Bill Bradshaw, CEO of Simplified Sales Strategies, talks about outsourcing your sales management.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Welcome to Texas Business Radio! I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry is over here in the co-host chair. We’re talking sales today. If you have a business and you’re trying to improve sales, we have some folks in here that you’re going to want to hear from. Because there’s, there’s definitely techniques that work better than others when it comes to increasing your sales. Managing sales teams are not easy. Building sales teams are not easy but we got some folks in here that you might want to hear from. Get your calls in 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. Get your questions in, we’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. Bill Bradshaw is the CEO of Simplified Sales Strategies is the first one in the hot seat. Bill welcome to the show.
Bill Bradshaw: Thank you Matt.
Matt Register: So talk to me about Simplified Sales Strategies. What do you do? Who do you do it to?
Bill Bradshaw: Simplified Sale Strategies, we go out to companies that, typically closely held companies, that want to improve their sales. Either they’re doing great and they don’t know how, thow they got there. Or they’re struggling a little bit and need process, people and so forth. What we found in our business, that most people are struggling with sales, not really because of the sales people but because of, they just don’t know how to manage sales people.
Matt Register: Well it’s not easy.
Jay Curry: So true.
Matt Register: And how many times have we seen, Jay, that somebody takes the top salesman and makes him a sales manager. Right? And expects that to automatically work.
Jay Curry: Yes. If there’s a department… in all my work with CEO’s and coaching and in the business world, there’s a department that really doesn’t have it together, it usually sales. And that’s why it’s so good with what they’re doing. Yeah, you’re absolutely right.
Matt Register: So you all came to these middle market companies and you essentially become the V.P. of sales. Is that accurate?
Bill Bradshaw: Yeah. We walk out and become their VP of sales.
Matt Register: So, what are the first things that generally you do, when you walk into a new client. They want to increase their sales, they want to increase the revenue. They have no idea how to do it. You just got hired. What do you do?
Bill Bradshaw: Ask a ton of questions. Understanding how they got to where they’re at today, where they expect to be going. What has been their bottlenecks over the last few years and how to overcome those. Look at the process. What’s so funny is, we walk into these companies and said “Do you have a sales process?” “Yes we do.” I said “Show it to me.” “Oh!”
Matt Register: Yeah. It’s, it’s not codified yet.
Jay Curry: Exactly.
Matt Register: Not written down. Right? It’s not something that’s a necessarily deliberate process. I mean they have a process, they have a way they’re doing it. It may not be the most efficient. Right?
Bill Bradshaw: Right. And what happens is, most of the time the entrepreneur was that, that, that lead sales guy.
Jay Curry: Right.
Bill Bradshaw: And they don’t know how to can themselves. They expect everybody to be able to do everything just like they did. And really, what we really need to do is, everybody needs to do about 70 percent of what they did. Because if they could do everything they did, they would go start their own companies and everything else.
Matt Register: Right.
Bill Bradshaw: So, canning, typically, these lead sales people, these entrepreneurs and put it in a way, in a process that sales people can follow and be successful, is, is the key.
Matt Register: Now, how different are, you know with a lot of this stuff, companies across companies are more similar than they are different. Right? You look at a machine shop versus a printing company. They’re pretty similar. Raw materials are different but everything else is fairly similar. How similar across different companies are your clients?
Bill Bradshaw: That’s a phenomenal question. What’s really funny is none of them are similar really at all.
Matt Register: Okay.
Bill Bradshaw: Because they know their product.
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: Okay. I don’t have to know their products. Okay? I have to understand, our company has to understand how to go out and put a process, sales process in place around what they’re doing. And so, we bring in the process, understanding the tools and so forth. There’s a lot of, I guess companies, that sales type companies, consultants that go out there and do all this training. Okay? We’re not a training company. Sales is a byproduct of good management. If we have to do training to accomplish our purpose, our goal and so forth, we’re going to do training to get that done. But we’re not going to do training for the sake of training.
Matt Register: How about the guys that don’t have a sales team, that want to build a sales team. That are in the baby steps of building a sales team? Do you guys help them figure out, what does a good salesman look like for you?
Bill Bradshaw: Absolutely. We had a client that the owner’s son took over and the owner’s son was the guy that did sales. And he didn’t know how to build that sales team, so we helped him. He goes “Well, I’m going to do it.” I said “Okay”. So we put the processes in place and started holding them accountable.
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: Okay? And it didn’t go real, it didn’t, he didn’t like being held accountable to the process.
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: So we did about four months, got the revenue where we could afford a salesperson. We hired a salesperson to run that process.
Matt Register: Sure. Interesting. What are some of the results? You know we were, we were talking right before the show and I’ve known you for quite awhile. I know some of the results you’re getting out of these companies are quite phenomenal. Talk to me a little bit about some of the success stories you guys have had really transforming companies.
