Cre8tive Logic Insights
Enhance Your Sales Structure
Sept 2021 | Written By David Yovich
Very rarely do established businesses take time to reevaluate their sales process unless revenue has been declining. Even then, companies tend to focus on the personnel, not the process. In steady times, the mindset is always, “why fix something that’s not broken.” This mentality to only see the immediate situation hinders the ability to plan, evaluate, and improve current strategies, which could propel the organization to a new level of growth.
The Island sales model is the most traditional. Here, each sales rep is responsible for bringing in new customers, maintaining relationships with current customers, and operating independently. In many cases, they find and nurture the lead, then, if needed, bring in help, maybe from engineering, product management, or the sales manager, for the final close. The model works well in small, very niche markets where a group of salespeople has the ability to thoroughly canvass the majority of current customers. However, the biggest issue with this model is that it relies on individual processes, not a well-defined, repeatable process to allow for growth. In addition, customers define your brand based on interaction with the sales rep, which relies too heavily on an individual’s product knowledge and expertise rather than the company’s.
The Assembly Line
When Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line in 1913, it revolutionized manufacturing. The time it took to build a car went from 12 hours to 33 minutes. The assembly line sales model takes those same principles and applies them to the sales process. Instead of guiding one prospect through the entire funnel, sales reps focus on one part of the funnel and are responsible for all the prospects currently in that phase. In practice, companies would have a prospecting team, a sales development team, an account executive team, and a customer service team. It’s an efficient structure that facilitates consistency, metrics, and repeatable processes that allow for scalability. Two major downfalls that companies have when implementing this model are that it requires a much larger personnel commitment. In addition, it sacrifices the ability of sales reps to develop a deeper relationship with customers as they move through the sales funnel.
Developing A Hybrid:
The Island and Assembly Line models are on the complete opposite sides of the spectrum. In most cases, a system in any given company is likely already well entrenched, and to entirely dismantle it and start anew only works in textbooks and hypotheticals. But what can be done is to break apart your company’s current sales process, sales cycle, and sales hurdles to focus on enhancing, not restructuring. For example, if your sales team really performs well in growing current customer accounts, but struggles with bringing in new customers, then fix the front end of the sales process. Develop a lead prospecting strategy to attract new potential customers. That could involve hiring a salesperson whose sole responsibility is to hunt for new business opportunities and subsequently hand them off to the existing sales team. Instead of hiring, consider outsourcing to a third party to find potential customers. If you struggle with repeat business, find out why. Assuming it’s product or service issues, meaning selling the wrong solutions, the lack of relationship building between the customer and the salesperson is the root cause. Maybe the customers don’t understand your complete capabilities, or your salesperson is so focused on gaining new customers they haven’t nurtured the current ones. Instead of redirecting the sales, build up a customer service team that can help continually nurture current customers. No matter your scenario, it’s essential to learn different processes in order to evaluate and improve your current one correctly. Treat your company’s sales strategy as a well-oiled machine that can sometimes use some tweaks here and there to give it that extra bit of performance and efficiency.