Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a new voice is all you need to turn sales performance around.
If you’re a c-suite executive or sales director who’s struggling to pinpoint bottlenecks in the sales funnel or the underwhelming performance of your sales team, it might be time to look outside your organization for solutions. The same thought applies to marketing, customer service, operations ... and really any team leader confronted with increasingly interconnected business functions and the most complex and discerning buyers in history.
Self-diagnosis — like a person experiencing symptoms who only searches WebMD to find their list of possible illnesses ever expanding — is not always possible or the right approach. We need an expert to cut through the clutter, see the forest for the trees, and help us know what we do not yet know.
So, what are the signs that you need to hire a sales enablement consultant? Let's take a look at a few reasons why outsourcing sales enablement might work for you and your sales team.
Sales & Marketing Aren’t Communicating
If you find that your sales and marketing departments are at odds or not communicating and your best efforts to bring them together have struggled, it might be time to bring in a third-party sales consultant.
As we mentioned earlier, in today’s business environment, no function is an island. All functions must be interconnected and working collaboratively to win over a highly discerning, well-educated consumer.
You'd be very surprised how often marketing believes a lead to be this, sales thinks a lead is that and the whole marketing and sales process gets disrupted by confusion over this one simple word.
A sales enablement consultant can bring objectivity to this process, diagnose your challenges, and help you build out a service level agreement (SLA) that will ensure proper alignment between marketing and sales. An SLA will create clarity around the following critical issues:
- The definition of a lead
- Lead scoring and lead quality
- When a lead should be rejected
- Mapping the sales funnel
- Defining and agreeing on goals
If you and your sales team are struggling with any of the above and the issues seem intractable, bring in a third-party sales consultant to take some of the burden from you and help you see things more objectively.
Lack of Accountability
With all of the plates you have spinning, being consistent with accountability can be next to impossible simply due to lack of time. What’s more, if there is no clear system or mutually agreed upon processes and policies, it's difficult to hold a poor performing sales person responsible.
What, exactly, can you point toward to show the error of their ways if there’s no system in place?
The first step is to hold yourself accountable by recognizing your sales team has not yet been given the full set of tools to succeed. Hire a sales consultant to help you build out the process, create the tools, and provide the ongoing support your sales team needs to grow.
Then, there can be no more excuses.
It starts with your decision to create an environment that encourages success and creates clear lines of responsibility. This is where an outside sales consultant can really help. By leveraging their expertise and their ability to see your sales processes objectively, you can build a process and a sales tool box that inherently breeds strong accountability.
What’s more, the mere presence of a third-party sales consultant sets up an atmosphere of increased sales team accountability.
Your Sales Team Spends Too Much Time Searching
If you find that your sales staff is spending too much time searching for content, or recreating that one-pager again and again, it’s likely they're not spending enough time actually selling.
Creating a sales content library that’s tailored to specific inflection points in the buyer’s journey is utterly critical to your sales team’s success.
Again, an outside sales expert can assess your sales content tools and identify what you have and what you’re missing. They can pull you and your team out of the weeds by organizing your existing content so it can easily be found and by creating a work plan to develop the tools that are missing.
You can have the best sales team on the planet and still not close at a high rate if they're forced to spend too much time searching for sales content.
Sales people need to sell — they are not copywriters and designers. An outside sales enablement consultant can help you get your sales content in order and your sales team selling faster than you ever could on your own.
Inconsistent Sales Training
Sales teams need constant professional development to hone their craft. If you and your team are struggling with any of the issues mentioned above, it’s highly likely your training has fallen to the wayside or it has become inconsistent and ineffective.
A sales enablement expert can not only assist you with process development and sales content tools build-out, but they also can assess your team’s skill set to develop a training program tailored to its needs.
Sales enablement consultants have seen it all, and can use their vast experience to customize a training program that will help your team improve their performance and overall efficiency.
When it comes down to it, sometimes you know you have an issue but you simply are too close to the problem to solve it or you don’t have the bandwidth (or both).
If your marketing and sales teams are at odds, if your accountability system has broken down, if your sales team is too busy creating sales content and your training sessions don’t happen, it’s time to look outside for help.