Found Some Money for You
by Kevin D. Crone
Over the last while, you’ve probably noticed that there seems to be a shortage money and time. We’re overwhelmed with things to do and have so many new initiatives on the go. That’s the way it’s 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.
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.
And … I found you the money to pay for it! Yes, depending on the size of your company, we can facilitate Government funding of 66% to 86% to improve your business.
So let’s chat about a simple first step. It’s time to be aggressive. Why not show up at a brief, small group dialogue on Tuesday, April 14th from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.?
Over coffee, you’ll get a quick review of the research and determine the impact it’s having on you or your team. You could examine what level of plan may be best for you.
For some, we are willing to do a sales meeting for their team to engage them in the research so they can think and talk out what they need to do. This is a critical step. Then you can review what happened in the meeting to see if there is a commitment to change.
I usually don’t offer commercial services in my Monday Morning Mentor, but I know a lot of people have attended our Executive Coaching Series workshops, and I don’t know the right way to move forward, so I thought I would go further than just exposing the research. Since the government is willing to support your efforts in improving your productivity and results – it is time to act!
This is an opportunity to do something to build your team and yourself and to increase sales.