+32 473 903091 info@xantopia.net

Blame it on needing more sales resources

Ever heard someone yelling at a complete sales organisation: “You’re sales, so sell!!!” ?

If you’re part of such group, don’t be too frustrated… The person yelling is obviously annoyed not meeting quotas and either he/she’s convinced yelling will help, either he/she’s apparently living in the beginning of previous century where a sales manager was supposed to order his/her troops to close numbers, preferably without even thinking too much about why customers were not buying. In any case, he/she’s in charge and — upon proper execution of the sales strategy — should be held accountable. (I am hereby referring to a whole sales organisation not meeting quota—Individual lack of talent is something that needs to be dealt with and can be improved by training, rather than incapably yelling).

In my 20+ years experience, I’ve seen many of these scenario’s and it mostly resulted in firing fine sales people to be replaced by others. Other scenario’s were to simply add more sales people or more expensive/experienced sales leaders, without any room to change anything critical to the customer journey.

There are several reasons why sales would not be happening as expected. Most common are:

  • Do you have a product or service that solves an alleged problem?
  • Are you targeting the right audience (roles and companies)?
  • Is your unique selling/value proposition truly adding value to the customer?
  • Are incoming leads properly qualified?
  • Are sales people proficient in explaining the USP?
  • Is the pricing strategy correct?
  • Is sales over-selling the future?
  • Was sales management over-optimistic in setting quotas?

Not selling can be frustrating; so can selling when to the wrongly qulified prospect…

About the author

Yves Delongie, founder Xantopia

Yves loves to write about his passion in developing and leading start-up/scale-up businesses towards sustainable growth.

My point to all this, is that sales can not just be judged separately from the whole customer journey and instead, all aspects on why sales is not performing should be analysed. It is in effect also completely meaningless to continue investing in sales resources as long as the whole process is not understood and fine-tuned, from product/market fit, to closure and customer retention/satisfaction.

Furthermore, having true dedicated sales people not sell, will demotivate them and make them leave. A better way to spending their precious talent and time — since the company is already paying their salaries and will be paying even more to fire them — is to have them actively help with analysing a better customer journey, trying out A/B testing with alternative types of sales calls and eventually increase interest, leads, sales and revenues.

Finally, I’ve many times experienced that organising a company in smaller teams of various disciplines—marketing, sales and support—dedicated to a customer segment and closely working together as one, being all together responsible for all metrics including sales, bared better revenue results than a typical silos-organisation in which the discipline leaders only communicate at an executive committee level. But that’s subject to a next blog post. Happy selling!!

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