Even the best sales managers cannot tackle everything on their plate alone, no matter how good the team behind them happens to be. When you need some help at the executive level, sales management consulting can provide a useful outside perspective and unbiased analyses that can help you overcome challenges and find new opportunities for growth.
How Is Sales Management Consulting Different From Management Consulting In General?
Management consulting is a practice that helps organizations find improvements in their performance. Hiring management consultants gives a company access to intelligent and analytical minds that possess the know-how to help enhance business performance. They can solve the complex problems faced by businesses and help management devise strategies that will pay off for years to come.
Although it can be incredibly helpful to all types of managers, those in sales need consultants with expertise in the unique challenges they face. According to a survey from HubSpot Research, just 3 percent of people trust salespeople; that figure drops to 1 percent for car salespeople. This statistic illustrates just how different the challenges faced by salespeople are compared to those in other lines of work— – and it’s why management consultants with specific expertise in sales are so important.
Sales management consultants can help your business to set and reach sales goals, analyze data, coordinate training programs, assign territories and perform other sales-specific tasks that can lead to a winning strategy.
How To Find The Right Sales Management Consultant
Before you hire a sales management consultant, you need to know exactly how they will be spending your money and time. Here are some things to look for as you make this potentially game-changing decision.
Learn More About Their Approach
When you are looking at sales management consultants, one of the first things you need to take into account is their approach. The effort is only going to be successful if you can agree on the approach and your cultures align.
There are two main approaches to consulting. One is a collaborative approach, where the consultant works together with you to diagnose the problem and show you some proven potential approaches. It’s based on the assumption that you, as the client, know more about what will work in the organization than the consultant, and it will require a greater effort on your part. In short, it’s a team effort every step of the way.
The other model is often likened to a doctor/patient relationship, and it’s based on the assumption that the consultants know far more about sales situations than you do. You tell the consultant the problems your organization has been dealing with, and they use their expertise to diagnose the problems and prescribe solutions. They will be in the driver’s seat, so to speak, but you’ll still have the option to provide feedback on their suggestions before anything is implemented.
Ask About Their Experience Across Different Industries
Although having experience in your particular field should be on your must-have list, it is also important that their experience spans other industries as well. This will give them that “bigger picture” perspective that can really benefit your company.
Going into the consulting process, you probably don’t have a clear idea of the cause of your problem, so hiring consultants that focus solely on sales compensation, for example, aren’t going to help you much if it turns out that isn’t your main issue.
While you’ll definitely want a sales management consultant that is very familiar with the ins and outs of businesses of your size, choosing one that has experience with everyone from SMBs to global corporations can really give you an edge.
See If They Understand Your Organization’s Unique Needs
Each industry will face its own distinct pressures and challenges when it comes to sales, which is where having experience in your industry proves valuable. However, you should also take this one step further and look for consultants who understand the unique needs faced by your organization.
You don’t want a consultant who simply dictates a process; you want one who is willing to listen and learn about your business.
Going with a cookie-cutter approach is not going to serve your company nearly as well as a custom program, regardless of how successful it seems. You need sales consultants who have a knack for diagnosing sales issues and devising solutions that address your specific trouble spots while making the most of your existing strengths. If a company tells you they always “start fresh”, steer clear – this can alienate your people and destroy your existing revenue channels.
Ask About The Resources They Can Provide
Most sales management consultants can provide resources such as data analytics tools and training modules. Even if you’re not quite sure going into the process of what you’ll need, this is still a good area to inquire about when you’re trying to decide which consultants to work with.
Learn What Sales Management Consulting Services They Offer
Training is often the focus when a company brings in sales consultants, but looking beyond training could yield tremendous rewards. Choose a sales consulting firm that uses a holistic approach encompassing everything from sales compensation planning and sales aptitude testing to new business capture.
What you’re looking for here is not a quick fix to your sales issues; you want something that addresses the root causes of whatever is keeping your business from reaching its fullest potential. In other words, don’t just treat the symptoms; treat the source of the problem.
Speak To An Experienced Sales Management Consulting Firm
If you’re a manager or owner who is considering sales management consulting services, get in touch with the experienced sales management consulting firm at RCG Workgroup to find out how they can guide your business to greater success.