Making a sales team just 5% more effective puts a straight 5% to the top and bottom lines – and unlike product or brand development, such gains can be had for very little money.
Investing in ‘product’, whilst absolutely necessary and a possible source of great competitive advantage, is by no means a guarantee of profitable growth. Many technology companies spend 1 ~ 3% of revenue on this – and just mark time with the market. Essentially, it counters the competitors product developments.
Investing in ‘brand’, whilst similarly necessary, is only marginally impactful at best (and is often designed to influence analysts ahead of customers). It is expensive. It may act to qualify you as a valid supplier but it can only rarely confer competitive advantage. Essentially, it counters the competitors reputation and informs the market of yours, and your products’.
Investing in ‘sales team’ is an entirely different proposition. By investment I don’t mean sales commissions, incentives and the like – these are simply ‘cost of sale’ items like freight, manufacturing costs, etc. No, investment in the sales team is investing money (and management time) in enhancing the individual sales-person’s abilities to sell – teaching them, coaching them and equipping them so that they can make more and better sales. This not only counters the sales capabilities of competitors but provides increased value (both perceived and real) that the customer can and will pay for.
But wait. There’s more! Truly great sales staff – ‘Sales Legends’ – have demonstrable integrity which reflects onto their employers reputation. ‘Sales Legends’ engender customer enthusiasm, which not only enhances the client’s experience but which also turns those clients into part of their sales force. ‘Sales Legends’ enjoy long-term relationships, bringing strategic value to their clients, effectively inoculating their clients against the efforts of the competition.
I offer a range of services that can help you develop a team of ‘Sales Legends’ to further hone your experienced sales staff.
I also offer the foundational “Sell.IT” for those just embarking on their sales career, and the crucially important (but often overlooked) training for pre- and post-sales technical staff “Consult. Can Sell.” – the role of the ‘Non-Salesperson’. But hey, we’re all in sales. Right?
Note that all of these offerings are targeted at those who work in the complex sales environments common to IT, and are consciously ‘non-generic’ in that regard. Yes, all ‘sales’ use psychology – and a whole lot of other stuff too, but sales of IT make use of a much wider and unique blend of skills. That is why I believe that it is essential to have focused, non-generic training that is based on what works – not just on cognitive theory or the latest in neuroscience (‘though I will use that where it fits).