The sales area is one of the most important for any business. After all, it is responsible for guaranteeing a good part or even all of the companies’ revenues. Thus, having qualified professionals who know the market and who are capable of prospecting new customers is essential. And that’s exactly what a sales consultant does.
The world has a strictly commercial society. Buying and selling products and services is what drives the economy. Even those who produce need inputs, machinery and, of course, having someone to negotiate with.
Despite this, the sales sector is often neglected or, at least, does not have the attention it should have. Although many companies consider hiring a sales professional to be an additional cost, if they have the right profile, it will be an investment. After all, what a sales consultant does is attract revenue, not push it away.
Another option is to hire companies that specialize in sales consulting, such as Protagnst. These companies have the advantage of having an entire team devoted to prospecting and business analysis. Thus, the return is usually faster and more assertive.
In this article, we’ll show you how hiring a sales consultant or consulting firm can be the turning point for your business. Whether on a permanent basis or through a service contract, a good sales consultant is able to improve your way of negotiating or even offer you new opportunities.
Next, learn all about sales consulting and why you should consider hiring yours too.
But what does a sales consultant do anyway?
A sales consultant is a professional whose job it is to find and implement solutions that improve a company’s sales process from end to end. This is a professional who needs to be aware of market changes, in order to identify and plan the best sales strategies.
Sales consultants are professionals hired by companies to provide sales training, sales consulting, and other sales-related services.
He is the right professional to improve the conversion of leads for your company, since he applies all his knowledge and analytical capacity to influence people, improve the average ticket and the total number of customers.
Prospecting for customers, presenting the company and its products and services, discovering customer needs and formatting solutions based on them, as well as negotiating business terms, is also a summary of what a sales consultant does.
If you are already familiar with the sales funnel, the consultant is the person who is responsible for taking the customer to the top of it and ensuring, in the sequence, that they reach the conversion.
The sales consultant conducts the sale as if he were consulting with the customer. He applies consultative sales techniques, making the lead receive added value during the sales process.
What does the sales consultant do exactly? It helps the customer to make a better purchasing decision. He can offer his services, or sometimes even recommend a competitor, if this client is not his ideal client profile. The commercial consultant makes recommendations, and gives suggestions and advice during the sales process. More than selling, it starts a relationship with the customer.
This type of professional is increasingly important for the company, especially in times of crisis – such as the one triggered by the pandemic. After all, with the downturn in business, those who consume and those who offer need to be accurate in their choices. There is little room for betting, and that is precisely why having a professional capable of enhancing results can make all the difference.
In times of crisis, decisions are taken collectively. This means that normally the option that prevails is not the one with the lowest cost, but the one with the lowest risk. The lower risk usually costs more. Therefore, to sell more in a crisis: offer security. Offer and commit to delivery.
If you want to hire a company committed to your sales, consider Protagnst’s sales consultancy. Fill out the form to schedule a chat.
The Sales Consultant can be represented both by the seller, who makes the consultative and complex sale, and can be an external commercial consultant, who identifies the needs of the company, and proposes improvements, based on the needs of each company.
Sales consultants are often called on to help a company with a specific problem or objective. They can be hired for anything from providing customer service to improving the company’s marketing campaigns.
Sales consultants can work on a contract basis or they can be hired as full-time employees. Either way, they will typically work closely with the company’s management team and executives to develop solutions that will help the company achieve its goals.
What is the difference between a sales consultant and a seller? What about the closer or commercial consultant?
In many cases, mainly in consultative sales and inside sales, we use the term sales consultant, commercial consultant or even the term closer to represent the same thing: the seller.
Commercial consultancies like Protagnst have teams of sales consultants or commercial consultants, who are responsible for delivering sales consultancy projects. In these cases, we make a diagnosis to understand the needs of each company, and based on that, offer solutions that adhere to the needs of each company.
In addition to these names mentioned, we also have the position of account executives or Key Account Executive, who are also responsible for the commercial sector of the company.
As we mentioned, the sales consultant makes a consultative sale and during the process of serving the potential client, he understands the client’s needs, making a diagnosis to verify what the client needs, to then make the relationship with his solutions of sales and see whether or not it makes sense to continue the sale.
