If you are thinking about hiring a Sales Advisor, you may be in one these situations:

  • You may be under competitive pressure or face declining markets. You need results fast and don’t quite know where to start because your business has grown organically.
  • Your business is doing fine, you see opportunity in the market and want to accelerate growth but don’t really know how to build a sales/marketing model and manage it.
  • You are very good at what you do but simply don’t like this “sales thing” very much – however, you do know it needs attention to run a sustainable business.
  • You hired and fired your fair share of sales people and/or managers which cost a lot of money and time. Now you look for a helping hand to get it right.

Surely there is a better way? Enter the joy of finding the right Sales Advisor!

A simple keyword search will deliver thousands of world authorities of sales, who have all written Amazon Bestsellers and are mesmerizing keynote speakers on top of being magicians in generating endless streams of leads. They are also emotionally intelligent Leadership Coaches (forgive me dear colleagues….) What to do?

No matter who you select for your short list, ponder these 6 check-points:

  • Avoid being seduced by big-brand, big-job listers unless they are the right fit: One of the most frequent credibility statements are track records of big jobs in well-known large or iconic organisations. The question is: How does this qualify as a proof statement that the consultant can deliver what you need? If you are a small or medium sized business, wouldn’t it be fair to say that your playing field and constraints look very different?


  • Coach or Doer? Get Working Relationship Clarity: It is paramount to really clarify what you need the Sales Advisor “to do”. To what extent do you want traditional coaching (“have you done your to-do list last week?”) in comparison to hands-on, accountable participation in the process? Do you want a long-term relationship, or do you want a short & sharp project to help you through the strategy and planning phase?


  • Beware of the “Do it like me” approach: Have a look at how many of the poster-child companies “In Search of Excellence” are still around! Not very many. No matter how successful a sales strategy has been in a certain context – success is not easily transferrable. There are too many moving, and consistently changing, parts. Apply care if you hear “here is how I grew this company and I teach you how to do it the same way”.


  • Beware if you hear Answers before Questions: even the best people need to seek information before recommending considered actions. Beware of quick answers, it is not evidence of sound analysis or diagnosis of the real issues.


  • The strategic “what” versus the operational “how”: For some reason there seems to be a gulf between Advisors who are very good at the strategic “what”, but don’t go all the way to the operational “how”. Equally, there are advisors who are excellent at implementation but struggle with the big picture conceptual. It is healthy to have clarity on what exactly your expectations across the spectrum are to find the right match.


  • Sales AND Marketing know-how: If we like it or not, the buyer experience has both, marketing and sales touch points. If they are not aligned and integrated – any strategy will fail with rather great certainty. In our digital age, we cannot think sales without marketing. Make sure that your Sales Advisor can bridge both fields of competencies.

The sales-animal is different to any other functional area in the business as is dependent on context, and worse, it’s changing all the time. The right choice of a Sales Advisor deserves a lot of attention indeed.

For more conversation over a cup of coffee, please contact Ursula Dauenhauer, Director Business Backstage Pty Ltd, ursula@gotomarketconsulting.com.au, +61 401 147 493.