Bill Bradshaw: What’s really funny is, the company we just talked about. Where the owner start off, now we’ve increased his sales by over 100 percent and that was in 18 months.
Matt Register: So a hundred percent. So you’re doubling sales.
Bill Bradshaw: Doubling sales. And with that piece though, so, now he, his company can’t take anymore, anymore. Okay? They’re a manufacturing company. They can’t do anymore. They put on second shifts, third shift. They can’t do any more. And so, they said “Bill, we can’t sell anymore”.
Matt Register: Well, anytime within a growing company, any time you fix a bottleneck, you just simply expose the next one. Right? So sales was their bottleneck, sales got fixed. Now capacity is their bottleneck. Right?
Bill Bradshaw: Absolutely.
Matt Register: They need to spend time working on that. Very, very interesting stuff. What do you think man?
Jay Curry: Well I got to tell you, it looks to me like, even from what you’ve said Bill, that people naturally, it’s usually the entrepreneur, they get out, they do the sales and stuff and there’s no process set up. They’re pretty good at it because they kind of know the product. But when you’re ready to go to the next level and become professional, you think it’s simple. Right? It’s not. There’s processes you’ve got to do, you got to hold people accountable. You’ve got, I mean it’s a, it’s a major, major deal. But it doesn’t have to be complicated, doesn’t have to be that hard, if you get some help.
Bill Bradshaw: Yeah, that’s us. That’s how we started the company, you know Simplified Sales Strategies. Okay? When we walk into a company, the first thing they think we’re going to do is tear apart their CRM. Okay? Or if they don’t even have a CRM, you know a sales software.
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: And a software does nothing but keep track of a process. And how a lot of these companies fails, fail with their CRM is because they don’t have a process to keep track of and so they don’t know how to put in there. So we’ll start off and we’ll create the process. Once the correct process is created then we’ll go find a CRM or update their CRM.
Matt Register: Well any, anything like that an ERP or CRM or any, any piece of software is a function of how good the information is going into it. Right? I mean if, if it’s poor data going in and then it will analyze it and give you predictable results on the back end of that. Right? With any sales force that I’ve ever seen, you have some superstars out of it. You have some guys that are just making the sale more than others. How do you go in and identify the things that that guy is doing that the others are not? And make that part of the process?
Bill Bradshaw: Well part of it is, you come in, you ask a lot of questions. You know? You don’t paint that superstar into a corner. Okay? Say, you know, you come back in and say “Well Joe, when you just started, what activities did you have to do?” Okay? Then he’s giving advice. Okay?
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: So if I have those activities, how many of those activities are you doing now Joe? And how does it look like? And so you said “That these new guys had to go on six new appointments, six new prosse, six new prospects a week. How are you seeing now Joe?” “Well, I’m not seeing as many as I should but.
Matt Register: Sure.
Bill Bradshaw: And so getting them to be held accountable and understanding what their recipe for success is. And transferring that to the rest of the sales team, making sure they’re doing the right activities.
Matt Register: The key performance indicators of these guys, as you mentioned that across different companies it’s a vastly different process. How similar are the key performance indicators across there?
Bill Bradshaw: We do score cards, weekly score cards across every one of our clients and they’re almost exactly the same.
Matt Register: Are they? Okay. So, so the, the actual KPI’s are very similar across there, even if the product and the process is vastly different?
Bill Bradshaw: I mean it’s very similar. I mean you’ve got to go see new prospects.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Bill Bradshaw: Okay? You’ve got to continue that process, go out on a second, two plus appointments.
Matt Register: Yeah.
Bill Bradshaw: Whether that is. You’ve got to go out and see clients and you’ve got to do some type of networking. And so it’s all, you’ve got to get referrals. I mean these are all simple things. It’s a simple recipe that you just need to know the right ingredients.
Matt Register: And you just got to do it. Right?
Jay Curry: And hold them accountable. I think that’s one of the big things that you bring to the table.
Matt Register: Look, we’re, we’re quickly running out of time. We could talk about this for hours and I love it. Simplified Sales Strategies, Bill Bradshaw is the CEO. Bill what’s the Web site? What’s the easiest for someone to get in touch with you?
Bill Bradshaw: IneedS3.com.
Matt Register: IneedS3.com is the Web site. We’re going to have it linked right there from Texasbusinessradio.com. As well as, we have a very informative sheet here. Sales are a byproduct of good activities that you might want to see. We will have linked right there from Texasbusinessradio.com as well, for free, from Bill. Appreciate that. Bill, our guys will find this very informative. So get to Texasbusinessradio.com and take a look and get this sheet. Always interesting. We’re talking sales today on Texas Business Radio. However, we have our own bills to pay. We’re going to be right back, right after this, with a whole lot more sales here on Texas Business Radio.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.