If you went to the doctor with a pain in your knee and their first recommendation was that you should have surgery so they could see what the problem was – it’s likely you would get a second opinion.
Ideally non-invasive tests would be carried out—a variety of health checks to see what the issue could be—and then there would be an evaluation of the most likely causes, once tests results have narrowed down to the probable causes of the pain.
And it is this scenario that can be directly applied to reviewing sales performance and working out what the problem is – you need to analyse a variety of symptoms before knowing how to fix it.
Many CEOs and managers will guess what the issue is and throw sales training at the problem, but training is not always the answer – at least not before evaluating your team to determine what kind of training is needed and what will actually work. Why? Because there are so many other qualifying factors to ‘diagnose’.
You need to consider things such as:
- Is the Sales Manager doing everything they should be doing to grow sales?
- How effective is your sales process? Only 9 per cent of companies have an effective sales process that salespeople follow.
- Are you holding your team accountable to the right activities?
- How effective is your strategic messaging and value proposition. Can your salespeople explain why a customer would buy from you and not your competitor?
- Do you have a predictive pipeline, one that enables you to focus on the critical activity to drive sales?
- How motivated is your sales team?
- Are there psychological barriers stopping your team selling?
- How effective is your lead generation system?
- What type of training could we possibly need? And how will we measure its effectiveness?
Without correctly analysing each of these areas and objectively assessing those functions, you will only waste time and resource by guessing the problem. And it is likely that it won’t fix anything for long term profitability and increased revenue – a little like putting a band aid on a broken bone.