- May 17, 2010
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Did you ever stop to think about how much or how little you rely on your advisers? Not your board, not your board of advisers, but your business advisers. These are the individuals from outside of your company that you trust to direct, recommend, advise, consult and help with decisions, strategies, options and solutions to put your business in the best possible position to succeed.
Take a look at the portfolio of advisers to the left.
Every company, except the smallest solopreneurs, must have a commercial banking relationship. Every company, with the possible exception of one being run from home, needs a very good commercial insurance agent. Even companies with CFO’s on the payroll use a CPA firm for compliance, taxes and audits. Most companies with employees utilize a benefits specialist. All but the smallest and largest companies use a payroll service. Every business needs a corporate law firm. While some only rely on them when they get into trouble, most use them for preventative purposes too. Even businesses with a marketing department use marketing, advertising and public relations firms to help with branding, visibility, promotions, creative, and lead generation.
Then we come to the sales consulting firm. Consider that the sales consulting firm is the only one of the advisors listed above that can:
* directly have an affect on revenue
* save money by optimizing the sales force
* increase effectiveness by improving the sales process
* increase productivity by improving pipeline quality and metrics
* increase morale by improving sales effectiveness
* save money by eliminating sales hiring mistakes
* help sales management become more effective at coaching and accountability
* help the company grab market share
* help increase the value of the company
* help the sales force overcome resistance
* help the company increase its margins
* reduce turnover
So it surprises me that despite the value and obvious need for these benefits, many companies do not rely on sales consulting firms because they think they can do it themselves. Their egos get in the way…
Most of the clients I have helped over the years thought the very same thing!
There are a little more than 3,000 sales consulting firms in the US. 1,000 of them are recently-laid off sales VP’s. Many of the 3,000 regurgitate the basics they learned in business. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to identify the real deal from the wanna be’s. The real deals have a long track-record of success in multiple industries, with varied disciplines, challenges, and models. The very best of them are thought leaders. They get people to change. They are truly experts, not inexpensive consultants for hire by the project. You wouldn’t want that any more than you would want an inexpensive lawyer handling your most critical litigation. There is just too much at stake! Just because someone had success in their own company and/or industry, doesn’t mean their experience is duplicatable at your company. It’s a lot like the salesperson or sales manager you hired because they succeeded at a well-known, large company. Why did they succeed there? Why did they fail at your company? Could they have simply been in the right place at the right time when they succeeded but never had to overcome the resistance that’s a part of doing business at your company.
So here’s the question you should be asking yourself; If you could significantly increase sales and profits, while reducing sales costs, what, other than ego, would stop you from getting outside help?