Change Your Sales Model and Make Things Happen ... or Wonder What Happened
“If you get them to like you, they’ll find a way to buy from you. Sell your butt off and no one will ever mess with you.” That was the sales model I was introduced to years ago. And you know, many sales reps had exceptional careers following those guidelines. In fact, many who are selling today, and have established accounts, earned them just that way. And while that’s great, it’s increasingly more difficult to replicate and scale that model in today’s business climate.
There are print businesses who thrive from a transactional sales model, are product-niche driven, or offer a wide range of products and services, and try to focus on cultivating accounts vs. jobs. And while I’m not passing judgment on the model, many are running into major obstacles as they work at growing their business.
Most employ the all-in-one sales rep model, where the rep has to find the leads, cultivate them, network, cultivate some more, and then sell the account or project. Then they often have to sell it again to the plant, not always, but it happens. Then they babysit the account for fear that something bad will happen if they don’t watch over it like an assistant CSR. Note, babysitting is not a trait I usually see in the top performers. They sell, and they’ve developed trust in the team to execute. So where am I going with this rambling dialog?
More and more companies have also done a very good job at dialing in their manufacturing processes, setting expectations, and operational performance standards. For most, it’s always been good, but it has gotten much better in the last few years. With that, shouldn’t their sales model be just as efficient, reliable, repeatable, and consistent as what they are doing on the manufacturing side? Now I understand that in sales, we have the variables of clients, competitors, and the marketplace as a whole. But OK, what’s the plan? What’s the talk track, what are the expectations, and how will we know “what we are doing today will lead to success?"
Over the next few blog posts I’ll explore some things to consider when changing your sales model. In the meantime, if you have ideas or comments on the subject, please include them below. Good luck, and remember, doing nothing is not an option!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.