Revenues missing target? Here's one simple way to make your salespeople more successful.
Normally I write about marketing for small and mid-sized business-to-business (B2B) companies. This post, though, is about something very closely related to marketing – how to make your salespeople more successful.
I had two conversations recently on the challenge of revenue generation (aka, sales) for small businesses. And I heard two situations where a company wasn’t getting the results it had expected from its salespeople.
The first conversation was with a friend who has a food products company. She has great products and the company has really started to hit its stride. One of the employees, who is responsible for product demos and various other activities, has recently been tasked with selling the company’s products into new accounts. But the owner is finding that this individual keeps focusing on the non-selling tasks. And the sales aren't happening.
The other conversation happened with a friend who leads a non-profit. Although it’s a non-profit, it still needs sales (aka, donations). The organization is finding that its chief salesperson, who wears several other hats, isn’t getting the donations. Somehow the other tasks in his job description are managing to take up his entire week - and more - so that he never has time to do sales.
Did you notice the common thread in both these situations?
These situations have a common root, and it’s one that many small businesses face.
The challenge is that small businesses like to have (and need) people to wear multiple hats. We need the office manager to also handle accounts payable and help out with project delivery when needed. We need the person who does marketing to also handle internal communications and staff functions. This is small business reality.
But when it comes to sales, wearing many hats can be a killer.
When a business (large or small) has an employee who is responsible for sales as well as for something else, anything else, I can almost guarantee you that they will do the ‘other’ stuff first and find ways for their whole week to get filled up with ‘other’ activities. And sales won't happen.
Sales is hard and it has a rhythm of its own. When a salesperson is dedicated to selling, they get into the rhythm of it and they have a hope of being successful at it. When a salesperson does other things – administration, graphic design, delivery, whatever – they won’t be able to get into the rhythm and they won’t sell.
So, small businesses – if you want your salespeople to be more successful, you have to give them nowhere to hide from selling. Make selling their sole task. They sell, or they go.
In this case - it's better to put all of your eggs in one basket.