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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Is your Sales Force Prepared for the Tough Sales Battles?

You don’t send out an army for critical operation unless you are certain that the personnel are well equipped with motivation, skills and tools to do the job. Unfortunately many sales people sent out every day to generate and convert opportunities into sales are not equipped to do the basics of the job leave- alone achieving the targets given to them. Many of them have no idea of what they are expected to produce and a bigger population do not know how to deliver what their bosses demanding of them. 

At the end of every month, managers and sales people are frustrated with the numbers. As a result the following month starts with demands and threats from managers and promises from sales people which over time culminate with firing and resignations. 

New sales people and managers are hired and the cycle begins again. Deep down everyone hopes this is a different bunch but, at the end of it reality dawns that the business is stuck at the same point it was with last group of sales people. What is the solution to this vicious cycle?

You need to develop the capacity of your team to be equal to the task you expect them to perform. The bigger the tasks the bigger the capacity required to undertake it. To build this capacity, you need to develop the team by giving them the best training, coaching and motivation. 

Training gives people knowledge, skills and techniques to perform; coaching gets them to convert the knowledge into performance, behaviors and habits; and motivation is the fuel that gets the people to do it out of their own volition. Lack of any of these three aspects greatly lowers the capacity of the sales person to perform.

Growth Partners focuses on building ideas, solutions and products that address these three aspects in a sales person and team. We have training courses that fire up sales people into action and show them how to transform that effort into results. We have helped dozens of ordinary sales people transform into high producing sales professionals. We have also worked with tens of sales managers and organizations as they build an environment that allows and encourages sales talent to flourish. 

We have coached, guided and mentored individual sales people and their managers, as well as set-up strategies and structures that draw out the full of their potential.  We have helped many people discover their sales strengths and guided them on how to make these strengths work for them. We have assisted many firms discover where the main performance constraints are and walked with them as they focus on  addressing and removing these bottlenecks that stop them from becoming better organizations. 

We help sales directors and managers, sales people, business leaders and HR Managers through open and in-house training programs, sales growth strategy formulation and execution, coaching among other services designed to help you achieve your sales goals. 

Whatever sales challenge you are experiencing in your organization or career, plan to have a conversation with our sales consultant and see if we could help. Our passion is to see your problems solved.

Register now for the sales mastery course.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Business Strategy

Essentials for Making Business Strategy Work 

As a sales and business growth strategist I’m called to assist in development, assessment and execution of strategies for businesses in diverse industries. While some people will be keen to ensure that the structure, content organization and the grammar in the strategic plan is perfect, in business, your strategy should be judged differently. It should be judged on whether it is the best course of action given where you are headed. And the consequences are not a pass or distinction written on a paper but profits, revenues and losses. 

When I engage these clients a few have well written plans but majority don’t have any strategy or plan for accomplishing the big aims they are so busy working on. Those with plans engage my services because their plans don’t work. As I evaluate why these plans don’t work I get to understand that there are a few essential factors that were overlooked at the point of formulating the strategies. 

As you plan and strategize, let me share some of these essentials. 

Take the choice that will give you the highest results. 

The truth of the matter is that most strategies are not designed to deliver the highest results. Some for lack of polishing a small aspect of the strategy or missing a minor ingredient turn into a disaster. 

If you choose a particular strategy you are deciding to commit resources and effort to it, if it does not give you the highest returns then you should put your investments elsewhere. 

It is not an academic exercise

You can score an A for academic effort and still end up with disaster in your business. FedEx was worth only a C in the university! A good strategy is a mix of the best choice of initiatives, activities and approaches given your unique business context, market circumstances and other factors in the environment. That is why if you copied your competitor’s strategy even if you are in the same line of business it may not work. Remember that your context also changes over time and that which was a super idea last year may be the dumbest idea this year and vice versa.  

Be creative and bold. 

To be creative you don’t need to be an originator of anything but, if you borrow an idea make it better than the way you got it or get ways of ensuring it gives you more results. That is what I mean by creativity. Never borrow other people’s mediocrities and make them yours! 
However you do it let someone challenge your assumptions. Incorporate what no one else in your industry is doing. Borrow concepts from other industries. Be abnormal. Be ambitious. Be bold. 

Be open and ready for surprises - good and bad. 

Your strategy need to be flexible and open to further development and adaptation to changes in the arena that it will be executed in. Many businesses are not growing just because they never change their strategy with changing times. If the bridge is swept just before you cross it you need to make a provision for other ways of getting to the other side. The business environment is extremely fluid. If your strategy doesn’t have room for improvement and adaptation it will be the best weapon to kill your business. 

Test it. 

This is a painful lesson for many business owners. Don’t risk too much if you haven’t tried the strategy in real life. That which was medicine in the laboratory might turn out poisonous to the intended patients. Finally, If your strategy does not excite you and scare you at the same time maybe your business would do well without it. 

Sam Kariuki is the CEO of Growth Partners, a sales and business consultancy firm in Nairobi. Email