The sales consultant gives commercial advice during this service process. And this process is seen during every moment of the sale. During the proposal presentation, lead qualification, or even during the sales closing process, it is important for the sales consultant to understand the customer’s need and make a good sale.
On the other hand, there are different types of sellers. Many sellers act as sales consultants, but not all are like that. Some of them act as order takers. They just write down what the customer wants and take orders. They often only negotiate discounts or payment methods.
There are sellers who work selling just thinking about their own benefit. They offer more expensive plans, which will bring higher commissions, and claim advantages that are not always beneficial to the customer. The problem with this type of attitude is that it builds many bad sales, generating cancellations (or churn), decreasing the company’s LTV (Lifetime Value).
When we encourage forced sales, despite increasing the ticket, we can create another problem: the increase in canceled sales. This brings insecurity to the planning of any business, making the seller more difficult to help. Despite increasing the ticket with upsell and cross sell strategies, the salesperson who sells for commission fails to understand the customer’s need and may make a sale, which will hinder the company in the future.
Variations include, but are not limited to, other nomenclatures, such as hunter, who can be a salesperson or pre-salesperson, Sales Development Representative, who works looking for new opportunities. See the differences between a Hunter and a Farmer.
Hunter x Farmer
The Hunter, as the name implies, is the hunter. He is the one who goes after new opportunities and needs to be fed by a pre-sales area or do different types of prospecting to get new customers and close commercial deals.
Already the Farmer, is the farmer. In the literal sense, the farmer takes good care of the crop and then reaps the fruits. In this sense, the farmer is what we now have as a customer success area. He is responsible for the success of the customer, but, more than that, he is able to identify products or services that can be offered to the buyer, in order to do what we call upsell or cross sell (see article on the subject).
Why Hire a Sales Consultant?
Sales and marketing consulting is essential for a business that is struggling to generate leads or with opportunities for improvement in its commercial area.
If you don’t like selling or are experiencing a problem related to poor sales performance, you should probably consider hiring a sales consultant.
Sales consulting will help you leverage your sales and your financial result as a whole. It can bring predictability to your sales funnel and a lot of maturity to your outbound marketing process.
It is possible to work specialized in inside sales. In this case, we will focus on inside sales consulting for your business.
Caso você não saiba o que é inbound e outbound, visite este artigo. Se você tem interesse em contratar a Protagnst, preencha o formulário e agende uma conversa com um de nossos especialistas.
Steps of a sales consultancy
Usually commercial consultancies have a methodology to be followed. No experienced consultant is going to provide solutions or force change without understanding the business landscape.
Pre-Diagnosis, Negotiation and Commercial Stage
During this stage, the seller or commercial consultant asks a series of questions to create a first diagnosis. In this first diagnosis, the idea is to identify the company’s greatest needs, and based on that, create a proposal, present it and close the initial contract.
No contrato inicial, o vendedor deverá estimar o tamanho da equipe, prazo e necessidades do cliente para criar uma proposta aderente as suas necessidades. Independentemente da necessidade, a ideia é chegar num acordo comercial inicial, no qual o cliente já possa contar com esse orçamento.
Once the proposal is approved, the deeper work of the consultancy begins.
Diagnosis and Analysis of the past history
At this stage of the consultancy, what really happens is a more in-depth diagnosis of the situation. It is important to assess what the client has in relation to the commercial and complementary areas to the commercial, which can influence the work.
The Business Diagnosis serves to identify business needs and identify strengths that can be improved or maintained. A good consultant will study the qualitative and quantitative part of the business, and therefore, he needs access to the past history.
Projections, cash flow, past history, scripts, (un)defined processes, scripts and other sales materials. All this is important to analyze the current state and create a first vision of the business.
Definition of goals and desired state
Most consultants usually have ready-made phrases. But, there is a maxim, from Alice in Wonderland, that serves this stage.
For those who don’t know where they are going, any path will do
Although very simple, this is very real. With the diagnosis in hand, it is possible to understand the current situation of the company. With the current situation of the company in hand, it is necessary to understand the opportunities and the desired state.
We often joke that Excel (or any other spreadsheet application) accepts any number. In theory, everything is very nice, but in practice, putting everything to work is very difficult. This happens because there is no exact science.
It is important to define where you want to go, because it is from this definition of objectives that we have more clarity of the work to be followed. Once we define the desired state, it is easier to understand the expectations regarding the work of the sales consultant.
