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It is a very common principle: you don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.
In many cases, this principle is indeed the best solution. But in many other cases, it is questionable. And here’s why:
The overall impact of a malfunction is not always effectively measured.
For companies, the sales function is at the heart of growth. And sales are won with varying degrees of difficulty. When companies manage to generate a good revenue and to be profitable, business owners ask little or not enough questions about the health of the sales organization.
So it’s common to think, “This is working, we’re not going to change things and risk breaking what’s working.”
Have you ever had that thought?
However, on the flip side, another thought is quite often present: “Couldn’t we generate more sales?“
How do you know if there is hidden potential in sales?
This question is critical for any business owner, because it is linked to other questions:
- 💸💸💸 Are we leaving money on the table everytime we close a sale?
- ❌❌❌ Are we allowing our competitors to take market shares from us?
- 📛📛📛 Are we missing out on business opportunities?
- Continue the list with any questions you have about your company’s sales performance.
Naturally, with your management team you have already worked to improve sales. You have worked to the best of your collective knowledge. However, you can only see the tip of the iceberg.
I would like to share an analogy that is based on the many mandates I have done with business leaders who are in the manufacturing field.
It can happen that manufacturing companies acquire equipment for their production and do the installation and calibration themselves, because they have highly competent teams of mechanics and operators.
The equipment is installed, tested and started for production. Over time, maintenance and calibration adjustments are made, the production rate increases and so does the quality.
All indications are that the machine is working perfectly and is reliable.
One day, a major breakdown requires the call of an expert who makes the diagnosis.
The machine broke down prematurely and never produced up to its specifications because of a series of small adjustments that the technicians and machine operators were not aware of.
It’s a shock!
And the consequences of small malfunctions that went unnoticed are now very real: cost of repair, cost of lost production, opportunity cost…
The risks associated with a limited view of our environment are all too real.
Just as sailing instruments have developed since the Titanic tragedy, analytical tools for sales organizations have reached a prodigious level of depth and accuracy.
To measure the maturity level of a sales department and the hidden potential, you will need to go through a detailed analysis of your teams, processes and systems.
Usually, this is a process that takes only 4 weeks and allows you to get a complete picture of your organization’s strengths, gaps and hidden potential.
With such a diagnosis, you will know where the dysfunctions and gaps are and will have a global vision of their impact on the whole company.
What can be done to increase the level of sales maturity?
With the complete picture of the sales organization, it becomes possible to establish a comprehensive plan to transform it and increase the maturity of the sales function.
All business leaders are aware of the need to develop the skills of their teams. While training is often part of the equation, there is a growing awareness of the limitations of this approach.
However, it is difficult to know what combination of elements to put in place in a company to achieve a higher level of sales team maturity.
Again, it’s “easy” to tell yourself that you can keep going with what you have as long as it works, even if it’s at the cost of great effort.
When these efforts turn into pain and the pain is no longer bearable, it is only then that we will really consider working to improve our situation.
I deliberately talk about pain, because it is the strongest driver of action in human beings. Stunted growth or ambitions undermined by structural issues are usually situations that drive business leaders to make decisions to solve these problems.
This is exactly what the sales transformation process does.
Sales transformation is a journey that requires following an accurate (and company-specific) sequence in order to bring about lasting change and concrete results.
This happens at 3 levels: the individuals, the organization as a whole and the tools.
With a higher level of maturity, companies are able to:
- Increase the speed of growth
- Increase profitability of sales
- Shorten the sales cycle
- Increase market share
- Close more sales (win rate or closing ratio)
On the other hand, the qualitative gains are as follows:
- Company and sales team better prepared for changes in the sales environment
- Establishing a strong sales culture
- Improved ability to withstand competition
What is not broken can still be improved and optimized. This vision should become the main way of looking at the sales organization and its performance. Waiting for the moment when sales will not work anymore is exposing yourself to risks that are not worth it.
In a constantly changing environment, even when things are going well, it is necessary to challenge the status quo.