“Don’t put the horse before the cart.”

This age-old analogy often becomes a reality when a company’s sales have slowed, and new leads are not being generated. A quick, and instinctive reaction for business owners is to provide the sales team with additional training as the solution to the problem. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is not an effective long-term solution to the bigger issue at hand.

Think about when a new house is being built. What is the first thing that must be laid down properly for the rest of the house to be built to last? The foundation. It is the most important step of any house or structure being built because without a solid foundation, the house will crumble over time.

Business owners who build and develop their company around basic house-building methodology are poised for scalable growth. A strong and solid foundation within an organization will lead to success. There are four cornerstones that make up the foundation of the company:

  • the strategy
  • the process
  • the people
  • and the tools

If any of these are weak, something like training will only temporarily patch the real problem. Getting to the root of the problem is the only solution to stabilize and strengthen a business’ foundation. Let’s apply how these four cornerstones function in your business’ sales organization:

Establish a Solid Sales Strategy

Sales strategy is meant to provide a sales team with a documented plan that clarifies how your products and services solve specific pain points for qualified buyers. A robust strategy should equip salespeople with an understanding of the different types of buyers they’ll encounter, what their challenges and objections are and how your solution is different from the competition.

Without a clearly aligned strategy, it’s left up to each individual salesperson to chart their own path. Even with talented salespeople, a business can hinder its own growth if everyone is not working from a common blueprint. Equipping a sales team with a clear strategy enables salespeople to boldly pursue profitable growth. Salespeople can then efficiently focus their time and your resources on the best fit opportunities to grow your business.

Understand and Create the Process

Time needs to be spent to discover the root cause of the sales team’s most pressing challenges. Evaluate the full customer life cycle and see where successes and failures occur, such as if enough time is spent nurturing clients before they have readiness to be ushered through the Sales Process. Then, dig into the Sales Process to ensure it enables the salespeople to effectively navigate the Customer Acquisition stage of the life cycle.  Establishing a repeatable sales process with key