It is at this point that the consultant needs to be critical and create a realistic expectation in relation to the work. It’s no use promising the world and delivering 10% of it. It’s important to set something realistic so that the work doesn’t feel like something frustrating.
Every consultancy needs methodology and organization to know if the project is well under way. There are numerous action plan methodologies like PDCA, 5W2H, simple to-dos.
The action plan is the set of actions, which defines those responsible, deadlines and everything that is important for that project to get off the ground. The consultant’s role often becomes that of project manager, ensuring that everyone did what they were supposed to do.
At Protagnst consultancy, a good part of the actions are carried out by our team, as well as a part, remains with the client. This interaction is important so that the result of the consultancy brings greater returns to the client.
Perhaps this is the most important step of the consultancy. A consultancy that only delivers beautiful reports and documents fails to deliver the most important thing: change management.
The consultant’s role is to study the current state of the company, define the objectives, and create an action plan to get there. Accompanying this implementation in weekly, biweekly or monthly meetings is essential to make the business happen.
Therefore, if you want results, you need to evaluate how the implementation of the sales consultancy is going.
Main activities of a sales consultant
In a practical way, the activities inherent to a sales consultant vary a lot. They mainly depend on the contracting regime, the size of the team and the assignments received.
A sales consultant may, for example, have to serve customers by phone or in person, presenting products, registering, clarifying doubts and, more effectively, placing orders.
It is also up to a consultant to negotiate prices and offer commercial proposals. Based on this, he prepares technical reports, sets goals and plans future actions.
If acting directly on the front line of sales, it is also up to the consultant to maintain the relationship with the customer in the post-sales period. This ensures that everything that was negotiated is actually being carried out and offers the chance for the negotiation to become permanent.
On the other hand, many consultants act more in commercial planning – as a consultancy per se. In this case, its role is to carry out an extensive study of the area and business opportunities.
From this, he analyzes the possibilities of the company he works for and puts into practice an action plan that can involve the most diverse sectors.
Due to the nature of the service, sales consultants who work directly with managers tend to show more effective results.
The first step that every consultant or sales consultant has to do is to understand the current situation. We usually call this diagnostic step. It is in the diagnosis that we will identify how the current situation is, what the objectives are and what we need to do to get there.
After understanding the situation, it is possible to identify the problems, and then propose any type of solution. Depending on the situation, the sales consultant will identify that the problem is not just in the sales area, but in the operations area, for example.
It is important to have a critical sense, be able to identify the contractor’s objectives and propose solutions that will really make the client achieve the results he would like to achieve.
What does an outside sales consultant do?
The external sales consultant – or “external”, as he is also called – acts directly in sales and goes to the customer to serve him, hence the name external sales, as it takes place outside the company he is trying to sell. Unlike an ordinary seller, however, he does this based on a series of previously known characteristics.
That’s because analyzing the market and its trends, getting to know potential customers in depth and developing a mutual relationship of trust is what an external sales consultant does. That is, it goes far beyond simply offering new products or services.
More than a salesperson, it is up to him to offer consultancy both to the company he works for and to the client. It’s a two-way street: the sales consultant knows what the company can offer and he knows what the customer wants, can and needs. Thus, it is up to him to format the deal on the best terms for everyone.
In addition, it is up to him to act as a mediator in cases where transactions do not develop satisfactorily.
For all these reasons, an external sales consultant needs to have a multidisciplinary profile. It is necessary to be communicative and eloquent at the same time that you need to understand administration and be attentive to the movements of the economy.
The external seller needs to observe his environment and details of the company that is prospecting or providing a service. It will be these subtle details that will create greater empathy during negotiations and can make the external sales consultant perform better if everything is done remotely.
What does an inside sales or inside sales consultant do?
Internal sales, or inside sales, are increasingly common, and have gained even greater prominence since the beginning of the pandemic.
Protagnst is an inside sales consultancy. If you want to know more, fill out our form to schedule a conversation.
In short, an internal – or remote – sale is one that takes place without the need for a face-to-face meeting. It is done within the structure of the company itself, either through telephone calls or other means, such as a call or a videoconference.
Even though an eye-to-eye conversation can often make the difference when closing a deal, face-to-face meetings are subject to a series of factors that need to be considered by companies.
