Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prune or Shrink?

There is a HUGE difference.

Pruning gets rid of dead wood and gives the healthy limbs what they need to grow.

Problem is, too many businesses simply shrink. Steve Clark has more:

You Can’t Shrink Your Way To Excellence

So the economy has been in the tank and orders aren’t coming in fast enough. Contracts are being canceled, and salespeople are quickly learning that selling is more than showing up and taking orders. So what do most managers do? Take out the knife and cut back. When that doesn’t work they cut back some more. While it may seem prudent and good business to cut costs where you can, this approach can have disastrous consequences when it is applied to the sales force. Why?

Consider this: If the average salesperson brings in 10 to 15 times their compensation in sales, why would we want FEWER of them? Other than marketing, sales is the only area that generates revenue for a company. Not accounting, administration, HR, not any other department. When a company cuts back on hiring, recruiting or training sales people they effectively limit their future.

Your financial people, who do not understand or appreciate the sales role, will argue that you should cut anywhere you can. Fine. If you must cut, cut everything else but not the sales force. In this economy, you must put MORE salespeople to work, not less. You must provide MORE training, not less. Initiate MORE accountability, not less. INCREASE recruiting efforts not reduce them.

Companies must perform their way to excellence. It takes work to grow and take market share by out-hustling, out-strategizing and out-recruiting your competitors. Most managers resist this because the left side of their brain is addicted to quick fixes, while the right side of their brain is on a starvation diet.

If sales are flat, or worse, down from your goals and projections, INCREASE the sales effort and do not tighten the belt in the sales department. Have your sales organization evaluated, find out who has the ability to become more effective and give them the training they’ll need to reach their fullest potential.

As a manager, give yourself a gut-check and decide if you want to follow the herd, or get up front and lead. Are you content to merrily co-exist in your market, or do you have the commitment to step up and dominate it with bold strategies and solid execution?

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: