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4 Signs it's Time to Hire a Sales Consulting Partner

by GrowthPlay Library /

Walking_Signal.pngHiring a sales consulting partner is a big decision for your business. You know your organization best. It's important to keep what's working and fix what isn't. To produce lasting results, a sales leader needs to “find the right fit” for the critical pieces of the sales transformation puzzle. 

Long story short, if you need to generate more revenue per rep, you may want to consider bringing in an outside perspective. It's likely that the problem won't go away without a concerted effort to change course. Below are four challenges we see most often.  

1. You're Losing Margin and Deal Sizes Are Getting Smaller

This challenge often points back to a problem with the customer message. If you're experiencing lost margin and smaller deal sizes, it's likely your customers aren't clear on the value your solutions provide and how they're better and different from your competitors. 

If you ask your reps and key company leadership, "(1) what problems you solve for your customers and (2) how do you do it differently from your competitors," you are more than likely going to get very different answers. Your customers are getting the same mixed message. 

A successful sales conversation requires that your sales team link high priority customer needs to your business solutions. Without the ability to articulate value in a way that resonates with a customer’s problems and business objectives,  you will never increase margin and deal size.  Working with the right partner can help your organization clarify this message cross-functionally. Building this alignment is not easy. An outside perspective can help you get there faster. When you are losing margins and missing you're number, speed is likely one of the most important requirements. 

2. You're Losing Your Top Performers and You Frequently Make Bad Hires

A top-performing sales team relies on its people. Once you have the right people on board, success becomes a lot easier.  Salespeople aren't a commodity. A professional who fits perfectly into one organization may not as effectively align with the needs of another. Putting data behind your sales hiring process can bring science to the "art of the gut" that may be currently driving your hiring practices.  When you calculate what a bad hire costs you in lost time and productivity, an outside data methodology to align the right people to the right roles can be the one thing that improves your sales organization long term.  

3. Your Sales Cycles are Too Long and You Lose Deals to "No Decision" 

An effective sales process maps to and facilitates your customer’s buying process. Don’t assume that one size fits all. It’s likely that your market has different segments of buyers, and these segments have different needs. As a sales leader, make sure that your sales process is on target to align with the needs of your buyers.

Your sales process needs to be defined so that:

  • your reps know what they should be doing and when 
  • your managers have the line-of-sight they need to coach and drive accountability
  • your organization is able to better qualify opportunities based on buyer-driven criteria

The foundation of a useful sales process is a sales-consumable set of tools and templates customized to your organization. A partner can help you create the tools needed to help your sales team effectively manage opportunities, while spending the most time possible on actually selling

4. Your Sales Forecasts are Inaccurate and You're Not Effectively Penetrating Accounts

If you're dealing with a fire drill every quarter, your organization needs repeatable and consistent sales planning processes. Repeatability and consistency drive effective sales planning. Sales organizations that provide their managers with critical line-of-site are able to create efficiencies in forecasting, account and territory planning and opportunity reviews. To effectively lead a sales organization, managers need a repeatable rhythm that guides the sales planning and execution processes.  This rhythm must also include a method to define expectations and inspection points.  

Managing the forecast is often one of the most frustrating parts of a sales leader's job.  If it was easy to fix your sales planning process yourself, you probably would have done it already.  Stop the bleeding. Hire someone to help. The money you'll pay to an outside perspective is likely incremental to the waste you're experiencing every quarter not having this process in place. 

Conclusion

Outside experts have the benefit of experience. As a sales leader, you may be too close to the problem to really drive change. In addition, transforming your sales organization takes work. It can't be a hobby to your day job. Business doesn't stop when you're undergoing a sales initiative. The easiest way to drive results while keeping reps selling is to hire an outside partner.  Remember, sales organizations like GrowthPlay have worked with some of the best and brightest companies in the world and have seen patterns of success. At the same time, their business reputation depends on your success.    

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