selling process and sales steps to build new accounts.
  • Follow-up all quotes with a system that doesn’t forget opportunities.
  • Schedule a call back system for prospects in your sales pipeline.
  • Build relationships with existing customers through sequenced call-backs.
  • Use all methods of communication, letters, emails, phone calls and visits.
  • Automate your sales program with a CRM system that makes life easier.

When sales are down, one of the best ways to increase sales is investing in sales automation strategies. When you maximize the human factor and streamline the selling process, you will see a dynamic return on your investment. The bottom line is, if you can build a burger and everyone can build a burger, you can create and develop a plan for sales. Just follow and repeat the steps you used and you have a system. Consider investing in sales automation systems and strategies that will streamline your sales like IN-N-OUT does with burgers. It is the system that will make the difference. Invest in the system.