27/04/2009 | Sales management
Whilst we don’t claim to have the monopoly on good salesmanship, one of the benefits of the ‘best practice’ model we deploy with our clients, is the chance to raise the bar at least a little.
I was reminded of this during a recent meeting with a very well-run sales operation which was tasked with not only matching the local competition in terms of revenue generation, but achieving this through having to outsell them with a currently less well-thought of and largely forgotten brand. Hiring the best people in the industry today is unlikely to be enough - they need to outperform their peers significantly. Therefore, searching for the answers on how to do this from within this same pool of talent will always limit their options.
What the chairman said to me was that they wanted to add an edge to really good people that wasn’t available in their world today. He wanted a different perspective on what ‘good looks like’ to enable them to shift their performance to the next level.
Despite this particular chairman’s enlightened view of the value of external help, the first question we are usually asked concerns our knowledge of the potential client’s business or market sector. These days we have worked in most sectors of the economy outside retail but even before this we found that a detailed knowledge of the market our clients operate in is rarely necessary. Obviously we need a good grasp of the basic dynamics in the market and the likely pressures on sales people as a result but ultimately best practice is best practice. What varies with each specific market is the significance of the bits you haven’t got and the plan necessary to acquire them.
Being able to benchmark what we find against this more objective view of what good looks like, rather than what you’ve seen before in your industry, is precisely what gives us the edge in helping give you the edge!
Next time the Sales Director in front of you tells you he has a strong team of really good people my advice is ask yourself, "how does he know and what is he comparing them to anyway?"
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