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Is Industry Experience Necessary to Fix Sales Problems?

“How can you fix sales performance problems without having spent your career in my industry? “, is one of the most common questions I am asked as a Fractional Sales Leader.


This is an understandable question because many business leaders don’t realize that the issues hindering revenue goal obtainment are almost always rooted in sales leadership deficiencies and missing elements in their sales infrastructure –not a lack of industry knowledge.


We can muddy the waters when comparing performance of veteran sellers that have decades of industry experience with less tenured, yet capable salespeople. Of course, the veterans know the ins and outs that only experience can provide, along with having a keen understanding of the product.


But… this comparison can lead to an over-valuation of industry experience and not enough investment in the development of repeatable processes, proven sales techniques, performance accountability, and effective sales training and coaching.


If it takes decades to mature your sellers, then how does an organization effectively scale?


My experience has shown me that when you are missing revenue goals, knowing more about your industry isn’t the answer.


Read on to glean from these Key Takeaways:


  • Common sales challenges that span across industries

  • Unlock growth barriers by blending your industry knowledge with senior sales leadership expertise

  • With over 4,000 businesses reporting, most struggle with establishing best practice sales infrastructure




Industry Neutral Sales Problems


If industry knowledge could fix lagging sales, then your on-staff industry experts would have solved your selling issues already.


Do any of these industry neutral sales problems sound familiar?


  • No defined, repeatable, proactive sales effort

  • Stalled proposals

  • High sales rep turnover

  • Inability to take sales “to the next level”

  • Cannot seem to find the “right” salesperson

  • Difficulty competing on value and resorting to price


The question to ask is… “What skill set is needed to build a proven sales system that will solve selling problems?”


I’m effective at pinpointing sales leadership and infrastructure gaps that cause sales underperformance. I do this by utilizing a proven discovery process and best practice approach to building a sustainable sales operating system.


This isn’t done in a vacuum. I blend the client's industry experience with my executive sales leadership skills to customize the right approach for each unique environment.


This methodology is flexible and designed to accommodate the large array of B2B (business to business) industry settings.

Blending Your Industry Experts with Executive Sales Leadership Skills


Think about it for a moment. Your company is full of industry experts, especially if it’s a mature organization with decades of history. Collectively, the team you have already knows more about your product, your market, your specific business challenges than any external resource.


Setting up sales organizations with the right sales operating management system is my industry expertise.


My proven model and insightful perspective mixed with your industry savvy is the winning combination to unlock new paths to growth. I leverage the following wide breadth of experience to lead the successful combining of our differing strengths:


  • Total Revenue Responsibility and Accountability

  • Sales and Cross-Functional Leadership

  • Sales Strategy, Methodology & Analysis

  • Sales Enablement & Operations

  • All Levels of Selling

  • … and more





To learn more about how my fractional role is designed to fill senior sales leadership gaps, you’ll find a helpful overview in my previous article, “Can Fractional Sales Leadership Help Me Get Ahead?”.


Fundamental Sales Categories


My colleagues and I enter literally hundreds of small to mid-sized business every year as a result of owners and senior executives recognizing roadblocks preventing them from reaching their sales goals.


The thing that 100% of them have in common is that the problems they need help solving are not industry specific.


There are four fundamental areas that I consistently examine in my client discovery phase to uncover root cause problems impacting sales performance. They need to work effectively and in unison for your sales organization to consistently perform on target.


As shown in the grid below, with over 4,000 business owners and senior executives reporting, the typical B2B company is notably struggling to establish a solid sales platform.



Save Time by Skipping Experimentation


As you prepare to take action to improve your sales performance, I am open to being a sounding board. I can save you valuable time by skipping experimentation and getting it right the first time.


Contact me at mprive@salesxceleration.com, or book a call through my Scheduling Tool.


You may also get started by clicking the banner below that links to my Sales Assessment. You will get a comprehensive report on your sales organization’s positioning, including helpful insights, actionable tips, and results benchmarking.



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I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.



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