What’s the problem with sales people?
It’s a dangerous assumption that senior decision makers make; increasing your sales people and working them harder will be the key driver for revenue growth. Unfortunately the reality is, this old-school mentality is a dying trend and those maintaining this single strategy for growth are failing.
For fast-growth companies who’s focus is new business, increasing sales teams proportional to anticipated revenue growth is an older and more traditional approach. Of course there’s a correlation between the two, however sales people are not driving new acquisition growth, they’re fulfilling it.
Let’s address the next comment from our senior decision makers: “work harder”, “commit more hours” and “make more calls”. This approach cannot scale. You need an approach that is repeatable and can genuinely (profitably) scale without a dependency on further straining your existing process.
Generally, if you’re looking to strain your sales team further, the performance usually doesn’t work as it’s increasing momentum in the wrong direction.
Sales people are key, and good sales can deliver significant growth. There is a dependency on good sales people to close customers. However, the better your strategy of lead generation, the more targeted and relevant leads and therefore the lesser dependency you have on sales people to drive predictable sales growth.
A big, big mistake within organizations is that CEOs recruit Sales People and assume they can (and will!) find new business on their own with minimal support or investment from the company.
Sales people cannot drive enough new lead generation to feed themselves and therefore cannot drive their diary to full capacity on closing calls.
Let’s talk frankly. Experienced sales people hate prospecting and are also terrible at it. They’re experienced and incredible and closing sales. It is not sustainable for a Sales person to generate enough pipeline ongoing, and close ongoing pipeline also. It’s not sustainable.
There are exceptions to this rule. But generally speaking, it’s a no go to have your best sales people doing prospecting and filling pipeline.
What’s the answer?
There aren’t quick, repeatable answers to this. The first step is acknowledging you need to build your sales team, and get them to capacity in line with the lead generation activity that is being generated.
The second, is understanding how to build your lead generation in a targeted way that drives each Sales persons diary to capacity. Your increased revenue plans need to be led by lead generation forecasts and your Sales people recruitment drive is inline with this.
The problem companies experience, is that when planning increased sales, they provision additional sales roles to achieve this. Sales recruitment needs to compliment your forecasts on lead generation. Not the other way around!
How do I increase my lead generation?
We’ll be releasing some serious content over the coming months to cover this more thoroughly. Here’s a brief approach:
1. Educate your audience. Become a thought leader in your communication. Webinars, white papers, email newsletters, exhibitions to establish yourself in the field.
2. Creating a repeatable and scalable outbound prospecting strategy. This does not depend on qualified sales people, but instead pre-sale staff only that have a set, targeted process in reaching out with a combination of follow-up emails and calls.
3. Partnerships. Create established partners that are complimentary to eachothers customer base.
4. PR. Get talking!
Lead generation takes trial and error, money and measurement. Things will work and others will fall flat on their face. Try our outbound sales prospecting tool to drive targeted lead generation into your company.
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Tags: CEOs, Sales Directors, Sales Team, VP of Sales