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    How to stop the sales department hire and fire cycle

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    Early in my career as an entrepreneur, I struggled to improve performance on my sales teams. Like many people responsible for sales teams, I hired and fired repeatedly, looking for the rock star performers who could make the organization succeed.

    Then one day, I realized that the salespeople were not the problem. I was. I was not giving them the resources, training, support and culture they needed in order to succeed. If your organization is seeing the same problem, here’s what you need to know to turn it around.

    Step One: Understand the problem

    At the heart of the problem lies two common assumptions:

    1. Assuming that salespeople already know how to sell.
    2. Assuming that CRM will help them sell.
    Assuming that salespeople already know how to sell and that "CRM" will help them sell are two assumptiom costing companies millions.
    George Brontén

    In the first case, while some top performing salespeople seem to just “know” what to sell your product because the've sold for someone else in the past, the vast majority of salespeople don’t. Every sales environment is different, and expecting a salesperson to come in and just know what to do is unproductive.

    In the second case, traditional CRM systems only tell you whether the salesperson is recording their activities and what activities they’ve engaged in (if they’ve recorded them). It does not track progress or show you where the salesperson is struggling or when a sales opportunity is lagging. You need different tools to incrase sales effectiveness and move the needle.

    Step Two: Engage Executive Leadership

    You can’t solve this problem with a few quick fixes. It must be a top-down initiative aimed at creating a consistent, professional system that drives sales effectiveness and continuous improvements in process, methodology and skills.

    Step Three: Choose the Right Tools

    You need tools that make it straightforward to build a consistent, professional sales process based on winning activities and behaviors of top performers, and then to propagate that process throughout the organization. This is the way to raise the performance of all salespeople.

    A software platform like Membrain reduces turnover and improves quota attainment by providing the backbone to such a consistent system. It also provides visibility into forecasting, and provides insight into where salespeople struggle, so that managers can coach effectively.

    Why You Can’t Afford to Wait

    Sales effectiveness globally is at frighteningly low levels. Quota attainment across the board is at about 50%, and it’s declining. Can you imagine any other department inside a business performing at 50%, and that being acceptable?

    The sales department is the engine at the heart of the organization. There is a clear correlation between the sales department not making quota and the organization not making revenue goals. The solution to this problem is to get serious about the professionalism of the sales organization, and the way to do that is a top-down effort to build a reliable, consistent system that supports high performance.

    Ask yourself: Are you missing forecasts? Losing deals to no decision? Experiencing low quota attainment, high turnover, or slow ramp-up times?

    All of these problems are traceable to salespeople not having the skills and support to qualify effectively, to differentiate along the customer’s needs, and to move prospects through their buying decision process. Training and coaching is one part of the answer, but you have to have the right technology underpinning the system to make it work consistently and to execute on continuous improvements. Solve these problems, and you’ll resolve your hiring and firing cycle.

    We’d love a chance to show you how we simplify that process and empower your organization to solve these problems. Request a demo today. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Click here to schedule a personalized demo of Membrain

    George Brontén
    Published November 16, 2016
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn