#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions. The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss. Please join us live every third Wednesday of the month from 8-9 pm ET Live on my SmallBizLady Facebook Page, YouTube Channel and LIVE on Twitter.
Building a Sales System to Scale
Liz Heiman is the structural thinker behind Regarding Sales LLC; a company focused on building B2B sales operating systems that drive extraordinary growth. Liz uses strategy and process to create a roadmap for success that focuses her clients on getting the results they need. For more information: www.regardingsales.com
SmallBizLady: What is a Sales Operating System?
Liz Heiman: A sales operating system is the infrastructure needed to run a sales organization. It included the strategies, the frameworks, and the systems that support your sales. Often, when people think of sales operations, they think of tech tools and training. Those are the things to use to support the sales operating system, not the system itself.
An effective Sales Operating System has 4 components: strategy, systems, management, and assessment. The strategy includes a strategic plan, a sales positioning framework, a sales strategy and a lead generation strategy. You will need systems that include sales process that is mirrored by your CRM, a lead management process, and a key account management process. Your leadership process includes a meeting structure with agendas, a funnel review process, and a process for developing salespeople. Finally, like any system, your Sale Operating System needs to be assessed and refined to be effective.
SmallBizLady: Why do business owners need a Sales Operating System?
Liz Heiman: CEOs and founders often talk about sales as if it is a black hole. They feel like they drop leads in the top and hope something comes out the bottom. It shouldn’t be that way! Putting a sales operating system in place will result in a predictable revenue stream, the ability to manage the seemingly unmanageable, fewer mistakes, and more sales revenue. While there will always be some unpredictability in sales, the better your sales operating system is functioning, the more predictable and reliable your sales growth will be.
SmallBizLady: How do you engage your entire team in the sales process?
Liz Heiman: Train everyone on your sales system. Once everyone understands it, set out the expectations about how everyone will interact with the system. Make sure everyone on your team understands the rules, the cadences and the outcomes expected. No one is exempt. Once you set out the expectations, everyone needs to start using the system. Everyone should know how the use the CRM system for example. Everyone must work towards the same strategies and goals. Everyone must understand what their role is in achieving those goals. Everyone must follow the process using the systems. Then is it critical to reinforce. If leadership indicates at any time that it is OK to skip steps (such as inputting data weekly into the CRM system) or ignore the rules, people will. As a result, the system will fall apart, and the growth will stall, or sales will decline.
How to Become a Wealthy Girl
Charisse Conanan Johnson, MBA, CFA is a wealth expert, investor, business strategist, public speaker, and media personality. She calls herself the original Wealthy Girl. Charisse is author of the new book A Wealthy Girl: 7 Steps to Prosperity, Peace, and Personal Power. Charisse is also Managing Partner of the mission-driven consulting firm, Next Street. The firm mobilizes capital, customers, and capabilities to small businesses. She has pursued a life of purpose by investing in financial markets, teaching, building businesses, and stepping out on faith. For more information: www.Charissesays.com
SmallBizLady: What are some misconceptions around being wealthy?
Charisse Conanan Johnson: There are 4 myths that all women need to let go of in order to build wealth.
Myth 1: Wealth Is Only What’s in My Bank Account
Assets aren’t just about the tangibility of how much money you have in the bank. Assets are intangible as well. So, when the statistics fall short of painting your full contributions or encapsulating the values that you care about, you must provide other descriptors of your wealth status.
Myth 2: There Is Only a Select Group of Wealthy, White People
You can shift your mindset toward gaining wealth by exposing yourself to others who look similar to you and who have had trajectories toward living a life that you define as wealthy, by the terms you see as important.
Myth 3: I’m Not Worthy of Wealth
If you have breath in your lungs, you should know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made, and your uniqueness is a key driver of your wealth.
Myth 4: I Don’t Have the Skill Set to Build Wealth
You can rely on the expertise of others, but you have to take the initiative to build your wealth. You must surround yourself with the people and the belief that you’re not limited just because you didn’t learn that from your mother or your father. And even if your partner handles the finances in your household today, you still owe it to yourself (and your household) to educate yourself and acquire a base level of knowledge so you can make the right decisions.
SmallBizLady: How is your book, A Wealthy Girl, different from typical personal finance books?
