Too many companies manage sales as a series of “events”, not as an integrated sales effort that forms part of a corporate brand strategy. And yet, if you are a sales driven organization, the sales force is often the first touch point a prospect has with the company. Mess this key moment up and the significant investment made in preparing the organization for the moment and getting the prospect to this stage is wasted.
Despite this, some executives even turn their noses up at the mention of sales systems or dismiss the concept of a sales force being an integral part of the organisation. When good sales people leave, they often don’t replace them till there is a specific need. If the quality talent is not in the market when that need arises, they end up with poor quality sales people. Unable to sell products, this leads to the inevitable fallback – discount – and prices get cut day after day. This discount culture may spike sales in the short term and may work in a developing market. But in the long term, it hurts profitability, and is a fast track to a brand graveyard.
Over the last twenty years or so, sales development was not an organizational priority. This was generally due to demand in most sectors that outstripped supply. But over the next 10 years, as Malaysia prepares herself for the giant leap into the ranks of developed nations, with an economy based on service and not price, the ability to sell products and/or services, both domestically and globally, in competition with foreign companies and their slick and well trained sales force’ with be critical to the success of this transition.
If we get it wrong, not only will we fail to develop global brands, we’ll be unable to compete locally and internationally.