Small businesses pack a Sales Punch

In my line of work I’ve come across numerous sales trainer-cum-consultancy outfits.  Whether they range from one-man bands (the largest sector in the UK) or huge multinationals, one trait remains in place.  Namely, most are not the kind of people you really should be employing.

I’ve been in sessions at the top-end by both Bain and Mercuri at my customers, then in the middle-ground, the worst ever training I’ve encountered was delivered by a guy from Tack, through to the single practitioners.  What’s commonplace, is that they all purport to offer ‘strategic’ angles.  Occasionally they will focus on the basics of pitching or objection handling, but in the main, they’re trying to evolve the behaviour of the reps in some ‘strategic’ way.  This typically means items akin to advanced deal management and morphing from product to solution sales.

All suffer from trying to embed their processes in the sales peoples routines.  Bain for one introduced an extremely sexy spreadsheet for reps to fill out their activity and forecasts on.  It must have cost a packet for the client.  Yet, naturally, no-one ever used it.  So it was refreshing to find the other day one such firm I’ve known for a few years endeavour to try something a touch different.

They proudly trot off impressive blue-chip names as long-standing customers.  Yet now, they aim to expand by focusing on the SME arena.  Small businesses, with just a couple of reps, never seem to engage in sales training/consutlancy.  So they’ve put together an offering they call “Sales Punch”, all about ‘making sales, now’.  And pretty good it sounds too.

I’ll be intrigued to learn how they get on with it.  I’ve been lucky to work with several small businesses (including my own!) and to my mind, the largest factors that underpin success are 1) talk to more people, and 2) always be tweaking your pitch/proposition so people latch on.

(btw, I found these two interesting pages on the web, unrelated to this firm, but with headlines of sales punch; winning words & top ten sales mishaps.)

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