April 12, 2022

What a Sales System is NOT

What a Sales System is NOT

This week, you’re going behind the scenes of a training I did for my mastermind students all about sales business systems—what they are, what they are NOT, and how they function. If you’re ready to grow a business to 6 or 7 figures while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance, this is for you!

As a business owner, what is your ideal consistent revenue, and how are your business systems — including your sales system — helping you reach it?

If you don’t currently have a sales system in place, you’re going to struggle to make the income you desire while also maintaining a sustainable work-life balance.

That’s why today, I’m taking you behind the scenes of an exclusive training I did recently for our mastermind students all about sales systems — what they are, what they are not, and how they function as you try to grow a business.


  • The key difference between a sales system and a sales funnel
  • Why sales systems are vital to grow a business — especially if you want to scale to seven figures
  • The 4 main business systems every online business owner needs to avoid burnout and find an ideal work-life balance

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.

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© Copyright 2022 | The EffortLESS Life®


Courtney Elmer 0:00 

Welcome back to another episode of the System's Made Simple™ Podcast. This is episode 117. And today, I am lifting the curtain and letting you listen in on a business systems training that I did recently about sales systems, what they are, what they're not, and why you need them. Stay tuned. 


Normally, this is the part of the show where we read a review, and we highlight our listener of the week. But this week, we're doing something a little bit different. We are introducing a brand new monthly giveaway where we not only shout out our listeners on air, but we also enter anyone who leaves a new review into a really special Prize Contest. Now, when you leave a new review on the show, you could win a prize bundle that includes three of my favorite things. 

Number one, a copy of my all time favorite business systems building book that is guaranteed to help you get some of the fundamental business systems installed that you need to double your revenue this year. And you are also going to get your choice of one of our most popular resources, either my short course on how to start a profitable podcast as a tool to generate leads and traffic to your business or an insider call to action business systems sequence that's going to reduce the amount of time that you spend writing emails to your list every week. 

This business systems sequence is going to help you nurture your email list on autopilot so that people are warm and ready to buy from you the next time you launch something. And the third thing is a $25 amazon gift card that you could put toward whatever you want you to get something for your business, or treat yourself to a little something to celebrate all of your hard work. 

So add it all up, the grand total value of this prize package is worth $150 bucks. And all you have to do to get a chance to win is scroll down inside of your Apple app, tap the five stars and write a sentence or two to let me know how the show is impacting your life and your business systems. We are going to announce the winners on air.

Your review, number one lets the host know that the hard work they're putting into that show week after week is giving you value that it's making a difference in your life that you're learning something from it because as podcast hosts, that's all we want, we just want to know that what we're doing is helping you. So that's number one. And then number two, your review actually helps other people find the show other people who are out there searching for podcasts right now as the solution to the problems that they're experiencing in their life and in their business systems. 

So you can really look at it as the ultimate way to give back by you taking a minute of your time to write a review, whether it's on this show or any other show, you really are creating a ripple effect that is going to reach new listeners and impact the show host. So at least for me speaking personally, that I can continue to show up to the mic each week, and share amazing business systems related content with you and curate the best guests and bring them on air to help you impact your business systems and grow your business. So pause this episode, go leave a review, you'll automatically be entered to win, and then join me back right here so we can dive into today's business systems content.

Courtney Elmer 4:30 

Okay, so I'm really excited for this, because we are taking you behind the scenes today to let you listen in on a training that I did recently for our business systems mastermind students all about sales systems, what they are, what they're not how they function within your business or how they should function within your business systems. And if you've never heard of a sales system before, well, that could be the reason why you're not making consistent revenue using your business systems right now. 

And to be really crystal clear here. I'll say sales system is different from that industry term sales funnel. Sales funnels operate within a sale system, they are part of a greater whole. And that greater whole is what I am going to unpack for you inside of today's episode. Now this episode is part of a three part mini series where I am lifting the curtain and I am giving you insider access to some never before seen content, we usually reserved this content for our top level students. And because you're a loyal listener, I've decided to give you a peek behind the scenes into why sales systems are so vital to the health of your business systems.

So if you've been listening for a while, then you know that there are four main business systems that we teach that every online business owner needs. The first is visibility. The second is sales. The third is deliverability. And the fourth is operations. And if you really want to succeed with your business systems, without overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion, then you need a sales system to support you so that you can stay focused in your zone of genius, and bring sales in on a consistent and recurring basis. All right, you ready? Let's roll the tape on this business systems conversation right now.

