I’m going to make a bold statement: never delegate sales except if you have a working mastery of it yourself. You don’t have to be the Yoda of sales but you should have a level of success with it.
I was reminded of this wisdom when I interviewed Bryan Clayton of Greenpal on my podcast. He imparted this gem of learning about everything in your business. After all, he had spent his last $150K and years hiring a software team to develop his software which was supposed function like an Uber for lawn mowing services. Lo and behold, he had to trash the software they built and learn how to CODE himself. Imagine a guy who’d only mowed lawns in his life creating a multi-million user software and a huge company out of the blue like that! That’s how he learned to always have a working knowledge of whatever part of the business he’s doing himself first. After that, he said it was ok to delegate it.
Of course, I turned his advice into a sales and marketing focused one because, well, that’s what I do..So here are a few reasons why you should NEVER delegate sales until you learn how to do it yourself first.
Learn About The Market
You may think you know the market but one of the first things I have my CEO clients do is a series of informational interviews with key prospects they have in their warm networks. By doing the first phase of prospecting (outreach and communication) themselves, business owners are able to hear first-hand, from the horse’s mouth, what the challenges are. It is a critical part of our success in selling to that same prospect and the CEO HAS to be involved in this step because we are reaching out to their networks.
Learn to Overcome Objections
No sales rep has the deep knowledge or the authority to customize a solution to each objection on the spot that you, as the owner of the company do. Not only does learning how to sell yourself allow you to intimately know the key objections your prospects have, but you can counter them on the spot to shorten the sales cycle.
Can’t Master, Can’t Teach
If you can’t master something, at least to a certain level, how will you ever be able to teach it to others in your company? When you learn what the market needs, what to say to open the buyer’s door and how to overcome objections, you are handing the golden keys to success to your sales teams when you delegate to them.
Nobody Will Try As Hard As You
As one of my fave business influencers, Gary V always says: “if you’re expecting your employees to work as hard as you, you’re an idiot! You’re the owner, they’re just in it for the cheque.” Like it or not, an employee will never try as hard as you, the owner. Especially to sell something that isn’t theirs. Yet another reason to figure out how to sell on your own first and then to spoon-feed it to others you hire.
If It Doesn’t Fire You Up, You Can’t Hide Behind Your Rep
The fact that some owners absolutely refuse to do the outreach and the selling and would like to hire a rep or a sales manager to do the work sometimes is a reflection of their lacklustre feelings about what they’re selling. I’ve seen CEOs be confused about the offering, the target or the messaging. This often translates to a lack of enthusiasm for the selling of it. Hiding behind hiring reps to be more excited or clearer than you is never going to work.
When a Rep Leaves So Will The Funnel
One of my clients is bemoaning the loss of their sales due to a long-time employee leaving and taking her contacts and closing skills with her. Other CEOs I meet are actively looking to expand into a market and seeking to hire reps in the geography they are looking to grow in. This is absolutely the worse thing you can do because when the rep leaves, so do the sales. You, as the owner become beholden to pleasing, holding on to the rep. Instead, learn how to do it yourself. Hire the best to do it, if you have to (I often have!). Then, after you master the game, you can confidently delegate it out to your heart’s content.