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Aspects that impede sales figures in firms

Forget the fancy title. Numbers matter. file photo | nmg
Forget the fancy title. Numbers matter. file photo | nmg 

Your title is meant to portray what your employer wants to project of himself through you; it’s not intended to exempt you from selling. Businesses evolve with the needs of the marketplace.

Unfortunately, over the years, the notion of selling has tended to make the buyer a suspicious spectator; the idea carries a lot of negative baggage. It often ends up with the sense of doing something to somebody, rather than something for somebody, or with somebody.

Because of this dysfunctional relationship most businesses have opted to revise the titles they give those in charge of the ‘numbers.’

In addition, they also want to inspire the title holder and inject a sense of understanding of the responsibility at hand.

But whether you are Account Associate, Wealth Manager, Account Consultant/ Executive/ Manager/ Representative/ Specialist, Business Developer, Business Development Specialist, Client Advisor, Chief Commercial Officer, Client Engagement Specialist, Client Success Consultant, Customer Engagement Representative/Manager, Relationship Manager, Financial Consultant or hold any other customer facing title, never lose sight of one fact: delivering ‘numbers’ is your raison d’être.

Head of Sales and Marketing

If you hold this title I’m willing to bet you do sales, not marketing. You are judged squarely on numbers not the advertising campaigns you’ve run. Sales is not marketing and vice versa. Marketing lets you know what exists but selling gets you to acquire it.

Marketing theory teaches us that sales is a subset of marketing and it is. But theory is one thing you don’t find in this column so let’s get back to the practical.

Many organisations that have the title Head of Sales and Marketing are driven by the industry peer pressure to be seen to be embracing marketing but don’t really appreciate or understand it . They are not deeply driven to engage in marketing and most likely do not even have a budget for it.

As for the holder of the title, just as with the salesperson aforementioned, don’t hold your breath for long, hoping to lean on “marketing took up my time” as a reason for explaining the shortfall in numbers. No one will buy it.

Putting sales under finance is killing it.

If there are any two functions that are diametrically opposite to each other they are sales and finance. The former is outward, and the latter inward, seeking and looking. Sales is abstract and amorphous in its approach while finance is concrete and defined.

Sales people see opportunity (spending) and are risk prone; finance is cost conscious and risk averse. Whereas both are necessary, to put sales under finance is to suffocate it.

As a Head of Sales friend of mine once told me: “When I joined, I found the sales team under the finance manager. They said they felt like orphans.”Elections are over. Any related excuse you may have had for not selling is now a hard sell.

www.lendmeyourears.co.ke; [email protected]

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