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Are you an Entrepreneur – a Startup or an SME looking for reference of good sales resources? Is it hard to identify the good sales resource? How about building your own sales resource internally?

Sales Process Map

The common question that gets asked in business is, 'why?' That's a good question, but an equally valid question is, 'why not?' - Jeff Bezos

Everyone knows that sales resource effectiveness drives every company's success, but keeping a sales organization at the top is a constant challenge. Even though building sales resource internally is a preferable option it comes with its own challenges.

Let’s have a look at the challenges expected during the process of building sales resource internally:

Do you intend to buy or build your sales resource?

What is more complicated - selecting the talent or finding the talent?

Selection of the right person for the sales plays a key role in the business growth. Before any efforts are spent into the person, it is essential to take a detailed look at the candidate’s specific skills, competencies, experiences and responsibilities. This has to be matched with our current requirement and the future. We should not have any assumptions or loose ends in the process. Better to look out for people with openness from same or similar industry experience.

Entrepreneurs will be able to present and interpret the customer/prospect queries easily. We need not expect the same from the sales resources and this forces entrepreneurs to train/groom marketing/sales talent to meet the expectation.  Grooming the sales resources demands a lot of entrepreneur’s time. This will have an impact on the schedules on a daily basis as most of the SME Enterprises are driven by them.

Can we outsource the training of sales resources?

Professional Sales training organizations are almost negligible in India. Hiring the easily available resources with basic sales skills and attitude is not an advisable option. If you really wanted to train your sales resources hire some sales trainers and build in-house content to train those people. Ensure that entrepreneurs are part of the training process from the start till the end so that they can set the expectations or outcomes clearly.

The training on sales resources consists of understanding the basics of sales methodologies and models, understanding the products or services, understanding the current practices, probing the most profitable customers and identifying the channel of acquisition, understanding the market communication channels and cost benefit ratio’s etc.

Training sales resources on communicating with the customers along with the training on sales and market strategy is also a big challenge for the entrepreneurs.

Long gestation period is required for a newly recruited and trained sales resource to perform with less support or independently.

Performance paralysis

Though access to the entrepreneur is high in SME organizations the real challenge for sales resource is gaining their attention to get some quality time to take right decisions. Managing sales resources on daily basis becomes complicated as entrepreneurs get involved in the decision making process of other activities of the organization.

Another challenge which has been observed very often is sales resources reporting to operations manager. Since the operations manager has less knowledge on professional sales efforts (other than for those few who attend to the customers along with the Entrepreneur when the company was small) they will not be able to monitor/motivate them.

Most of the functional errors are taken up as personal errors with the sales resources or with the entrepreneur. Over a period of time it creates communication barriers and end up in sour relationship.

Lead generation process would be optimized if we get a good resource with tools and knowledge of best practices who can cope up with changes to the market, which can otherwise be complex.

Managing/monitoring the performance of sales resources periodically is an important challenge which consumes the time of entrepreneur. Sales resources find it hard to bring back the customer after their first sale.

Cost and Risk:

With an intention to buy or build leads at low cost most of the SME’s consistently compromise on the growth in the fight for survival. If they intend to buy or build better leads the cost benefit ratio is not really justifiable in most of the cases because of consistency in sales efforts for various reason.

Failure cannot be afforded in the investment made on the sales resource. This leads to high tolerance beyond the threshold limits which dramatically raises the experimentation cost.

Maintaining profitability on every sale demands the value engagement of the product or service in a sizable manner.

Marketing is art and science

Building marketing collaterals is another time consuming process. With low budgets there is always a compromise on the quality of the output for building marketing collaterals which will consume time and energy of the entrepreneur. There are two other challenges viz. constantly upgrading the content of the materials and validation of the same even if they manage to do it.

Aren’t the SMEs selling even while there are so much of challenges?

Of course, they are selling their products but with lesser efficiency for the efforts they invest. Let’s learn more on how we can overcome these challenges faster.

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” - Peter Drucker

Identifying problems is the first step of solving it. Share with us if we have missed out anything important from your view.

Comments   

+1 #2 Vinay Sharmaa 2017-05-22 05:59
As an entrepreneur, I can totally relate to this article and I've gone through these struggles. Thanks for writing such useful article.
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+1 #1 Bhuvi Kumar 2017-02-14 08:59
nice article, definitely useful will keep this points in mind before making a sales plan. Thanks for sharing.
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