Charisse Conanan Johnson: This book is not about personal finance. A Wealthy Girl, is about owning who you are because you are wealthy. I want people to read the book and live out the seven steps outlined in the book to achieve wealth. If you focus on your intangible assets (e.g. your faith, your education, your relationships, etc.), your tangible assets will eventually come your way. I wrote the book to also shine a light on the systemic forces at play for women, Black people, and people of color more broadly when it comes to wealth attainment. I want the book to leave a lasting impression on people to achieve their own wealth.
SmallBizLady: You talk about the 7 steps to live a wealthy life. Can you share the steps?
Charisse Conanan Johnson: The seven steps to building wealth include building an environment for wealth creation, developing an investor mindset, building a faith muscle, and running wealthy experiments, starting a business or supporting the small businesses around you, working your craft, and being a girl. ‘Wealthy experiments,’ for example, introduce a novel concept that allows readers to make discoveries about their own wealth, both tangible and intangible, through testing, learning, and growing. Furthermore, I “hate the word budget because it feels so constraining.” Instead, consider my proprietary SIPPin’ & Living allocation strategy that helps readers prioritize saving, investing, paying down, and protecting their money before other routine living expenses. Finally, as a ‘girl,’ you, too, have unique superpowers to build the wealth you want to see in your life. In essence, your Wealthy Girl mojo is manifested due to what lays within you and then can be unleashed externally. You can do this by harnessing the power of the collective as well as forming Wealth Circles and Wealth Pots.
How to Build the Leadership to Scale
Jeff Chastain is a business transformation coach for more than 15 years and has led multiple businesses himself. As the CEO of Admentus, he helps growth-oriented business leaders and their teams gain clarity in and get more of what they want from their business as they build a plan to scale and grow the business. For more information www.admentus.com
SmallBizLady: If you want to scale your business don’t you need to take a hard look inside your business to see if you are ready for growth?
Jeff Chastain: Ideally, yes, you would take the time to evaluate where you are currently, take note of where you want to be, and build out a plan to get there. In reality, most businesses “scale” by accident. In other words, they add another customer, they add another vendor, they bring on another employee and before they know it, the systems they had in place to run a 20-person organization can no longer support a 40-person organization. So, it turns into the idea of repairing and building up the airplane while it is in midair.
The hard look inside the business typically comes in more of a triage type setting to figure out what is working and what is not. Does your business have employees that are no longer a fit for what their role has grown into? Does your business have product lines or service offerings that are not as profitable as they should be? Situations like this are typically where growing businesses find themselves and the hard look is to take the passion, the pride, and the ego out of the equation and figure out what needs to change to rebuild the foundation of the business.
SmallBizLady: Scaling a business isn’t free? How do you find the money to grow?
Jeff Chastain: The saying that it takes money to make money definitely has some truth in it. It takes money to launch a new product line or hire a new employee. However, as business owners, we often think that has to come from the outside in terms of a loan or some other kind of investment. I always recommend business owners treat that as more of a last resort as taking on debt leaves you beholden to somebody else.
SmallBizLady: How can you leverage technology to scale a business?
Jeff Chastain: I spoke with a business owner who runs a creative marketing agency and they leveraged technology to automate many of the administrative tasks in their business – creating proposals, contracts, invoicing and onboarding new clients, etc. By doing this they achieved two things – they ensured that these critical steps were done in a consistent, on-time manner – and – they freed up their creative team to do what they did best and deliver even more value to their customers.
SmallBizLady: How do you reposition your staff or start strategically outsourcing to grow?
Jeff Chastain: The bottom line is that as a business grows, the requirements of and on the team grow as well. I have spoken to many business owners who started out as the “technician” working in the day-to-day operations of the business who have had to grow personally and learn how to delegate and communicate. The same applies to the person for example who started out “managing the books” on a part time basis while doing something else and is now trying to act like a full accounting department.
The change really happens in two areas. As a business leader, you have to understand the critical processes and functions (yes, they are different) in your business and what is required of each of those. Then, you have to understand your team and where their skills, expertise and limits are. Once you have the “structure” defined, you can map the people to the structure to ensure that every individual is in a role that they understand, that they want, and that they have the capacity to fulfill.
The key to staffing a growing organization is to understand what the roles are first before just plugging in people. This way you can ensure you have the right people – the ones that fit your culture as well as have the right skills – sitting in the right seats to effectively help scale your business.
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