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Managing Performance / Setting Goals

Sales Consulting – What are the Key Areas Where Sales Consulting Can Improve your Top-line Performance?

David Regler asked:

For companies seeking to improve top-line revenue performance, a sales consulting company can provide a fresh perspective on the issues at hand.

Whilst it may be easy to “blame the sales team”, sales consulting companies will tell you that it is seldom so simple. Sales performance can suffer because of many reasons, both external and internal to a company. However, there are usually three key areas that a sales consulting firm will focus on:

1. sales processes

2. resource optimisation

3. management tools

Sales processes

Whether you’re a corporate with clearly defined sales processes or a small business with a laissez-faire approach to your sales team, the reality is that your people are following a process. A sales consulting company will help its clients first define the existing sales process, working with your sales team, management, and customers to understand what’s actually happening.

Often, from initial sales consulting sessions, it becomes clear that not every sales person is following the same process. One of the huge benefits of sales consulting is that it provides a fresh perspective, unencumbered by “baked in” assumptions and internal culture.

Once the sales process has been defined and mapped, a sales consulting firm will work with its client to refine and optimise it to improve top-line performance.

Resource optimisation

One of the clear things that can be uncovered through a sales consulting project and a sales process mapping exercise is “waste”. In other fields, such as manufacturing, waste is highly visible. In sales, waste is almost accepted as part of “the numbers game”.

Sales consulting companies will work with their clients to identify areas of waste. This will include unnecessary time spent by the sales force without adding value to customers. It will also include time wasted on prospects that do not convert.

In addition to waste, a sales consulting company will seek to understand what’s working well. Modelling your star performances and identifying how they differ from your lower performing sales people is an essential part of the sales consulting process.

Understanding your sales processes through a sales consulting project will enable you to clearly see what needs to be changed to optimise your existing resources. Sales consulting can bring immediate value and results without further investment in people or technology; often the simplest change from a sales consulting recommendation will have a major impact on top-line results.

Management tools

Of course, identifying what to change is only part of the sales consulting puzzle. The next part is to implement the recommendations of your sales consulting partner and make sure they stick.

Management tools do not necessarily mean expensive software. Often, a sales consulting company will develop management models using simple everyday tools such as Microsoft Excel. These can be set up to provide vital management information and “dashboards” that pool individual sales reports and forecasts in a central set of key performance indicators.

In additional to hard tools, sales consulting firms will support their clients with soft tools such as coaching models. Coaching can be an effective way to support change resulting from any Sales Consulting project.

With the right tools, sales consulting companies can transfer capabilities to the management team to ensure that performance improvements are embedded within the organisation.

The sales consulting process really is very simple:

1. Map the current sales processes and understand what’s actually happening.

2. Identify where the current process is not working; where resources are being wasted. Also, focus on where they are working; look at your star performers.

3. Finally, your Sales Consulting partner will provide you with the management tools you need to make the necessary changes and embed them within your company.

For any size of organisation, working with a sales consulting company to identify areas for improvement and then implement necessary change will provide measurable improvement in top-line performance.

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