What a Sales Consultant Should Do, Part 1
So you've decided you need a sales consultant - someone who can help you develop and implement your sales function. But you have no idea where to start (that's why you need a sales consultant!) and therefore no idea how to decide whether this or that sales consultant will really give you the help you need.
What should a sales consultant do for you? It's a good question. Knowing the fundamentals of what sales consultants do will also give you a good basis for knowing whether the particular sales consultant you are evaluating has what it takes to help you achieve your sales goals.
A Sales Consultant Helps You Identify Your Overall Objectives
A good sales consultant excels at seeing the big picture of your organization and its unique place in your market and industry. But consulting is detail work. Once your sales consultant understands your overall goals and objectives, the next task is to develop a detailed plan to reach those objectives. This involves laying all the necessary groundwork before the first sales call can be made.
Your sales consultant should walk you through the development of your go-to-market message, including defining your value proposition and ROI. He or she will also analyze your current collateral and/or recommend collateral and sales support materials to assist your sales representatives in presenting your product.
Planning for a Sales Force
Once your overall objectives are defined, your sales consultant should help you plan the deployment of your sales force. He or she will assist you in determining which industry segments merit your initial focus, as well as helping you decide how many sales representatives you need. Based on your capacity and resources, your sales consultant will be able to set reasonable expectations for new client acquisition within your designated time-frame.
With the knowledge of how many sales representatives you will be able to support, your sales consultant will help you profile the job, including the reporting relationships, job requirements, and compensation plan. The next step will be to determine a recruiting strategy and establish a plan for its execution, either by you or by an outside sales or recruiting organization.
Developing a Sales Flow
Appropriate integration with the rest of your organization is an essential component of any sales function. A good sales consultant should be able to help you define your sales engagement flow and determine when the hand-off to customer service or fulfillment should occur. He or she will also delve into the nitty-gritties of developing a contact strategy, as well as assisting you with integrating your current Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system into your overall sales function or choosing an appropriate CRM to meet your needs.
The success of your sales team will largely depend upon the amount and quality of training you give them. It is worthwhile engaging a sales consultancy firm that also specializes in sales training, so that you can be assured of a robust training program for your sales representatives.
Ensuring Long-Term Accountability and Sustainability
Your sales consultant should be able to model your entire sales cycle and the expected results of its implementation. For complete forecasting, he or she will establish targeted total compensation for your sales representatives and develop critical path and review points. It is also important that your consultant make clear what are the requirements for communication between your organization and the consultant.
Whether you choose to retain your sales consultant on an long-term basis or not, he or she should assist you in developing ongoing sales and program management requirements.
Here at Netpique sales outsourcing, we would love to be a part of your sales strategy.