Yep, that’s what I was told.
Let me tell you the story.
I was speaking with a potential client recently and they told me with a great deal of emotion that salespeople are a waste of f&*#king money.
Of course, I was intrigued and asked what he meant and he went on to tell me that they have employed a few in the past, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for no result. My next question took the wind out of his sails.
I asked, “What was the strategy?”
The answer was, “Well they were to go out and sell”.
And that’s where the cracks started to appear.
Over the last few years, I have sat down with quite a few business owners who have told me that salespeople don’t work, that they are not very effective or that having salespeople does not work in their industry.
Take a moment and think about the biggest players in your industry, the ones doing 10X your revenue… have you got a few names in mind? Great. I bet they all have salespeople. Right?
THE BIG PLAYERS GET IT
I was reading the bio of Elon Musk, and in particular, about Space X (Musk’s company that designs, builds and sends rockets into space) and came across an interesting fact. When building the company from the ground up their 7th employee was not a rocket designer or someone employed to be an engineer or even someone that can advise on the best materials. It was Gwynne Shotwell whose job it was to sell. Oh, and who do you think is now the President and COO? Yep, Gwynne.
Read that again – A company that sends rockets into space hired a salesperson as their 7th employee.
Most of my tech friends scoff at Apple’s latest offering telling me that the latest iPhone is behind the times. So why do they make more money? Sales.
I come across numerous companies every month that have great ideas, but they still struggle. Why? No Sales.
So, what is the difference between the biggest players and the rest?
They have developed a sales strategy that works and can be replicated.
WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY?
If it consists of hiring a salesperson and telling them to go out and sell, you are in trouble. I know that sounds crazy when you say it out loud but that’s exactly what a lot of businesses do.
“But Matthew, if they are a salesperson, shouldn’t they be able to sell?”
YES! If they have sold the exact same product, to the exact same customers and the company they came from had the exact same culture as yours and there are no unique aspects of your company or product. Sure, go for it!
BUT, in 20 years of owning and running sales teams, recruiting hundreds of salespeople across multiple industries and countries for myself and now for my clients this combination does not exist.
Plus, great salespeople in your industry already have a job.
SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?
Take a breath before you hire your next salesperson and ask yourself:
- Do I have a sales strategy that is in line with how my buyer buys?
- How can I enter into the conversation that is already happening in the buyer’s mind?
- Am I training my salespeople on the product and its features or am I training them on how the product helps our clients?
- What are the trigger events that can happen, that will cause my best buyers to start looking for a solution to the problem our products and services solve?
And so on…
If you want a more comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself, leave a comment and I will send it to you.
There are five common mistakes that most businesses that are struggling with sales make and over the next few weeks I will be exploring them more fully.
If you can’t wait to get your sales fixed or you are looking to recruit your next salesperson, take some time now to book in a time to talk with me about how I can make this somewhat daunting task easy for you and help you grow your business through sales.