How to be Perfect

February 27, 2013

Well…. almost perfect.

If your job has not been presented to you in a written form …a system…a process, then I apologize. See your supervisor and e-mail me.  I invite all feedback on all these internal blogs.

Systems and Processes…..They allow humans to be almost perfect. They are flawless when designed right.

We think nothing of ordering something on the internet and never speaking to a human, paying for it with digital money, having it shipped overnight. Then by magic it arrives perfectly the next day…all in less than 24 hrs.…Hmmph, wow  think about! Amazing. NO it is a SYSTEM.

Now compare that with the mom and pop shop where there are no systems at all… You ask a simple question you get a blank look.

Answering the phone. Opening the office. Making coffee. Ordering supplies. Where you store the laundry detergent….these are all systems. A mess is not a system…its likely just a mess.

A system that works is one that allows the routine stuff to get done without thinking about it. Our most basic system at Frugé is the Calendar and the Clock.

Today I want to address some Basic rules of systems.

1.       The system does not forget. Either the system is broken or we ignored the system.
a.       A good system works
b.      People forget
2.       A good system can attain 99.999% accuracy.
a.        An aircraft is a giant system. Actually it’s hundreds of systems combined in one vessel. Yes, they do crash and that could be a failure of the system…BUT think about this. In the USA,  Commercial aircraft accident rate is one in nearly one Million hours. This is literally the most successful system in the history of MAN….Seriously.  That is the equivalent of Fruge never making a mistake again for the rest of our lives or our children. We certainly have room to improve our systems. So the next time our system fails don’t just make the customer happy. Ask how did it happen and get to the CAUSE.
3.       Complete all your systems daily.
a.       Anything left on your desk or calendar is a system that is incomplete.
4.       Improve the system
a.       Test test test…double check
b.      Present, Confirm, get permission.
5.       Never just stop using the system…If you don’t know why we do something or think it’s stupid ASK…but don’t ignore it.
6.       Systems take discipline…it’s not easy …but it is the only thing that works

Order system…The Fundamentals

1.       The call sheet is the foundation of the order system
2.       Only customers who buy regularly are placed on this call sheet.
3.       We call them all and get an answer
a.       Yes = and order and who gave it. Document order and enter in system
b.      No = no order and who told us no
c.       Can’t reach = We tried everything we could and could not reach the customer…THIS SHOULD BE RARE. If a customer is this hard to reach they may not be our customer. Discuss with Outside sales make a decision…
i.      Are they worth the time
ii.      Remove from call sheet.
d.      Customers removed from call sheet are kicked back to the sales cycle.
4.       We complete our call sheet every day
5.       Reconcile the Call sheet…Check to make sure everyone is checked off. Today we use the CRM and color code for this.
6.       Reconcile actual orders with the call sheet. Make sure that we have a system order for every call sheet order.
7.       Reconcile every actual order with the hand written order sheet.

· If we only take orders and key in but don’t reconcile we could go long period without apparent errors…but just wait till you get busy. Reconcile is the core ….without it you may have to “drive to Dallas” to fix your error.
· We have never had this option before but perhaps we should consider a swap of the reconcile process. Get each inside rep to reconcile each other?

Sales vs Service

The sales function is not the same as  taking orders. Taking orders is support and service of sales. Asking someone to buy is sales.

The Sales System

Our sales system is probably the most documented and rewritten system we have. I wrote, rewrote, did retreats, hired gurus …howled at the moon…trying to find the better answer. We have a thorough current system that is nice and pretty and all laid out for you. SO here is the short version.

1.       If you are in sales and you don’t have a disciplined system that forces and allows you to remain in the SALES ZONE. YOU WILL FAIL.
a.       You may not fail immediately, you might get by for years on your charm and memory. BUT EVENTUALLY YOU WILL FAIL.
b.      All great sales people have a system. Read their stories…QUIT WISHING…Work your system.
2.       You have Quota of X.
3.       You will lose some customers temporarily
4.       How serious BUYING conversations do you need in a week?
5.       How many appointments do you need to get to the serious conversations.
6.       Do you absolutely have these conversations EVERY WEEK?

1.       You must be able to hand off good customers to your inside rep. Effectively they are your assistant(not your servant) This is more art than science. You have to get the customer to talk to and trust the inside rep…fail here and you fail again as a sales person…
2.       You just will get stuck and won’t grow if you can’t figure this out.
3.       You must check, and recheck ….but behind the scenes. Effectively review every order every day until you are comfortable with the handoff.
4.       When they call you directly…explain that “you are on the road and can’t put in the order…if they give it to you, you are going to make a mistake…Ask them to call the ISR and then call the ISR to have them confirm or call themselves….Make something up …you are driving you don’t have pen …can I please get ISR to call you, they are better than me….
a.       You must make this close or you are stuck.

Sales TEAM
Each team is effectively a separate business. Your own boat and your responsibility.
1.       Someone has to be the leader or the Captain.
2.       If you think it’s their fault ….check the boat…you are all in it.
3.       Review orders and deliveries daily.
4.       Get new business
5.       Keep old business
6.       Deliver (every promise)
7.       ASK THE CUSTOMER how we are doing….and report back to your team
8.       Does everyone belong in the boat…it’s your boat! Seriously it’s up to you to bring it up…first with the person and then up the chain.

I created the team diamond which included production, but I think production is really the vendor for each team. Teams are CUSTOMERS of production.

Going forward.

Team members need to pick their own members. At least have a word in the hiring process. How do we do this?

Are we missing the opportunity with Drivers

1.       Hire with an eye toward new talent not just a strong back. Can they move up
2.       Can they communicate?
3.       Do they review daily with the team?
4.       Do they participate and understand the goal or Bonus and or quota….They are tied to it but are they engaged???
5.       What keeps us from getting the best?