Every time I start a new project around sales, territory planning, market planning, I get excited.
And, then I find myself in several intense meetings with the president or owner of the company, trying to convince them that a little planning goes a long way; but the response is usually the same, ‘sounds good, but just get those guys on the phone!’
However, this is just a quick remedy to a long problem.
Being a sales focused company is great at the start of your company but it builds a brand only based on what your sales people are saying and… that could be saying anything. It does little in brand building. Actually it does, but probably not the want you had envisioned.
High-Turnover in Sales Department
How do you know when you have a badly run company? When your sales department has high-turnover. Lack of leadership, biased territory planning, long-sales cycle and hiring recent graduates who just learn and leave for better are the usual crimes committed in a sales-focused company.
It’s the little things that matter
Let’s take a trade show I recently managed for a seriously sales focused client. What I implemented was: professional presentation for their sales staff, pre-promotion program, changed their booth set-up and gave them tips on how and where they should take advantage of the show’s activities. All this was great. Then came the break-down.
They rushed, carried out the entire booth themselves. We needed to do 2 trips, sweating, huffing and puffing. What’s the problem with that you ask?
Well if you are in an industry where none of the exhibitors tears-down, then you need to follow your betters! You don’t want spend the money on trade show contractors? Then don’t go!
4 tips to help you make the sale, while protecting your business:
- Talk with your sales staff, often: Create an open-door environment where your sales staff can come and discuss recent conversations, what was said and why did they decide to move the conversation in certain manner.
- Review territories: Give everyone a chance to show what they are made off. If you are not convinced that a few of your sales team can handle an important territory, start them off with a few leads and work with them during this part, give them the chance.
- Value-based selling: A sales plan usually is a simple action plan. This doesn’t do much in brand development. Consider spending some time in developing sales pitches and collateral based on value, rather on promotion, discounts and chasing a new lead. If not, you’ll probably find your sales guys are on the phone discounting the product or service, instead of selling value.
- Stay in touch: Give your team enough tools to say in touch. You are better than that awful annual general email, ugh, its just so bad. Instead, encourage them because you’ve implemented #1, to change it up and call, leave a message. Work with your marketing department to create interesting newsletters, case studies and other content that helps to maintain brand position.