An overwhelming amount of attention in sales training goes towards teaching tips and tricks. Some of these tips are tricks can be good things to know, but ultimately they don’t add much to the value of the company. To see real results, you need more than tricks. You need to create a strong foundation for your company’s sales structure.
A strong sales foundation allows you to do a few things:
- Maximize your sales capacity: This is simply the measure of how much sales you can generate when running at peak efficiency. When all of your sales assets and resources are firing at 100%, that’s a measure of your sales capacity.
- More accurately predict your sales: This means having more visibility into how your business is doing, and a better idea when and where your sales are going to come from.
- Organize all of your opportunities: With a strong foundation, you have a much better understanding of your deal flow. Having a solid framework helps to keep everything in order.
- Make more money: The more structured and professional your sales process, the more money you will bring in. This is true even when the same structures are applied in a nonprofit, fundraising context.
Developing a strong sales foundation is a process, and it takes time to build. It’s not something you can just throw together, or master over the course of an afternoon of sales training. This is something that needs to be in the DNA of your business. Once it’s in place, investors will start to take note.
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and early stage companies, and one of the most common questions I’m asked is “How do I make my business more attractive to outside investors?” If you want to grow, the thinking goes, you’re going to need as much financial capital as you can get your hands on. It’s only natural that most people would think of outside investment as a means of generating that capital.
Needing money isn’t a great way to catch the eye of investor, or to convince a lender that you’re a safe bet. If anything, it’s a sign that there’s something missing in your business model. That means risk, the worst four-letter word in investment.
The best way to make a business more likely to appeal to investors is to get better at generating your own capital through sales. Having predictable and repeatable sales foundation under your feet is exactly the kind of thing investors are looking for. That’s just as true for equity investors as it is for lenders. They want to see that the business can make money.
Another huge benefit to having a strong foundation in place is the ability to attract, develop and retain great sales talent. If you have a successful, highly organized sales organization, you will be able to bring on better salespeople, train them better, and get the most out of their talents. By creating a setting where those salespeople can thrive, you encourage them to stick around, helping to ensure that you get the long-term benefits of your investment.
A strong sales foundation also has one other major benefit: It saves you a lot of time and irritation. As a small business owner, entrepreneur or executive, your most important currency is time. Anything you can do to save your time, and your sanity, is worth developing.