Building a Professional Sales Team Is a Direct Sales Team the right business model for you?
Thursday, July 21st, 2011
One of the most common goals of any business is to increase its revenue and profitability. Most often one assumes that in order to achieve this goal it is necessary to establish and/or expand a direct sales team. This may or may not be the most effective or cost efficient approach to accomplishing your goal. Prior to plunging directly into this strategy it is imperative that a variety of business issues be reviewed.
Where does your business come from?
- Analyze your multiple sources of revenue.
- How many clients do you have and what percentage of revenue and profit does each contribute?
- How do you attract new clients?
- Why do they select your company?
- Why do they continue to do business with you?
- What are your overall sales/profit goals for the next few years?
- Can you achieve these goals with the staff already in place?
- If you hired additional people, how will they be managed?
In today’s marketplace there are many different ways to reach out to new prospects that must be considered before investing in additional sales people. Technology has made information more readily available to clients; sales people are no longer seen as the primary source of information. Buyers and decision makers are multi-tasking and are in a state of information overload. Their time is far more valuable and the role of the sales professional has changed dramatically.
What role does marketing play in your business growth? Do you have a well thought out marketing plan and are you implementing it effectively? Creatively designed, successfully executed marketing strategies can not only strategically position your company for growth but can also contribute substantially to your business retention demands.
Define the Sales Professional’s Role
Before embarking on a recruiting and hiring spree, carefully determine the role you want sales people to play. In years past they were responsible for the entire selling process. But, in most organizations today a variety of people have become engaged in this process. Consider these responsibilities:
- Prospecting and confirming new sources of business
- Pre-qualifying prospective clients
- Retaining existing business
- Developing accounts to increase account share
- Managing client relationships at multiple levels
- Integrating technology into business management
- Providing real solutions to clients
By carefully defining the sales role in your organization, you will be far more effective in recruiting and selecting the appropriate people. The skills required to be successful in sales today is quite different than in years past. The job has changed; the market is far more competitive and clients have so many more choices. Expecting a transactional sales person to become a solutions provider or consultative seller is a tall order. It just doesn’t happen very often
Theory of Optimization
If your inclination is to hire new sales people, carefully assess the effectiveness of your current sales staff. The Theory of Optimization is just as important in maximizing output from your sales people as it is for the investment in other areas of your business. Hiring additional, poorly performing sales people will not help you achieve your sales growth goals.
If you still want to Build a Professional Sales Team, read the next article in this series; we will discuss how to select the right people, the first time.