There are a number of ways to increase sales; the most common approaches are to spend more on marketing, do better marketing or can take on more sales resource.
However, there is a third way; take on a prospector. This is a specialist who finds and qualifies new business opportunities before passing them to a salesperson to close. This idea of separating prospecting from sales is what Aaron Ross used when at Salesforce.com to add $100m in annual revenue.
The basis of the idea is that salespeople are not good at prospecting because:
- They don’t like doing it
- When they get busy they stop and lack focus
- Companies don’t invest in proper training and support
- It’s difficult to track metrics if one person does everything
- Less visibility into problems
The answer is to break down sales into specialist functions:
Inbound lead qualification
These people qualify leads which come into the business through marketing programs, search engine marketing and word of mouth. After qualification, the opportunity is and passed to Account Executives or Sales to close.
This role is 100% focussed on opening new opportunities and passing then to Account Executives or Sales to close.
Account Executives or Sales
There are sales reps with targets that close deals. They can be based in the office, at home or out in the field. It’s recommended that they stay in touch with new customers until they go live with the solution.
Account Management/Customer Success
This is an ongoing client management and renewals.
As the business grows you can create more specialists based on verticals or size of the opportunity. The more specialists the sales function is the more effective it will be.
Although Sackmans are not salespeople we do understand business process and this is one example of where we can add value. If you want to grows sales get in touch.
Image from Flickr by Philip Taylor.