Atlantic Crossing Digital Consulting

A software sales force that isn't will last 9-18 months

So what happens next when the software revenue acceleration doesn't happen - even after hiring supposedly great, and often highly paid, sales people?

Invariably, the sales force that doesn't sell is let go. They just weren't good enough, in spite of their glowing credentials. And this time the software company decides to do everything in a top-professional way. No more hiring out of the founders' or other key employees' networks. A real executive recruitment agency is retained - to match the superior qualities of the software product.

After a couple of months where the sales effort is on standby, the new salesperson(s) arrive. The search and the salesperson both carry expensive price tags, so there's light at the end of the tunnel.

By now, we all know that, most likely, history will repeat itself. And the software revenue growth is still moderate at best, even after several iterations.

A lot of us have been there, done that. Some of us, like me, have been there more than once, repeating our own failures.

So what is the solution? You're welcome to chime in with suggestions and/or your own war stories in a comment.

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Further discussion

I agree 100% – it's not solely the salesperson's fault … in fact, most often, it's not his fault at all. In my experience, it's most often a lack of product marketing, a lack of ammunition, if you will, that cause the dismal sales figures.

But that can be traced back to the C-suite, and they're not going to fire themselves. So the sales guys take the fall … and nowadays often followed by the marketing folks.

While the point is well taken on history repeating itself, why is it solely the sales person's fault? I've seen sales people come and go - and not due to their incompetence. Sometimes the company's higher ups decide that the marketing strategy needs to change and the sales person is at a loss on how to sell based on this newest marketing development on which they weren't consulted. Sales metrics and are needed and there are tools for that, but they need to be matched to the sustainability of the market and marketing don't you think?

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