In forty years of conducting professional sales training, I’ve learned that frequently the problem with a company’s ability to produce profitable revenue does not rest in the hands of the salespeople. Rather, the suppression of sales, albeit inadvertent, is a function of sales process bottlenecks.
You see, all salesforces have processes. Most of these processes are not written down, and very few are managed metrically. Regardless, there’s a process in place that goes beyond the old management approach of cliché-laden “cheerleading” sessions. But, senior management has to consider the processes that occur after a prospect has signed a contract or engaged your services.
Many of the sales teams with which I’ve worked joke about a “sales prevention department”. This is a derogatory nickname for the individual or the department that causes headaches for the sales team. These headaches translate into a reduction of sales time. Our Time & Task Analysis shows us that the average salesperson 34% of their day doing administrative work. Tragically, 60% of 34% is because someone in the sales prevention department made a mistake. The customer ordered blue, the plant shipped red; that’s a mistake that a salesperson has to remedy.
If you are training your salespeople but you are not training the balance of your organization to treat your customers with respect, to complete all tasks on time, and to always live up to every commitment to the customer, then you may be training the wrong people. Before you engage anybody to train your salespeople, make sure you’re investing your time and money towards correcting the true problem. By reducing or eliminating the bottlenecks that reduce the available sales time, you actually will realize a strong uptick in your top line.
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