Sales – making the step change for the smaller company

The primary driving factor in high-growth companies is the acquisition of new accounts. However, there are two parts to fast growth: creating it and managing it. If you don’t have the ability on the back end to scale the business, it doesn’t do much good to grow it quickly.

How do you rate on the elements of sales?

Consider the following elements of your sales organisation:

  • marketing, branding and messaging
  • prospecting process
  • sales process
  • process for growing exciting accounts
  • sales management
  • sales staff
  • sales information dashboard.

Then rate yourself on each element, using the following scoring system:

  • 1 = a fatal weakness
  • 3 = same level as our competitors (me-too)
  • 5 = a unique competitive advantage.

If you want to grow quickly, and you score three or lower on any one of these elements, you have a problem. Three or lower means you are no better than the competition, and the best you can do is rise and fall at the same rate as your industry.

Focus on sales process, not sales training

To grow quickly, it’s important to focus on sales process rather than sales training. Most sales training is about one-to-one communication. It emphasises ways to become more effective in the one-to-one relationship.

When you buy sales training for your company, the salesperson benefits the most. However, that asset (the salesperson) regularly leaves you and goes to the competition or out of the industry altogether. So you’re investing in something that has the potential to dramatically deteriorate.

When you improve the sales process, the vast majority of the benefits stay inside the business. As you add sales staff, they have a process to follow – and you have a greater and more predictable potential for success.

It is also important to distinguish between marketing and selling. Marketing is about pushing your message out to the marketplace and seeing how many respond. It is a broadcast approach that carries one message to many. Selling is about going out and communicating a message one-to-one. Both are important, but they need to be used appropriately in order to generate fast growth.

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