Is Your Sales Force Obsolete?
Your Company seems to have all the right stuff. So, why aren’t you crushing your sales goals?
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR WAY OUT OF A SLUMP
This white paper is going to explain some things about the nature of learning and behavior, and why those things matter desperately to salespeople and the companies that employ them. To put the discussion in context, let’s start with a true story.
Call it X Corp. You would recognize its real name. It is a highly respected, multi-billion-dollar company with more than 1,400 business-to-business salespeople worldwide.
On paper, X Corp is a model organization. It has ambitious but realistic goals for continuous growth. It has
carefully laid plans to achieve those goals. It has a sophisticated reporting structure and appropriate management systems for a company of its size. It has an effective incentive-based compensation plan for
salespeople and sales managers. It has a respected brand and a great marketing operation. Its salespeople
thoroughly understand their industry and the technologies that they sell.
X Corp had all the right stuff…except for one thing. Sales began to slump. When we looked at their situation, we found they lacked a modern selling process that would foster continuous growth in the skills of their salespeople. We suspected those skill deficiencies were damaging sales and profits.
X Corp sent its sales reps to various training programs from time to time, and they picked up some useful
techniques. But there was no systematic process–no unifying framework–that allowed the salespeople to adapt to changing conditions, build upon and refine their skills, and keep getting better at their jobs. They grew just so far, and then they hit a plateau–or slid slowly into obsolescence. Those who had been on the job for 15 years didn’t really have 15 years of experience; they had the same year of experience 15 times.
SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM?
Salespeople were in constant “react” mode when working with customers. When competitors offered lower prices, X Corp’s salespeople saw no option except to match the cutrate prices, thereby sacrificing margins. They spent their time dealing with trivial problems that kept them from selling new accounts and growing existing ones. They wandered from client to client with no productive objectives for their calls–no “Commitment Objectives” for client agreements that would move the sales process forward. They simply responded to whatever came up that day.
Their routes had turned into ruts.