Many B2B sales organisations unwittingly set up their Sales Execs for mediocre performance by expecting them, via their charter of role breadth, to cover too much. So how does the organisation set the right breadth of accountabilities for the Sales and Service roles? Well, like many such considerations………..it depends. There is no one universal answer, not even an industry, sector or channel specific solution. An unclear set of accountabilities manifests in many organisations as poor customer service, lost sales opportunities and from a customer perspective, a view that your organisation can be difficult to do business with.
Firstly, be consistent in how you will apply crystal clear definitions to these terms. Click here for example generic definitions. It is useful to think of these accountabilities on a scale. Click here for example scale. Servicing and farming share the commonality that they both require regular contact with existing customers. However, there is conflict in that servicing is a back foot (reactive and responsive) accountability making programming of targeting sales visiting difficult, whereas farming is a front foot (proactive) accountability. Hunting and sourcing share the commonality that they both require focus on prospective new customers. However there is conflict in that hunting often requires proactive on-territory face to face visitation to close opportunities, whereas trapping often requires deskbound focus and a retail type mindset to handle whatever comes your way. Additionally, there is often some level of conflict at the overall level in being able to adequately focus on capturing brand new customers as well as maintaining and growing existing customers.
It is possible, in some uncommon environs to set the Sales Execs responsibility for all four accountabilities and expect them to be able to achieve high performance across the board – the problem is that this breadth of charter is commonly inappropriately used.
But how do you know which is right for you? Start by engaging a good cross section of the relevant stakeholders in your organisation to taskforce the various considerations. Tailor your own definitions for servicing, farming, hunting and sourcing. Use models like those already referenced above to facilitate “as is” vs “to be” workshops, as you move through challenging your current allocation and testing potentially better ones.
Did you enjoy this bulletin? We’ll be pondering the question: Who are your customers and why?… stay tuned…
Visiting The Next Level’s website can help put this discussion in perspective. Or simply send us a message via the Contact Us section and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or organise to come out and have a discussion as to what The Next Level Sales System can do for you and your business.