Systems Driven

Hello Sales Community-

How many times have we as sales professionals heard the complaint that we could not get a deal done because there was some issue with the systems at our company? I once worked for a company that had no fewer than 17 billing systems! Yes, you read that right! 17 separate and discreet billing systems. In this era of mergers and acquisitions, companies are buying each other long before they think about how to merge and integrate billing systems to make it easy for the client to do business.

Now, you may be asking yourself…”Is this another Todd rant?” Well, sort of. We as sales professionals cannot let this back-office dysfunction get in the way of us bringing great solutions to clients’ problems. Just today, I was taking to a coaching client of mine, and he was lamenting how he lost a deal because the systems could not generate one invoice for the client. As much as a I sympathize and totally GET that, it is not a reason for us to lose a deal. Sorry. Nope. No acceptable.

What can we do? There are answers…and they involve getting creative and working your virtual team – the people internally who support the clients and, if asked, will work with you to create a client-focused solution. I don’t have all the answers – but in one case when I was faced with a dilemma just like this, we thought and plotted and strategized about how we could make the system work, but in the end the answer was simple yet elegant. We asked the CFO to create a manual invoice, which he did – and it worked!

The moral of the story: Don’t let the systems run the business. You build a team and find a solution and satisfy your client. In the end, it’s a win-win and we as sales professionals raise our game!

As always, please let me know what you think and what you have done.

Good Selling!

-Todd

3 thoughts on “Systems Driven”

  1. As the owner of a growing small business, I’ve felt this concept on a different scale – sometimes when I’m selling I’m worrying about 1. Selling the deal
    2. The process of serving the client (delivering the product) and
    3. Keeping up with billing in a way that is transparent and timely for the client (and my business)

    I’ve evaluated probably too many tools, some of which are great at one thing but bad at others (for example, http://www.freshbooks.com). However, I guess the question I present to the community here is how to act like a salesman during the sales process when you’re also managing the product and invoicing at the end!

    1. 6:09 pm Excellent reuesrcos, thanks. I think the streamlining of basic templates is a major time saver, I like to break my code down into specific modules that can easily be ported into applications, this is another huge time saver.

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