It is a familiar scenario: your sales are slowly dropping off and not quite meeting targets. Your once eager sales team is becoming despondent or, even worse, complacent and giving you more excuses than results. The strategies and goals you attempt to implement to energise your business just don’t seem to be working. People around you are telling you that it’s time to employ a Sales Improvement consultant to get your business back on track. But is that really what you need?
How can an outsider really help your business? Something that you’ve worked hard to build, know so well and was once tracking nicely. From what you’ve heard, there’s a good chance a Sales Improvement consultant will give you some strategies that you already know and don’t quite fit your business or situation. Once they’ve shared their well-meaning advice and ‘solutions’, they’ll hand you a bill and be on their way. While your business is certainly not on its way. You may not even have the time or ability to execute their plan. Where is their ownership of this problem?
You are probably right
To be completely frank, if this is what is running through your mind, then you are probably right. A lot of Sales Improvement consultants have a “one-size fits all approach”. This may seem to be sound in the basic thinking and workings of creating a sales team or strategy. This will not, however, address the specific issues in your business and at the very least will be a waste of your valuable time and money.
Does this mean you shouldn’t bother even considering employing a Sales Improvement consultant? Actually no, you should bother and, in fact, a Sales Improvement consultant may be exactly what you need. It is simply about finding the right consultant who takes the time to understand your business and can tailor their solutions to your unique needs. It’s like going to your doctor, he will analyse your issues first before prescribing any medication or treatment.
What should a Sales Improvement consultant do first?
Analysis, analysis and more analysis. How can a Sales Improvement consultant assist your business if they don’t have a deep understanding of your business issues: how you operate, your people, your goals and your strengths and weaknesses? Before providing advice, they need to listen to you and do some deep delving into your sales team to interpret your situation.
Assessing and evaluating your sales team members.
Simply having the right people in the right roles can transform your sales outcomes. By assessing your team members, a consultant can identify issues such as lack of knowledge of processes, fatigue, lack of accountability, whether they are a natural Hunter or Account Manager etc. Having this vital information also means that team members can be trained to their identified weaknesses. This will result in them becoming more motivated and having greater confidence in themselves and their work.
Evaluating the effectiveness of your Sales Managers.
Do your Sales Managers fit in with the culture of your business? Have they created sales processes that work? Are they aligned with the goals of your company? Are they able to communicate to the team what the goals are and help them get there? All of these aspects are important to help identify what is working and what isn’t. This information is also used to determine whether your sales leaders need to be coached.
Analysing sales processes, KPIs and the dependability of your pipelines.
Consultants can give all the sales training and advice in the world, but if the sales processes are inefficient or ineffective, and your KPIs or Commission schemes are not right, then nothing will change. Getting this right and in place and ensuring the team understands how they work, is essential in creating a motivated and effective sales team.
Analysis complete – Time to take Action.
It’s so important that a sales consultant takes the time to get to know you and your organisation. Only once a consultant has uncovered and collated all this information about your sales team and organisation, are they able to start offering advice and solutions to get you back on track.
All this advice is only worth the investment if your Sales Improvement consultant will then partner with you to ensure the implementation is executed successfully.
Consultants who offer bespoke solutions for solving your sales revenue issues, really are worth the investment of time and money. So, if you are looking to bring a Sales Improvement consultant into your business, make sure they have the expertise to identify process issues, as well as fully evaluate your business, teams and management, and have the capability to help you actually implement the solution. This all-inclusive approach from analysis to implementation will be the best thing you ever did to help your business flourish.