Increasing revenue requires leaders to focus on scale and scaling a business for growth. That is, adding resources across the business at the same rate that revenue is added. The idea of scalability is a hot issue in business and I hear about it a lot. Except where scalability is needed most: the sales organization. Scale on the revenue generating side of a business is typically limited to analyzing the number of people selling, cost per sale, and other data related to efficiency. That’s an okay start, but the following ideas will increase your likelihood of success:
Define the role of sales in the customer experience. If the sales function is involved in the majority of the interactions before someone becomes a customer, those interactions must bring exceptional value. If not, someone may not ever have the experience of being your customer. Ensuring that your sales experience is as explicit as every other component you focus on will help you to replicate and scale successful sales interactions
Focus on the process of selling. You can scale a process when you decode what works best for your business, and listen to those who have bought from you as well as those who have not. Trends emerge and you can isolate what your sales team is doing to influence business in your favor. It doesn’t require a lot of research to make your sales process a pragmatic and useful tool that guides the sales activities for your entire team.
Use coaching to strategically scale behaviors. Everyone knows behavior change is tough. So start small. There are probably 3-4 very specific behaviors that have an outsized impact on your customer’s experience through the sales cycle. These behaviors may include your sales team’s ability to demonstrate an understanding of customer issues, or to help a client see a problem they hadn’t considered. Sending people to training is rarely successful in changing behavior. But routine coaching and practicing interactive skills enables marginal improvements every few days that can add up quickly.
Unless you are a purely e-commerce business or the low-cost supplier in your industry, your company’s path to growth is at least partially, if not entirely dependent on people from your company interacting with prospective clients. So scaling the success of your sales organization is a must.
I’ve written a couple of new articles in the last week that provide additional insight to the idea of scaling revenue growth. Here they are: