2 1/2 Lessons Learned From Creating The TechX Revenue Accelerator
Updated: Aug 21, 2018
With TechX Revenue Accelerator gearing up for its umpteenth cohort, I thought I'd share a few of the lessons I've learned from mentoring thousands of companies over the years.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many patents a company has, how many PhDs they have on the board, how great their coding is, or how much money they’ve raised…it’s all about how successful they are at creating and keeping customers! Getting good at it should be priority number one.
If there is one constant in all companies, it is that each has to successfully execute and optimize its sales and marketing processes. I have known very few companies to go out of business because they had too much business.
As my colleague Chuck has observed, "The nature of sales is changing, and the role of the sales representative is changing along with it. Technology has created an upheaval that reveals important major trends:
• Buyers have more information, and they are more reluctant to take risks.
• Selling is becoming more professional.
• Social media use is increasing.
• Sales and Marketing are merging.
• Sales teams are seeking new approaches to meet the demands of this new environment.
These trends have created a crisis for many companies. Recession has been followed by weak growth, with surveys revealing that as many as HALF of sales reps nationwide are failing to make quota. Sales managers say that up to 60% of their reps are unprepared to use a “trusted adviser” approach in selling activities. And evidence indicates there is a growing disparity between top sales reps and all others on sales teams across the country, with the top 15% of reps generating as much as 90% of revenue.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 'natural-born salesperson'— there aren’t people running around in the job market who were born knowing how to sell your company’s products or services, just waiting for you to hire them as sales reps.
The good news is that there is no such thing as a 'natural-born salesperson.' Selling is a set of skills that can be taught. Like any set of skills, sales skills can be learned, mastered and relied on to generate consistent, repeatable results."
LESSON #2 1/2 or almost 3
I say 2 and 1/2 or almost 3 not to be cheeky, but to make a point. Research shows that when a company attends training they receive an initial bump in productivity, but over time that productivity bump erodes. In other words, it is not sustainable. Sustained high performance comes from consistent efforts over a period of time with the assistance of a trusted guide/mentor helping to implement best practices in sequential steps.
I've seen a number of companies go through TechX, get a bump, and move on to the next level. But the smart entrepreneurs are the ones that go through again and again, because only sustained efforts over a period of time really make a difference. We've had companies go through the program 4-5 times, having seen the value of having trusted experts looking over their shoulders telling them that they are doing things right.