In my years of running sales operations within the software tech industry, I have often assisted companies to establish the reasons their sales teams are not achieving sales quotas, why there are pipeline slippage issues, why sales teams aren’t performing as they should and why companies business plans and bottom line profits are adversely affected.
I have literally heard complaints and excuses hundreds, if not thousands, of times during a career spanning several decades. “The world economy is under strain, Brexit is causing buying doubt, elections are looming, it’s the holiday season” – along with hundreds of other reasons why the sales pipeline is not developing and sales are not closing.
Is this a scenario you recognise?
Do you have an excellent product or technical service which you just know the industry needs?
Are you struggling to generate the sales you feel your business warrants?
Maybe you feel your company isn’t getting the recognition and customer engagement it deserves. –
- And this has been an ongoing issue for some time…
You’ve created a world-leading software product or tech services company that resolves critical issues for a high percentage of companies, cross-industry and verticals.
You’re just not getting the traction you feel you should be getting.
Just what is going on???
The Issue with Tech Entrepreneurs Who Manage
Very often, the people I meet, who experience these issues, come from a technical or financial background – In other words, they have created super-advanced software technology - which is why they have such a great product/s to sell.
The problem is, they do not have the ‘art of selling’ skills & they lack sales processes & tools
In most cases, they simply need a little help to set them on the right path of successfully launching their products and services, to get their product out to the market.
These same people can feel they have tried everything to attract the level of sales they believe their excellent products and services are worthy of.
They have hired sales people and created sales teams.
Nothing seems to work.
The "Peter Principle" Related to Super Sales People
Way back in the 1970s, Laurence J Peter outlined a concept, in his book “The Peter Principle”, which still holds true today.
It is the principle whereby somebody does an excellent job at a certain level and is therefore promoted to the next level. If s/he also does well at that next level, s/he is then promoted again. This continues until the individual doesn’t perform well – And so, they no longer gain promotion but remain stuck at that level – It is what Laurence J Peter called their “level of incompetence” and is something entrepreneur/managers need to recognise within software tech companies.
I often see very talented people develop amazing technologies, who can make a few sales based on pure energy and sometimes, luck. But, as companies transition from start-up to commercial mainstream businesses, the founders, directors and initial start-up teams may lack the skills to scale a company, as they have reached their level of competence.
This is, of course, a generalisation, but you see the point I’m making….
Think very carefully before promoting existing staff to their level of incompetence as it may compound the existing issues resulting in further frustrations and growth delays.
Why have I used this example…? A situation I have encountered countless times throughout my career; the scenario where a top sales person does so well that s/he is promoted to a managerial position, managing a team of sales people, supposedly to improve the overall sales figures for the company.
Sometimes hiring internal staff can achieve great results. However, I have seen many occasions as a company transforms from a start-up or lifestyle business and scales to a corporate growth company, different skills are required - Not just call promoting, internal technical or sales skills.
Making the Transition Beyond Start-Up
As companies evolve, different expertise is required to address critical issues such as how to structure the business to enable scaling, along with additional skills such as how to scale products to enable global market awareness and access. Further supplementary skills are required to build sales teams that can support both local and global sales.
Perhaps you have Account Managers when what you actually need is “Channel Managers”
Maybe you need an Operations Manager to link sales, delivery, development and support. Or maybe you have Telesales people when you really need branding and messaging before hiring any Telesales or Account Managers.
It can seem to be a conundrum. And, once stuck at the impasse, it’s difficult to work out why things aren’t working as you know you have good people – Just, maybe, they’re in the wrong roles…
If you can’t work out why you have growth issues and you’re not getting the sales you need or your pipeline is faltering, what can you do for the best..?
Once a company has progressed beyond the initial start-up or lifestyle phase it may require a different company structure and approach. And, with this, comes the need for different and diverse skillsets.
A Fresh Set of Eyes Can Give You a Clear Insight Into How You are Perceived
You may find value in getting an outside perspective on your business. A diagnostics health check. A new set of eyes that can highlight the good, the bad and the ugly, which can help you focus and execute programs focused on the real hidden gems within your business.
An outside perspective from an unbiased source can very quickly pinpoint the areas that need your focus as well as giving suggestions for areas that simply need tweaks – such as ensuring your messaging is clear & consistent across all collateral & conversations, such as gaps in the sales or marketing processes etc.
A “Sales Diagnostic Health Check” Could Prove Invaluable
A “health check” can help your company formulate a sales business plan, based on the goals you want to achieve. It will help you develop proven plans to amplify your product and/or services in the marketplace and also ensure the language you use connects with your target customers’ needs, and isn’t full of jargon and acronyms that they don’t understand.
In today’s hyper-competitive market, you can no longer afford to live by the principle: ”If you build it they will come.” There is vast competition, fuelled by the adoption of the web, cloud and global, connected markets. The secret to success is to call on skilled specialists who can help you navigate the soft tech world of 2020.
A sales health check can position your company advantageously in your chosen market and, once your message, products and sales business plan are clear for all to understand, that is when you will experience the growth you desire.
Boss Sales Engine
If any the above scenarios resonates with you and you would like to discuss your sales-related issues, please feel free to contact Michael Veenswyk at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bosssalesengine.com/