Updated: Jun 30, 2018
Over the last couple of days, I have come across several articles written by sales consultants describing why other sales consultants have fallen short in delivering improvements to their clients. Their answers to the problem were all over the place. What they had in common is that every solution was an "off the rack" generic recommendation.
I have been on too many sales calls with too many sales reps for a variety of companies to believe generic answers work. The truth is, and I apologize to Tolstoy fans, "All great sales teams are alike; each struggling sales team is struggling in its own way."
If you want to improve sales performance, you need to identify the reason your team is struggling and address that problem. The most successful sales improvement begins with a concept known as the Theory of Constraints (TOC). A constraint is your process' bottleneck. TOC says that to improve a process, you need to address the bottleneck. If you improve part of your process, but fail to deal with the constraint, you will not see the improvement you are looking for.
Consequently, these "one size fits all" solutions typically fit no one well.
For the sales organization wanting to improve results, seek first to understand. Begin by standardizing your sales process. Then, establish process metrics that measure leading indicators, not just the lagging measures. These metrics will give you the data needed to ensure your changes result in improvement.
This is what Sales Process Engineering accomplishes. Once you know your constraint, you can address your bottleneck. This is the foundation of Selling More While Spending Less.