4 Tips to Upend Sales Inertia

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

4 Tips to Upend Sales Inertia

What do you do when your sales team is hitting 90% of quota, but are selling the old stuff?

Sales inertia is salespeople selling the same stuff, the same way.

Sales is changing. Who is buying, Why they are buying and What they are buying. It is changing.

With sales inertia, your team is missing the new buyers and the new services.

In telecom, this usually means that the team is still selling telecom -- low margin, almost commodity, replacement services. For the company's survival, the sales team has to be motivated out of inertia. There are a number of ways to do that, here are 4.

One, Fire someone. It will light a fire under the rest of them. One reason for inertia is comfort. Make them uncomfortable.

Two, training. Invest in training - first on the new products, then some sales training. (Yes, I offer sales training but that doesn't make this avenue any less viable.)

Three, change the compensation plan. Salespeople hate when the comp plan changes mid-stream. Yet they will always find a way to work the latest comp plan in their favorite to change the least. [No one likes change, they say. That may be true -- or no one wants to do the work involved in changing might be more accurate.]

Four, hold a product kick-off day with training and a contest. Or just hold a contest. if the incentive is big enough and the contest lasts a month or more, you might be able to change behavior for longer than a day.

Sales Inertia is hitting a number of companies. It has been so bad at some that they have fired a whole sales department and started from scratch. (That seems drastic.)

The whole industry is transforming - from CAPEX to OPEX, from hardware to software. Selling traditional telecom at low margins based mostly on networks that are rented (UNE, IRU, wholesale, special access) to selling solutions that include network but so much more. Even E-Rate is changing from straight Internet Access to managed wi-fi and value adds.

Everyone is figuring it out. But ask yourself if you have offered incentives enough to move your sales teams off the inertia wheel - and have you made it a safe place if they try new things but fail.

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