October 10, 2006

News & Opinion: Why Have a Sales Strategy, Anyway?

By: Sally Haldorson @ 4:28 PM – Filed under: Big Ideas & New Perspectives

How many business plans have a well-crafted sales strategy? Very few. Most of the time it is buried in a marketing plan. If we dont have sales, we dont have revenue or profits, and we dont have a company. Selling is the most important job in an entire company. Yet, Ive been told that the average tenure of a VP of Sales is 18 months. Thats not enough time to accomplish anything. Sometimes companies hire only experienced salespeople, in the expectation that they will figure out the territory and the organization. Huge mistake. Every organization has a different approach, different products, and different clients. We must give salespeople the tools to succeed. They must know the sales strategy and the culture of the company. They need more than a boot camp about products and benefits. Knowing how to get things done in a company is one of the most powerful tools a salesperson can have.

If youre at a headquarters office, you have the opportunity to be in direct contact with the people who influence decisions, and you begin to know who to count on and who to avoid. Its much tougher when youre in the field. You need to ask specific questions about who is responsible for what, and take the time to build relationships on the phone. However, there is nothing more important than a personal visit to headquarters. If you are new to a company, make sure that you have in your hiring agreement that you will travel to headquarters within 60 days of your hire.


About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.