Sales move like pond waterIf you answer “no” to any of these questions, then you could be selling more cabinets this year. A lot more.

  • Are you able to accurately forecast your sales?
  • Can you easily identify bottlenecks in your sales pipeline?
  • Do you know exactly what to do next to help move your customer along towards a close?
  • Do you use a sales process that is consistent and repeatable?

Any well run cabinet dealership applies industry tools and processes to enable top performance for every member of the sales team, regardless of experience levels. The most successful cabinet dealers typically use industry-specific sales processes which combine proven sales techniques with industry best practices to guide a sales person when dealing with a customer and trying to land a sale. It’s no hidden secret that most cabinet dealers don’t use a formal sales process to manage their business. If this is how it is where you work, then you’re not alone, but there is hope.

By making a few changes, you can implement an easy to use, step by step process that will have a profound impact on how you manage and report your cabinet sales. It will also allow you to become a shining star to your cabinet sales manager and peers. By applying more structure, you will be amazed on the results in just a few short months.

If you struggle to keep up with sales activities and with maximizing your closing rates, then you can start with a simple spreadsheet to help you become better organized and give you more visibility into your sales pipeline.

In this spreadsheet, keep things simple at first with no more than 5 columns:

  1. Opportunity name
  2. Date of when you started working this opportunity
  3. Stage in your sales process
  4. Probability of closing and next steps.

As you get the hang of it, you can later expand this spreadsheet by capturing more data, and by summarizing it for your next sales meeting in easy to understand charts and graphs. It’s amazing what charts will tell you… they help you to identify and address bottlenecks, forecast future sales, and plan your week’s activities. For example:

  • Where should I focus my efforts this week?
  • Which opportunities are getting stale and need follow up?
  • Which opportunities are about to close?
  • Which will yield me the most results — building up my pipeline or working those deals currently in my pipeline?

Let’s face it… while spreadsheets help you organize your business, it is a limiting technology that can become daunting to maintain over time. It’s also next to impossible to implement if you’re a cabinet sales manager with multiple salespeople spread across multiple locations. No worries, there are other more advanced solutions out there when you’re ready. You will find that these technology solutions are more robust and easier to use for viewing, managing and reporting on your cabinet sales pipeline. They also provide the ability to perform other essential steps such as quoting, ordering and catalog management. Heck, you may even want to skip the spreadsheet altogether once you see the power, flexibility, ease-of-use and sheer “coolness” in using one of these applications.

If your sales are moving like pond water, don’t focus on trying to convert your pond into the Upper Gauley in West Virginia (a favorite spot for hard-core white water rafters). Instead, focus on moving smaller droplets of water (leads and opportunities) forward through the process first. Within a few months, those droplets of water will add up to a steady, flowing river. Before you know it, you might even be able to host your own white water adventure…