about the sales engineering system
The Sales Engineering System began as a search for answers more than thirty years ago. My first foray into business was as a twenty-something struggling to keep up with and rein in my mentor and business partner, a charismatic and visionary entrepreneur with his sights set on creating a restaurant empire. Nothing in my life or education had prepared me for this role. At the time, I knew nothing about running a restaurant—or even a business, for that matter. My responsibilities ranged from hiring and training fifty new employees in a matter of weeks to figuring out how to build a 30-foot waterfall—inside of a restaurant. I did market research in cities I'd never been to, conceived and executed marketing campaigns for new restaurants, negotiated leases, and arranged financing. I had to create procedures where none existed and find solutions for any and every problem that came up, and so began a period of intense self-education in building a business.
I ultimately held just about every executive position in the company from manager, to director of operations, to controller, to CEO. With a lot of determination, luck, and hard work, and amid many adventures—and misadventures—my business partner and I grew the company to a twenty-unit restaurant chain with annual revenues of $30 million in ten years. Looking back, the most important lesson I learned from those heady days of rapid growth and almost startling success was that consistent, sustainable, and replicatable systems were essential to growing any business.
By the time the restaurant phase of my career had drawn to a close, I had logged enough real-world experience in business to apply my knowledge to my second professional incarnation as a management consultant. This was a completely natural move for me; over the previous ten years I discovered that I had an innate and passionate interest in analyzing how business-process systems were created and deployed. But my focus on systematic processes led me to a powerful realization: that even more fundamental than operational systems was the underlying exchange of value that actually made a business a business.
As I became an increasingly fascinated student of value, picking apart how a business really worked became easier and easier. By following the value exchange, you can get a good idea of how a business operates and why it’s working—or, indeed, why it’s not. Almost invariably, my clients engaged me to help solve revenue-generation or profitability problems, and diagnosing these problems always led me back to how a business communicated and exchanged value. My focus was now on marketing and selling.
Over the years, my consulting clients included everything from not-yet-launched startups to Fortune 100 companies. I showed doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other consultants how to sell their services. I helped technology companies, large and small, to capture market share. I worked with manufacturers, product distributors, and retailers. I even worked with advertising agencies to help them promote themselves and provide more value to their clients.
Because of the diversity of my client base, I found that I needed a diagnostic and problem-solving framework that could help me both evaluate existing systems and clearly identify the value exchange. I needed a system for deconstructing a business, realigning what was out of balance, fixing what was broken, and then putting it back together correctly.
Starting all the way back in my restaurant days, I had become an avid student of business. I read every sales and marketing book and evaluated as many training systems as I could get my hands on. Despite a tremendous amount of research, I was unable to find a system that met my needs, so I decided to create my own. I started by identifying the most common and frequently observed elements of the problems businesses hired me to solve:
- Consistent revenue generation is a universal problem
- Most businesses are not set up to optimize revenue generation
- Ineffective marketing and inefficient selling adversely affect revenue generation
- Most business owners, managers, and executives do not accurately distinguish between selling and marketing
- A business that cannot market and sell effectively by definition limits its own ability to grow
The Sales Engineering System was initially laid out to address these issues. Over the course of my consulting career, I developed and refined my initial concepts through engagements with hundreds of companies. After using the Sales Engineering System for more than two decades on the firing lines of business, I didn’t find a single company that couldn’t be improved using my approach.
When I began to document my system, I realized that it would be extremely useful for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate executives to be able to put the Sales Engineering System to use. I knew that I wanted people to have access to my actual process, not just the concepts behind it. I didn’t want to pump out another sales and marketing manual that would wind up, half-read, on someone’s bookshelf. Even worse, I didn’t want to hastily churn out a book for my own self-promotion—as many apparently do—instead of delivering value to my readers. And so we created our online environment–including our course, application, tutorials, and video library–to deliver the actual tools and education that you need to build the business you've always dreamed of.
The Sales Engineering System represents a tremendous investment of time, energy, and critical thinking, and I very deeply and sincerely want you to benefit from all that I’ve put into it. I believe it addresses the most fundamental and crucial aspects of creating a solid, successful operation when used by businesses of any size in any industry. I want to save you the wasted energy that I spent figuring it out as I went along. The Sales Engineering System is not the last piece of your selling and marketing education or the only thing you will need to do to make your business a success, but I humbly and firmly believe it should be the first step in the process. Once you have a solid framework for marketing and selling in place, everything else you read or implement will work better.
I want businesses of any size to succeed, but even more importantly, I want to help people to find and understand the value they have to offer and then to exchange it for what really matters to them.
We encourage you to get in touch to find out how we can add value to your business.
Kerry Lohrman, President and Founder, Sales Engineering System