Confronting Sales Problems and Ineffectiveness
You are going to have to do it sooner or later—What is the cost of doing it later? Business Owners, Presidents and CEO's: You invest more money into hiring and training more reps, invest in additional advertising and marketing, conduct more sales meetings— Are you achieving more productivity? Regardless of how many rounds of golf your sales people play with prospects, or how many sale meetings or attempts you make to motivate your team, sales are simply not good. Now what?
Many Business Owners adversely impact their margins by dipping into the corporate pocketbook to implement a new bonus plan. At best this may elevate performance temporarily, only to have sales people fall back into their regular non-productive routine.
Some CEO's fall prey to the complaints and bad attitudes of sales people who say they have no leads, or no one to call. Opposed to dealing with the actual problem, poor closing skills, they again adversely impact their margins by investing into more advertising and marketing campaigns. They simple want you to spend more money for them to get more leads, to have more opportunity to close LESS business! Business Owners:
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The Negative Impact of failure to Change: Sales in the late nineties were very predictable and just seemed to come to you. Sales today are anything but predictable and most sales people fail to go out and make it happen. Relying on a few rainmakers to attain sustainable growth these days just does not work. These rainmakers merely allow you to remain above water. Relying on past lackluster hiring criteria in order to increase the number of feet on the street also does little more than compound your sales problem.
Today the most successful sales organizations are run by managers (Presidents, CEO’s, Business Owners or Sales Directors) who focus on elevating sales person performance. This is opposed to a “wing it” mentality of hiring more sales people who will ultimately acclimate and fall into the same level of lackluster performance as the rest of your sales team Transform "The System" into "Your System" What these leaders have in common is a more systematic approach. The key word here is system. Opposed to relying on the optimism inherent in most sales people or your gut instinct regarding a sales candidate, these successful leaders rely on a sales system and structure. The goal is not to rely on hope that new rainmakers will simply appear, again at a significant cost to the company, but to close the gap of inefficiency found in the less than productive sales person.
Opposed to putting your financial future into the hands of your sales people, you now put your sales people into the hands of your system! The first step towards confronting sales ineffectiveness is to determine the actual time your sales team spends selling. This does not include time spent chasing, or dealing with existing customer issues, or writing needless unqualified proposals. This is simply the end result of not having in place a uniform system of selling. Reorganization or reallocation of time will not be effective without a system to rely on and fall back on. Otherwise inevitably your sales people fall back into their counter-productive habits and routines.