No decision as a business owner is taken lightly. Every decision, big and small, can make a difference in how the company runs, what happens in the future, and may have far reaching impact in some cases for the company as a whole. If your business is showing these four signs, it can signal time for a consultant to step in to support the business.
Sales Process Needs Tweaking
Everyone needs to be moving in the same direction. Like a rowing team needs to get their oars in the water and row in the same direction, a team also needs to be pulling weight in the same direction or they risk bringing on water. An effective sales process is one that creates the customer journey and provides clarity to sales reps on how to sell to customers that specific journey. Customers love to be taken on an adventure when they go to buy something. Part of the mystique of the sales pitch is how to entice a customer to believe what they are buying into is unique and worth spending their money on. If that path is not clear, sales consultants can help the struggling business by building and defining these processes, clearing out clutter, and getting sales reps moving in the right direction so they spend time selling products that bring in business.
High Employee Turnover
If an employee leaves the business or it is difficult to retain top talent for more than a year, the sales culture may be to blame. Every business goes through a season where it seems turnover gets high for a time, but it takes focus to get top-performing salespeople into the business who are passionate and a good fit for the specific culture. Small businesses are not going to retain people who want to grow big and are used to larger scale productions. They may end up leaving for bigger pastures later. Look for employees who are seeking to grow with the business and continue building on that success. Consultants are a great fit for employee retention because they look at all the details in the hiring process and provide insight into why salespeople are leaving. They know how to get hiring and compensation practices on track.
Marketplace and Margin
Changes in the marketplace can be disruptive to any business. Losing clients because of these changes only creates havoc and may mean it is time to shift purpose and direction for the business. It is easy to fall out of touch or get stuck in doing things one way while competitors who are more astute are shifting and growing with the changing times. Sales consultants have a bird’s eye view of the deeper workings of marketplace growth and changes. Not only can they seek solutions, but they may be able to demonstrate how to implement these changes quickly and effectively. The same goes for margin. If the sales team is not clear on the value or worth of a product or service, the customer cannot possibly see how that specific business stands out from the competitors. Start by asking the sales team what problems exist and how they differ from competitors. A sales consultant will be an excellent person to help clarify a message so the whole team can gain clarity on getting the company’s customers the help they need to buy into the messaging and products.
What’s the Forecast?
Don’t let last minute business weather changes keep the business from hitting its sales goals. Managing sales forecasts is a difficult but necessary part of the job. Running a business depends on determining how to hit those marks by each quarter and build growth. The only way to do this is with consistent, repetitive practices, which keep the sales team and manager working together in a positive way. When this does not happen, or the team hits a tough spot, a sales consultant can step in and define expectations, guide managers on accurate forecasting, and begin to set the team going in the same direction. This is key to making sure the growth of the business does not suffer due to lack of foresight on the part of the managing team, which could have been prevented with some quick shoring up of processes and getting things tightened up.
Overall best practices for a business are to keep everyone headed in one direction, even as they seem to disparate moving parts. A machine is not run using the same one part, it takes them all working well together to keep it going. Sales consultants are a great way to bring things back into perspective and get everyone moving forward again in a healthy and robust manner.