Can sales save your business? Yes, and . . .
Hi, I’m Kim Fredrich, the Founder and CEO of The Ventas Group. We’re an outsourced sales support firm that provides part time sales for small businesses who aren’t quite ready for full time salesperson.
And that’s what I want to talk about – when you hire a salesperson. Because you know, sales are flagging a little bit, or maybe your business is actually truly in trouble. Oftentimes, the first thing you think is I need to hire a salesperson. And that might be true.
But unfortunately, what often comes with that sentiment is the idea that that salesperson is going to generate immediate results that are going to save the business. That’s not usually how it works.
The only time that a salesperson can generate immediate results like that is if you already have a full pipeline. That means you’ve got people in your funnel that already know you, have already started building a relationship with you, probably have had proposals and are just in those final budgetary stages or making decisions stages, and at least 20 to 30% of those are likely to close.
If even if you do nothing further, what is the salesperson really going to do for you though, if that pipeline and managing that pipeline have started to become unmanageable for you, your salesperson is going to do all of these things. They’re going to move people through that pipeline, they’re going to close some of the business that’s already in that pipeline. And they’re going to bring more into the top of that pipeline, by going out and doing cold outreach to people who don’t know you already with highly targeted cold outreach. But still people that don’t already know.
So why is this even important? There’s a reason why we have a pipeline, because in most businesses, especially service based businesses, where there’s some degree of customization in the service that’s provided that cycle, the length that takes for someone to move through the pipeline, can be fairly long. And this is why it is really unhelpful. It’s one way to look at it unhelpful to expect somebody who’s doing cold outreach for you, whether that’s your salesperson, or someone like my firm, to have immediate results. Selling is a multifaceted affair. It needs all of these things. It needs marketing, to bring people into the pipeline to generate awareness. It needs someone to manage the pipeline, it needs somebody to bring new people into the pipeline. That’s the sales effort, combined with a marketing effort. And it needs somebody to close those, all those things that are in the pipeline.
So when you can do all of those things, and you manage those, then you keep that pipeline flowing and moving, then you can be fairly confident you’ll have sales success. If you get to a place where that pipeline gets stuck, maybe you don’t do any sales or marketing activity for a little while and there’s nothing coming in, well, it’s pretty hard then to be able to say you’re going to get immediate results. It’s just kind of the way it works.
Sorry to burst your bubble everybody! Just wanted to be put this out there as a bit of a public service announcement. Sales are necessary and they can take longer than you think.
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