In a recent conversation with a CEO of a large service organization I was asked which sales model I believed was most effective in generating improved sales results. A popular question these days. Everyone who is responsible for generating revenue has asked this question at least once. The answer however, lies with your buyer.
In a vacuum there is no one single, silver bullet to drive sales results. The most popular sales coverage models include:
- Generalists – sell everything
- Specialists – sell usually one, perhaps two products
- Verticals – sell to specific industries; professional services, restaurants, manufacturing, etc
- Revenue – sell by revenue size of client; SMB, mid-market, enterprise
- Employee size – sell by number of employees; payroll companies often use this coverage model
- Account-based – assigned specific accounts/companies to sell or cross-sell
In addition to this mix of options, a head of sales must consider whether a field sales organization or inside sales team is most effective. Again, the decision here should be informed by the company’s buyer’s journey. Many products and services once believed could only be sold via an in-person interaction are now sold over the phone. Taking this a step further, we also know – thanks to Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Intuit, and others – that self-fulfillment is not just possible, but preferred by many consumers. The ability to do-it-yourself is highly appealing.
Gaining an understanding of how your buyer makes decisions is the first step to determining which model is best for your business. Listen to your buyers and then align a sales process that helps lead the buyer through his or her journey. That’s the answer to which model works best.