If you know me then you will know I am a little obsessed with systems and processes – I actually named my business Accsys because I wanted to develop Kent’s Leading Systemised Accounting Practice.
I also dedicate a big portion of my book, The Organised Business, to the importance of systems and how to develop them.
The reason I like systems so much is because they make business work. They are the oil for your engine without it things might work for a bit but eventually they will grind to a halt.
The No. 1 System
If you only ever create, develop and hone one system then this is the one – your Sales System.
To elaborate when I say sales system I don’t just mean the small part where you make the sale, I mean the whole system from the moment you try and create a lead until the moment you get paid for work and everything that goes on in between.
The key steps in your system:
1. Lead Generation – Start here and develop your system for generating leads – what activities are you going to do, systematically, to generate leads for your business. This should cover all aspects of your lead generation activities.
2. Dealing with enquiries – what do you do when the lead comes in, how do you handle the enquiry, what information do you gather and where do you put this info.
3. The sales meeting – if you are the sort of business that requires a sales meeting develop a system for this. What will you say, how do you want the meeting to go – do you want to leave the meeting with an order or is there another result you need.
4. Quoting and follow up – if you do need to provide quotes to your customers then do this quickly but make sure your system says that you follow these quotes up systematically. You may need somewhere to keep a list of quotes issued, a spreadsheet or use Xero’s in built quoting feature.
5. The Order – a system for what happens when you receive an order – this is when things start to really happen, work is booked in, things may have to be ordered. Whatever activity you undertake after you receive an order make sure it’s systemised.
6. Delivery – products or service do not get delivered by chance so include this in your sales system so you know things will get done correctly and on time.
7. Invoice follow up – make sure you invoice on time and then chase the debt on the due date. Having a systematic approach to invoicing and credit control is key to having good cashflow.
8. Testimonials – once you have completed the work make sure your system states the need to ask for a testimonial or gather feedback as this information will allow you to make sure things are working and is useful to use in future marketing.
Once you have this system in place you are taking the first giant step towards making your business truly successful. Once it’s there you can start tweaking every aspect of it until its near perfect and your business runs like clockwork.