Opportunities don’t happen. They are created
Long gone are the days when luck was an acceptable component of any sales person’s arsenal. So, too, is the notion that opportunities simply happen.
It’s just not done that way anymore, says Boyd Liski, co-founder of FOCUS Selling Systems (FSS), a service and training company that he and his brother Brad have spent the past 20 years developing.
Since formally launching FSS a few years ago, the Liskis have worked with technology and financial firms, manufacturers, distributors and other B2B businesses to not only improve the performance of sales teams, but to fundamentally change how businesses think about sales.
FSS has three core beliefs about the sales industry: You can always engineer and manufacture a sale; you can always be in control of the process; and you can predict revenues.
“Opportunities don’t happen. They are created,” says Boyd.
FSS professionals work directly with clients using a system based on five core modules. Boyd explains: “We begin by helping a business get market clarity of what it truly wants. It’s only this way that can we move on to our next step, which is creating a sales pipeline.”
Boyd says this is followed by targeted training, a process by which a company’s sales team is challenged by learning new techniques. “It’s at this point the sales champions begin to appear,” says Boyd, adding that those who are not up to the challenge tend to “fade away.”
The team then undertakes in-depth training, which is based on more than 400 pages of insightful instruction, plus the combined experience of the Liski brothers—both of whom have a long list of achievements in the corporate world.
As the clients apply their skills in the workplace, FSS follows up with toolkits, reviews of tactical sales plans, and supportive initiatives.
After about a year, what emerges is a refined and sharply honed sales team that Boyd describes as “having bravado, committed to following a systematic process, holding each other accountable, and constantly striving to improve. In short, the elements required to control the sales process also avoid the hazard of waiting for opportunities to happen.”
Liski points out that competition in the 21st century business world is so intense that a market-aligned sales force is the most effective way to capture and monetize corporate value.
“Selling has become enormously complex, so it’s imperative that any company—large, small, established or a startup—puts its best people on the front lines,” he says. “Focus can help them do that.”