If you are “shopping” the many sales consulting firms in the marketplace, what steps should you follow in making your final decision?
Here are some actions which will help you narrow down your choices:
The first step is to really decide the top two or three things you are seeking to improve by hiring a sales consultant. While it is unreasonable to make your demands too specific, like, “We need a 400% improvement in our closing rate by next June,” you nonetheless need to define what you expect from the firm you hire, such as:
If you balk at the idea of bringing in a sales consulting service that has helped a competitor, know that any sales consulting firms worth their salt will tailor their solutions to your company, not try to change your culture into your competitions’.
Consider that the experience they have gained from helping out the leading firms will definitely help with your own process, as they will know firsthand what has worked and what hasn’t and can bring over some of that hard-won knowledge, customized for your company.
At ASHER Strategies, we have trained plenty of competing firms and root for them all to do well.
Sales consulting firms will naturally present their most impressive case studies and testimonials, so take what they provide with a grain of salt, and make sure that the companies in the case studies are relevant to your own industry in order to avoid an “apples to oranges” comparison.
If possible, arrange to visit or call one of the past customers of the consultant to gauge their experiences firsthand. You will be surprised how open some people will be to sharing their honest opinions of a vendor, especially if you buy lunch and share a referral or two.
You can upset your staff by bringing in a consultant with a completely different mindset, or one who tries to change things too much, too fast. Instead, try to work with a sales consulting firm who fits in with your existing culture, whether it be fast-paced and aggressive, or more deliberate and careful.
One way to do this is to bring in the actual trainers and consultants of the various sales consulting firms to meet with senior personnel. You will quickly see if you speak the same language or not.
Chemistry and culture are important! Remember that people buy from those they like and trust, and this includes the sales process improvements and techniques the consultants are “selling.” The more your consultants fit in with your staff, the greater the likelihood is that their ideas will be adopted, to everyone’s benefit.
Audit a sales training class to “see the goods” for yourself before allowing a sales consultant firm to deploy solutions company-wide.
For larger companies, consider pilot programs rolled out to a couple of branches or on a regional basis to gauge the effectiveness of the sales consulting.
ASHER Strategies has helped over 1,200 companies achieve better sales results, across a wide variety of industries. We’d love to be on your “short list” of sales consulting firms you are considering as your final sales training provider, and hope to earn your business.
Call us today to find out what makes us different.
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David Cooke, President, Pivotal Insight, Inc.
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