Developing a highly leveraged direct sales team

Direct sales teams are an indispensable part of the sales channel mix for many organisations. These assets represent a significant level of historical and ongoing investment and need to be leveraged to achieve the greatest return.

 

Our approach is to help you design, build or reengineer your direct sales teams to gain the optimum productivity from your new multiple channel mix.

 

  • How successfully have you won business from your strategic customers? What level of repeat business do you achieve in these accounts?
  • Are your sales people activity machines or deal makers?
  • Do your sales people see your channels as competition?
  • Are you ready to change compensation structures to motivate all parties?
  • Do your sales people possess the right skills for a key account focus?
  • Is the senior management team ready to change corporate culture?

 

It is traditional that most sales forces are biased towards a broad undifferentiated coverage of the market place. This lack of focus means that sales reps are often spending far too much time on existing accounts and low value business. This ‘cherry picking’ can happen with a very new sales force or can be something that teams have evolved to over time. At ProSecta we help you to redirect your sales efforts to target complex, high profit accounts - your ‘sweet spot’.

 

Your shift to these target accounts may be a painful process involving changes in the very culture of the organisation. These changes fall broadly into five areas:

 

  • Precision definition of direct sales focus.
  • Offload ‘low value’ sales and selling task.
  • Redefine skills acquisition and training.
  • Redevelop compensation and performance measures in line with new focus.
  • Review and improve technology support.

 

Refine Sales Focus

We will help you to clearly define the precise markets that should be targeted by your direct sales teams. Where you are developing new international territories we will use this information to help define the right mix and focus of local partners.

 

Increase Time Spent Selling

We will help you to develop internal qualification processes to ensure that ‘low value’ business is directed through a more appropriate channel. Other ‘low value’ tasks such as lead generation, pre-qualification, proposal and IT responses, post-sales support and fulfilment can take up as much as 50% of the sales reps time. These tasks keep them away from the high value tasks of ‘face to face’ customer selling. Where possible these tasks should be offloaded to other individuals and channels.

 

Refine Sales Skills

It is common for sales training and courseware to contain manipulative selling techniques. Whilst these are often subtle, we all know and your customers will know when they are being manipulated. These techniques have evolved to help to ‘drive’ business towards the ‘quick close’. We will help you to redesign your sales methods away from these techniques, replacing them with an approach which is more win-win and collaborative.

 

In addition we believe that one of the most fundamental aspects of selling, and one which customers value the most, is needs analysis. We will help you to develop an approach which helps your sales teams to fully understand and extend your customers needs.

 

Corporate Goal Alignment

Good sales reps will try to find the path of least resistance and maximum gain in their compensation plans. This may not always produce results that benefit the goals of your organisation. We will help you to define performance measurements, aligned to your goals in the pursuit of complex and high profit accounts. We will help you design a clear policy for servicing smaller opportunities through other channels.

 

Technology Support

Finally, to achieve the best results from your direct sales teams we must look at the role that technology plays in finding, managing and closing these target accounts. It is clear that you must collaborate with your customers to retain their business over time. Your sales teams must be equipped with the most relevant and timely information, delivered in an environment that helps them to effectively manage longer and more complex cycles.

 

Summary

The process of changing your sales focus to this new model can be daunting and if not managed with great care can be extremely disruptive to your business. ProSecta can help you through these changes through a carefully managed project plan. It is key that the new design is properly communicated to all those affected by it. The objective is to gain buy-in from all participants at all stages of the project implementation.

 

Our key objective here is to retain the strength and commitment of your most important asset.

Why a Channel Strategy?

Look at any market sector and you will see clear winners. These winners are defined by their ability to ‘buck the trend’ when markets are weak and by being able to supremely capitalise on markets when conditions are good.

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International Market Entry

Today is a world of global markets and global competition. Those technology organisations that wish to survive in this environment must quickly rise to the challenge and there are significant benefits in doing so.

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