Hi Sue, I liked your blog and agree with you, training and support are absolutely essential for success. A good sales team is a precious commodity.
I met a business owner last week that was complaining about sales. In fact, more specifically, his sales team and sales manager. The complaint was that they were useless, but had come to him with great resumes and references. He had sacked six in the past two years for under-performance.
He insisted that when he goes out on the road that he has nearly a 100% sales conversion and could not understand what these guys were doing wrong. I asked him if he’d shadowed them on their trips and he said that he hadn’t because he paid them enough. I asked him if he trained them and he said they had a sales training day off-site once a year but concentrated more on performance than technique. I asked him how much time he spent selling and he said that he was office-bound these days and never gets out, that’s what he hired the sales guys to do.
My gut feeling is that his products and service are actually good and in demand. His lead generation, predominantly through online marketing, is filling his pipeline with good qualified leads.
However, he is turning over $5 million and not making a profit or even taking a wage. Selling isn’t my bag, training sales teams is certainly not my thing, so I found in my network a great sales trainer and this week we’ll bring the guys in, train them, rev them up and let them go. This will only cost him a couple of thousand and could mean the difference between the closure of survival of his business. Some things are very complex and some things are hiding in plain site.
Deep down this owner knew what the issue was but didn’t know where to find the answer. When you’re in his situation look for simple things that can change.