One of the most important involves costs.
Imagine, for example, a business to business (B2B) consultant for a company in the Texas countryside that is negotiating a considerable volume of goods with a wholesaler based in New York.
The consultant carried out all of the prior prospecting and market analysis work and decided to travel to Pernambuco to try to finalize the deal. At the end of the meeting with those responsible there, however, the business did not prosper.
In this situation, the company needed to invest in airline tickets, accommodation, internal transport and food, in addition to all the time that was “lost” with transportation, for a transaction that, unfortunately, did not materialize.
This, by the way, is a trend that has spread a lot with the pandemic, which forced airlines to reduce flights and expanded remote work.
Protagnst specializes in inside sales consulting. Interested? Fill out the form below and schedule a virtual meeting.
What is the salary of a sales consultant?
This answer needs to be put into perspective, as it varies greatly based on a number of factors.
In companies whose sales involve high ticket values, especially in the B2B, the salary of a sales consultant is above the market average.
That said, a sales consultant can earn anywhere from 2k to 20k USD monthly. It all depends on the complexity of their job and the size of the deals.
The data is from 2021 and was collected by the salario.com.br platform based on official data from Novo CAGED, eSocial and Empregador Web.
The website vendas.com, in turn, informs that the average salary of a sales consultant in the country is R$ 2,360.00 – which, as you can see, is well above the official data.
This does not mean, however, that the remuneration is wrong. On the contrary, it is very likely that the values on the job platform are closer to reality.
The difference in numbers is explained by the criteria used. While salario.com is based on the remuneration registered in the work book for both those who were hired and those who were fired in 2020, vendas.com calculates based on the registration of job offers.
Thus, the data reflects the numbers that the market considers correct for the moment.
It is worth noting, however, that this is a national average. The amounts vary by state. In general, a sales consultant earns more in Rio Grande do Sul and less in Mato Grosso do Sul, for example.
Sales consultants usually earn a % on sales they close or on projects they work on. This means that this value, which we mentioned, is just the salesperson’s salary, without considering performance bonuses and closing commissions.
Commissions will vary according to the business, but on average they tend to be 1% to 10% of the gross value traded. It all depends on the average ticket and the complexity of the sale. For a deal of USD 1 million, a commission of 0.5% represents USD 5,000.00. Not bad for someone who made a sale. If the commission were 2%, for example, it would be USD 20,000.00. In the case of a 10% commission, we are talking about USD 100,000.00.
You have to match a commission that will represent anywhere from 20-40% of their total salary. If you’re paying a high monthly salary, consider matching the commission to motivate the account executive, but not so much that it can hurt the business financial health.
Each company has its rule and not every seller is commissioned. There are consultants who work on projects and for the delivery of each project they receive a commission based on the value negotiated for the project.
Commissioned sales consultant
A common way to increase sales – and therefore earnings – is to act as a commissioned sales consultant.
In these cases, remuneration increases based on the results presented. The commission can come from both sales volume and the creation or maintenance of contracts with new or old customers.
It is important to emphasize that, even if the commission is an extra incentive, it cannot simply serve as a trigger for sales without criteria. After all, as we are showing, the great differential of a sales consultant is his ability to analyze the business and develop it in the best way.
That’s because a consultant’s role is to ensure sales on a perennial basis, not occasionally.
As mentioned earlier, each seller may have a different commission amount, according to the rules of each company.
Self-employed sales consultant or sales representative
You must be wondering, what does the commercial representative do, right? The autonomous sales consultant is a professional who acts without having an employment relationship with a certain company. In many cases, he is the famous commercial representative or sales representative. The representative can be exclusive to one brand or can work with several.
In order to be successful, he must have a lot of discipline and proactivity, as he must go after his own customers.
His functions are similar, but he has greater freedom of action, which can often bring advantages.
Among them is the fact that the independent sales consultant is able to have a more impartial view of the company for which he is providing services, thus being free of any “addictions”. Thus, the work tends to develop within parameters that are considered more appropriate.
After all, what is the advantage of the commercial representative? What does the sales representative do?
Another advantage is the potential that a freelance consultant has to increase your networking. Working on his own, he can expand his scope and develop further.