Courtney Elmer 6:31 Chances are, I'm just going to go ahead and guess here, you know already that you need to have some kind of sales system in place if you want to keep the doors open to your business or generate any kind of income to speak of. But rhetorical question here, aside from generating revenue. Do you know what else a sale system is actually designed to do? Or if you have what you think is a sale system in place, great. Do you know if it's actually scalable? Or are you currently bottlenecking your business systems by trading your time for dollars?

And what's interesting to me is that even as you begin to get sales systems in place and build out your funnels and build out your customer journey, there are still areas in our business where we might notice we're trading time for dollars. So this is going to be a theme that comes up again and again as you go through your business systems. And as you grow through your business systems, to be always cognizant and aware and looking for those areas where you might be trading time for dollars, because then we can take what you're about to learn here about sales systems, and apply it to those areas to help you continue leveraging your time and not be trading it so much for dollars and allowing this the sales system to support you so that you can stay focused in your zone of genius and sales can come in the door on a recurring, consistent basis. 

Because the simple truth is, if your business revenue is inconsistent, you have a sale system issue. The good news is, as long as you're offering something that people actually want, all of the sales systems issues can be fixed. No business or business systems are doomed. I used to have this belief that if my launch didn't perform the way that I expected it to, then my business and business systems were doomed. And it was like the silliest belief when I actually recognized that I felt a little sheepish. 

And I'm like, Okay, well, wow, I'd No No wonder my launch was weren't performing, because I had that in my head the whole time. And really it boiled down to Okay, where were the holes? Where were people falling out through the cracks with their business systems? How can I tighten this up, or patch the bucket, so to speak, so that people aren't can you know, falling through and really solidify my sales system. And the key thing here being you got to be offering something that people actually want, it's something that people get connected to emotionally. So it turns what otherwise might just be a want, like, Oh, that'd be nice to have into a need. I can't live without that. And that is where this gets really powerful.

So before we get to all that, like we've talked about before, a system is the overarching map from A to B, the process is the step by step directions to get from A to be. And to be clear, in this lesson, we are not talking about how to master the art of selling, how to sell more, how to perfect your sales skills, or how to twist people's arms or anything like that. In fact, this is really very true as the visionary leader out sourced that do not be spending your time on sales calls. Sure there might be a time in your business systems where you start off doing that but eventually the goal is like you would have someone on your team here billing, all that kind of stuff for you someone who is skilled at sales, someone who is skilled at helping people see why it is they need what you are offering. 

And you can hire someone to do that for you, that would be my recommendation for you. But what we are talking about here is how to build a sales system and put a customer process in place. So that you can move people from knowing about you and your solution to their problem, to taking action and actually buying that solution to their problem investing their money to get whatever it is that you're offering them, whether that's a product, a program of service, or whatever it might be. So one of the biggest things that people miss in building their sales system, put that in air quotes, because it's like, Okay, I think I have a sales system in place. But really, it's something that looks like this, they focus on acquiring leads. And they spend so much of their available time and energy and money in their business systems to acquire those leads. But they don't have anything on the back end of their business systems to actually offer them.

Courtney Elmer 11:12 

And they just hope that if they acquire enough new leads, they'll generate revenue. And this is very much across your fingers and hope it happens strategy, which is not effective when it comes to generating consistent revenue, sure, you might be able to acquire some new leads and launch a product and generate some revenue, some of those people will just kind of flop thought funnel through. Wouldn't it be nice if you knew the secret ingredients to helping more of those leads, want what you have, convert consistently and even better having the business systems in place that allow them to convert on a consistent basis with very little of your time or energy or effort involved.

The problem with most people is that they forget to focus on the business systems in between acquiring the lead. And the act of revenue coming in and moving someone from a lead to a customer, they might focus on the tactical aspects, like, Okay, we get seven emails here. And then there's a sales page and we're gonna have a checkout page. And yeah, of course, those things are necessary in your business systems. But what they forget is how to move someone, to persuade them, to convict them, to help them feel convicted, that this is the perfect solution. This is what they have been looking for, and convicted in a positive way, of course. 

So the way you do that, is through removing the beliefs that are preventing someone from making a purchase. So in setting up the business systems for the sales system, yes, there are tactics, but really the emphasis here is less on tactics, and more on technique. So in this lesson, we're going to talk about the difference between a sales funnel and a sales system. And we're going to start by talking about what a sales system is not. Then we'll talk about why having a scalable sales system is so important to the health of your company, and of course, your bank account. And ultimately, what it's designed to do what it's actually designed to do, which spoiler alert, its job is not only to generate sales, it plays another very vital role within your business systems. 

