A professional services company had a number of trainee sales reps. None of them hit their sales targets. The MD was irritated because they had a great direct-mail program that was pulling in many calls. However, the conversion rate from call to sale was low, and generating less sales than projected in the sales targets.
Sales Partners went in to study the client acquisition/ sales process from beginning to end. Clearly, the direct-mail campaign was working based on the number of marketing pieces that were sent out every month and the high percentage of prospects calling in from each mailing – the mail shot conversion rate. The sales reps had good selling skills and used a traditional consultative selling process. However, the company’s offerings were simple and straightforward. We discovered that the prospects calling in were ready to buy and didn’t need to go through a consultative process. So the sales reps were actually preventing sales and confusing prospects!
We took one sales rep out of the inbound call selling process for one day and had his incoming calls answered by an office assistant whom we asked to play customer service rep. At the end of the day, the number of call-in conversions increased significantly. We immediately replaced all of the sales reps with customer service reps, since the company wanted to keep the sales reps, we moved the handful of sales reps to external sales with a corporate account sales strategy and execution plan.
Sales tripled in the first thirty days from the direct-mailing call-in conversions! One sales rep left the company within three weeks. Another sales rep set the world on fire and closed two major accounts a week with corporates after a thirty-day ramp-up period. The others did moderately well, gaining 1 major account a week with corporates after a thirty-day ramp-up period. Total revenue from the new corporate account division was an additional 29% at the end of four months.
The Common Mistake
99% of all companies that we evaluate have no company-wide sales process or an ineffective sales process. This is just like a football team not using the same playbook or defending against a running game when the opponents are playing a passing game!