The Incredibly simple, data-driven idea for increasing sales at your tech company - employ more salespeople
High growth kiwi tech companies employ 40% more salespeople than the average
For most B2B companies, the sales cycle can be a long, drawn-out process. This is especially true of New Zealand tech businesses, because the majority of their customers tend to be B2B.
A recent Gartner study of 506 technology buyers indicated that buying teams spend 16.3 months on average to complete a new IT purchase. It's much shorter for those businesses who are tech service providers - the average there is 7.4 months.
What it comes down to is this: tech sales are complex, and often difficult. That's why it's so important for Kiwi tech companies to have the right sales team with the right characteristics in place. They need to be ready and armed with the best tools - often described as ‘sales enablement’. This is defined as the technology, processes, and content that empower sales teams to sell efficiently at a higher velocity. This makes the sales job easier, more transparent and more successful.
So what is it that high-growth businesses are doing to drive sales and increase growth?
The 2018 Market Measures survey showed that when it comes to creating effective and efficient sales teams, NZ high growth companies have 40% more salesperson than non-high growth companies, across all company sizes. So there's the incredibly simple answer - most Kiwi tech businesses need to increase the size of their sales teams!
Which brings you to the next problem, being able to afford this larger sales force. New Zealand’s tech industry has been built on a generation of highly talented ‘lone wolf’ salesperson who travel the world sourcing customers for their innovations. Technically competent, business savvy and converting at a high rate describes the classic lone wolf. They are also expensive and can’t be easily scaled.
A ‘lone wolf’ sales person is an experienced, driven person who often achieves amazing results. The problem is that their cost of sales is high relative to the value of the product they are selling. Not only that, but the company becomes very vulnerable to the quality of their sales staff. If they can’t recruit and retain star performers, it has a massive effect on the company’s revenue.
So, instead of going with the 'lone wolf' model, Kiwi tech businesses need to adopt an approach that's more akin to 'hunting like a pack' - and that means more pack members. That means more lower level sales people, operating at a lower cost but more enabled with strong lead generation programmes and clever productivity tools.
According to the Market Measures survey, high growth Kiwi tech companies have the same number of sales managers but significantly more sales personnel overall. They’re better able to form a ‘pack’ approach, which means they have improved sales efficiency, and they can achieve maximum sales from the investment they’ve made in that sales team. This is how Kiwi tech companies can realise their potential.
What the data shows is that high growth companies are more aggressive in their hiring, and tend to have more of the systems in place to enable less experienced sales personnel to deliver effectively.