11 May How to reduce sales costs and increase sales revenue!
Hire an experienced sales person and pay them what they are worth!
Think about it: has your company hired and trained many ‘sales reps’ over the years and after a few months, or a year or two, you part ways. Or do you know of a company that seems to struggle to find and keep good sales people?
This cycle is very expensive to maintain, counterproductive and takes valuable time to constantly rehire and retrain.
Too often it seems like one of the criteria is to hire someone young, good looking (I used to be one of those) and outgoing and mold them into a good revenue producer.
How is that strategy working out?
Question is, who is training and mentoring these new reps?
Is your compensation plan encouraging the right behavior?
How patient are you prepared to be as this new inexperienced rep is ramping up, learning about your company, market, solutions etc?
Sales is the engine for your company. Without it, you likely won’t grow – not at the rate you want to.
You may have the greatest product, solution, widget etc, but without someone to initiate and develop trusted relationships, professionally qualify, listen and identify needs, propose solutions, manage the relationship and create an environment where customers chose to work with you (notice I didn’t say SELL), it won’t matter.
In order to reduce costs would you:
- Hire a younger, inexperienced Controller/VP of Finance or VP of Operations?
- Ask the accounting firm or law firm you work with to assign a junior person to your file?
- Hire a young, less experienced person to oversee your IT department?
Then why do we tend to do this with our sales function?
Experienced, mature, proven effective salespeople are more likely to:
- Be self starters
- Be good listeners vs good talkers
- Understand the benefits of creating win/win scenarios
- Understand the benefits of creating long term relationships vs quick wins
- Have an extensive professional network of relationships they can leverage
- Create an environment of trusted advisor, expertise and professionalism (because of their grey hair – my favourite!)
- Manage the rigours of long buying cycle, rejection, internal challenges and capacity that impact sales, challenging customers and prospects, etc.
Finally, consider this: were you as proficient at your professional expertise 10 or 20 years ago as you are today? You have likely gained skills and knowledge over the years that has allowed you to continually improve at what you do. Professionals who practice Business Development are also continually learning, adapting and improving their abilities. That approach, over many (many) years, allows them to be in a position to help you grow – and allow your organization to focus on what you do best.