Here are the 7.5 tips, which may lead you to the conclusion, that you don't need more people at all, but can actually get by with less....

It's a thing these days -- getting new people. It can seriously hinder the growth of your organization, it seems. However, there are more options than hiring more people. It can often be done smarter.

Tip #1: Sales & Marketing Alignment

If Sales & Marketing worked well together they could move mountains together. Unfortunately, this happens very rarely. See also the preliminary results of our Poll on LinkedIn. Knowing this is one thing, doing something about it is another.

Want to know where the quick fixes lie where you don't just have to look at expanding sales & marketing hands? Then consider joining our Sales & Marketing Alignment Masterclass, which you can attend soon.

Tip 2: Sales Process Optimization

Have you ever done the math on how much revenue, profit and valuable time you lose on sales projects that never come to fruition or are far too slow to do so? You'll be scared to death. Of course, not every sales journey can be successful.

When I lived and worked in the U.S., I learned the cry, "If your gonna lose, lose fast." The biggest loser in a sales process, is the one who finishes second. Those who dropped out earlier have spent all the time that you were still in the race on deals that were promising for them. Did you know that in most lost projects it could have been clear much earlier whether you would end up as a "Winner" or a "Loser"?

And yes, you can also get insights on how your organization can substantially improve closing ratios very soon. Look for the date of the Sales Navigation Masterclass suits you. When you come out as a "Winner" more often than as a "Loser" you need less time and therefore less people to meet your target.

Tip 3: Improve Sales Recruitment

And if you must hire new people, do it right. I am amazed at how poorly the process of recruiting sales & marketing professionals is still being approached. What stands out?

Poor recruitment planning (Often you can see long in advance that you are going to need someone), an unattractive vacancy text, a rattling and far from efficient recruitment process, poor unstructured interviews with candidates, a decision on who to hire based mainly on gut feeling (The same gut feeling that sometimes produces diarrhea.), inefficient on-boarding processes and "last but not least" the far too long post-hiring muddle processes to assess whether or not the right decision was made with the hiring of your new sales tiger.

As a solution, many an organization, far too easily places a vacancy with a recruitment agency that also knows what selling is. But how did you separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff among all those recruitment agencies? There are quite a few cowboys in that industry... Unfortunately, the good agencies can help with pre-selection, but all the other previously mentioned tinkering moments within your recruitment process, they won't solve.

Wouldn't it be smart to teach the sales bosses and your HR people involved in recruiting new sales toppers how to do it better?

Send one or more of your people to the Sales Recruitment Masterclass and get them back more competent. And, yes this master class takes place very soon, but oh well. if your organization is really so desperate for new people, it's "just" a matter of prioritizing.

Tip 4: Profit maximization

"Focus on just 1% of the right (potential) customers and double your profits." With this title, we have filled many a master class and helped many organizations and professionals excel. You know it, the 20/80 rule.

It's just too bad that so few people actually do anything with it. Only 20% percent of all your efforts lead to 80% of the results, and with that knowledge you can give your productivity a huge boost.

For more than 20 years, in boom times and in times of crisis, we have been teaching people how to use this wisdom, which is over 100 years old, intelligently in Sales and Marketing. The Masterclass Profit Maximization offer practical insights that lead to you knowing how to achieve much more with less and that you may not need more people at all to continue to grow.

Tip 5: Lean & Mean Planning

What has come of your Sales & Marketing Plan so far? I don't mean sales, which may have come more than expected. And yes, having a little bit of luck is of course nice and dear to your heart, but is this sustainable for the future? Look again at the plan, presented probably 6 months ago with great optimism. Did it work out?

Probably not enough, and when it is, the bar probably could have been raised a little higher. And uhhhh..., has the content of the plan been updated based on developments over the past six months? And let's face it there were plenty of those right?

This is because most Sales & Marketing plans are not "Lean & Mean" enough. They are not drafted SMART enough. They are formulated too abstractly and are not drawn up in such a way that everyone is doing the right things at the right time. This while one A4 with a few supporting attachments is enough.

Imagine how much labor capacity could be better and more focused? In short, perhaps participating in the Masterclass Strategic Sales Planning not a superfluous luxury when you think you have "too few" people.

Tip 6: Improve persuasion skills

Sales & Marketing is actually very simple. Your professionals must influence and convince customers and prospects of just one fact.

And that is, that your organization is the best choice to do business with. The better sales & marketing people are at this the fewer people you need to get the same results.

Wouldn't there be much to gain here? In fact, to strengthen this knowledge and skill, we have two master classes that can make Sales & Marketing professionals much more competent in this. The first is the Masterclass Influencing and Persuading and the second is the Masterclass Brain Sensitive Influencing and Persuading.

Tip 7: Coach your people better

Professionals who are empowered and not only more productive, but happier. Happy professionals drop out less, work harder and are more loyal. In short, their productivity increases.

But how well can bosses coach their people? They often think they are coaching, but usually this is not the case at all and that is a shame. They are often unconsciously incompetent and that's a shame. Have managers ever been trained in what coaching actually is? And then how this works? Take a look at the Masterclass Coaching and reap the benefits of a participation.

Tip 7.5: Getting people to do, what they were hired to do

This may sound strange, but a lot of capacity is unnecessarily wasted having the wrong people do the work. Unfortunate and often unnecessary.

So take a closer look at what people spend their time on. Take an account manager, for example. You hired him or her because you need someone to talk to customers face-to-face, physically on location or via Teams/Zoom. Therefore, he or she has a company car and that account manager costs the organization substantially more than an inside salesperson.

If the account manager has more contact with his or her customers via e-mail, is on the phone more or is busy with sales administration, than he or she is F2F with customers, then you could have hired a good inside sales representative. Is he or she also spending much of his or her time overseeing projects, then a good project manager would probably have been better and cheaper.

In short, take another look at what the ladies and gentlemen are doing all day. Can't tasks be shifted? Isn't it smart to make the inside sales staff much more sales-savvy, allowing them to take over many tasks and often much customer contact.

There are also out-of-the-box quick fixes to consider. For example, consider giving account managers a (Virtual) Personal Assistant. Or even simpler ... engage a transcription service. The account manager speaks the visit report on the road and the text is ready when he or she gets home. By logical thinking, field service visit frequency can often be doubled. Does this cost money? Yes, of course it costs money, but it's much less than an additional account manager costs per year. So beware of a "penny wise, pound foolish" attitude just because a solution does not follow the usual paths of thought.

I hope this will make you think. That you understand that, with all these optimization possibilities, when I am once again hired as a consultant by organizations, I often come to the conclusion, together with management, that stagnation in growth is not due to too few people, but to:

  1. The "wrong" use of employees
  2. insufficient knowledge among employees
  3. insufficient proper guidance for people.

Fortunately, you don't always need an "expensive" consultant to come up with smart solutions. Many of my trainees had enough with a few master classes to be able to make impactful changes within their working methods and organization to solve problems. Below the links above you will find when they take place.

NB Should there be something more important to you on the date of a master class and therefore you cannot participate. Or does it take too long before the master class takes place? Then put in a comment below this post what you are interested in or send me a 1-on-1 message. We will see what the possibilities are.

In conclusion. "Work smarter, not harder" 🙂 .