Creating continuous growth, what some people describe as a sales engine, begins with accountability. If the leadership team isn’t committed to creating and sustaining a sales organization, something different than just having salespeople, it isn’t going to happen. There will be no engine, even if you have all of the component parts necessary to build one.
A sales engine requires salespeople who spend their time prospecting and creating new opportunities. Too many sales leaders and sales managers focus too much on their existing opportunities, allowing their salespeople to go weeks—and months—without prospecting. Because they are not accountable for creating new opportunities, their thin pipelines prevent them from growing. Instead, they have the same opportunity meeting every week, with nothing new to report.
The engine runs on opportunities, and it moves the organization forward only when it produces new clients and new won opportunities in existing clients. Even though there are dozens—if not hundreds—of things that can distract the sales force, sales managers, and sales leaders, there are very few that make a marked difference in their sales results.
The engine, were one to desire one, requires a ruthless prioritization on prospecting, opportunity creation, and opportunity capture. It is a narrowing of focus, a willingness to deploy your resources according to your goal, and a self-sustaining culture where salespeople spend time selling and are awarded for doing so.
Once you build an engine, you will necessarily have to spend all your time focusing on protecting it from being destroyed—mostly from within.
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