I just found an interesting collection of very common phenomena in B2B sales organizations: How to overcome the basic mistakes business to business sales people make.
From our experience this can very often be observed in companies, that profited from either a strong market growth or an innovative product with a very high demand. In these cases selling was comparatively easy and companies grew even with sales organizations doing things not the ideal way.
Market driven tail winds don’t last forever
Usually these tailwinds don’t last forever and if they stop, these companies find themselves in a situation where these mistakes are not counterbalanced any more. Even worse: the sales management often climbed the ladder inside these companies and doesn’t know what to do to fight the decline in growth.
This is one of the typical situations when we are asked to support in developing a new sales strategy.
Avoid basic mistakes by defining Sales Standards
In many cases one of the results are Sales Standards, defining
- clear and comprehensive job descriptions (defining what sales people have to do and what they should NOT do)
- training levels for the sales teams
- ideal interaction with clients in terms of frequency, content and who talks to whom
- response times to customer requests
- solutions sales can and should provide to clients.
Create new competitive advantages
In many cases being first to implement these elements in an industry with declining growth rates leads to a kind of first-mover-effect that creates new competitive advantages and leads to above-the-industry growth rates.