21/07/2015 | Tell tale signs
Some recent work with a private equity-backed company highlighted a common issue with the business plans we see. They are often written without the knowledge of what might actually be required on the ground in terms of raw sales activity, to deliver them.
This particular business is trying to move into a new market with new propositions and has been doing so for well over 12 months - with only limited success.
What is now very clear is that the business is hugely under-resourced with around half of the people required to carry out the large quantities of the various types of sales activity that we now all understand will be necessary. The past 12 months of underperformance are therefore hardly a surprise.
The key issues are understanding the various steps within the (for them new) sales process and the quantities of activity necessary to drive an opportunity from one end to the other. To do this we need to know, or at least make an educated guess at, the likely conversion rations at each stage and keep an eye on the time each activity will take to complete. Armed with this relatively straightforward information we can then size the necessary resource and either recruit accordingly or, much less likely obviously but still possible in these difficult times, scale back the revenue ambitions for the business.
The process outlined above is hardly revolutionary of course. Its exactly the same thought process you’d expect any self-respecting Operations Director to follow when trying to establish his capacity to deliver future growth - it just doesn’t seem to be followed when it come to the ‘smoke and mirrors’ world of the selling department.
I often wonder why?
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