Justin Shaw

Stone Fabricator Elite

What an eventful year it has been! We have had the pleasure of working closely with numerous private clients and engaging in valuable conversations with dozens of shops throughout the past few months. It’s clear that many shops are currently experiencing a plateau in their sales, while others are disheartened by the persistent decline in their sales. That said, in this final article of 2023, I aim to provide SRG readers with a look into the strategies and tactics employed by a select group of our clients who have successfully taken charge of their sales performance. By implementing these approaches, they have not only managed to close out the year on a high note but have also positioned themselves for long-term prosperity and achievement.

TheSix Week Sales Improvement Program

Let’s break down the steps they took.

1. Creating a Game Plan for Improving Sales

The first step we took to help a small group of fabricators was to create a comprehensive and detailed game plan for improving sales. This involved identifying the low hanging fruit, constraints and bottlenecks, and what tactics would work to realistically boost sales. We understood the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate results, but we also recognized the importance of long-term sustainability. It was important for us to ensure that our strategies were not just quick fixes or temporary solutions, but rather focused on implementing sustainable and scalable solutions. 

We aimed to provide more than just a short-term band-aid, but rather a holistic approach that would drive significant and lasting improvements in their sales performance

If you’ve not done this in your shop, then sales are being generated by default, not by design. Addressing this is the first step in gaining control of your sales.

2. Dialing in Their Process and Systems

In order to achieve the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness, these shops took the necessary time and effort to review their existing processes and systems. They were then able to leverage our process frameworks and we helped them to fine-tun their systems to streamline things. They also proactively identified and eliminated obstacles or bottlenecks that were negatively impacting their performance. 

Through this extra effort they were able to enhance their overall productivity and effectiveness, leading to significant improvements in their sales operations.

3. Setting Goals and Benchmarks for Sales Activities

One additional crucial aspect of this process was setting goals and benchmarks. It’s surprising that many of the fabricators we speak with do not have sales targets established. And, often they have not set quotas or benchmarks for their sales reps individual sales targets or required activities.

In addition to providing their sales teams with a clear roadmap for success, and setting expectations, these shops also motivated their teams to go above and beyond by establishing measurable targets and additional incentives. This approach ensured that everyone was aligned and focused on achieving the desired outcomes, leading to increased productivity and overall success.

4. Developing Accountability and Improving Productivity

Accountability played a crucial role in the resurgence of these countertop shops. These shops recognized the importance of tracking performance, implementing mechanisms that actually kept reps on track and performing at a high level. They prioritized conducting daily stand-up meetings to make sure the team was primed, prepared and ready to perform. We helped these shops to monitor performance and identify areas of improvement so they could easily provide constructive feedback to their teams. This commitment to accountability not only helped these shops to meet their targets but also fostered a culture of continuous improvement, leading to increased productivity and ultimately driving strong results.

5. Investing in Improving Sales Rep Skills

Recognizing the immense value of continuous learning and development in driving success, these shops made a strategic decision to invest in the upleveling of their sales representatives’ skills. With a firm commitment to empowering their sales team, they not only implemented our training programs and gave their reps access to our proven playbooks and frameworks. By investing in these initiatives, they aimed to not only enhance their sales team’s knowledge and capabilities, but also save time and money trying to figure things out on their own. Through these efforts, these shops demonstrated their unwavering dedication to maintaining their competitive edge.

6. Taking Massive Action to Prospect, Follow Up, and Close More Deals

As part of the effort to quickly boost sales, these countertop shops participated in a two-week Sales Blitz. During this Sales Blitz, they put into action all the strategies mentioned above. They actively pursued new leads with a more concentrated effort, implemented our playbooks and breakthrough strategies to engage potential customers and build strong relationships with them, and consistently followed up with leads to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of closing more deals.

The goal of the Sales Blitz was to increase their volume of sales and also fill their pipeline for the start of Q1 2024.

7. Monitoring and Tracking Performance, Making Adjustments

Throughout these efforts, we supported these shops by closely monitoring and tracking their performance metrics. This enabled them to gain insights and identify necessary adjustments to optimize their performance. Naturally, we provided each shop with a Q1 game plan that considered these adjustments and helped set the stage for the new year.

A final word, it is worth noting that a alarming percentage of small businesses (this issue is not unique to the stone industry) there is a glaring lack of resources, time, attention, and money invested in improving sales. It’s the lifeblood of the business, yet owners and operators tend to put a lot of their focus on other activities, and their numbers reflect this. And, I understand that you didn’t get into this business to be a sales manager, but, if your sales aren’t where you want them to be, it’s time to take the bull by the horns.

Justin Shaw is the Founder and CEO of Stone Fabricator Elite, a sales improvement agency that has worked with countertop companies since 2017. They help stone fabricators frustrated by underperforming sales implement a sales improvement program to hit sales goals consistently. To learn more about visit
stonefabricatorelite.com or email Justin at justin@stonefabricatorelite.com .