- 1. B2B Sales Consulting
- 2. Which Organisations Benefit from Sales Consulting?
- 3. Sales Transformation Consulting
- 4. Sales Leadership
- 5. Sales Consulting Operations
- 6. Sales & Marketing Alignment
- 7. Sales Technology & Tools
- 8. Our Consulting Approach
- 8.1 Establish the Need for Change
- 8.2 Create a Driving Force – A Change Team
- 8.3 Develop a Vision, Goals & Strategy
- 8.4 Planning
- 8.5 Communicating the Change Vision
- 8.6 Empower the Sales Team
- 8.7 Generate Short Term Wins
- 8.8 Consolidate & Grow More
- 9. Sales Consulting Services
- 10. Recommended Reading
1. B2B Sales Consulting
Our B2B Sales Consulting services have a flexible approach and are designed around the individual needs of our clients, their organisation and their circumstances.
Whilst many businesses share common business challenges including when they are growing, every business is unique and we recognise that there is no one-size solution that fits all.
Our background and experience in Business to Business sales provides a solid foundation to accurately diagnose and provide an initial analysis from which our clients can make informed decisions before committing to any next steps.
2. Which Organisations Benefit from Sales Consulting?
We work with Chief Execs of SME’s and Mid Market organisations who need a Trusted Advisor specialising in Sales to provide objective & pragmatic advice.
They typically have a great product or service but are frustrated with their sales results and often need additional support for their time-poor Sales Leadership Team.
We work with companies who need to drive improvements and performance across the whole Sales function, and provide the vital Lead Generation strategies to hunt down, and Kloze new business opportunities.
We recognise no two businesses are the same, and therefore we spend time upfront to learn about the business and the people before we make any recommendations.
3. Sales Transformation Consulting
Regardless of where the company is it’s important to acknowledge and evaluate the different options available for sales growth. The smaller the change, the smaller the change in results. The larger the change programme is, then the outcomes can change dramatically. That said there can be many genuine reasons to only make small interventions and not go for the larger prize that a full-blown sales transformation project would deliver. For example, if the Stakeholders are preparing to exit a successful business it might not make sense to start a full Sales Transformation project however if the Stakeholders are some years away from an exit then you could argue the sooner the Sales Transformation starts the better.
Sales Transformation can take many different forms depending on the goals of the Stakeholders however the most common problems Sales Leaders face are:
- Lack of employee engagement. Staff are there but their hearts are not in it and they are simply going through the motions and have become “stuck” in their comfort zones.
- Substandard Sales Performance. The Salespeople are delivering results and in some cases good results however no records are being broken and what’s worse is there is no aspiration to break the existing sales records.
- Accountability. There is no sense of ownership for anything other than the Sales Wins. Accountability is about taking responsibility and owning the day to day often mundane activities that drive results days, weeks and months down the line. Accountability is taking ownership when the sales are lost and working out how to ensure the reasons for the loss never happen again.
- Sales Vision and Values. Living the vision and values of the sales team is a core part of building a winning sales culture and are integral to the success of the company.
- Sales Planning. Effective sales planning drives, records and reports on the changes in both the strategic plans and the improvement plans that drives every business forward.
4. Sales Leadership
Leading any organisation is never easy, however, leading an organisation through a period of change and transformation is probably the most difficult challenge any leader will face. The modern sales leader needs a broad set of skills, habits and traits that inspire and engage their team.
Arguably the most important trait of the leader is a level of consistency and determination to drive change and move the organisation forward. Leaders with Passion and Charisma all to often grab the headlines however passion can burn out and is no match for consistency and determination when applied in the right way.
More often the greatest leaders stand in the shadows allowing their team the credit of success but stepping forward to take responsibility when things go wrong.
Leadership often involves thinking the unthinkable and going against the tide of conventional thinking.
They knew they needed to change the business and move away from semi-conductors but with 10’s of thousands of employees, 100’s of thousands of systems and processes based on the manufacturing of semiconductors they also know it wouldn’t be a popular decision with everyone at Intel.
The move from semi-conductors into microprocessors proved to be genius however the greatest achievement was leading the company through that change.
Years later Forbes noted that when people are emotionally involved which comes through years of doing the same thing they find it most difficult to embrace change.
The people new to the Intel organisation found the move to microprocessors easier than those valued employees who had been with them from the start.
Change is difficult for people and this should be acknowledged and included from the start.
5. Sales Consulting Operations
Finding and applying the right sales solutions to help a business grow is never easy however it’s important to have a consistent approach to accurately diagnose the business first before rushing to any solutions.
Our approach includes:
- Sales do not happen in isolation from the rest of the business, so we look at the business as a whole from a sales perspective, and we will advise you on any necessary changes across your business to “grease the sales wheels”.
- We work with you to implement any changes and then we will help your team with the execution. Our clients like this approach because they don’t have the time to do all these things themselves and they recognise the benefits of an end to end sales consulting solution.
- In most cases, training is the WRONG place to start, because unless you have the systems, process, structure and governance in place, then in all likely hood the training will just be great fun, and we are more interested in results. We will do training, but only when we’re sure it will be effective and stick.
- Once we implement any new solution we will need your people to do certain things like phone, email, visit & network with prospects & customers. There are no shortcuts for hard work. and if your salespeople don’t like hard work, we cannot help them. We will not coach or train these people as it is not a good investment of your resources or ours.
Often sales training is the wrong starting point for a Sales Transformation project as unless the organisation and people have the ability, systems and structure in place to absorb and benefit from the training there will be little or no long term impact on results.
6. Sales & Marketing Alignment
Where traditionally Sales & Marketing operated as two separate functions within the business, study after study shows the benefits of aligning these activities. Best practice in Sales & Marketing now shows that the best marketers can sell and the best salespeople are themselves, marketers.
