There are different reasons a company may hire a sales consultant, as Inc.’s “When to Hire a Sales Consultant” illustrates. The article shares the stories behind four companies’ decisions to hire a sales consultant and the different experiences that resulted.
The CEO who spent too much time on sales
Savid Technologies’ CEO knew how to close deals, but not how to create and manage a sales team. He selected Accountability Partners because our CEO, J.R. Samples, had managed sales organizations for his own firms as well as F500 organizations.
Samples grew sales 400% by refining their strategy, focus and sales tools – and then documented them for on-going execution in an 80-page Sales Operations Guide that has become its tool for on-going operations and on-boarding of new sales reps.
The owner who lacked sales experience
Despite having strong communication and management skills, ProMaster Home Repair and Handyman owner Don Kennedy had a poor closing rate. It wasn’t surprising because Kennedy didn’t have sales experience and knew nothing about the sales process.
He ran into a problem that many businesses encounter when seeking a sales consultant. Most had a cookie-cutter approach or classes that required too much time especially when he needed help now. He asked other business owners for referrals and found a consultant who could mentor him. The mentor taught Kennedy how to close, set up CRM software and encouraged him to raise his rates.
The advantage of this approach is that the consultant focused on where Kennedy needed help and skipped over anything he did well. The result was a 60 percent close rate, up from 17 percent and more than doubling revenue.
The sales team that spent too much time with technology
Netrics’ sales team spent more time updating data in CRM than selling. Its CEO hired a sales consultant who taught the team how to use CRM more effectively, catch any accounts trapped in the sales pipeline and coach struggling salespeople. As a result, the company saw its sales grow by 20 percent, and its salespeople sold more and did less data management.
The company that struggled with execution
CEO of Tone Software Shirley Balarezo had worked with sales consultants who created excellent reports. However, the problem was implementing the recommendations. She essentially rented a vice president of sales and marketing who developed the sales process and help with sales forecasting and tracking.
Balarezo plans to hire a permanent sales executive and the consultant will train that person. Another key success factor was including the sales consultant in company meetings with other departments and allowing the consultant to make changes.
These four success stories show four very different ways to use sales consultants. All of them more than paid off the investment.