Which comes first? The Sales Force or the Sales Opportunity Pipeline.

At our recent Christmas party a consultant friend and past client joined our annual celebration.  He told us an interesting story.  About a year ago a new client of his (a small startup) decided to hire 2 salespeople in order to boost sales.  Our consultant friend advised against this strategy suggesting the company should rather invest in a lead generation effort using a specialist lead generation service agency to develop a pipeline of qualified sales opportunities.  Once that pipeline started filling he should then employ the necessary sales assets productively to close the awaiting business.  In other words, the consultant saw this very much as a productivity issue – not purely a selling issue. 

His client decided against this strategy and opted to rather invest in the new sales people.  About a year later the client met with our friend to review this decision.  The client somewhat reluctantly admitted his strategy was an expensive mistake which cost his company in excess of $250,000. This figure did not factor in the overhead including management, recruitment, training etc.  So the true loss was probably closer to $400k+.

The lesson here is simple.  Sales people are your most expensive assets.  Employing them to undertake work that can be outsourced to a professional lead generation and (superior) lead qualification outfit such as eti Sales Support, is expensive and unproductive. 

Bear in mind that the average cost of a technology or industrial based sales call today is north of $1000 dollars in real terms. It is essential therefore that the preparatory work be professional in all respects: identifying the decision makers … probing for pain … eliciting critical business intelligence … and finally selling the sales presentation appointment.  eti has developed a very useful and easy to use Sales Cost Calculator.  This Calculator will instantly figure your actual cost per sale.  Please give it a try.To learn more about maximizing your sales force’s productivity by developing a pipeline of sales ready opportunities please click here.  Or call us at 1.800.466.4384 (914.747.3030).

Michael Falkson

 

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