For many businesses the alignment starts and unfortunately ends with marketing automation software, however, best in class organisations have a deeper integration with initiatives around Account-Based Marketing and Marketing Flywheels forcing teams to work together in a more meaningful way rather than the superficial way that a software-only approach can follow.
7. Sales Technology & Tools
With the advent of the internet and the world, wide web Sales Departments that were previously restricted to a single copy of the local Yellow Pages are now flooded with apps and tools to help drive productivity and results. Unfortunately, most apps and sales tools are rarely used to their full capability and some can even be a distraction to the real high-value sales activity that drives results.
It’s not uncommon for Salespeople to demand a new CRM only to then not use the CRM in the same way that they never used the previous CRM system. We love technology and have successfully implemented many new CRM systems however changes in technology applications can be time-consuming and distract sales leadership from more productive areas of sales improvement.
We have no affiliation with any CRM or Sales Tool providers to ensure that when we are working with any business we can provide the best, impartial advice based on our clients needs not our own.
8. Our Consulting Approach
Should you choose to work with us it’s important that you understand the processes we follow. With growth comes change and it’s important to recognise that Change in itself can be difficult for people and in turn for every business. We believe in including the people in the business as much as possible from the start via an 8 Step process adapted from Harvards wider business change model. This includes the formation of a Change team from your organisation to help design, implement and manage the changes throughout the business.
We will help the Sales Change team to:
8.1 Establish the Need for Change
For example, hosting a series of meetings highlighting recent successes of your competitors against your sales team. Show data if available confirming the rise of your competition and their overall successes. Identify industry trends and industry thought leaders that validate the need for change.
Use customer complaints and poor customer satisfaction survey results to communicate end-user dissatisfaction.
Where possible, share data that shows any losses to confirm the need for a change in sales strategy. Share any relevant and recent negative press clippings. Eliminate complacency and indifference. Use forecasting tools to reinforce the size and scope of the problem. Identify any obstacles, such as people and technology to the change. Create a sense of urgency towards the idea of change.
8.2 Create a Driving Force – A Change Team
The more people driving change increases the chances of change taking place. A winning Change team will have the authority to overrule any people obstacles. Expertise in the relevant areas. Credibility within the organization so people listen when the team speaks and Leadership skills to drive the process forward. Lastly, the team must have a data analyst who is responsible for capturing and disseminating supporting data. Drive responsibility for the change downward and wherever possible use scorecards for measurement that tie into personal reviews. Where possible incentivise the Change team to reward success.
The Change team must understand they are responsible for the success of the project. The Leadership of the organisation is responsible for Vision & Strategy, Management is responsible for planning and execution.
8.3 Develop a Vision, Goals & Strategy
For any journey to be successful we need to define the destination or vision before we start. The Vision must engage everyone involved, not simply the company leadership and must get people on board and get them engaged. Set change goals which are both realistic and achievable and define the strategy for achieving the goals.
In order to ensure the Change team are engaged they should be responsible for creating the project plan and the budgets. Use external facilitators to “guide” the change team when planning as they may have never been involved in a similar process.
There may well be pushed back from the Change Team in terms of what they envisage the solution to be. The Change Team must be prepared to accept external guidance in terms of the solution from experts and senior stakeholders. Effective planning would include bi-weekly meetings and contingency plans if the journey becomes difficult. Planning would also include any required changes with technology and people which could block the change process. Create and document examples of best practice and share amongst salespeople.
8.5 Communicating the Change Vision
Develop a communications plan so that the Vision is communicated daily in as many different ways as possible. Emails, Newsletters, Presentations, Meetings, Offsites, Video Conferencing, Intranet, Workshops etc. Create a Buzz within the organisation to ensure the Vision is front of mind for everyone, every day. Develop tag lines, competitions and rewards. Every employee must understand what is in it for them, security, financial, promotion etc. The Vision needs to spread like a virus through the company and stick. Salespeople need confirmation of their new roles and responsibilities and most importantly of all sales, people need to confirmation of any attitudes and behaviours. Use scorecards to measure performance and ensure salespeople know this is linked to their annual reviews.
8.6 Empower the Sales Team
Remove or realign any and all obstacles of Change such as technology and people. Provide training and then ongoing coaching to support salespeople. Have as many short stand-up meetings as time permits to keep people focussed.
8.7 Generate Short Term Wins
Success breeds success so by generating short term wins that we can relay to the sales floor is essential to maintaining momentum.
Furthermore, this helps undermine any people blocking the change, keeps people on board and provides hard data to validate the strategy. Develop mini case studies to share on the sales floor and use forecasting tools to demonstrate the long term effect of the change.
8.8 Consolidate & Grow More
At this point the danger is the salespeople ease up as they feel a sense of accomplishment. Salespeople will claim they get it and are doing it, but in reality, they have only partially changed. This is the make or break point, as salespeople will only have adopted some of the change – the bits they are comfortable with. Easing up now will only see the change start to regress and before long the organisation will be back where it started. Managers now more than ever need to hold the salespeople accountable to the new behaviours.
Please note our expertise and experience in driving change within sales teams allows us to provide a unique and objective service, where we can facilitate the initial meetings that provide the foundation for change. This ensures the above process is refined and bespoke to your organisation for maximum impact.
9. Sales Consulting Services
We have a small team of Consultants who have many years of experience working with Startups, SME’s, Mid Market and Enterprise organisations like Microsoft, Vodaphone and RBS.
This has allowed our team to understand first hand what works and what doesn’t work in terms of driving real sales growth.
10. Recommended Reading
You can read more about and download all the FREE tools templates and guides mentioned in this article via our Sales Tools page.