After twenty+ years of working with sales teams in banking, financial services, and other BtoB companies, I’ve discovered a foundational problem to exist in Retail Financial and Wireless Services … And, it’s the word “Retail.”

While the banking industry has transformed itself in many ways, especially with terms like “sales,” it still has a “wait at home” mentality – or, “Build enough branches and they will come.”  The people chosen for sales roles often have low social drive and and personalities that comfortably wait for business to walk in the door.  And, most though they talk the sales talk, would rather focus on operational or product issues than face an aggressive campaign for new customers.  Therefore, sales performance improvements in Retail Financial Services will need to start by installing a new system of attitudes and processes that will also include:  a better common sales language, best coaching or sales management practices, and an outside sales-focused selection process.

The Wireless Industry started out differently – with an aggressive outside sales force.  Today, it’s hard to find an outside salesperson in wireless worth much of anything.  The industry has moved toward retail.  And, even though inside reps have many opportunities for outside sales – they typically sit still and wait. (with some exceptions: like Verizon’s independent distributor: Cellular Sales).  The whole outside sales thing has slowly cooked itself into warm soup.  Meanwhile, many small businesses wish for a wireless rep they could trust – one that would keep up with their changing data and connection needs.

To improve their cultures, the selection process for both these industries must recruit salespeople suited for outside prospecting, goal achievement, and an ability to control the sales process – all within a consultancy approach. Increased sales performance will take a major step forward with GREAT recruits and GREAT “outside sales” coaching.

Sales manager coaching will center around basic sales processes like: sales planning, an activity management process, and a face-to-face sales process.  These processes, installed in retail financial and wireless organizations (reinstalled here), along with high-performance sales meetings will establish a new sales paradigm within a best practice sales system – one that progressively improves itself in incremental steps. This also means that great sales coaches will emerge as the champions of this movement – meaning that THEIR selection (the coaches) as well as the salespeople will be of upmost importance to the retail financial or wireless organization that wants increased sales performance.. Now, go and make things better.  Lance

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