So many times, companies both big and startups with great product and market miss their sales target for very avoidable reasons. Eventually not having enough quota carrying sales reps to make their number.
In some cases, it might not be too disastrous and this could be made better in the next targeted period. But in several cases, it caused significant problems with an upcoming financing, and damaged the company’s cash flow.
It was also frustrating seeing the founders realize that they could have easily avoided the problem. Had they just been warned about it in advance.
In the first two phases of a startups lifestyle, founders could minimize their spending so as to ensure that they have enough time to figure out the market that they are going into. And also to be able to get a process that could be maintained.
But after this, they move into another phase entirely. Where the traction has to be pursued aggressively. This requires a huge mental shift, away from saving money and staying lean and mean. To hitting the accelerator pedal, and investing and hiring aggressively to scale the proven sales process.
For every company that is due existence is based on sales, they must be aware that sales is both but first a science and then a art. For the science part, it can best be captured in formulas that are driven towards enabling sales result.
The formula points to two major variables that would eventually lead to increased sales. The first is the number of productive sales reps that are available. And how much a typical rep will be able to sell over a specific period of time.
This might seem very obvious, but majority of the time, companies tend to not pay enough attention to making sure that they hit their hiring and productivity targets for sales rep leading to overall defect in sales.
It would be quite fortunate to know that hiring productive sales rep is not ever enough. They must ensure that there are enough leads to create a sustainable platform for the sales rep.
They must have spent enough time with founders to know the intricacies of the organization. That is, founders are needed to invest significant time and energy in teaching the new recruits what they need to know about the targets. As well as what is expected of them.
Thirdly, there must be room for a certain number of failed sales hires. And lastly, make enough resources to bring on board and support new customers coming in.
To corroborate the four major factors. And eventually avoid dilapidation in sales capacity is to track sales capacity vis-a-vis the plan that was had.
Tracking these metrics on at least a monthly basis, hiring ahead of plan. And equipping your sales reps with the training and resources they need to be successful will help you hit your sales targets at the point you’re ready to scale.