Are Your Sales Team Helping Your Competitors to Prosper?
Of course not, what a stupid question!!
You would think the answer should be fairly obvious really….but is it?
What if I told you I’ve personally seen evidence of this happening?
Would you believe me then?
Well, maybe you would and maybe you wouldn’t and that’s fair.
Let me share with you some of the signs that your sales team are helping the competition, here we go…
- Giving the client a highly detailed and informative sales pitch and then failing to ask for the business
- Not creating any legitimate urgency in the mind of the buyer
- Not chasing up quotes…did you know that 80% of business is closed after 8 follow up calls/actions?
- Failing to cross sell or up sell…that leaves your prospect wide open to buying stuff you sell from one of your competitors, who will cross sell and up sell.
- Forgetting to ask the decision maker who else in the firm they should be talking with…your customer is left wide open again, just like before
- Getting so bogged down chasing any lead with a heart neat thath they forget the best and most golden leads in their sales pipeline
- Do you need any more proof?
Now tell me this is not going on in your sales team?
And this is just the start of the signposts.
I could give you another 30 signs, all of which you’d be able to identify in your own sales team immediately
I see this every single day and it’s heart breaking, especially when you consider how much you’re paying to run a sales team…now, to find out you’re also helping the competitors out is just a big nail in the coffin.
So, what do you do?
Addressing skill deficits in the sales team is something that every company must address at some point or another.
Instilling Sales Best Practice is fundamental.
Getting the sales team to think like you, the business owner or the Sales Leader is crucial.
Helping the sales team to be more commercially cute.
Getting the sales team to see the gaps and see how those gaps are killing their chances of making target….and leaving their sales territories wide open to let the competition in!
And the solution is Sales Training, really?
Well, you have a couple of choices.
You can recruit very very experienced and very costly sales professionals. That’s always an option.
Or you can take solid, honest, more mid level sales people and give them some very clear sales guidelines and you can micro manage them to within an inch of their lives…that doesn’t work so well long term and everyone hits burn-out in that scenario.
Or you can train them in how to be super sales defenders and ace sales attackers…and let them do the job you’ve trained them to do, you’re paying them to do and you expect them to do.
Without leaving the door wide open to competitor attack.
My most common questions to any organisation considering investing in sales training will centre around their sales processes and procedures, KPI’s, measurement points, sales leakage, pipeline management, lead generation, data usage, collection, security and storage…primarily because these are the key areas that, if not tended well, will leave you getting weaker and your competitors thriving, on your dollar!
So training the sales team is the only option?
Probably…and here’s why.
Without these fundamentals in place so the company can track progress, security, data, performance and all the other KPI’s that are crucial to a business… a company isn’t investing protecting itself.
At best, the business is investing in making the sales people more skilled and productive….unfortunately that investment is not owned by the company.
The reality is that sales is a highly migratory profession, this means the company training investment can disappear to your competitor at any time.
Admittedly, there are some of the sales team you may be happy to see go to the competition – and that’s ok but every company should be asking themselves if they are happy to write off their training investment to make the people better sales people or make their business better able to produce sales via the sales team.
Subtle but crucial point – if your sales people are you only sales asset then you’re in trouble
In building a productive and sustainable sales led organisation, a scaleable sales model and a sales pipeline that will sustain the impact of key sales people departing.
The Best Solution
My intention with many of my client organisations is to move them away from relying on the sales team to work out the best way to sell and instead move to a ‘plug and pay’ scenario where the sales process is so finely tuned that the sales person is one of the least important parts of the process.
Answers to some common questions asked by clients first reviewing this way of working:
- Yes, it is time consuming
- Yes, it does force organisations to assess what they are doing and where the value is coming from
- Yes, sales management must analyse who is performing and who isn’t, who is making a profitable contribution and who is being subsidised by the rest of the sales team
- Yes, it does rely on management by numbers and supporting action along a planned and agreed process
It means that:
- recruitment and training of staff can be much easier, and less costly
- performance management is second nature
- the sales pipeline is authentic and a good reflection of the reality of the sales position
- the Team Leader can concentrate on coaching, mentoring and developing
- the business has a scaleable model
- the business can’t be held to ransom by the threatened departure of a sales person
- Where a scaleable model exists in the sales team, profitable growth can follow
Only you will know the reaction you’ll have to your best sales people walking out and taking your client base with them, that’s at one end of the spectrum
At the other end, there is the persistent drip drip drip of sales leaking away to feed the competitors as your sales team operate on your wage bill
If you wish to discuss any of the above and how this may apply to your sales team, please call Carol Griffiths on 0779 002 1885 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Remember to claim your free sales and business development insights – great for motivating the team and introducing new sales and business development skill – just hit the link – The Advanced Business Achiever