For the company, having a sales force of competent commercial representatives is excellent, as the company pays only the result. That is, for the company, the cost of sale ends up being much lower, as it does not need to invest in customer prospecting or b2b lead generation.
If the professional is good, it is also an advantage for him to work in this model, as it allows the creation of client portfolios and a great relationship, enjoying good commissions. A good independent consultant can have salaries that reach more than USD 10,000.00.
Care must be taken, however, not to extrapolate their functions and end up developing the work without due attention or study – which, after all, would end up hindering their services in the future.
Areas of expertise
The areas of activity of a consultant vary, but first of all it is necessary to clarify that there are two types of sales consultant: internal and external. It is also possible to act on more strategic issues and on more operational issues.
It all depends on the consultant’s niche. And every company will have a problem. Protagnst is able to identify your problem and propose the best solution for it through a consultative sale. Fill out the form, share with us a little of your story and your problems, and we will contact you to schedule a chat.
The professional who works internally is a sales executive who seeks high performance, while the external sales consultant provides services to companies and seeks to improve their services.
That said, on a large scale, a consultant can act to structure the entire sales process. In addition to prospecting customers and qualifying leads, he works directly in negotiations and even monitors the post-sales stages.
In other words, he seeks to understand the customer’s needs as much as possible to jointly format the best solution.
These activities are essential both in traditional business models and in e-commerce, whose model has expanded a lot in recent years in Brazil and had an even bigger boom with the pandemic.
According to the objective of each company or the identified problems, the sales consultancy will have a more active and more focused performance at a certain point in the process. It is the role of the consultant to participate in the transformation of each company, making it successful.
On a smaller scale, the sales consultant can work with stores or autonomous establishments, as well as having his own company to provide consultancy to others, of all sizes.
In this sense, an external sales consultant seeks to qualify the sales funnel, carry out a study and diagnosis of vulnerable points, train the sales team and seek solutions to improve the business.
Difference to a sales representative
In the end. What does a sales representative do? There are numerous differences from a sales consultant to a sales representative. And the reason is even simple: the functions are different.
We have already shown that the sales consultant is a professional who seeks a broader view of the business. He crafts trading strategies from start to finish. Its role is to analyze processes, find bottlenecks and seek the best solutions.
The consultant can act either internally in a company or autonomously. Your client is the company you provide your services to, which is done in a structured and personalized way. After all, the solutions that work for one business may not be the same for another.
The sales representative, in turn, is a professional who makes the connection between the company and the consumer. His function is to negotiate the products or services that the company he represents offers.
It can be said in a sense that the sales representative is, at heart, a salesperson. But you have to keep in mind that this is a professional that goes beyond that.
A sales representative works by studying the market and potential customers. He is not a simple salesman who arrives with a catalog of products and tries to negotiate as much as possible. On the contrary, the representative seeks to adapt what the represented company offers to what the company or consumer he deals with needs.
A sales representative works by studying the market and potential customers. He is not a simple salesman who arrives with a catalog of products and tries to negotiate as much as possible. On the contrary, the representative seeks to adapt what the represented company offers to what the company or consumer he deals with needs.
In other words, a sales rep is always looking for a win-win negotiation.
Like consultants, a sales representative can act directly for a company or autonomously. In this case, a service provision contract is signed that specifies the commercial relationship. He can establish eventual exclusivity for brand representation, area of activity and even cost allowance.
Courses for Sales Consultants
A specific degree is not required for anyone wishing to become a sales consultant, but having a degree in certain areas is often an important differentiator. After all, having a good foundation makes it easier to understand market dynamics and helps build good networking.
Because it’s about business, a Business Administration degree is usually well suited to sales consultants. The graduation lasts four years and is multidisciplinary, offering knowledge of finance, marketing, human resources, production and organizational theory.
In addition, good courses in the field often present current best practices, which helps to better understand how markets work.
In the same sense, an economics degree is also suitable for business consultants. One of the differentials is understanding the development of markets and predicting their movements, which can make all the difference, especially in business to business (B2B) relationships.
Graduation in areas related to Marketing and Social Communication are also interesting for those who want to pursue a career as a sales consultant.
Specific marketing courses usually have disciplines related to industry, retail and services in their curriculum, with a strong focus on business.
In social communication, especially in advertising and public relations, the professional learns techniques to deal with the corporate environment and with marketing in order to communicate better, in addition to being faced with disciplines focused on business management.
