sales success

Sales systems key to overcoming sales friction


Sales systems key 🔑 to overcoming sales friction

Given so many salespeople are part or all commission-based, a winning sales system to close a deal is essential. Salespeople do not have time or necessarily the smarts to figure out the formula.

Most salespeople make ideal cooks, not chefs. Cooks follow a prescribed formula to make the dish, chefs invent the dish. If you want to stop hiring and firing your salesforce, and begin making your salespeople winners, you need a sales system.

sales success

In the past man has been first; in the future the system must be first.

Quote from Frederick Taylor’s, Scientific Management, 1911. Several research pieces back Frederick’s claim.

Research proves sales systems are key to sales success

According to research by the Sales Management Association, 90% of companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing.

The TAS Group, states that 70% of the companies that follow a structured process in sales are high performers.

A study by Harvard Business Review showed businesses with a standardized sales process enjoy 28% more revenue as compared to those that do not.

A survey by Harvard Business Review revealed that 50% of high-performing sales organizations admit having “closely monitored, strictly enforced or automated” sales processes.


Rather than leave the success of a sales pipeline to chance, designing and creating a sales system forces the organization to address seven opportunities.


Firestarters are concerned with the number of ways a competitor starts a dialogue with a customer. In general, the more ways a company has to begin a dialogue with a customer, the more chance it has of creating a customer.


Credibility gives customers an assurance the company is trustworthy and likely to operate for the foreseeable future. Credibility is more valuable when it is ‘independent’. So website pages and paid advertising are not very useful, because customers expect these sources to be biased.


Packaging, even for internet-only businesses is still important. A customer’s first experience with a product is the packaging. The packaging is a cue to the quality of the product.

If the packaging is ill-conceived, imagine how bad the product will be


Inconsistent product knowledge adds friction. Customers form an opinion the product is ill-conceived or worse, they are the organization’s first customer.


In general, companies can reduce friction by augmenting the product served to a specific profile. The greater the product augmentation, the less friction and the greater the chance of creating a customer.


Keep an eye out for how long it takes the organization to make its first reply and the total time it takes to help the customer reach the endgame. If the total time exceeds customer expiry, you have a problem.

Companies with inferior products beat companies with superior products, by serving the customer faster.


In 70 percent of friction tests we conduct, at least one of the competitors tested will fail to serve a customer profile claimed. The organization claims they serve a customer profile on their website, but later refuse to serve the customer, or treat the customer profile as a low priority.

By attracting the right customer profile, an organization reduces friction.

Key takeaways

salespeople make ideal cooks, not chefs

sales systems deliver speed; one of seven indicators of sales success

it is scientifically proven - a sales system is key to sales success


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Anthony has two decades of experience consulting to marketplace and software-as-service startups. Brands include, Google, SAP, and IBM. He specializes in designing sales systems and is the author of the book run_frictionless: how to free a founder from a sales role. He has consulted to startups from the United Kingdom, Korea, Singapore, Philippines, and Australia. Anthony has been a founder of two startups. When he’s not working, Anthony enjoys racing sports bikes and sailing boats.

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