The Situation: The Wrong Sales Process
A professional services company had a handful of junior sales reps, all of whom missed their numbers. The CEO was frustrated because his company used a strong direct-mail program, which produced a very high call-in rate. Nevertheless, the call-in conversion rate was very low and generating far less revenue/sales than projected. It turned out to be a bad sales process.
We went in to study the client acquisition process from beginning to end. Clearly, the direct-mail campaign worked, based on the number of pieces they sent out every month and the high percentage of prospects calling in from each mailing.
The sales reps had good selling skills and used a traditional consultative selling process. However, the company’s offerings were simple and straightforward. We discovered that the prospects calling in were ready to buy and didn’t need to go through a consultative process. So the sales reps were getting in the way of the sales!
We took one sales rep out of the client acquisition process for one day and had his incoming calls answered by an office assistant, whom we asked to play customer service rep. At the end of that day, the number of call-in conversions was up significantly.
We immediately replaced all of the sales reps with customer service reps. Since the company wanted to keep the sales reps, we moved the handful of them to outside sales with a major-account acquisition strategy and execution plan.
Sales tripled in the first thirty days from the direct-mailing call-in conversions!
One sales rep left the company within three weeks. Another sales rep set the world on fire and closed two major-accounts a week, which included corporate licenses, after a thirty-day ramp-up period. The others did moderately well, gaining one major-account a week, with corporate licenses, after a thirty-day ramp-up period.
The company saw total revenue from the new major account division increase by an additional 29% at the end of four months after changing their sales process.
The Common Mistake
Of all companies that we evaluate, a staggering 99% have no company-wide sales process or, even worse, an ineffective sales process. This is like a football team not using the same playbook or defending against a running game when the opponents are playing a passing game!
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