A New Way to Increase Sales Eastlake OH
South Euclid, OH
Who are the best salespeople? Owners. And what do owners like to do when their business grows? Hire salespeople. And thats where the problems start.
The custom installation sales process can be broken down into three significant parts. Lead generation, sales administration and the act of selling. Lead generation includes all the activities a salesperson might undertake to find customersfrom organizing formal presentations for architects and designers, to cold-calling custom builders. Sales administration is the detail work associated with setting up a sales call, doing the follow-up, and making sure the salespersons time is optimized. The act of selling is self-evident.
Quite often, the CI salesperson is also involved with project management. I define project management as any part of the process from proposal generation through managing the install team.
Heres a typical growth pattern for a young CI company. The company is founded with a few key players. The owner (or partner) is the salesperson. The company has one or two techs. Theres another individual (employee, partner, spouse) who runs the day-to-day side of the business. No project managers are needed at this point in the companys life.
Sales reach $1m and the owner/salesperson is jamming all day long. Hes finding the leads, making the sales calls, writing the proposals, and closing the sales. Hes involved in project management and scheduling. At some point in this development he may ask a lead installer to step in and take over a portion of the project management responsibilities.
With the lead tech taking on more managerial chores, the owner hires additional techs to fill the gap and handle the increased work volume. Life is good.
As the company continues to grow, the owner/salesperson realizes he cant follow up on all the leads and referrals. Plus, he stops doing any lead generation or marketing due to lack of time. In short, hes becoming less effective as a salesperson. The typical solution? Hire an outside salesperson to pick up the slack.
Here are two possible outcomes from hiring this salesperson:
Scenario 1: Time goes by, and the owner realizes the new salesperson isnt pulling his own weight. In fact, the new guy is selling less than 25 percent of what the owner sells. There are several reasons for this. The most obvious is the new sales guy just isnt any good. Lets face it; it takes quite a bit of skill to be a successful salesperson in this industry. Just as likely, the new sales guy is tossed headfirst into the fire with little training, guidance or supervision from the owner, The owner usually figures, "Hey, how hard could it be? He just needs to get out there and make some presentations." Not so easy. If the new sales guy were such a great self-starter, chances are hed have his own CI business. But this individual chose to be an employee, signaling his need for supervision. Most owner/salespeople dont have the time, skills or cash to train a new salesperson, so th...