BUILDING A SALES FUNCTION THAT WORKS FOR YOUR SITUATION
What Is This Service?
Our Sales Strategy service empowers mid-size professional service firms to build a highly effective sales function at your organization, one that is unique to your needs. This service allows you to be successful on purpose, not accidentally, and on a consistent basis.
Our Sales Strategy approach helps you build the right sales structure for your firm, one that delivers a great client experience, accelerates prospects through the sales funnel and prevents sales leakage. We do this by helping you select the right set of sales tactics for your firm from a menu of known best practices.
We also help you apply those tactics to your organization in the most effective manner possible. Additionally, this service gives you formal tools to monitor the efficacy of your sales function and make course corrections so it matures over time and becomes everything you need it to be.
The result? Your win rates go up. You sell a broader range of services. You close more deals and deliver a much better experience to prospects coming inbound to your firm, securing their long-term loyalty and repeat business.
WHY YOU NEED THIS SERVICE:
THE RIGHT SALES STRATEGY MAXIMIZES YOUR GROWTH POTENTIAL.
Challenges With Sales
Many leaders of professional service firms dislike “sales” and generally distrust selling. (See our Sales Mindset service for details about why you should change this perception at your firm.)
To be clear, when we use the term sales, we mean anyone at your organization who bears responsibility to generate revenue, serve clients by developing scopes of work, negotiate deals, protect your profit margins and produce meaningful profits and EBITDA. Anyone who has responsibility for part or all of these activities is in sales, no matter what title they might hold.
We often find that when service firms are struggling with revenue generation, there are three core challenges. First, a founder or leader was a brilliant deal maker, but no one has been able to replicate their success. The founder-leader is often unconsciously competent in sales and cannot seem to transfer their skills to others in their organization or understand why others cannot do what they do.
Second, the firm has attempted to build a sales structure at their organization because that structure worked at some other organization or someone in leadership came to believe in that structure. Despite prior successes, the approach is not working today.
The third challenge is more complex. It has to do with promise.
The Three Teams
The nature of selling professional services is promise. For service firms to grow consistently, three teams must unite around a promise: the marketing function makes a promise to the broader market; the sales function applies the promise to unique client opportunities; the delivery team fulfills the promise made by the sales function. Make and keep a meaningful promise at all points on this journey and you will grow. Your clients will love you.
But the challenge for many mid-size service firms is that these teams (marketing, sales, delivery) are often not distinct or separated. For instance, many service firm leaders negotiate deals and deliver services. Many service delivery leaders are asked to shape a scope of services. The lines get very blurry.
For example, when some service firms encounter a sizable deal, the managing partner says – everyone meet in the conference room in 15 minutes. For the next 3 hours, multiple high-dollar staff, from multiple departments, brainstorm what should be in the service package and how to win the deal. Every new opportunity is managed in an ad hoc fashion which wastes a great deal of time. It’s like reinventing a wheel every time you sell a car.
The real problem is that these teams are not united around a common promise that is reinforced at every point of interaction with prospects on the inbound journey. This disjointedness results in sales leakage, where prospects who should become your client opt out of dialogue and you lose deals you should win. The solution to this problem is to develop the right sales strategy at your organization. That is exactly what we do.
Sales Function Common Issues
Many professional service firms that we’ve worked with for the last 20 years or so, at The Shattuck Group, have struggled with these types of questions:
- How do we move ideal prospects through the sales funnel to deliver a great client experience that produces a close? What are the specific steps prospects must pass through to become our client? Who interacts with inbound prospects and what are their responsibilities? What levers can we pull to create velocity in the funnel?
- How do we reduce the amount of time it takes us to produce winning proposals? How do we know who should be involved in the proposal and scoping process? How do we streamline this activity to achieve scale?
- How do we establish repeatable practices for the sales funnel that everyone on our team understands and follows consistently? How do we ensure that every prospect gets a great client experience, no matter who on our team is handling them as they come inbound?
- Should we have a dedicated outside sales team? If so, how do we compensate them? How do we ensure that disconnects do not develop over time between what they promise and what the delivery team can deliver?
- If we have a dedicated sales team, what do we expect of them? Do they have to generate their own leads? Do they have to close their own engagements? Do they carry a quota? What kind of support do they need from delivery teams? How do these requirements shape how they are compensated? Are our expectations realistic?
- How do we protect the time and energy of our most valuable people to ensure they are not wasting it on the wrong prospects?
- Should we have an inside sales team? If so, what are our expectations of them? How are they compensated? How can we be sure an inside sales team is delivering the right experience so ideal prospects consistently take next steps? How can an inside sales team help us get the wrong prospects out of the funnel?
- How do we structure our sales team to get the best outcomes for clients and our firm? Should we develop sales territories, named accounts, vertical disciplines, practice areas or other approaches?
- How do we measure sales outcomes? What do we measure and what tools and data are necessary for these measurements? When do we take these measurements?
All these questions are directly related to Sales Strategy and can be answered with the right approach. Our Sales Strategy service delivers that approach.
Who Needs This Service?
Professional service firms who:
- Want to improve their client experience.
- Do not have a formal process for handling inbound prospects from first call to close.
- Spend far more time
- Know they are losing deals they should win.
- Experience win-rates below industry averages.
- Want to dramatically improve their sales outcomes.
- Desire repeatability in their inbound client experience.
- Want to be successful on purpose, not accidentally.
To learn more about how we deliver this service, please click on Our Approach above.