How healthy & resilient is your sales system?


When it comes to sales systems, most people usually associate them with some sort of platform, application, or CRM, from pipeline management to post-sales calls, or anything in between.

At Barrett, when we talk about a ‘sales system’, or a ‘systems-approach to selling’ we refer to something different, more holistic, more resilient.

Let’s begin with some definitions so we’re all on the same page.

A system is a collection of organised things, a whole composed of relationships among its members.

A resilient system protects its critical capabilities (and associated assets) from harm by using protective resilience techniques to passively resist adverse events and conditions or actively detect these adversities, respond to them, and recover from the harm they cause. (Carnegie Mellon University)     

A Sales System – something different, something resilient and sustainable

A Sales System is an open system that exists within the environment of an organisation and interacts with its markets, customers, competitors, and society. A Sales System, like Marketing, is the interface between a business and its markets and customers.

A functioning Sales System forms a well-coordinated superhighway or interface of intention, strategy, communication, information, tools, technology, behaviours and actions that flow smoothly back and forth between the customer’s world and that of our business and its value chain.

The truth is we all have some sort of sales system in our businesses, whether it is built by design or emerged by default. The important question is ‘How well is your sales system working?’ Is it doing its job for you and how healthy and resilient is it?

Watch our 12.23min Video on Sales Systems: the secret to sustainable sales success

Barrett understands that leading and managing a sales team and its operation is about managing an open, variable system that requires constant attention and considered action. Throwing our salespeople in the deep end and expecting them to sell better with no clear strategy, no value proposition or articulated sales process, limited training or no ongoing leadership and coaching support, or a ‘customer phobic’ value chain, is madness.

Implementing a Sales System works. It’s the key to a Selling Better Culture that delivers more and better sustainable sales results, and more satisfied customers and employees. Using our world class, robust Selling Better Sales System which has codified, university grade Sales Practices, Processes, Frameworks and Tools, we’ve been able to help businesses large and small sell better faster for all the right reasons.

Selling Better Case Studies

Global Premium Mining Equipment Co: APAC division Severely declining markets, loss of major accounts, margin erosion, balance sheet in the red, and a ‘race to the bottom’ market mentality.
  • Within 8 months sales team were 16% ahead of budget YTD in declining, highly commoditised market segments
  • Increase win ratio of large profitable accounts in highly competitive, commoditised marketplace
  • Best performing sales team/region in the world for 36 months running – 1 of 9 regions
  • Tripled size of sales team without putting on any new people; Technical Managers became best salespeople
$4B Listed Co in Pharma/Health Wholesale & Distribution Business in flux, sales & share price in decline, unhappy customers. Several attempts to fix the situation, nothing worked. High levels of cynicism across teams.
  • Sales system fully integrated and functioning; engineered for success
  • Within 2 years, sales went from minus 10% to plus 15% growth
  • In 2020 sales were up 12% YTD and steadily trending upwards in a challenging market with competitors in decline by 30%
  • Strong, unified and committed sales leadership at national & state level
  • Increase in new customers flowing in & major turnaround with $1B major client
  • Sales team now has high employee satisfaction results
Agri Business Banking 2 businesses merged with different sales models & cultures, back office not supporting sales effort, not customer centric, very transactional.
  • Project led a complete culture & mindset shift across the entire organisation
  • Sales now exceeding budget by 30%
  • Sales team winning more profitable sales with better quality clients
  • Sales pipeline filled for 24 weeks versus 14 weeks with more confirmed work
  • Customer retention improved 100% & Net Promoter Score lift significantly

How to do a Sales System health check for your business

The best place to start when implementing a Sales System for your sales operation is understanding what you already have in place and how it’s working. We have three ways to do that:

  • You can complete our (free!) online 20 Question Selling Better Audit to gain a quick high-level snapshot of the health of your sales system.
  • If you want to go more forensic, we have a very comprehensive online audit and benchmarking process that assesses over 60 core elements across your business, or
  • You can work with our team who, through consultation, will report on the current state of your sales system.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.

Related topics

How a Sales System reduces execution risk
Sales Strategy – more than tactics & incremental growth
Sales Systems – the secret to sustainable sales success

A year ago

Win³ – tendering for you, your client and for the benefit of others

Five years ago

Why we need Progressive Approximation to design an effective sales strategy


Leave a Reply