When the Shortcut Isn’t All That Short

by | Jun 19, 2013 | Sales Strategy, Sales Tips | 0 comments

Have you ever followed what your GPS tells you is the shortest route, only to find yourself on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere? Or tried a “do-it-yourself” renovation project only to call in the experts after pouring too much time and money into a failed attempt?

Neither scenario is all that uncommon. The shortest or cheapest route is not always the fastest. Nor is it the best.

This applies just as much to business and to sales as it does to life in general. Faced with budget constraints and a lean staff, many organizations try to cut corners in the hopes of saving a few dollars or moving more quickly. All too often this backfires.

Sales blogger S. Anthony Iannarino recently wrote an excellent post, A Cheap Sales Force Is An Expensive Problem highlighting two good reasons why it is not a good idea to cut corners when it comes to hiring a sales team.

“You may believe that commission-only salespeople, independent agents, or very low paid salespeople will help you grow your business and reach your goals, but they won’t.”

His main point is that by trying to go the “cheap route” you ultimately end up spending more and achieving less than optimal results in the process.

Another way to look at it is that in sales, there is no silver bullet. There is no one thing that a struggling organization can do to turn things around, or a start up can do to kick things off on the right foot.  There is a whole series of interdependent activities that need to happen to really make a difference.

Going back to the shortcut analogy, these things take time, planning and investment.

As Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer wrote in their Harvard Business Review blog post Silver Bullets Won’t Fix Your Sales Force, one-dimensional solutions rarely create permanent improvements.

Their post offers 12 key actions sales managers can take to put their team on a path to success.

  • Set a cohesive sales strategy
  • Design a high-impact sales process
  • Size the sales organization
  • Define a sales structure and sales roles
  • Assign accounts
  • Hire sales talent
  • Train and coach
  • Provide data, tools and resources for enhancing sales force insight
  • Offer incentive compensation and recognition programs
  • Set challenging and fair sales force goals
  • Manage performance by engaging a team of first line sales managers
  • Create and sustain a sales culture of accountability, achievement and ethics.

While there is no silver bullet, “having a close partner who knows the ropes and has already built the above pieces will help an organization struggling with effectiveness (or launching a new business) to move much more rapidly.

As we like to say at NuGrowth “partner effectively.” If you want to learn to sky-dive your first jump has to be with a partner. NuGrowth’s passion is to be that partner for emerging and visionary businesses who want to do great things.

We are passionate about helping our clients grow and go into each engagement with the understanding that the success of our partnership is based on trust and mutual respect. While we own the sales process, our clients own the client relationships so team unity is critical.

If you are interested in leveraging our sales as a service model to grow your business, please give us a call at 800-966-3051.