When I started consulting for MSPs, I assumed that most similar sized companies would have very similar problems when it came to lead generation. Fast forward a few years, and I can confirm. Most leaders who have had no sales experience prior to starting their business will struggle in the same areas. Based on this, it would stand to reason that consulting should be pretty much rinse and repeat, right?
Most of consulting isn’t figuring out what the problem is. The problem is usually pretty evident from the outside looking in. Most of consulting is creating solutions that can be successfully executed by the team you’re working with. Put another way: you couldn’t sell $50,000 worth of hardware to a client who had a budget of $5,000. To diagnose sales problems, I start looking for horses, not zebras. Eliminate the most common issues before you start looking for complex ones.
If you’re struggling with your sales process right now, I’m happy to share some of the most common things I see, and how you can fix those things without making a huge investment in consulting or anything else.
3 Common sales process problems
- A work environment that isn’t conducive to performance
Is your sales or telemarketing agent working in a space where they can perform their tasks without interruption? If you’ve put your sales rep in a shared space with people who aren’t in the same role, it won’t be long before the sales rep is matching their day and pace of work to the people surrounding them. Are they next to a door that chimes every time someone opens it? Are they near the coffee station? Are they sitting in their own homes distracted by their stuff? Moving someone to a quieter part of your office costs nothing. Try that first.
Before you make a huge investment in consulting, @coldcallcarrie shares three common sales process problems you can easily fix.
- A lack of structure
There are a hundred ways for us all to work without actually working. For outbound calls to work for you, you need one really important thing: outbound calls.
If your sales rep is spending a disproportionate amount of time doing research, or doing any activity that isn’t outbound calling, it’s time to reign that in. Nobody buys managed services on social media. If your caller is doing anything but calling, it’s time to put KPIs (key performance indicators) in place that clearly show them what you expect of them. Your outbound agent shouldn’t be online all day, they should be calling all day.
- The wrong tools for the job
A PSA tool is great for logging tickets, but it wasn’t built as a CRM, and it doesn’t work like a CRM. Our team doubled their dial counts when they moved to a purpose-built CRM and calling platform. If your caller’s numbers are lackluster, look first at where they are sitting, next at their job description, and third at the tools you have given them. If your system doesn’t allow them to call quickly enough, or it takes them ten minutes to toggle in between screens to add notes to a prospect record, you’re never going to get an agent at optimal performance, because they’re never going to hit the KPIs necessary to build your business through outbound activity.
If your agent is working in the space you provided, using the tools you provided, following the guidance you provided, you very well may have set them up to fail. Now you need to go back and fix it. Change is usually not simple. Not all change is welcome. If you suddenly move your caller into a corner, double their daily output expectations, and change the toolset they are familiar with, you will probably be met with some resistance. If you change all three of these things at once, you won’t know which one helped you. However, if through the change process you identify that your caller doesn’t want to be held accountable for their daily activities, that’s a whole different problem, and one that you may only be able to fix by finding a caller who does.
Photo: Pla2na / Shutterstock.