I don’t know about you but I just love the series of car shows on TV. Texas Metal, Bitchin Rides, Girls Garage, Overhaulin’, and Iron Resurrection are a few of my favorites. The most awesome thing, besides the cool factor of building a badass rides is the vision of the re-build. They all have a knack of seeing something in a piece of junk that no one else sees. They can visualize the outcome and they are masters of their trade. This got me thinking about a grave problem in the business world as it relates to sales development. I feel compelled to call out mid-market CEO’s, Presidents, and Owners.
If you ask any CEO, President, or Business Owner if they have a ‘Go To’ for legal issues they say Yes! Same goes for Labor Law, H/R, Finance and everything else but Sales. All of these experts are outside the organization. Ask them who they rely on for sales and they will say, my Sales VP, CRO, SM, EVP of Sales or someone that is internal in the organization.
Stay with me here: We all have a point of reference. There is a point of reference when you decide on where to shop for groceries, how much something should cost, best airlines, leadership foundation, even when to cut the grass, and what level to set your blades depending on time of year. Don’t get me wrong, the Sales VPs, CROs, SM’s and EVP’s are 90% good people, who work hard to do the right thing and do their best in their respective roles.
Let’s take a look at a typical mid-market company with 75 employees, 18 sales staff, 2 Sales Managers, and a VP generating $36MM a year. They have the typical sales issues: not enough new business, lower than 40% closing ratio, weak accountability, poor pipeline forecasting, 25% margins, heavy competition, and not the market leader and not the market underdog. Sales is a focus to grow. The VP and the SM’s have a point of reference as well. Combined they may have worked with 100, 300, or even 500 salespeople over their combined 68 years in their sales leadership roles. This is the Business Leader’s ‘Go To’ for sales to grow the business 15-30% or more in the next year. This represents about $5MM in revenue. If the sales leaders could have fixed the sales issues they would have already done so.
However, they wind up chasing the bullseye around the target. Let’s install a CRM. Let’s get some inbound going. Let’s run some contest. Let’s modify the compensation plan. Let’s do some scripts. Let’s compare to our competitors. Let’s bring in a motivational speaker. Let’s talk to our industry association. Let’s talk to our Mastermind group. Let’s try this or that. And nothing moves you closer to the goal. Let’s…. Let’s…. Lets… Oh hell, I don’t know what to try next??? The business sales plan du jour is constantly disrupting the team.
Here’s the problem. Working with even 500 salespeople with a combined experience of 68 years they have what we call mirror thinking. Everyone thinks alike because they have the same or similar limited experience. Time does not equal wisdom. Due to their reference point and limited exposure to hundreds of different business models with 10’s of thousands of sales, SM and VP’s. Wildly different business and sales models can be pirated for this mid-market company’s growth. A different point of reference. A point of reference like the legal ‘Go To’ who has litigated thousands of cases and counseled with thousands of attorneys. If there is a discrimination lawsuit with a potential liability to the company to the tune of $5MM you can bet the Business Leader would hire the most expensive Labor Law Attorney they can find.
Why is it that all Business Leaders don’t have a ‘Go To’ Sales Expert? This is not a plug for me and my company Sales Development Expert. I don’t care if you hire me or one of my colleagues or one of my competitors, hire someone! Get a ‘Go To’ Sales Development Expert. This is a call out to all Business Leaders who are frustrated because sales are stagnate.
Check out some tools below that will show you the effectiveness of your sales team: