Sales AssessmentWe provide an objective, third-party assessment and recommendation comparing sales management expectations with actual sales performance. To do so, we personally work with your sales teams, determining where there is a need for a behavior change or a strategy change in the sales process. We determine what your company must do to ensure you have the best people on the street, calling on the right prospects and securing profitable sales in the shortest amount of time.
Solving the problem, not the symptom
There is no greater management frustration than to realize you’ve invested time and money addressing the wrong problem. Before we jump into a solution with a client, we like to ensure that we’re mutually addressing the actual business problem, versus a series of symptoms. If the problem appears to be simple, usually a limited number of consultations with the right people at the right time will suffice. However, we realize that all businesses are different, and therefore standard “solutions” are just that…standard. More often than not the problems in our client’s organizations are complex, requiring a more sophisticated approach than a couple of interviews.
For this we use a process for achieving sustained sales results:
The first phase is the crucial phase. In the identification phase we determine and verify the gap between present reality and desired reality. We conduct senior sales management interviews and customer surveys, as well as meet and travel with sales reps. This phase provides data necessary to support a decision to address the client’s issues. It helps us to identify:
- The specific issues that are causing the gap.
- The root causes i.e. the financial impacts of not solving these problems.
- If the issues are worth solving.
- If the client has the necessary resources to solve the problem.
- If sales and marketing are strategically aligned or if gaps exist between them.
- Performance metrics to determine the magnitude of value we would have on the client organization during implementation.
Once the client and us have reached mutual agreement that a gap exists that is worth eliminating or the current process is flawed and is preventing the client from achieving maximum success to move forward, we move to the development phase where we customize and implement a solution. The next phase is the sustain phase where we work with and coach the client to develop behaviors that can generate sustained results. The last phase is the validation phase where we determine and measure the magnitude of success and make appropriate adjustments where necessary to assure a sustained increase in sales results.
Bringing discipline to the sales organization
Most of the time we hear these messages from so many of our clients – “we don’t have a common sales process” or “our sales people are all over the board.” Any way you say it, your sales organization lacks discipline resulting in inconsistent sales results, difficulty projecting future sales revenues, and too many “crunch time” periods at the end of quarters.
We help improve sales performance by bringing discipline to the all too often unpredictable field of sales. Using a combination of the data we receive from the identification phase along with a wealth of research on improving sales performance, we work with our clients to identify the critical success factors to improve their sales results both near and long term.
The solution could be as simple as identifying three things sales people should stop doing. Or it could be more comprehensive such as working in the field with sales managers and sales people to close accounts. If we can identify and agree upon some common sales skill or strategy areas across the sales organization we might implement a training solution utilizing our resources or the client’s resources to facilitate the sessions. We not only have a depth of experience and partners to know what the right training initiative should look like, but the discipline to know when training isn’t the best answer.
In the end it’s all about the people
A client may know exactly what their organizational challenges are, and have the approach or discipline in place, but may not be able to improve sales performance given the competency levels of their people. Here we focus on achieving results through people…also known as sales coaching. We believe sales coaching is the fastest way to gain near-term results, while at the same building long-term sustainability.
We dispel myths commonly associated with coaching i.e. “we’re already doing that,” “our people don’t really need it,” or “we can’t make the time for coaching.” We have found that most organizations don’t do an effective job at developing their people…they’re too busy managing them. It sounds harsh but it’s true a majority of the time. In conjunction with this reality, and equally bothersome, most people legitimately want to improve but aren’t sure how; and most sales managers are either too busy, fearful of, or are not confident in their sales management coaching abilities.
Almost all professional athletes have a coach. Very few professional sales people use a coach on a regular basis. Yet almost every single one wants to improve their sales performance. We have found this to be a significant gap in most sales organizations today. As a result we usually spend substantial time around coaching managers and their sales people. In the end, sales coaching teaches them how to fish on their own i.e. to achieve sustained sales results.
What we don’t do
We differentiate ourselves via what we don’t do. We don’t simply train sales people. Training alone doesn’t work and we aren’t willing to risk our credibility by filling a “training event” need a client might have. We recognize that we lose a significant amount of revenue by not fulfilling this large market need. However, we are interested in working with clients who want to improve their sales performance not just fill time on an agenda at a sales meeting.
We don’t pretend to be generalists. Our focus is on improving sales performance. We accomplish this in three areas: identifying the gaps, sales process and sales coaching. We have consulted in areas outside of these, but those are the exception. We don’t proactively look to engage in relationships outside of these areas. While we hope to help our clients anyway we can, we believe our focus is clear.