Here’s a question
If we were to classify the potential causes of low sales into three categories:
- Market and offer mismatch (wrong market, wrong offer or both)
- Lack of appropriate channels for customer to hear about us (promotional channels) or to buy our products (sales channels)
- Sales management (managing the sales pipeline)
Which do you think tend to be the major cause of lack of sales?
Well, I’d say (1) has the greatest influence. Even with limited visibility and a poorly managed sales process, clients will find a way to buy from you if your offer (product) is good enough.
However, poor performance in (3) tends to mask problems in (1) and (2). In other words, management often assumes that poor sales are automatically the consequence of a sales capability problem and investigates no further.
You may be interested to know that we address these problems in the reverse order (3,2,1). The reason is that good sales management (particularly in the environments we engineer) generates both management information and the demand for sales opportunities.
We free up massive capacity in salespeople’s diaries and then make a commitment to fill this capacity come hell or high water. The resulting ‘pull’ forces the organisation to address the other issues.