And if you were listening closely just now gave you a great big hint. It has to do with not only moving someone tactically through your sales process, but psychologically as well. So then, in the lessons ahead, I'm going to walk you through two types of repeatable replicable is that a word sale systems that you can create in your business systems and duplicate for every single product or program that you sell. Because here is another spoiler alert, you're not limited to one sales mechanism in your business systems, you can have several. 

So by the time you finish this section on sales systems, you are going to understand what a sales system is actually designed to do, how it functions, and then how to replicate and take what I'm essentially going to give you an what I'll call a sale system template. And then customize that for each of the products or services that you offer. sort of get a better understanding of what a sale system is, it helps first to talk about what a sale system is not and sometimes that's the best way for our brain to wrap around things is to first understand what it isn't so that we can have a better understanding of what something is. So to be clear, a sale system is not you sitting on sales calls eight or more hours out of every day. And dreading going to those sales calls.

I used to dread those I love them and I hated them at the same time. And it was like, I just, you know, just sometimes just dread that. It's not you chasing new clients in the DMS or endlessly following up with people, you know, I have a background in network marketing. And I was very successful in that industry for several years that I was in that industry. But I hated it. Like most of the time, it felt so scammy. And like, I really did what I could to just be a positive light in that industry. But if you've ever been approached by someone who, and again, just trying to say this as delicately as possible, someone who does not respect

Courtney Elmer 15:38 

what the industry really should be about, and approaches it rather from a place of whether it's desperation, or whether it's just like, numbers, you know, it's kind of loses the human aspect of it. And that can be a very off putting experience. And so when I was in that industry, I would be put off by the people that I witnessed, like endlessly chasing people chasing people. And I was always like, I never want to be that person to anyone, because it doesn't feel good. Like I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of that. And it doesn't feel good to be on the delivering end of that. 

This also is not you offering listen closely, no discounts, no promotions, no flash sales to try and entice people to buy, there might be a time in place for product based businesses to offer this perhaps Black Friday, maybe other than that, we're gonna talk about how to enhance the value of what you provide without having to discount your price for it. So your sales system has nothing to do with like just trying to entice people to buy by offering some kind of promotion, or some kind of discount. This is not you writing the never ending launch roller coaster. Conscious cut, like constantly launching new products or new programs just hoping that you find something that finally sticks. 

This was how I spent the first two and a half years in my business systems. And it was not fun, it was exhausting. It required so much time and energy and effort, I had no source of revenue outside of my launches. So when I was launching, I was totally dependent on that launch, and would just cross my fingers and my toes hoping that it would perform. Because if it didn't, I didn't have a backup plan. And that was not a fun place to be. And a sales system is also not a handbook, Utah had some fun coming up with these.

But this is not a handbook of sleazy or deceptive marketing tactics. This is not any kind of like slimy car salesman approaches into like twisting people's arms, trying to get them to buy what you're offering. This is not some kind of like, manipulative way to get more people into your programs. Not at all. A sales system, when done correctly, involves very little of you selling it all. Because when you lead someone through your business system and your funnel, not only tactically but also psychologically, they are selling themselves at every moment. And there's an art to that. And that's what we're going to talk more about. 

So simply put, a sales system is a simple, repeatable mechanism for bringing new clients into your business and earning repeat business from existing ones with very minimal effort on your part. That's the part I love. Like okay, I don't have to be sitting in my computer doing sales calls eight hours a day just to try to get a new client into my program. The key here to being repeatable, this is something that can be duplicated in your business systems. That's the beauty of a sales system.

So to take this one step further and tie it back to that analogy of the business systems being the map. And the process being the directions, you can think of your sales system like a customer map. It's the way in which someone moves from knowing about your solution to buying your solution. So it's the map from A to B, and then your sales process becomes the business systems customer journey. These are the actual steps that they go through or drip through. If you have this set up to happen automatically, to actually move them from A to B kind of like you giving them directions on how to get there. That is why there is a very distinct difference between your sales system or your customers map and your sales process or your customers journey. And we're going to talk about both.

It's the difference between the map which just shows you the distance from A to B and the journey which means actually covering the terrain to get from A to B or in this case how someone goes from finding you to paying you so a good sales system. Listen closely, a good business system and sales system like any Good map is designed to get your potential customer from A to B in the shortest amount of time. This is no different than you plugging a destination in on Google. And it gives you three routes. And it shows you this is the shortest one. And by default, it's going to show you that one. But then it shows you know, this one, you know, estimated time is about the same, this one's a five minutes longer, right. So it's going to help your customer go from A to B in the shortest amount of time. But even more than that, and even more importantly,

Courtney Elmer 20:32 

A good map will also anticipate potential road hazards and steer your ideal person around them, making their journey easy and quick and enjoyable. So let's talk about the difference then between this industry terminology around sales funnels, and sales systems, there is a lot of interchangeable terminology, and it gets very confusing. Everywhere you go, someone's going to have a slightly different definition. So this is how I define it. 

