Being a serial entrepreneur, I have started, grown and sold three companies. There are many contributing factors to this. One key is building a solid sales foundation. Enclosed is a model which includes the 3 key facets that any lasting sales plan must have.
A. An Inside Sales/Customer Service Team
The people on the “A Team” are probably the most important department you will have in your company. They are the primary communication source to new and existing clients. They prevent customers that call/email your company from getting transferred, frustrated or having to leave a voicemail/email message that may never be returned.
Inside Sales/Customer Service employees should be more than just order or message takers. Given the proper training and tools, these people can respond to most customer inquiries immediately.
- Do you have a department like this already established in your company?
- Do you have measurements in place to quantify its effectiveness?
- Does this department have regular training programs so they fully understand your company’s product or service?
- Are they kept up to date with changes and new announcements?
- Can they help “up-sell” to increase an order?
B. Need Based Relationship Sales People
Most businesses thrive on working with existing customers who are already familiar with your products and/or services. These accounts may require ongoing development. If so, you need sales people who work well with clients over a long period of time and can build lasting relationships. People on the “B Team” might also be called consultative sales people because they understand your clients’ requirements and provide solutions to their needs.
- Do your existing clients give you more business year after year?
- Do your clients ask for advice on what they should purchase?
- Do your clients offer suggestions on new product development or how to improve what is already in place?
C. New Business Development People (a.k.a. Rainmakers or Hunters)
If you don’t have a website that generates a lot of new business then you need at least one sales professional who outsells everyone else. Those individuals are known as Rainmakers and are the people who dramatically increase sales and expand business opportunities. They are the ones who do cold calling, find innovative ways to meet new prospects and are successful in generating prospect opportunities. Rainmakers see possibilities that A&B sales people usually miss, know how to get in the door and are closers. The “C Team” finds a way to get past the gatekeepers, talk to the final decision makers, learn what projects are coming up and how your company can be involved.
- Do you have at least one Rainmaker in your organization?
- Do you know how to find them?
- Do you know how to manage them?
If you answered “NO” to any of the questions listed above in A, B or C, we should meet to make sure your sales foundation is properly designed to meet or exceed your sales goals. Call me at (773) 775-6636 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment today!
Written by John Ruh
John M. Ruh and Associates are mission based business advisors who partner with growth oriented leaders to create the right P.S.T. support: the right People, the right Structure and the right Tools.