Sales Teams for Startups, Turnarounds and slow markets – New Alternatives
If you want to grow your business in a B2B environment having a strong sales team is essential. Most startups do not see value in a sales team initially because the new company has “products that are so amazing that they sell themselves!” Typically, we see this mantra in startups that are suffering from chronic “Inventors Syndrome”. Many Startups suffer through a year or more of slow or nonexistent sales before building a sales team and sales processes. Incoming investors (saviors) always push to have a proper sales organization. Investment groups know through experience that a strong sales team is the best way to grow a business and monetize an investment.
Building a sales team, or rebuilding a team is a daunting task. Smaller companies, startups or those suffering through a low revenue cycle do not have the budget to support “the standard sales model”. Good sales people in the oil and gas segment demand base salaries between $120,000 and $150,000 per year. On top of that, commission programs pay double or triple the base amount. Expense accounts run as high as $10,000/month plus the occasional “VIP visit” or out of town “event” that will set you back $30,000 in a month. In total you will pay $300,000 to $500,000 per year for a seasoned sales person with a large proven network.
Firstly, start to assess what stage or cycle your company is in. How much do you want to grow your business? How much business growth can you handle? Match this with a cost effective strategy to get to your goals. In my experience, many sales professionals are worth this amount of compensation. Working in the corporate world, we paid a sales person working for my team $575,000 in one year. He closed more than $50 Million dollars in business, so the compensation was fair compared to the revenue and profit that he brought to the company.
In my opinion, there are two most basic types of sales people: the Inside and the Outside Sales Professionals. I cover details in the next section, however I have to assume that you already created or hired a company to build your own brand, packaging, messaging, pricing and have sales tool kit. Professional sales people most of the time are hired after their company has completed the steps above. the product must be ready to be sold and serviced. It is a waste of time, money and resources to retain a sales person without this work done. It’s like hiring the absolute best race car driver and giving him a unicycle or having him compete on foot against the other racers in cars! See my article here on business basics
Inside Sales Person – The essential base of sales and most cost effective role depending on your company stage and what you sell. Inside Sales People are starting out their sales careers and can be hired for $60K or less. Duties include: responding to incoming website requests and phone calls, working leads from trade shows and some basic business development work. As the company builds in revenue and sales demand inside sales people graduate to outside sales roles or function as tactical sales support (generating quotes, first call to setup in person meeting). Depending on your current status and volume of calls, this person will not be busy all the time but but should be available to respond to leads while they are HOT. Fast respoonse is the key element to success: the faster you can respond the better chances to turn an inquiry into REVENUE.
Ouside Sales Person – Elite seasoned professionals. Brave soles that meet the client in person and close the business. Armed with a sales tool kit, custom presentations, baseball ticktsand a silver tongue. The depth of knowledge is incredibe on both company products and the client’s needs. They have a seeminly unlimited list of contacts and friends that they use to land meetings, generating awareness for you and your business while exponentially growing your company’s revenue. As your company revenue evolves, it is a natural path to have high end professionals being part of your team. Depending on industry and segment, these guys can be very expensive sometimes earning more than $1million dollars per year. If your company has revenues in the hundreds of millions or billions AND you sell high ticket complex products I highly recommend recruting one of these professionals for each market you serve.
What is the alternative?
“How can my company get high end sales resources to grow our revenue without the huge upfront expense?”
“How do I get a high quality inside or outside sales people with thousands of contacts in my industry segment?“
“How do I justify the expense based on how slow our business is right now?”
Your company needs to utilize expert sales as an on demand service!
When your budget is slashed, you have laid off your entire sales team and your revenue has fallen to 0, you need to get back on track. In my experience, when you only have enough business demand or capacity for 10 to 20 hours of sales efforts per week you should now utilize a team of seasoned sales professionals that work for multiple companies (none to cause a conflict of interest.) Many buyers in your market also buy other products. ON DEMAND SALES SERVICES can effectively sell complementary products to buyers in a single meeting. The ON DEMAND SERVICE represents a win-win situation where the selling and buying process more efficient, saving time for the buyer and providing more complete solution for all involved. Your company automatically receives increased market exposure and a better drive of revenue growth.
Feel free to contact me about this exciting new sales product and how it can help your business growth. I will be happy to continue this conversation @ email@example.com
About the author:
Michael Szafron has held Management and Executive positions in the Oil and Gas, Medical, Information Technology and Retail fields. Michael has grown companies and operating divisions globally having done business in multiple industries in more than 30 countries and counting. Szafron has just finished setting up the US based Energy Division of an Israeli company that would like to bring their MRI and NMR products into the oilfield and refining sectors. Most recently joining Perfect Consulting Group™ as COO. Perfect Consulting Group™ is a market leading organization that provides More Than Just Advice™ to it’s clients. Accellerating and growing business with real deliverables. Please Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Fcompany%2Fperfect-consulting-group-llc