Sunday, February 27, 2011

Too Much?

 How much is too much, or is there ever enough? In food, too much salt, absolutely, garlic, never. So how technical should your sales team be? Well, are they salt, or garlic? By that I mean are they expected to add that little bit of something to your technical sales process, or are the expected to be the sales process.
So if you are a typical service provider it is service first, and sales second. When you really want to ramp your sales, you need a sales professional. Odds are this sales professional will have trouble logging on to their computer. Now what? Well, the good news is I bet you have already been selling something, even if it is just you. You have a process, it may not be all that good, but you have one, so you are simply adding some sales to your technical process.
If things go well and the salesperson starts driving business, you will be spending a lot of non-billable pre-sales technical time. How much? Well I hope you are tracking this in your PSA, for me this is Autotask. Once you see how many billable hours you are bleeding, you need to make a choice. So now your choices are, train your salesperson to be more technically independent, or add more technical support, maybe a pre-sales engineer.
It is a right brain left brain thing, few of us can be technical and salesy, if you found one, great. If not, there are many things you can do to help them be less of a technical time suck. Training never hurts, but there are also guides and checklists. Discovery is such an important step in the sales process, help create a checklist with all the required data points for each product you sell. Flowcharts are even better with if/then steps. When all else fails read the instructions. I bet less than 30% of your salespeople have read even the user guides of the products they sell. We can fix that this week.
Does your process need some salt?