Anthony Iannarino at The Sales Blog wrote a fantastic post the other day; Investment First, Results Second (Message to Sales Leaders) It’s a killer post. Take the 5 minutes to read it. He uses great stories to illustrate his point.
I like what Anthony had to say. Great sales teams require investment. Sales people aren’t shamans, or magicians. They can’t MAKE sales happen. Like all other professions they require tools, infrastructure, organizational support, leadership etc. to be successful. Unfortunately, too often I see companies expect miracles from the sales organizations with little to no investment or support.
I love this line from Anthony’s post:
This business owner wants massive growth. He wants something far, far greater than his industry’s average growth rate; he wants double or triple that rate and a massively increased market share. The answer in his minds is easy: we’ll double our sales force’s quota.
This is a perfect example of the expectations many companies have of sales. It’s not uncommon, even though it never works. Revenue is rarely met, turnover increases and management is left completely perplexed.
Sales is a reflection of the company it is a part of. Teams whose companies provide robust support and investment outperform those that do not. It’s that simple. Investment is critical;
. . . you have to invest in growth. You have to invest in being properly staffed to reach your goals. You have to have the right salespeople in place. You have to have the right leadership and management structure, which is another significant investment. You have to make investments in coaching, training, development and time.
Beyond investing in the things Anthony suggests above, you also have to invest in training, sales support, process, and reporting.
It’s flattering sales is seen as an omnipotent revenue engine capable of anything. Unfortunately, it’s not accurate. Sales needs the same care and feeding as any other organizational function. What does make sales special is if invested wisely and done right, nothing provides the return that sales can.
If you want sales to produce, make the investment. Investment requires commitment. No investment, no return. That’s just the natural law of sales.
How much do you invest in your sales organization?
What do you expect from your sales organization?
Are your expectations higher than your investment?
Can you think of any area where no investment equals greater returns?
How do you look at your sales organization?
Are you COMMITTED to your sales organization through investment?