Every company, with or without a salesforce, has a selling model. I know of one company whose model is "we don't believe in sales". It works for them, but it won't work for many others.
What happens when you force yourself into a model? My wife did that with her company. She is a very driven, gifted, caring, giving, talented, brilliant, effective, successful leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist and marketer. Because of that rare combination of attributes and talents, she is in demand as a speaker, board member, fund-raiser, volunteer, and champion. In addition to being the CEO of her company, she is also the chair of the non-profit she founded, the incoming chair of a non-profit on whose board she sits and the vice-chair of the local chamber of commerce board.
She is a terrific wife and mom to our son, who is frequently mentioned in this Blog. When you add up all of those important responsibilities and learn that she is also the only salesperson for her company, how much time do you suppose that leaves for selling? Exactly. So her selling model is a combination of self-imposed time limitations, along with a strong need to be selective and effective. When she meets with a potential client, there is business to be done!
What happens when you compare a model like Deborah's - if you're gonna go hunting you'd better come back with dinner - with a model that has its salespeople making 3 sales calls per day, or around 60 per month? Do you think those salespeople come back with 60 new customers or orders per month? No chance! They probably sell 10. That's why they're on so many calls.
What would happen if you told those salespeople that you only wanted them to go on 30 calls per month, but you want them to be a lot more selective, and you expected them to close 50% instead of 10%?
I'll tell you what would happen, your A players would close 50% of them and your B's would probably get 33% (the original 10 deals with half the work and half the resources). Your C's? Same as today - they'd still fail to get the 10 you needed.
You need to develop your B's and replace your C's. The only problem is that you aren't really able to identify who your A's, B's and C's are. You think you can but you're measuring them by the dollars they produce, the worst possible measurement of potential, because the dollars are not necessarily the result of their efforts today as much as the dollars may be the result of their previous efforts or the efforts of others over time.
If you want to learn how to truly learn your ABC's, engage me, send me an email or leave me a comment. We'll talk.
(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan