How to Define Your Sales Problem


Share on LinkedIn

Do you think you have a sales problem? If so you’re in good company. And you’re also wrong. You don’t have a sales problem. You have a strategy problem. The assumptions you made about market, and customers, and your operations don’t fit with reality. Rework the strategy, based on fact rather than assumptions, to solve what you see as a sales problem.

Most businesses these days have difficulty forecasting which deals will be won by the sales team, leading to problems forecasting revenue, and cash flow. Uncertainty about income and cash turns into doubt, and doubt stops them investing – in people, product and growth. Doubt about sales performance, revenue and cash gives everybody reason to hold back. Not surprisingly, most people will describe such a situation as a sales problem. But they’re wrong.

The inability to predict success in sales campaigns is a challenge, but the fault lies in one, or more, elements of sales strategy – either the value proposition, the process, or the systems.

A value proposition aligning your ability to add value with the needs of a defined market sets the sales rep up with the right messages for the right people. On the other hand an aspiration to sell what you could do, as opposed to what only you can do, doesn’t. Targeting sales people in places the competition is stronger can only end in tears.

A process aligning prospects needs with the vendors capability provides both with the opportunity to achieve their goals. On the other hand demanding your process overrides the way customers want to work creates a confrontation neither party needs. Insisting the customer does things the vendors way works for some major businesses, but not many, and not for long.

Systems collecting the right information, and putting it where the troops need to find it, equip sales and customer service teams to get their job right, first time, every time. Unfortunately those systems usually get defined by the IT people who primarily answer to the accountants. The people who most need information finish up collecting meaningless data whilst what they need to help customers buy isn’t available.

If sales operations isn’t delivering the goods for you don’t blame the guys doing the selling. Look in the mirror and make sure your strategy is working.

  • Make sure your value proposition fits with what customers are buying.
  • Get your process helping, not hindering, the alignment of a buy/sell collaboration.
  • Stop your systems delivering to the accountants at the cost of the sales team’s efficiency.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here