In addition to more traditional courses such as those mentioned, there are currently other graduations such as commercial management, which is focused on sales management. These courses usually have a shorter duration, as they are technologists, but are 100% focused on sales.
Practice will help the consultant a lot, as he will be able to contribute to the process in a more strategic way. Not everyone will be educated, but those who know and have experience will be able to see opportunities to apply methodologies, processes and their own experience in other companies that are experiencing difficulties similar to those they have already experienced.
The consultant’s profile should always be consultative. To provide solutions and propose the best result for the client.
And what does a sales consultancy do?
A sales consultancy is a company that helps others build or improve their business strategies.
Right off the bat, a sales consultancy brings two innovations to any other company: an external look – and therefore more critical – and sales know-how, that is, commercial techniques, which can often be applied.
When we have a company, especially if it has been in the market for a few years, it is relatively common for us to settle down or, then, to have an uncritical look at the business. After all, if billing is within a reasonable standard, the tendency is to consider that the company is being well managed.
The problem is that there is often huge room for growth that is wasted. And this happens due to self-indulgence, unmotivated sales staff, failures in the sales funnel or even insufficient market analysis.
Companies specializing in sales consulting, such as Protagnst, work by identifying internal bottlenecks, analyzing market potential and applying more effective sales strategies.
A sales consultancy is capable of restructuring the entire commercial sector, offering standardization of processes and training.
In another area of activity, they are able to act directly in prospecting for customers and forwarding new business.
What to do before hiring a sales consultant
The first step is to make your own assessment of the situation of your company. After all, if you consider that your company needs a new vision for the sales area, it is a sign that you recognize that it is not flowing as it should.
Therefore, make a prior analysis of this sector in your company. Does it have properly trained professionals or a good number? Are the results that the sales area presents constant – and, if so, in relevant numbers?
In short, think carefully about what your needs are.
That done, look for a sales consultancy that can meet your demands. As you know, this is a vital area for the company, and leaving it in the hands of adventurers or people with little experience in the area could be fatal.
Try to understand the cases and seek testimonials from other professionals who have already worked with the company. At Protagnst, we have several clients who have already obtained and continue to obtain excellent results. Therefore, we recommend that you seek references and talk to a customer of the company.
Good sales consulting companies, or even self-employed professionals in the area, are able to bring more knowledge, experience, streamline processes and present solutions for faster returns.
There are very good freelance consultants with the potential to really make the sales area grow, but sometimes it is more worthwhile to invest in consulting companies.
They take advantage of having several professionals available to work on the different aspects of a sale.
Instead of concentrating all steps on a single consultant, a larger team allows for more acute interventions in every detail. Thus, the results tend to come more quickly and more assertively.
B2B Sales Consultant
A sales consultant who works in the business to business (B2B) segment tends to have a more analytical profile than one who works in the business to consumer (B2C) segment. That’s because your demand is different.
A B2B sales consultant operates in so-called complex negotiations, since they involve large financial amounts, more than one decision maker in the process, larger sales and generally longer contracts. All this makes the negotiations and the agreement period longer.
This does not mean, however, that the B2B relationship is more difficult. Rather on the contrary.
A sales consultant who manages to develop a good commercial strategy between companies needs to be a professional who is more attentive to their needs, and therefore usually has a closer relationship. He studies each of the ends more and makes stronger connections between them.
For this very reason, this professional needs to be even more updated than the average. Staying on top of economic trends, knowing the geographic region and its potential well and predicting future trends is more than a differential, it is a necessity.
A B2B sales consultant also tends to earn higher salaries than a B2C consultant. This is because, as said, the financial volume involved in negotiations is much greater.
It is necessary to consider, however, that closing deals is much more complex and time consuming. Think, for example, of a consultant who works with companies that produce large equipment for other companies. Sales, in these cases, involve larger sums, but in much smaller amounts.
Reasons that affect sales
There are a number of factors capable of affecting a company’s sales. They range from problems involving the performance of sales professionals to methods employed. And what a sales consultant does is precisely to try to understand these failures and seek solutions.
Next, we’ll show you some of the main ones.
Difficulty recruiting and selecting salespeople
Success in sales also involves having qualified professionals for this purpose. The point is that you need to define well what profile you want for your company.
