I've labeled it "Sales Amnesia" and it’s showing up like this…
I’m noticing it in businesses who are coming off a big period of growth in their business.
Western Australia in particular, because of the mining boom has seen a 5- 10 year period where many businesses have been in a big growth cycle.
This has been great for business but now things have slowed, as a side effect, this "Sales Amnesia" problem has emerged...
Here’s what I mean…
What I am seeing are businesses that have had, for such a long time, a steady stream of clients beating a path to their door.
For the most part, what this has meant is that their sales people haven’t had to do any significant business development.
And because the good times have extended for such a long period of time, in many organisations I have spoken to, Sales Amnesia has crept in in two ways…
Sales Amnesia Symptom Number 1
Sales or Business development teams have literally forgotten how to sell or do business development.
I'm serious ! I have encountered sales teams that have had such a pattern of growth for so long they have literally forgotten how to do it !
Because things have been so good for so long they either think it’s “beneath them” to follow up with clients or do any outbound marketing or they have simply forgotten how to do it.
Sales Amnesia Symptom Number 2
The other way more sinister example is in younger sales or business development people that started in business at the early part of the boom.
Because business has been great for 10 years have literally been order takers for 10 years and have never actually had to do business development on account of their literally being no necessity to do so.
And now for the rude shock !
Now that things have changed (and we're not in Kansas anymore), when these BD teams get out into the marketplace they quickly realise that things have changed and they have nothing they can do to cut through and
get to the people that they really need to speak to.
This is why you need a sales process that reflects the best practices in your business for attracting and converting new business.
If you don’t have this nailed down you are literally at the whim and ebb and flow of of market conditions.
Like a farmer who’s crops won’t mature unless there's rain or that perish if things get too cold.
Having an effective sales and marketing system is like being a farmer and having your own rain making machine.
Your business can literally become largely independent of market conditions.