Engines are an efficient means of achieving a desired result, that generally involves transforming one thing to another. In the case of a vehicle, it ignites a mixture of air and gas to move a piston and rotate a crank shaft and generate the power required to move.
The sales engine is the means by which your business generates revenue from both new and existing customers. It takes in leads at one end and converts them through stages (that is sales meetings and sales cycles) into orders and ultimately repeat orders. That is providing the power to accelerate sales and move your business forward.
Typically, for the complex sale, the sales engine has 5 cylinders, that is key stages of processes in the sales cycle, (the first 4 cylinders) and growing revenue from existing customers (the final cylinder).
Advantages of the Sales Engine View.
The advantages of looking at sales and marketing as an engine are as follows:
• It is a simple, intuitive and visible, plus it is light on terminology and therefore is accessible to all the team (including those outside sales). That makes it an effective tool for coaching, planning and facilitation.
• It looks beyond the people and personalities involved to depersonalize sales and marketing and thereby facilitates an objective view.
• It encourages looking at sales as an organisational capability, rather than just an individual, or team. Sales people will come and go, but the capability must remain with the company.
• It adopts a high level view that integrates all aspects of sales and marketing into a central framework that can serve to rally all managers and their departments around the sales effort.
• It sees all aspects of sales and marketing as being interconnected and interrelated, for example if the leads cylinder is broken this will have an impact on all other aspects of the engine. An engine is the perfect example of multiple components working together to deliver a result – something that the video below, showing an internal combustion engine, demonstrates well.
• It brings systems thinking to bear on sales and marketing, including the concepts of business process re engineering and continuous improvement. Moreover, it encourages looking at sales in terms of a science, rather than a black art, or set of ad hoc, or sporadic activities.
• It is compatible with, and complementary to existing sales methodologies and processes that may exist within the sales team. It is just another way of looking at sales and marketing and getting a broader consensus.
• It employs terms, such as LEADS, MEETINGS, CYCLES AND ORDERS that are easy to apply. That is because they involve less subjectivity and are activity based. That means they can be tracked using most CRM, or sales reporting methods.