Generally speaking, a sales funnel tends to be the universal marketing term, especially in this online space for the journey that potential customers go through on the way to a purchase. So looking at this definition, a sales funnel is more like the process I just mentioned, it's the steps that someone would take to go from A to B. There is an important distinction, though, that you need to understand between a system and a funnel. Again, people out there in the industry will use these terms interchangeably. What I want you to understand is an important distinction that I call or that I see between these two, because you can have multiple sales funnels. But they will all follow the same sales system. 

So here's something that it's it's like this, think of this system as the overarching template. And then each sales funnel that you create in your business systems, because like I said, you can have multiple mechanisms for sales in your business systems. Each one of those mechanisms, each funnel you create is essentially just a copy of the master template. And each one of those individually is responsible for moving people through the customer journey to its natural conclusion, which is a purchase. So maybe you have four different products in your business systems that you sell, maybe you have 10, maybe you have two, but you can have a sale as many sales funnels for as many offers as you have, they will simply all follow the same basic template, kind of like the difference between an original document and a certified copy.

Or said another way, and I like this analogy a lot. The system is the basic structure, kind of like the recipe, if you will. And then the funnel sets up the steps to move someone along to the desired result. In this case, the sale. So following this metaphor, recipe is the sales system, the ingredients when combined, create your sales funnel and your unique customer journey toward that end, whatever the offer is that you're selling. And then the result is a certain number of sales. And here's where it gets really fun. Let's say that at the end, you didn't get the result you wanted. The chocolate chip cookies came out burnt, they were too gooey. 

And there's a funny story here in my family. Alan, my husband, he loves his chocolate chip cookies. hard as a rock. In fact, my sister came over one time. And she opened up the container where we had Alan's cookies, right? Like we have to actually set aside his cookies and she like picks them up and she knocks it down on the counter. And she's like, Oh my gosh, I cannot I can't even like know how and these are just so overcooked, and he liked them. So crispy. Me on the other hand, I like a cookie that is so gooey, innocent, or maybe it's a little bit crispy around the edges. But in the middle, it's like soft, and especially when it's warm. Like that is just the best thing ever. 

And so let's say that I was baking a batch of Alan's cookies, which we have now labeled in our home is Alan's cookies, which I did a couple of weeks ago. And I didn't cook them long enough. And he let me know and I'm laughing at this because it's comical. He's sitting down at the table and he's eating around the edge of the cookie and leaving the gooey part in the middle. Like he didn't even touch that part. And I was like, I didn't cook them long enough, did I? And he was like, No, I can't eat this. And I'm like, okay, so I had to put it back in the oven. It was this whole thing and that's how the batch of Alan's cookies got set in the dish off to the side.

Courtney Elmer 24:56 

So let's say Okay, getting back to this analogy that you get a result that you didn't expect, you get a lower number of sales than expected. If you're a gooey cookie person, the cookies were too hard. Or if you're a hard cookie person, the cookies were too soft, right? You didn't get the result you expected. So what do you do in that instance, you go back and you adjust the ingredients to procure a different result. You know, when it comes to cookie baking, I'm sure there are, there's so much information out there that you can read about the scientific process of cookie baking.

I know for one, that the sugar really makes a difference. If you have more brown sugar, it's a gooey or cookie. If you have more white sugar, it's a harder cookie, right? So you might adjust those ingredients to bring about the desired result. But the recipe essentially stays the same. The recipe doesn't change the recipe is just the template that you follow for creating the desired result. Sometimes you have to tweak the ingredients a little more, this little less of that swap something out all together. We don't want flour today, we want oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, right but the recipe essentially stays the same. 

So now that you know what a sales system is, essentially the recipe, the template and what it is not. Next, we're going to talk about why having scalable business systems and a scalable sales system is so important to the health of your company and your bank account. Because ultimately, good business systems and sales systems are designed to do more than just bring in sales. 

Okay, so listen, if you learned something new today about your business systems or sales systems, I really want to know about it. Coming up next week on the show, we're talking about how to tell if your current sales system is costing you clients. I will see you back here next week. And until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.