Putting together a productive and successful sales team is not easy. Hiring salespeople who have the sales experience and product knowledge necessary to market your product can be a time-consuming task and there are so many variables to consider when selecting a sales advisory firm.
Many firms claim to be capable of providing a complete sales strategy. They list services that encompass the entire sales cycle – from lead generation and prospecting to closing. They promise to provide dedicated, skilled performance-based sales teams with expertise in almost every business sector. Their service offering includes recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, developing, deploying, mentoring, managing and measuring the salesperson or sales team.
But a complete sales strategy includes more than just providing a contract sales force – a complete sales strategy can only be provided by a true sales partner.
With any sales advisory service, you should check the firm’s track record, references and financial state. But there are other key questions to ask if you are looking for a strategic sales partner.
Questions to Ask a Potential Sales Advisory Firm
- Is the firm compatible with your company’s corporate culture and business needs?
- Does the firm have experience and expertise in your business sector? If not, do they have a proven track record of getting up to speed with similar verticals?
- How does the firm collaborate on strategy with their clients?
- What kind of sales productivity reporting, oversight and transparency is offered?
- What sales force automation technology is used? How is the information shared with client companies?
- What are the firm’s sales process best practices? Will the firm’s sales processes complement your company’s business processes? What processes are in place to ensure quality and business continuity? How are the firm’s sales teams trained?
- What is the firm’s track record for comprehensive sales strategy? Not just delivering short-term sales numbers but providing their clients with a sustainable competitive advantage?
Make sure your sales advisory firm has a seasoned leadership team that knows how to move quickly and to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. End-to-end sales strategy is much more than just a virtual extension to your sales force. Sales advisory firms provide you with a sales team that has the experience to build sales strategies and find new markets for your products and services. You will also have access to the newest sales methods and tools.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.