article | June 7, 2011
Sales Consulting: Generate Results Faster
Here are three time saving benefits a sales consulting firm might provide you:
1- Faster problem diagnosis– sales consulting firms have pre-built diagnostic tools designed to identify the root cause(s) of sales problems. These tools have been used many times and are commercially tested. This saves the sales leader from having to invest staff time developing proprietary tools and training the staff on their use. An example of such a diagnostic tool would be a pre-built taxonomy of sales metrics. There is no reason to develop metrics, inputs, outputs, data cleansing methods, import/export processes, etc. when one can be provided on day one of a sales consulting project.
2- Reduced organizational disruption– sales consulting firms bring with them delivery methodologies designed to fix sales problems with little disruption to the daily operations of reps and sales managers. A delivery methodology helps a sales leader properly kick off a project, collect discovery information efficiently, stream line solution development, produce quality deliverables in less time, and close out a project appropriately. In the absence of a project delivery methodology, sales leaders waste time performing multiple project kickoffs. They spend months gathering data with no distinction between what is and is not needed. He/She takes too long to develop solutions due to a poorly defined problem and produce deliverables that inevitably get rejected by the field since they are not relevant. Lastly, projects tend to linger forever, never really get closed out, because the result remains elusive.
3- Elimination of time lost due to start/stop interruptions– when a sales consulting firm gets hired, the company puts their money where their mouth is signaling they are serious about fixing the problem. This moves an initiative from the bottom of the sales leadership team’s priority list to the top of the list. The sales consulting firm’s daily presence prevents the project from slipping back down the list. This alone can cut project duration in half.
Unfortunately, some sales consulting firms work on a time and material basis which incents them to drag out projects as long as possible. Steer clear of these firms. This has led some sales leaders to incorrectly assume that hiring a sales consulting firm may result in a longer time to get a result. A quality sales consulting firm will propose projects with clear start, middle, and end date. Their project approach will have critical mile stones, deliverables, time lines, and they will tie their fee structure to these pre-determined dates.
A capable sales consulting firm will have worked in partnership with the sales leader to assess project risks prior to kicking off the project. These risks should be evaluated based on their impact to the time line, should they manifest themselves. Accompanying this assessment is a risk mitigation plan that describes what will be done, and by who, to get the project back on schedule and accomplish the goal of delivering results quickly. Again, time to get results is the focus.
We are all on ticking clocks. The time I spent writing this post is gone forever. The time you spent reading it can never be recaptured (I hope you got take away value). As hard as we try, sales leaders cannot add a 5th quarter to the year.
If you have a problem and it needs to be fixed quickly, you might consider hiring a sales consulting firm to save time.
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