In other words, experienced salespeople who have demonstrated good results elsewhere will not necessarily succeed if the profile does not fit your business.
Finding good sellers is not the simplest of tasks, and having the help of a good sales consultant can make a difference.
This is because recruitment and selection needs to consider several points. One of the main ones is the specific skills of salespeople and the technical and behavioral skills for each position.
All professionals, whether in sales or any other field, have strengths and weaknesses. That’s why you should consider the product or service you are offering when recruiting your salespeople.
In addition, some salespeople are extremely efficient at seeking out customers, while others have an easy time converting leads when they are sought after. Both profiles are interesting, but may not work when they come across opportunities they are not used to.
At the same time, in a highly competitive market, good remuneration tends to attract the best professionals. Establishing attractive goal plans and commissions often helps.
Most professionals are hired based on their resume and technical profile, but are dismissed because of their behavioral profile and attitudes. Therefore, choosing a person with the correct discipline and behavior is the least you should do to have a sales champion team.
Lack of management by indicators
An important point to keep any company healthy is to have a good management of indicators.
These are data from the most diverse sectors of the company that allow the evaluation and monitoring of activities. The indicators show how the projects are progressing, the material in stock in relation to its logistical capacity, the development of internal programs, sales, among others.
In short, they are the indicators that allow defining the goals and how, in fact, their development is happening.
The lack of management by indicators is especially bad in the sales area. After all, this is a key sector for revenue generation.
The most common indicators to observe in the sales sector – in addition, of course, to the total number of closed deals – are the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), the average ticket of your customer, the duration of the sales cycle and the rate of conversion. Added to this is the total number of potential customers that actually become one for your company.
Measuring the results in order to have real data is a great way to find out about possible process failures and check for bottlenecks.
In sales, we typically measure effort and result. Effort is measured by the number of actions we print in the process. It could be the amount of calls I make. The amount of emails sent, and so on.
The result is the end result of the process. This could represent the amount of sales made, the conversion rate, and so on.
In a commercial management process, always consider both types of indicators for your process. If you don’t have anything and you’re lost, fill out our form to understand how Protagnst will help you in the process.
Lack of sales strategy
Building a brand is a difficult process, and making it known in the market is equally time-consuming. And strategy.
A company only becomes known if it attracts customers. After all, it’s safer to negotiate with someone who has already satisfied other people or companies than with someone who doesn’t have much to show for it.
Generating sales and increasing your revenues involves having a good sales strategy – which is different from a sales process, which we will discuss shortly.
A sales strategy establishes which commercial objectives you want to achieve, when you want to achieve them and how to achieve them.
When a company does not define these three basic points, it is navigating without a north. And the problem with that is that, as soon as the first storms appear, the chance of definitely losing the course is greater.
Studies have already shown that conquering a new customer requires an effort that can be five times greater than maintaining an existing one. That is why selling more to those who have already negotiated with your company is of paramount importance. A good professional knows this. And that’s what a sales consultant does.
Furthermore, if the company does not have a clear positioning, it will be difficult to sell well to its target audience. You should consider understanding your PCI (Ideal Customer Profile) well and understand what benefits your product provides. If you don’t know the benefits, the least you need to know are the pains that your client suffers and that you manage to solve.
Lack of generation of business opportunities
Conquering and retaining customers is the desire of everyone who has a business, and perhaps that is why you are impressed with the number of commercial opportunities that are left aside.
Studies indicate that more than 80% of business opportunities are lost during a negotiation, reaching 90% in some cases. The difference is in the line of business and where they take place.
This number clearly demonstrates that there are, indeed, many chances to close deals with new or old customers. Therefore, it remains to qualify the process.
Among the reasons given for so many missed opportunities is the lack of persistence in negotiation. It is obviously not a matter of forcing negotiations, but of better identifying needs and presenting the appropriate solutions to customers.
It is worth noting that, among lost opportunities, around 20% of them are usually resumed within six months. Of these, a quarter of them actually become a business.
Protagnst is a specialist in this matter. And it can help you not only with the strategy, but with training, tools and even providing people to operate your pre-sales. Let us be your pre-sales team. Know how.
Low Conversion Rate
Anyone who has a business, especially online, knows the importance of the conversion rate – the one that is the result of the total traffic/lead conversion equation.
