It’s no surprise that businesses need sales to survive and thrive. It’s no surprise that excellent sales leadership can be crucial to sales success. And it’s no surprise that many small to mid-sized companies struggle to afford full-time sales leadership talent when they need it. What might be surprising, however, are some of the reasons that cause business owners to finally seek and engage the services of a fractional-time sales leadership consultant.
Here are the 6 top reasons they take this essential step toward business growth:
Sales Are Stagnant or Declining
Sales, of course, are the lifeblood of business revenue and profitability. While it’s not unusual for sales to rise or fall from month to month, quarter to quarter, or year over year, savvy business owners track sales results and can spot alarming trends. Most often, results are viewed based on lagging indicators; that is, after the fact. Proactive business owners, however, focus more on leading indicators, given they can spot potential signs of trouble by looking at sales pipelines, movement within sales processes, etc. Regardless of how sluggish results are discovered, wise business owners engage the services of a sales leadership consultant before a downward sales trend becomes an inevitable catastrophic business failure.
Current Revenues Rely on Too Few Customers
It’s easy to get complacent and become comfortable with the status quo. For many businesses, it’s common to put too many eggs in too few baskets – in other words, putting their revenue at risk by having too much revenue generated by too few customers. Obviously, when one or more of these primary customers moves on, a large percentage of overall revenue can be lost. Too often, this vulnerability only becomes apparent after a key customer exits. In any event, the smart business owner recognizes the best first step toward reducing this revenue risk: bringing in a sales leadership consultant who can generate a broader customer base.
The Owner Lacks Insight into Their Sales Operation
Many business owners are “hands off” when it comes to sales. This can be a good thing for the sales team and sales management who often want the autonomy to run their own business. However, when sales begin to slide, some business owners realize they really don’t understand their sales operations well enough. For example, they might not understand the processes involved to execute the sales strategy; or they might not have a firm grasp on sales performance trends or the tactics being taken to address declining sales. While the owner could make a more concerted and time-consuming effort to understand the internal operation, the better choice is often to bring in a sales leadership consultant who can analyze, provide critical perspective, and report back to the business owner. This more objective approach can lead to better decision making regarding necessary sales management changes.
The Owner Wants to Grow the Business, but…
…sales results are moving in the wrong direction because they don’t really understand the sales operation and probably don’t have the right sales team or infrastructure in place. Often such realizations come only after several quarters of declining sales and some businesslike soul searching. Unfortunately, recognizing the root problem is only the first step. The perspective of an outsider who can build the key infrastructure components necessary to build a superior sales team – from a VP of Sales to a Sales Manager to frontline sales reps – is essential to sustainable sales success. The sales leadership consultant can provide that perspective . . . and experience.
The Owner Wants to Sell the Business but…
…the business is overly dependent on the owner. When businesses begin, they are often bootstraps that depend on heavy involvement in all aspects by the founder. As the business grows, reins are sometimes relaxed, but often not enough. Because the owner has an emotional investment in the existence, operation, and growth of the business, he or she may feel obligated to be involved – deeply involved – in its day-to-day operations. This makes it seemingly impossible to sell the business because the owner IS the business. A sales leadership consultant can help realign responsibilities and design succession planning so a buyer can feel comfortable the business can thrive without the owner’s direct involvement.
The Owner Recognizes the Need for External Perspective
Even if all these factors aren’t clearly in focus for the business owner, the owner might simply have a moment of critical realization that change is needed. Call it a “light bulb moment,” when the owner realizes he or she is too deeply immersed in running the business to have the proper perspective about the business. Whether it’s a pure epiphany or a triggering event, it’s a pivotal moment that leads the owner to ask for help. Outside help. Help from an expert with a track record of success and the big-picture perspective necessary to make strategic and tactical changes. This expert is the sales leadership consultant.
The Bottom Line:
Businesses evolve. What once worked – organizationally and operationally – to create years of success, may simply no longer be effective. Perceptive business owners might recognize warning signs from various points of view. But regardless of how they become aware of the need for changes, business owners and their current sales management professionals might not be best qualified to bring about the necessary changes.
For a growing number of businesses experiencing declining sales or faltering futures, the sales leadership consultant can be the linchpin to brighter days ahead. To learn more about sales leadership consulting capabilities and success stories, as well as the opportunity to become a fractional-time sales leadership consultant with Sales Xceleration, click here or contact us today at 844.874.7253.
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