How healthy is your sales engine?
It’s an easy question to ignore.
I mean, in the grand scheme of running a business, the bottom line is often the emphasis. But anyone who understands how business really works understands this ageless truth: nothing happens until something gets sold.
Selling drives profitability.
Selling drives cash flow.
Selling drives growth.
So why are profitability, cash flow, and growth so difficult to maintain?
I can think of lots of reasons, but the main ones boil down to one common theme: how the company approaches the function of selling.
For some, selling is a necessary evil, managed by “those folks we hired to sell” so that “we” could do the important work of designing/coding/building/etc.
For others, selling is a pure joy, but nothing sophisticated because – hey – “that’s how we’ve always done it.”
But the most common perspective we see at Growth & Associates is that people have allowed their overall selling system – their sales engine, if you will – to get overly complex over time.
They started out with great intentions, and even a fair bit of true professionalism. But over time, with an added piece of technology here and a new process there, the engine itself can no longer perform the way it needs to.
And this approach to selling will eventually cause the sales engine to breakdown over time. Or, in different terms, it will cause:
- Underdeveloped sales pipelines
- Too many relationships with tactical buyers
- Not enough market penetration
- Poor execution of sales strategy
- Weak recruiting and retention of top sales talent
- And so on…
Hopefully, this is a fairly simple reminder for you. Hopefully, you already know this.
With that said, it is very easy to forget this stuff in the daily/weekly/quarterly grind of business. Even worse, it is very easy to make decisions that will only contribute to the failure of your sales engine.
To make Marketing happy.
To make Finance happy.
To make Operations happy.
And while those groups are part of our larger team, the most important stakeholder in this discussion is pretty straightforward.
We change our sales engines to make our customers happy.
I mua. Onward and upward.
By Tim Ohai