A sales team is like a well-oiled machine. Its performance stays pretty steady, continuously pumping out closes and deals. However, if the oil runs out, the sales team and company overall will be left with dry unworkable leads that could take forever to close. Many things could cause a cog in the machine or allow it to run without energy. Some are rocks thrown into the machine and others are simple jams, but it affects the business overall. Keep the sales machine running by avoiding these three items.
Overpromising and Under-Delivering
Overpromising and under-delivering is a common cog that jams up a well-oiled sales machine and can cause it to slow or even stop. For salespeople, this is an issue that usually needs to be carefully thought out while putting together a pitch or proposal. Many don’t over promise for the sake of the sale, rather they overpromise in excitement. Similar goes for under-delivering, which usually is a direct product of over promising. Either way, these both severely damage credibility for the salesperson and the company. If a client just bought into a large deal, but your teams are too overwhelmed to handle the deliverables promised, the client will not be happy. Same goes in any purchase situation, if you bought a double cheeseburger, but only received the buns, you’d be annoyed at best. To ensure these things don’t happen and credibility is never compromised from this end do not bite off more than you can chew. Keep other teams in consideration too, can marketing handle the bigger load? Will account managers need to adjust? Try to predict the unpredictable, if you need full builds delivered before the holiday season, take note and be on top of it. Think about not only how long it takes your company to deliver, but also factor in logistics and their hefty loads. Along with this, flexibility is inevitable.
The Customer is NOT Always Right
The old adage, the customer is always right is outdated, silly and is the rock being hurled into the machine. Customers often do not know what they want, and if they think they do, it is probably not what they need. This issue is a big one with managed service companies. Salespeople research as much as possible to give that client the best products for their company needs. However, often times, the gatekeeper is set on specific products and/or services but in reality, it does little to help the business. Then afterward that same gate-keeper will get upset because the products they wanted don’t perform the same way they need it to. Rather than allowing this to happen, nip it in the bud. There are many ways you can keep a customer on track and take care of their important needs. First of all, the best way to make sure the client knows your intentions is through a thorough needs assessment. Through this assessment, you should be able to find the real problem and from that real problem, you can propose a necessary solution. Whatever you do, don’t cave into client wants unless absolutely necessary. It could cause conflict in the long run and that’s never good.
Finally, when sales and marketing are misaligned, the machine will run dry. The union of these two and the ability to work together is the oil to the machine. Without marketing, sales will have to find their own leads which can cause disruption in the sales process. Not only that, but salespeople tend to focus on only the most promising leads, which could, in turn, affect the bottom line of an organization. If sales start driving marketing activity is creates a huge time waster. This is simply counterproductive and if it is the case, get rid of your marketing team. Misaligned goals are not only expensive but if the company isn’t making money, how is it expected of them to pay employees. Just like going to the hardware store and purchasing oil for the machine, aligning these teams is fairly simple. First of all, communication is key. Hold meetings and review KPIs with both teams. Create action plans and/ or share a content calendar. Next is reviewing technology used and optimizing if needed. The disconnect could be because of automation processes. Then come to a conclusion about what metrics the teams will be measured by. Of course, look at the data and adjust as needed. By doing this, your sales team will be on the road to success and begin bringing in the dough.
Don’t break your business by letting it get jammed, throwing rocks or letting it run dry. Your business is a well-oiled machine and constantly needs maintenance. However as long as you keep up on your teams, you can avoid these headaches and allow business to run smoothly.