Here’s the scenario:
You’re a small business owner. You spent years working as an engineer, programmer, and network analyst before finally deciding to strike out on your own. You open up business as a one-man contracting shop.
You get your first customer and a shot of dopamine. Business eventually starts to pick up and you decide to hire a few employees.
Your goal has always been to grow the company.
Your customers are happy and your employees are happy but you’re tapped out. You’re too overworked to grow the company the way you want because you are constantly working on and getting new sales.
It makes sense to think the best next move is to hire a salesperson to get more sales to grow the firm. After all, the delivery side of the business comes natural to you, and it’s what you’re best at.
So why not hire a salesperson to take the selling burden off of your back so you’re free to just focus on customers and deliverables?
You hire a few salespeople and things don’t go as planned. They aren’t finding the opportunities that you used to find, and the opportunities you think they should be able to close are being lost.
Many opportunities languish for months before you lose the sale. When a lead needs a proposal, you find yourself doing more of the work creating the proposal than your salesperson. Worse yet, you are always going to the meeting to close the deal with the salesperson and it's costing you money and you’re not sure what to do.
What’s the problem?
Simple, you’re focusing on sales when you should be focusing on leads. You need high quality leads to grow the business, not salespeople.
Salespeople are not necessarily good at prospecting leads, and hiring human beings to prospect is the most inefficient and expensive form of prospecting that there is.
What you need is a new model for bringing business in without breaking the bank and without consuming all of your time.
Here are five reasons to abandon traditional sales and five solutions to grow your business more effectively:
Five Reasons to Abandon Traditional Sales:
It’s Not the Salesperson’s Fault
Traditional sales methods target too many prospects that aren’t looking for your services yet or aren’t ready to buy. It takes a long time to walk a prospect through the entire sales process.
Let’s face it, buying technology is not a fast process! It takes time for prospects to even determine that they need new tech, much less to go through the steps of choosing a vendor.
Without a steady stream of leads, your salesperson has no choice but to work with whatever prospects they can find.
Traditional Salespeople are Expensive
A technology salesperson can cost you $5,000 - $8,000 per month. If you have a surplus of high quality leads then it makes sense to hire a salesperson. Otherwise you’re just throwing good money at bad prospects.
Prospecting is Expensive
Even if you’re lucky enough to hire a good salesperson, traveling to meet customers face-to-face is not cheap.
Trade shows and conferences are great but wouldn’t you prefer it if a large portion of the business came to you looking for help in lieu of having to chase it yourself?
Salespeople Add Many incidental costs!
It’s not just the salespersons salary you have to worry about, but also their travel expenses, laptop, cell phone, and most of all, your management time.
Hiring Salespeople Without a Structure of High Quality Leads Negatively Affects Your Business Culture.
Poor results lead to frustration and have the potential to cause internal conflict within your organization.
At some point, just to make a sale, the salesperson will close a deal that is not a good fit for your company. These deals are usually along the lines of being sold on the cheap or it’s a project that no other company would touch!
There is a better way.
Here are five solutions to offset the need for traditional salespeople:
What You Really Need are High Quality Leads - people that come back to your business of their own accord.
Cultivate these leads by implementing an integrated digital content strategy that establishes your industry credibility.
In other words, invest your money first in an inbound marketing strategy before committing to new sales hires. Develop and nurture leads first!
Do Not Hire Salespeople to Develop Leads
Hire salespeople to close high quality leads that you have cultivated via inbound marketing strategy. Build content or hire a firm that focuses on inbound marketing.
For the same $5000-$8000 investment you can develop a high quality inbound campaign that will bring leads in for years with no additional work. Scale this to an annual strategy and you can completely revamp your digital presence for the same cost of a salesperson!
Hire Salespeople Next Year!
This year focus your efforts on developing your digital presence so that the internet works for you. Once you have more leads than you know what to do with, make a sales hire.
Some Fixed Costs are Necessary - You Want to Make Sure They’re Worth It
Set your salespeople up for success by teeing up leads that will result in new customers.
Orient Your Marketing and Sales Efforts Around Common Goals
Develop SMART objectives and implement SMarketing (Sales and Marketing) strategies designed to properly leverage the strengths of both departments towards customer satisfaction and revenue.
When sales falter the first person to face criticism is usually the salesperson. Unfortunately, without high quality leads they are fighting an uphill battle.
Revamp your lead generation strategy first and worry about hiring salespeople when you’ve got more interest in your business than you can handle!