I work with business owners who are very comfortable with the concept of hiring a sales consultant. They have made an investment which needs to give a return, and getting sales right is something they want to invest in.
Sales leaders and business owners who have a strong background in Sales are in a more difficult position. Their colleagues expect them to be ‘the’ internal expert on Sales and expect them to do their job without external consulting. But no matter how skilled you are as a sales leader, sales consulting gives you a valuable external perspective that allows you to reach peak performance. The best sportspeople in the world have the best coaches: we can apply a similar mindset here.
Reason #1: Diagnose pipeline problems
We are all very much ‘inside’ our own pipelines to the point that we sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. We see detail: sales consultants see the bigger picture, just like you would if you were brought in to consult on another sales leader’s pipeline.
A good sales consulting approach will zero in on problems you may have brushed over, and find opportunities to increase the long-term health of your sales pipeline.
Reason #2: Create new go-to-markets
One of the best parts of working with a sales consultant is tapping into their ability to discover new markets. Consultants are typically working with multiple organisations with a wealth of current, relevant information up their sleeves. This experience reduces the risk inherent in any new go-to-market, and gives you an avenue to test your ideation against an external benchmark.
While identifying a new go-to-market, sales consultants can also provide expert insight into deploying products to the new market. Sales consultants may be more across what the rest of the market are considering and planning, which helps you choose the right opportunity to pursue.
Reason #3: Get honest feedback on your opportunities
Sales consultants will give you honest feedback on your deals, sometimes brutally so. In our experience, this has been the biggest single reason sales consulting leads to a commercial return. We will tell people to stop working on a certain opportunity and put their resources in a different direction that has a better chance of a win. We will call it out when there is really no chance of a deal coming in, but our client is too attached to the deal for whatever reason.
Again with the sporting analogy: golfers need an external pair of eyes to find fault with their strokeplay. That is what a good sales consultant will do with your opportunities.
Reason #4: Strategically target better accounts
Good operators generally go after a size of account and a size of deal that we have won before, with good reason. If we win business that is too small for our business model, it won’t be profitable. If we go after a ‘big fish’, the cost of sale and likelihood of loss can both be higher.
Targeting bigger accounts without increasing risk and cost of sale to an unreasonable level calls for rethinking your sales strategy. This is the point at which calling in external help can go a long way.
Reason #5: Have a coach who prepares you for the long game
One of the best things sales consultants can do is help anticipate opportunities and risks. It is common for teams to get so occupied looking for sales they overlook potential threats developing in the background. While your team is only focusing on the next client, your plans tend to get thrown aside. Blind spots are an unfortunate recipe for disaster when circumstances begin to change.
B2B sales consulting with Resonate
Resonate is a B2B sales and marketing agency that can help your business achieve a commercial result through leads, opportunities, and closed revenue. Please get in touch to learn more about our approach to B2B sales consulting.
RK is the Founder & CEO of Resonate.