If you’re into cult classics or of a certain age, you might remember Maynard G. Krebs from the 1960’s sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Krebs was a stereotypical beatnik, famous for hating the word, “work,” sporting a puny goatee, and making the life of his friend, Dobie Gillis, unnecessarily complicated.
Unlike real-life beatniks, or beat poets, to be more precise, such as Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, who actually contributed a great deal to American culture and to world literature, Krebs was a lazy, albeit good-natured daddio who gave little more to those around him than a few laughs, which were often at his expense.
As a sales manager, if you were to characterize your sales team members, would you be more apt to compare them to Krebs or to people who could actually get your organization’s sales mojo rising?
If you’re thinking that more of them are like Krebs than like people who could inspire passion and momentum within your sales department or company, ask yourself this: What would it take for me to raise my team members’ productivity levels, get them to think out of the box, and turn them into the kinds of leaders that could continue to run things—and run them well—even if I were taken out of the equation?
Perhaps the most obvious way to get your sale team’s mojo rising is to put in place everything you need to hire the right people and train them into the forward-thinking, future leaders upon which you can build your business.
Kerouac once wrote, “My fault, my failure, is not the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” Despite this admission, if you had to choose between Krebs and Kerouac, wouldn’t you choose Kerouac?
Admittedly, Kerouac probably would have made a terrible corporate sales rep, but if you can imagine his sales rep equivalent, you can imagine how easy it would be for you to decide to hire and train him over the sales rep equivalent of a guy like Krebs. By making your hiring and training processes more effective, you can avoid low sales numbers and high employee turnover and increase your chances of hiring and developing people who can make a real and lasting difference within your organization.
If engaging in better hiring and training practices is the most obvious way to get your sales team’s mojo rising, the second most obvious way to get its motor running is probably sales outsourcing.
The most commonly heard argument against sales outsourcing is that it simply isn’t as effective as insourcing. Assuming that in-house employees know your business better than outsiders, why would you outsource to people who are less knowledgeable about your products, services, and industry?
It is a common misconception that it takes working side by side with people day in and day out to ensure quality. In reality, it can be easier to ensure quality and manage your company’s internal sales department by outsourcing a little or a lot of your sales functions to a qualified third party.
The number one reason that so many company executives hesitate to engage in sales outsourcing is that they’ve had negative experiences with sales outsourcing companies in the past. Their hesitation may be understandable, but it’s not necessarily reasonable. You can’t assume that one or two bad experiences mean that your next experience with a sales outsourcing company can’t be a good one. Instead of dismissing sales outsourcing as an option, you might do better to assume that you simply need to vet future potential sales outsourcing partners more carefully and methodically.
Whether you need to improve your hiring and training processes or engage in more sales outsourcing—or both—one thing is for sure: You won’t see productivity levels or sales numbers rise unless you analyze all of your current sales processes and take the actions necessary to improve them. And that’s a fact that you can take to the bank, daddio.