July 17, 2017
You start a business with a great idea and a lot of passion and excitement.
You package your idea into a product or service, create a proposition and join a networking group like BNI, 4N or a Chamber of Commerce.
You get a trickle of leads, and over time, the referrals grow.
You have established a business that, whilst not earth shattering, keeps the wolf from the door and has bags of potential.
You have many ideas about how to grow it, moving forward.
As the founder, sales happen largely as a result of your passion, enthusiasm, and developing your network.
Your business is starting to grow into something credible and you soon start thinking about scale, and who or what you need to add to ensure you work more on the business than in the business.
You are still the main sales person, but are starting to realise that at some point you will have to employ a sales person.
Before you do that, you find a good accountant/Finance Director, who sees more than the numbers, and an operator who is strong on efficiency and possibly a marketing person.
Eventually you employ a sales person, although there is not a great deal of thought around the functional and behavioural skills required to sell your product or service, other than employing someone with industry experience.
Nevertheless you have a sales person, they have a nice personality and they are good with people. You give them a day or two of product training and they are sent off to maintain the momentum that you have created, supported by a nice website and some shiny sales collateral.
Typically they are not put through any sales training, but they have read a few books and are a competent emerging resource or problem solver.