We are very careful to avoid making early assumptions about the causes of underperformance in sales. We borrow a turn of phrase from the medical community: “Prescription without diagnosis, is malpractice”.
Through a series of well-honed steps, we gather the insights required to make the right changes to your team and/or processes to lift performance and create a winning culture.
Step 1. Diagnose
Before we determine how your sales team can perform better, we go through a proven diagnostic process to understand what is not working.
In our experience, many clients pinpoint a problem with the sales team but, when we dig a little deeper, we discover problems lie elsewhere as well and it is important to be across all the performance influencers.
The diagnostic process is tailored to every client but yours will include the following steps.
MEET the team for open lines of communication
WHY: We do not take one person or group’s assessment of the business at face value. Instead, we dig deeper to understand how the business operates, whether processes are efficient, and whether the culture is geared for success.
HOW: We talk to key decision makers to drill down and understand the scope of the problem.
We will assess:
- Where they think the problem lies
- What they think needs to be done to fix it and what has already been tried
- The goals the company is trying to achieve and whether they are realistic.
We take the same approach when we meet with the sales team to understand processes and gauge their level of sales insight, organisation and efficiency.
By taking this action, we are not relying on you or your team for the answers – we are looking for inbuilt biases and other obstacles to profit that would act as roadblocks to our recommended changes.
OUTCOME: This allows us to develop a comprehensive and objective view and diagnose what went wrong.
ASSESS the structure and performance of the team for ourselves
WHY: We will assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses and determine whether you have the right people in the right roles.
HOW: To do this, we will accompany your team on sales trips, listen in on phone calls and evaluate the quality of written communication in a thorough and impartial evaluation.
A rule-of-thumb benchmark is that each salesperson should be making at least 10 times their salary in pure sales, or three times their salary in gross profit. Is your team doing that?
OUTCOME: We will have a good understanding of whether you have the right number of people, in the right roles, with the skills to drive more profit.
MAP sales process
WHY: Once we properly understand the products/services you sell and how your team goes about it, we will map the current (actual) sales processes and demonstrate the benefits of the changes we recommend
HOW: We compare your current process to the ideal process for your product/service and the market in which you operate.
OUTCOME: We will quickly identify gaps in the prospect-to-customer conversion process, or ineffective processes that are failing and show you what changes are required to improve them.
REVIEW documents such as proposals and tenders, sales tools and sales collateral
WHY: The best sales team in the world will be less effective if the tools to support them are not up to scratch
HOW: We will assess whether proposals and tenders are clear, easy to read and powerful conversion tools.
We will look at your CRM and assess its effectiveness. If your database is not in a position to be used for ongoing email marketing, we will put processes in place to clean the data so your leads are high quality and easier to convert
And we will evaluate your collateral, email proposals and data sources.
OUTCOME: Clearer, more compelling proposals and tender responses that convert at a higher rate.
Cleaner, more accurate data that can be better used by your sales team and/or more powerful sales collateral to pull more prospects into your sales funnel.
RESEARCH your market
WHY: We do this to gain an external perspective on your team’s performance and uncover hidden profit inhibitors
HOW: Meet 10-30 clients, lost clients and failed prospects. These are often the most important sources of performance-boosting insights.
OUTCOME: Strong market feedback to underpin our recommendations and ensure there is a consideration of external influences in our overall evaluation of your team.
UNDERSTAND your core Value Proposition
WHY: Is there a compelling difference between your product or service and your competitors and substitutes? If not, your sales team’s job will be harder than necessary.
HOW: We will assess whether your products or services have inherent value advantages over the competition and make recommendations for change to bring about competitive advantages.
OUTCOME: Defining your core value proposition is an integral part of lifting many sales teams’ performances. If it is an issue for your company, we will help you see what could be done to make it more powerful.
Once we have diagnosed the problem(s), we will prescribe solutions and then roll up our sleeves to implement them.
Step 2: Prescribe the solution
After taking the comprehensive steps outlined above, we will be ready to prescribe the particular mix of activity that will address your team’s underperformance.
In the past we have let staff go, hired new team members, trained them, managed them, established new procurement policies, changed pricing strategy, opened new sales channels, closed existing ones and much more to address the problems we diagnosed.
Step 3: Implement
If you prefer, we can work with you on steps one and two only and give you what you need to implement our recommendations. Alternatively, we can see the process through from start to finish and implement all recommendations, even acting as interim sales managers or general managers to deliver the performance turnaround.
The typical result? Accelerated growth, increased employee engagement, elevated sales team performance and amplified profits.For objective, straight-talking advice from sales management experts with 20 years of multi-industry experience, call 1300 36 20 27 or send in this form.