How To Expand a Tech Firm’s Customer Reach

Once technology firms have reached a level of maturity where revenue is consistent and practice (and delivery) is dialed-in, talks of expansion are almost inevitable. Expansion of tech firms comes in a few different flavors of conquest: geography expansion (into new country segments), moving up-market into complex deals/bids and expanding various practice areas.

 

We’ll cover expanding practice areas in another post, but expanding market and customer reach is often seen as the logical next step of a successful firm compared to moving up the market.

 

Whether that’s expanding revenue growth across market segments in the same country or outside, it is a trying hurdle for operations, marketing, and the entrepreneur’s sanity.

 

Here’s how to handle all three.

 

Keeping Your Sanity

 

Change in a firm is difficult, but when all of the partners are aligned on a firm-wide move, that resistance to change can swing the other direction into unbridled momentum. While deciding to grow a firm’s new revenue streams can feel incredible, eventually the honeymoon phase of decision making is over, and the reality of execution begins. To ensure partners can focus on their work and not lose sleep over the expansion, it’s critical to have realistic and achievable goals in mind.

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Why the link between marketing and sales teams break?

Smarketing, where marketing and sales work as one dream team, sounds so simple yet it ain’t!

Your revenue engine works best when Sales and Marketing are working in lockstep, yet for many organizations, this is just a dream. Their tools, tactics, metrics, and mindsets get in the way of making this fantasy a reality.

This dysfunction exists in both large and small companies.

And a lot of times when you have a sales team and a marketing team, each of those team’s goal is a little bit different, or maybe individual members within those teams have a different goal that is their top goal.

And, this happens, a lot of times, because of the ways that we incentivize teams.

Salespeople are incentivized to makes sales, that’s how they make money, you promote them when they make a lot of sales. In some companies, there are team incentives where if you all hit quota, then everyone gets some sort of incentive as well.

The way the marketing team is incented can be a lot different. They may not have solid targets like sellers and it’s never a make or break situation every quarter.

This typically results in two breeds of people in any company. The marketers and the salespeople. Different thinking, different behaviors and different motions. The little things we do from the incentives to just the way we talk about our teams lead us to have these factions.

Another thing that happens, an easy way to get a little bit more of a team thing going on, is we actually physically sit the salespeople and the marketing people away from each other. I think it’s actually really important to mix people.

We are energy being first and we would love to be part of a team that is excited and energetic. When you actually have people mix, or even better, switch seats, people start to empathize with each other more.

I would strongly recommend that for great teamwork to unfold, everyone needs to feel like they are part of one team.

 

If we can have one leader drive lead to deal, like a Chief Revenue Officer, who is able to plan KPIs, incentives to build one team that works towards ONE GOAL – you can definitely move towards a Smarketing DNA.

Will you?

 

 

Why Poor Enablement Leads To Sales People Failing?

There has been much written and discussed on how sales people fail themselves. Totally agree. But then there is another side to the story.

Poor sales enablement by the company!

Yes! Sales people fail because their company fails them. It happens all the time. The only difference between when sales people fail themselves vs when sales people fail because of their company — the company rarely gets blamed.

Often times there is no revenue strategy that drives go to market plans, product, marketing and sales function.

I have seen these situations a lot around me. When it happens and it’s a crying shame.

Sales people are only part of a two part system to drive sales. Sales people are the tip of the spear, they are the executors and if they aren’t doing the right things, nothing is getting done. With that said, the company has a job too, and if they aren’t doing their job, it doesn’t matter how good sales is, ain’t nothing gonna happen.

Sales people fail because they company fails them and when the company fails them the isn’t doing some or all of these things;

  1. There is no solid revenue strategy and a ‘Go to Market’ plan
  2. The business model no longer fits the market
  3. Poor territory development
  4. Poor sales process and review mechanisms
  5. They don’t provide a good competitive product. In 2018, it’s all about providing business outcomes.
  6. They aren’t providing solid sales support (enablement)
  7. They don’t have a solid on boarding process
  8. They have unrealistic quotas
  9. They don’t provide adequate training
  10. The have horrible hiring practices
  11. They don’t have a sales culture through out the entire company
  12. They lack sales leadership
  13. They don’t listen to the sales people
  14. No lead development
  15. Weak sales messaging
  16. Lack of market understanding
  17. Slow product upgrades, improvements
  18. High prices
  19. Weak marketing department
  20. They micro manage
  21. No room for failure
  22. Too much room for failure (never make quota, and still have a job)
  23. Bad talent management
  24. No coaching
  25. Poor communication
  26. It’s political and bureaucratic
  27. Over zealous legal
  28. Unrealistic expectations
  29. Can’t deliver product, they can’t implement
  30. Crappy customer service
  31. Poor customer retention
  32. Not enough tools (salesforce automation, CRM’s, etc.)
  33. Don’t embrace social media
  34. Don’t recognize it’s 2018 NOT 2002!

This is one long list of ways sales people fail, because of their company.

It’s too easy to blame the sales person or the sales team for falling revenue, for poor sales results, but before we do, we need to take a good long look at the company. Is it providing the sales team with what it needs to crush it? Often times, the answer is no.

It’s time companies become accountable for sales success and failure as much as the sales individuals.

How does your company stack up?

If you want a top-notch sales organization, hire top-notch sales people AND then give them everything they need to be successful, which starts with avoiding EVERYTHING on this list.

Yes, companies CAN be the reason sales people fail.

Is Selling a Lonely Profession?

Well, here is the hard truth.

 

Sales culture and compensation models in both large and mid sized technology companies simply suck.

 

Sales culture and compensation models drive sales behaviour.

 

in most of the companies, the sales behaviour model makes one seller on the same team against each other.