Sales Force Development
Not achieving desired top-line growth can be a great concern for any business. The usual reaction is to consider sales training and/or adding more sales people that are just like the top producer. All of this helps and sometimes, just enough to mask some very basic facts. To start with, if the right sales people are not in position to deal with the current difficult economy, training is wasted money and doing it is “like polishing a brick!” Another trap is moving to duplicate the success of the top producer. That top producer may NOT be the best producer the business could have. It doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t the best or it could mean that the person is simply the “best of the worst.” How do you really know? Maybe you do have the right people and something else needs adjusting. What would you do if you knew exactly what was needed to achieve the sales you want and could make decisions based on a very clear base of information.?
Sales Force Development is NOT training. It is about strategically positioning your company versus the competition so that you are successful. Training in itself provides an improved skill set for the sales staff and can be ONE essential ingredient to consider, but it is critical to start at the TOP. That process includes determining what the end result should be—the goals that are needed or desired. That not only includes the setting of the revenue goals, it also includes the productivity of the sales people involved and the leadership of the sales manager. The metrics need to determine if the effectiveness, efficiency and effort are really there.
In other words, a strategic plan needs to be developed that will embrace all of the above and an action plan established to assure that implementation occurs. It all starts with a clear understanding of what is to be achieved. That follows with evaluations and assessments of the current sales force. This provides the base reference from which considered decisions can truly be made going forward. Do I really have the right people in place? Should I be replacing “C” players with “A” players? What ROI could I get by improving their sales skills now that I know what is needed? Could ROI be improved by providing team training to establish synergism? Is coaching needed? What other changes need to be made? How I can be assured that I am hiring for success? A good Sales Force Development program addresses all of those challenges!
RECOMMENDED ACTION: (Tools, analysis, recommendations, consulting, coaching, facilitation and training are all available and provided by The Balzer Companies as an integral part of Strategic Business Development)
1st : Do an OMG Impact Analysis (IA) on the existing sales force. That establishes a base reference that tells you what you are dealing with. It will identify strengths as well as weaknesses and will give you a sense of what ROI you may garner by making the needed improvements.
2nd : Initiate the considered activity that will improve and further develop your sales force in order to achieve your targeted growth plans.
3rd : Within the year, assess the progress being made.