Sales Management Consulting, Part 1
When you need to start or ramp up a sales team, the obvious choice might be to hire a new VP of Sales and let him or her take care of everything. However, for many companies, a better option may be engaging a sales management consulting company.
For a fraction of the cost of finding and hiring a top-notch Sales VP, you can have a sales consulting company design you a sales program from the ground up. Many sales management consulting companies also offer implementation of sales activities such as ongoing sales rep recruitment and sales training.
Sales Management Consulting and Building a Sales Program
To decide what type of sales management consulting your company could benefit from, it is often helpful to break down the different components of a properly functioning sales program. Understanding what goes into a well-constructed sales program is the first step toward building a foundation of success for your sales team, and finding the sales management consulting options that would work best for you. In this first of two posts on sales management consulting, we'll help you understand the strategic elements you should have in place before you start hiring those sales people.
Define Your Value Proposition
Before you build a sales program, and certainly before you even think about hiring any sales reps, you MUST have a clearly defined value proposition. If you have not yet defined your value proposition, you should consider availing yourself of a sales management consulting company that can walk you through the steps of asking the right questions and clarifying your product offering and its value to your customers.
Identify Your Target Market
Along with defining your value proposition, identifying your target market and verticals is a crucial preliminary to developing a successful sales program. You should know who your customers are (age, interests, etc.), where they live, and what problems your product solves for them.
Unless you have a very broadly appealing product, you should identify the specific verticals (narrowly defined industries or groups of customers with similar needs) to whom you intend to market your product. The more closely you can identify your target market, the more successful you will be at presenting your product to them in a way that appeals to them.
Profile Your Ideal Sales Rep
Once you have clarified your value proposition and target market, you are ready to think about the composition of your sales team. What level of sales talent does your product require? Do you need reps experienced in your industry? What about education levels? More experienced reps may perform more independently, but can also be very expensive. Do you have a sales support structure in place that will allow you to hire less expensive talent?
With your sales rep profile in hand, you'll be prepared to start thinking about how to find these reps. Posting an ad on a job board or in a local paper might be a small start, but to successfully recruit quality reps you will need much more. To maintain headcount, you will likely need to build or enlist the services of a full-time recruiting department.
A sales management consulting company can walk you through the process of defining your value proposition, identifying your target market, and profiling your ideal sales rep, as well as potentially provide you with ongoing services such as test marketing and sales rep recruitment. In our next post, we'll talk about building a sales process, training program, and sales metrics.