Your humble columnist has documented it several times, but I am not the only one and I cannot claim to be the first. Many B2B sales organisations in mature industries, that are trying to eke out another percentage point of market share, remain in a commoditised race to the bottom. The side effect for the sales team is progressively increasing pressure to stay relevant to justify sales team structure and return on investment. As our roads become more and more clogged the cost of the customer visit and the visit to drive time ratio are heading in unhealthy directions.
Segmentation, classification, and targeting of the customer base, take on increasing resonance against this milieu. The so-called “picket fence” that separates those customers that do not reach break even on the cost of expensive account management, either on the current or potential value contribution, demands the attention of the Head of Sales. This all fosters a fertile nursery for the rise of the phone based internal sales function. Current case studies are showing that the internal sales team can multiply contact reach anywhere between five to ten times that of the mobile on-territory Sales Exec team. These teams can be focused to order-hone Sales Execs who never meet their customer, and often form business relationships that sometimes the face-to-face Account Manager can only dream of.
I believe we are going to see more and more of this previously downcast and under-utilised function as sales organisations search for the sales team structure to optimise continuing investment.
Keep an eye out for next weeks post: How are you building discipline in your sales team?
Want to learn more? Check out “Sales team RoI… A ‘bang for buck’ story”