Building an effective sales organization is like building a house, you must have a solid foundation and a plan.
A builder will plan with the homeowner for months before they move one shovel of dirt, cut one board or hammer a nail. Whether you are building your sales organization from scratch or you are implementing changes to get your organization to a new level of growth, there is much to consider up front.
- The first and most important thing you have to think of is who and what is your target customer segment?
- What are the market expectations?
- How do you best staff to provide superior customer service?
- What order management system do you use?
- Do you need outside sales people to call on the customers or can highly skilled inside sales people take care of them?
- What hours of operation will give you the competitive edge?
There are many other questions that need to be answered.
Very few general contractors perform all the activities in the construction of the home, they bring in sub-contractors. The same holds true when building your sales organization. Pull in the other functional areas of your business to get their input, making sure that the sales organization aligns with the company vision. Are there issues that specific suppliers need addressed? How can you differentiate from the competitors? Should you seek out advice from neutral third parties? Get as much input as possible before you take the first phone call from a customer. Work through these issues early versus doing it on the fly when you are open for business. Once the builder starts the home if you want to make changes then, they will cost you dearly. Talk with all your subcontractors and build the plan the best you can early, keep the big changes to a minimum. Stay focused on bringing value to the customer! Make that first impression count.
Just like building a home, building a sales organization to meet your growth objectives is hard work, but the finished product will be as you envisioned it on the blueprint. There will be many decisions along the way, but in the end you can build your organization that satisfies customers, who want to keep coming back, just like coming back to your dream home.