Sales Management Consulting, Part 2
As we discussed in our last post, Sales Management Consulting, Part 1, for many companies hiring a sales consulting company can be a better alternative than hiring a VP of sales.
For a company launching a new sales program, engaging a consulting company to design your sales strategy and help with implementation can be cheaper, easier, and more effective than going to the trouble and expense of hiring a high-level sales executive.
We've already talked about how a sales consulting company can help you define your value proposition, identify your target market, and profile and find appropriate sales representatives for your needs. As you move toward implementation of your sales program, there are still several important components to consider.
Defining Your Sales Process
The sales process is at the heart of your company's sales function. If your sales process is haphazard or ill-defined, your sales team will be greatly handicapped in its ability to perform successfully. You should think about what methods your sales representatives use to find sales prospects, how many contacts it takes to close a sale, and what a typical customer progression looks like.
Most companies also need sales support staff. A sales consulting company can aid you in defining the role of the support staff and sales representatives, as well as thinking through your sales process.
Training Your Reps
Few aspects of your sales program will have as direct of an impact on your sales team's performance as your training program. As well as a thorough grounding in your industry and product, your training program should regularly drill your reps on sales skills. It should include built-in accountability and evaluations.
Good training can make the difference between constant sales force attrition and a stable, productive team. Your training program should promote career development for your sales representatives. It should also include appropriate disciplinary and improvement plans to help non-performing sales representatives.
Keeping and Analyzing Important Metrics
Knowledge is power. When it comes to your sales function, your decisions should always be data-driven. A sales consulting company can help you decide which metrics are important for your business, and how to keep track of those metrics.
Your metrics should help you evaluate your team's performance, individually and collectively. They should tell you whether you are on-track to achieve your objectives, and which of your initiatives are most successful. Appropriate metrics will assist you in making personnel decisions, ongoing revenue forecasts, and plans for expansion.
If you need help with any of these core components of the sales function, consider speaking with a sales consulting company. Many sales consulting companies also provide services like training or recruiting, and can help you with implementation as well as planning, if needed.