BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 18 DEC 2019


it's time to invest in developing the skills of your sales people

I want you to make a note of some numbers. How much did you spend on marketing in 2019? How much is the monthly stipend on your CRM system? Yes, that one. How much did you spend installing it? Also, am I right in saying you are thinking about tinkering with it, or getting a new one?

Your marketing spend might be ten per cent of turnover and you will pay per user for the CRM, with hefty capital costs every time you sneeze at it. This might be fair enough, but how do you know?

I have one more number to ask you about: how much did you spend in 2019 developing the sales skills of the people who will generate the fees that allow you to spend?

I will leave it to others to tell you how to measure the ROI of your marketing spend and what your CRM delivers in benefits, but I am going to ask you to find some more numbers when it comes to developing your Rainmakers. Here are some I prepared earlier, from our Rainmaker: 

  • a 30% uplift in relevant business development skills and behaviours*
  • an ROI of 50**
  • delegates taken to Kirkpatrick Four***

If you think developing your people is expensive, maybe it’s time to consider the cost to your business of not developing them. Here is more data from a survey of over 600 senior professionals:

  • only 50% make time for business development
  • only 50% ask for the business when conversing with prospects
  • 67% spend more time pitching their business rather than listening
  • only 9% will pick up the phone rather than send an email

Sitting in on our weekly pipeline meeting as I am in the office, I am heartened to see that by the end of this year we will have 25% of next year’s target in the diary. With a fair wind that will be nearer 30%. To be sure, our marketing and CRM plays its part, but it is the people in the business, our Rainmakers, who put the numbers on the whiteboard. The Friday sales ticker does not lie and sales solve everything.

The forward sales will be a huge boost at the team session before Secret Santa and will bring us into work in January with a spring in our step.  Earlier this year, I said to the team we would have Xmas lunch in the Ubiquitous Chip if we billed over one million pounds of business in 2019. Well, a 30% uplift has taken us above £1.1 million, so The Chip it is, with extra chips for the table. It’s going to be £1.5 million next year, maybe.  

Sure, we do marketing but don’t spend for the sake of it. And sure, we have a CRM system that’s a bargain because we use it.

Your people go to the evening seminars that cost 10k a pop to set up; your people input the data too, but more importantly make calls from, the CRM system; your people Make the Rain.

Develop the skills of your people, it’s a no brainer.

*Rainmaker is tough love and intense. We drill you on the skills, then you apply them, then we check it is working.

**Quiz us on the ROI, it varies and does not include the significant opportunity cost. Still, we have significant qualitative and quantitative data that proves Rainmaker gets results.

***The Kirkpatrick Model refers to four levels of evaluating the effectiveness of training – Reaction, Learning, Behaviour and probably most importantly, Results.

Of course we will do a Lunch & Learn, a stand alone workshop or the keynote at your conference.    

Join us for our limited-edition Glasgow Rainmaker Masterclass