Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) often end us hiring sales consultants for the wrong reasons and therefore end up arriving at the conclusion that consultants are no good for their business and all the money that they invested on a consultant went down the drain. It is therefore very important to understand the right reasons for hiring a Sales Consultant.
The Problem of Status Quo
Business is good but the profitability from the business is not increasing or has reached “Status quo”. While there could be several unique reasons for this or it may be a combination of not so unique reasons, the status quo is a bad sign for any business. Once this sets in the moment of inertia of motion in business slowly drops down and finally leads to the moment of inertia of rest.
Inability to Create Winning Sales Teams
Sales teams are very expensive if we are not able to convert them into winning sales teams. We call a sales team winning when all its members fall into the habit of achieving their sales targets and at least 20% exceed their sales targets. Winning sales teams is an asset to any organization and all investments into the same directly add to the growth of the organization. This would involve interventions in learning and development coupled with policy, procedures, and processes in Sales Management.
Without Sales Strategy, we move two step forward and one step backwards
Sales Strategy is a direct function of market intelligence and the planning done backward therefrom. It is said that if Lord Rama did not know that Ravana has to be attacked in his navel, Ravana badh was not possible. Many a time SME owners try to compete in the market with little or no market intelligence. They cap it with their own market assumptions. A consultant can come in handy to understand market intelligence and then device a structured sales strategy.
Small and Medium Enterprises often run on policies that were framed to suit a particular point of time and have now become redundant or obsolete. Change is permanent and all policies, procedures, and processes have to be aligned to contemporary times. If this is not done on time, there can be paralysis that creeps into the growth engine of the company. Typically product policy, pricing policy, distribution policy, compensation policy, customer relationship management policy, grievance handling policy, new product development policy and so on are some of the important policies that a sales consultant helps you co-create.
Marketing Communications (Marcom.)
Whether you are to launch a new product in the market or you are looking forward to repositioning an old product in the same market, marketing communications takes a front seat. It is important to understand the way customers mind thinks and understands. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to frame the right communication which will touch the heart of the customer. Forming a Sales Kit with FAB chart, FAQ list, Testimonials and many other such forms of marketing communication is an integral role of a Sales Consultant.
ATL and BTL Market Planning
Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line(BTL) initiatives of your company is a judicious mix of budgeting, ideation, market centricity, and implementation capacity. Seeking external help at this stage of market planning is a good idea as it brings freshness and innovative thinking on the table. It also helps SME owners to stay away from obvious mistakes learnt from past mistakes of others.
Customer Experience (CX)
CX has become the biggest differentiator amongst equally strong brands in the market. The journey of CX starts right from the point that your prospect starts thinking of buying your product category to the point that the prospect buys your product and his post-sales experience. This long journey not only needs an understanding of the cycle but also needs automation in the form of a CRM software solution as well as Business Intelligence tools to understand the data analytics part of CX.
So next time, you feel like hiring the services of a Sales Consultant, let this blog be your checklist of the most common challenges on which Sales Consultants are of great help and assistance in the past.