One of the biggest challenges businesses face in driving sales growth is their ability to win new business. The problem is that most salespeople just don’t like prospecting. They are comfortable looking after existing accounts and dealing with inbound enquiries, but when it comes to proactively getting after virgin new business the excuses start to flow. They procrastinate, they complain about not having signed up for this, they spin their wheels planning to get round to it at some point. There is always something else to do rather than prospect!
The specific approach to prospecting for your business will be dependent upon your products and services, your target markets, the complexity of your sales environment and other factors. However, one constant is that there is rarely enough time and focus devoted to building a pipeline of new opportunities.
Looking at this from another angle if it’s difficult to find good salespeople (which it is) then it’s especially difficult to find salespeople that are good at winning new business. So whilst it’s likely that there may not be a willingness within your sales team to prospect, it’s also likely that they may lack the requisite skills, experience and core attributes required to succeed in winning new business.
The classic rock and a hard place situation!
So what can businesses do about it? Well, they could look to hire ‘A players’; the top 15% of sales professionals; defined by their ability to consistently outperform peers, consistently meet and exceed sales targets, win new business and make a significant positive impact for their employers in terms of driving sales growth. The problem here is that these tend to be very expensive resources often commanding salaries upwards of six figures. Another option is to put in place the right sales management structure to encourage the right sales behaviours and to up skill the sales team through high quality sales training and coaching. A sound approach for sure, however this also requires significant investment in both time and money and may not bear fruit for many months.
An alternative may be to hire the requisite skills and experience on a contract basis. There are a number of advantages to this approach:
- speed – vastly reduce ramp-up time
- access a higher level of skills and experience on a part-time or project basis than you might otherwise be able to afford on a full-time basis
- access sales best practices and gain objectivity
- gain greater sales focus
- no costly recruitment fees
- ability to grow or shrink the service as business needs dictate
- avoid unproductive time
- improve ROI through absolute focus on building the pipeline and winning new opportunities
- management through service level agreement
This is not going to be right for every business, but may appeal to ambitious SMEs where they have struggled to hire the right sales talent or where there may not be the need or budget to hire an ‘A player’ on a full-time permanent basis.
At Kingman Lennox we have developed a significant network of sales professionals that work on an independent basis with ambitious, growth focused businesses. We can work with you to help you define your precise needs and match these with one of our contract sales professionals.
As sales experts with a track record in identifying and recruiting top sales talent for our clients you can be assured that we apply the same rigour to our contract sales professionals. Our business is in ensuring our clients hire only the very best sales talent, whether that be on a full-time or contract basis.
If you’d like to explore how this service could work for your business please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01224 900147.