Without sales, there is no business. You can have the best products and services but if no one buys them all you have is inventory.
So as business owners we sell to get the business going and then we hire others to sell into the marketplace to grow the business. As this sales team grows, you as the top salesperson in the company not only take on the continuing effort to sell but also are now required to manage other salespeople. This process continues until one day you decide to hire or promote a person to be a sales manager.
This transition does not always come easy and many times the conflict of doing the sale your way vs. another way can get in the way of progress. There is no question that as the lead owner in the business your passion and your word carry a lot of weight with prospects. Your actions can affect the closing of a sale where your staff using the same approach get shut down or delayed.
For these reasons, you need to have a sales process which can be followed to bring a higher number of qualified opportunities into your organization. As the owner of the business, you may or may not have had some prior sales management experience but with whatever tools you have, they have worked to initially grow your business. That does not necessarily mean it can be repeated consistently going forward.
This week take a look at your sales approach – not the marketing and advertising side of the opportunity creation but from the step of identifying a meaningful qualified lead to the point of making a prospect your longterm customer – closing the sale. The entire sales pipeline can be cultivated more effectively and efficiently by having a defined approach and system for qualifying and investing company resources into an opportunity.
In your business, there is the process of managing a specific sale and there is the process for managing all of the sales and future revenues for the company. Some salespeople are great at managing their own individual sales but fail or flounder when being placed in a management role to manage the sales pipeline for the entire company. In one case the person needs prospect interpersonal skills and in the other, they need both prospect skills and internal company team skills. Motivating a prospect to buy is different from motivating other salespeople to sell.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed too many company owners promoting their best salesperson to be a sales manager only to have them fail in that role. Once this happens, your best salesperson typically can’t stay at the company as a salesperson as they may be looked at as having failed or been demoted. They then go to sell against you at the competition. This can and has been successfully navigated by companies JKL Associates has worked with by having a complete upfront understanding of expectations and the exit plan should it not work out. Both parties are kept whole and both understand the value of each role in the success of the individual and the organization alike.
Looking at your sales team and needing to reflect on potential changes? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to navigate to an effective strategy.