Are You Throwing Salespeople at a “Growth Problem?”
In my recent newsletter, I discussed how the 2018 SMB Insights Report highlighted overall optimism from business owners due to sales increases and personal net worth improvement. However, it is alarming to me when reviewing the job boards today and realizing how many open positions there are for sales representatives and sales managers. I cannot help but draw a correlation between the two – Revenue Growth and Sales Resource Hiring. We should exercise caution. Here’s why …
A Knee-Jerk Reaction has Consequences
Having witnessed the tremendous rise of new condo construction in South Florida and its subsequent tragic collapse in 2008, and having personally worked with commercial construction contractors and service providers during that time, I saw companies make really tough business decisions. Massive workforce reductions took place. Some companies went from 100 service trucks on the road all the way down to 2. Many businesses were forced to eliminate personnel that had been recently hired to “handle the growth.”
Unfortunately, the pre-collapse surge in condo development was met with the knee-jerk reaction to hire more help. On the surface, this may have seemed to be the right thing to do. However, the core issue was that many of these businesses were not operating in a smart and efficient manner. They lacked a strong sales strategy, processes, tools, training, metrics and leadership. Had these elements been in place pre-collapse, the knee-jerk reaction to hire could have been avoided. This in turn would have eliminated the suffering of many of those new hires and their families when they were suddenly let go. This could have also saved many a business’ brand. The bottom line was that their sales “house” lacked the foundational elements to face a “growth problem.”
Is your Sales Organization’s “House” in Order?
It goes without saying that a solid foundation is crucial. Does your business have:
- A sales strategy that is unique to your company? “Out of the box” strategies don’t work.
- A rock-solid sales process that defines how all departments within an organization work together to close deals and deliver products and/or services?
- Sales management tools – including key metrics, reporting, forecasting and dashboard tools?
- A specific and focused hiring plan with ongoing sales management functions?
- A strong sales leader to implement the above and run your sales team?
If it Does … Now Go Hire.
Having your “house” in order is imperative to attracting and retaining the right salespeople for your business. Good salespeople are keenly aware of how efficient your sales department is running. They know after the first interview. It makes sense to focus on your sales department efficiency first – for your business and for them. It also enables your business to run smart – thus avoiding knee-jerk reactions and subsequent consequences. Once your “house” is in order, go hire.