Having a website with a high audience – or, in comparison, a physical store with many visits –, but which converts little into closing deals, is a strong indication that there are flaws in the sales process.
In the B2B business world, this is especially damaging. Developing a sales strategy in this type of transaction generally requires a high investment.
It takes a lot of research, hours of negotiations – often in person and in cities far from the company’s headquarters – and the joint work of different sectors. And if all this does not represent a business, it will all go to waste.
A low conversion rate clearly signals that there is a bottleneck. And he can be at one or several stages of the sales process, which will be more easily identifiable with the help of a sales consultant.
Conversion failures can happen simply due to a positioning error, with the sales team working with potential customers who do not actually represent the target audience.
On the other hand, the target may be right, but the approach or type of approach is wrong – and that would be an even bigger mistake, because it would clearly be a wasted opportunity.
And what does a sales consultant do in the midst of this? He is capable of evaluating all stages and repositioning the sales team based on his diagnosis, making her performance more accurate.
Often the low conversion rate is due to the fact that there is no defined sales funnel. Closing steps and techniques are not used, which causes your process to stagnate and you are left waiting for customers to close. You need to control the process and know how to move the negotiations forward without upsetting the prospect.
Value proposition doesn’t convey benefits
Good deals are those that generate gains for all sides, and this is paramount in B2B transactions.
A common mistake in sales is to establish negotiation values that become advantageous for only one side. And that doesn’t matter if the advantage was for those who bought it or for those who sold it.
When your company sells a product or service at prices that, in the end, will not represent a profit for your customer, it will become just an occasional business. After all, it is very unlikely that he will do business with you again if he considers that his expense was not worth it.
In the same way, when you trade at values below what your company actually needs in return, it is your own business that starts to take risks.
Establishing a beneficial relationship between the two ends of the business is what a sales consultant does, among many other things. It analyzes the market, customer potential and what is economically viable for your company.
When the value proposition is very technical, it is usually focused exclusively on features and not on benefits. This causes the company to stop selling, as the buyer always wants to answer an essential question: what do I get out of it?
If you don’t know how to answer this question and only talk about the characteristics of your solution, you and your potential client will be wasting your time. So think hard about how you can transform your client’s business.
Sales process does not exist
Having a sales sector in the company is very important to ensure the viability of your business, and that is precisely why you need to pay special attention to it.
There is little point in having a team dedicated to sales if it is not supported by a clear and well-defined sales process. Otherwise, transactions will end up being just occasional.
Establishing a sales process guides the entire team through each of the steps to closing deals, from prospecting to qualifying leads, connecting with them to presenting products or services, and culminating in closing.
When the company does not define a sales process, everything is misshapen. Training new salespeople has no direction, and this is the first step for the team to present different – and bad – results.
If the steps are not well defined, the investment of resources in the search for customers will also end up being greater. After all, each of them will demand a unique strategy, when application at scale could be much easier and more assertive if there were parameters to follow.
Another factor that often hinders negotiations between companies is excessive bureaucracy.
Unfortunately, Brazil records many cases of attempted coups in negotiations, which obliges companies to take the utmost care. Thus, it is not uncommon to ask for copies of articles of incorporation and other legal evidence to be sent for a simple presentation of proposals.
Using an established and recognized sales consultancy in the market reduces this type of obstacle and allows negotiations to flow naturally.
Take a good look at what your company needs before submitting a proposal. You often lose business by bureaucratizing your sales process.
As we have seen, even though the sales area is one of the most important areas for any company, it is often not given due attention.
Whether for not standardizing actions, or for failures in the various stages of a sales process, potential business is often left behind. Studies have already shown that about 80% of opportunities are lost because negotiation has not evolved as it should.
Let’s face it: this hinders the sustainable growth of any company and can have harmful impacts on the future of the business.
For this reason, hiring consulting firms or even sales consultants, whether they are themselves or self-employed, is a practice that should always be evaluated.
These professionals have the nature of studying the market where they operate, getting to know customers – or potential customers – in depth and establishing lasting relationships based on good negotiation practices, which they consider to be a win-win model. That is, it is good for those who sell, it is good for those who buy.
Expanding business possibilities and establishing lasting bridges between companies and customers – be they final consumers or other companies – is what a sales consultant does.