I found you the ways to address the issue
by Kevin D. Crone
Over the last while, you’ve probably noticed that there seems to be a shortage of money and time. We’re overwhelmed with things to do and have so many new initiatives on the go. That’s the way it is for business today. It’s like we have to fix a flat tire while the car is travelling. It’s my view that it isn’t going to change and the car will keep on going faster.
What do owners do to increase margins? What do sales managers do to increase performance? What do salespeople do to become more of a hunter?
The challenge is trying to change as fast as the market. We see a need to get better performance, or should, but how do we change without being involved in some kind of change structure that pulls us through the stages of growth? Left to ourselves, we get stuck in our own stories, worldviews or, and I hate to say it, excuses!
If you’ve been involved in one of our workshops, you’ve seen the research on how selling has changed. Buyers don’t see the difference between sellers, and price competition drives margins down. It’s tough out there.
Why don’t organizations move fast enough on rebuilding the design of the business or new competencies required to find and keep new customers?
Here’s what we’ve learned:
A) Sales managers are not fully aware of what’s happening out there and are relying on thinking the team is the wrong bunch. Yes, upgrading the team is always important, but developing a new sales strategy from learning what is going on out there for your customers and why, so that you will be creating value on every interaction with them, is the required first step. Few changes work without doing that.
B) Cutting costs or other operational solutions like implementing a new CRM, seems to take so much of our focus. Having a better scoreboard won’t fix the strategy or competency issue. Yes, you have to watch costs especially when sales are tougher, but don’t scrimp on building people or taking the time to rethink the business strategy.
C) We may see a need to re-strategize and to coach people so they’re armed to take the hill but can be confused as to how to go about it. We have to make sure that whatever vehicle or outside professional assistance we choose works for us, and, is practical time-wise while we continue to focus on the day-to-day business. After your research, make sure you list the required behaviours of your team before you rush into any development.
D) The owners think they’re already paying for people development and coaching for improved sales by hiring sales managers. The old carrot and stick approach by sales managers won’t change salespeople’s habits. That’s called management, not development. A development change project is required and you can’t mix the two. Those who haven’t engaged in the proper development projects don’t think salespeople will accept or change behaviour. Whether you believe it or not, it’s been our experience that you either blame your team or help them adjust and be prepare for the new realities of selling – or things will get tougher. Effective change projects can and do succeed. Sure it takes effort at doing the right things in the projects, but it can increase sales and impact your business for a long time.
E) Money for development is never available. And who budgets for change anyway? Not doing something about margins and competency actually is very costly.
I have good news today – I found you the ways to address the issue – structures for three different levels of need in an organization that is quick. They can be implemented on the go.
Level One: Prepare, coach and train new salespeople or those struggling to rejuvenate their career and increase sales.
Level Two: Get your experienced salespeople aware of the trends in the market and help them through coaching and training. Choreograph, rehearse, and practice relevant approaches that help them adjust and be seen as a higher-level resource for their customers.
Level Three: Get management and selected salespeople to rethink your business offering, story, and create insights that cause salespeople to be the unique differentiator for your business. You’ll have a new go-to-market sales strategy through a methodology proven to work with a variety of industries. Then prepare your sales team to take it to every sales call.
The answer as to which level you need is in your customers and sales people.