Sales specialization. A word that is often used by the sales pundits of our day, sales trainers, venture capitalists, and bloggers (sometimes all three of these can even be the same person / company).
The message about sales specialization meets the needs of these pundits. It's trendy and gets contemporary sales trainers gigs. It results in more spend on personnel and software, which pleases investors looking to deploy large funds. And it generates click throughs onto blog articles.
But is specialization truly what's best for you, the small to medium business?
We would argue that it's most likely not. In fact, as far as we can research the concept of sales-related specialization was developed at Salesforce.com by Aaron Ross, who (according to his LinkedIn profile) joined the company just over 18 months before it went public at around a $1 billion valuation. That's much larger than most small to medium businesses.
So what IS best for your needs? We think it's simple: whatever generates your business the most revenue for the least expense. Also known as profit.
There are two types of "assets" to consider specializing. Your people. And the systems they use to do their jobs. Where we agree with the pundits is that personnel specialization can definitely increase productivity. We agree with that message wholeheartedly. We simply believe that personnel specialization is most effective for most small and medium businesses when planned on your profit curve, not your growth curve.
On the other hand, we believe systems should not follow the specialization trend for the majority of small and medium businesses out there. Quite simply, IF you can get away with fewer software subscriptions, your profit margins will go up.
As a small business ourselves, here is what has been made available to us, should we choose to buy into all of the "ROI" promised by the people selling the tools:
Holy cow! That's overwhelming in so many ways. From the potential costs, to the time to research the "best" option in each category, to the sunk costs of setting everything up, to the resources to maintain and manage, and, and, and... Overwhelming indeed! In fact, we'd probably go broke trying to generate all of the ROI promised to us.
What if there is a simpler way that is more inline with your goals for profit?
Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to worry about all of these tools! Well, first and foremost we suggest you do a little house cleaning. Take a step back and figure out what NOT to deal with. We even wrote a blog article about how to choose what not to do.
Once you decide which systems are actually important to your business, evaluate what's out there using these criteria:
We at VipeCloud offered a few specialized tools for a while, and then realized that we believe too many small businesses (like ourselves) are being shoehorned into overspecialized products. For example, many CRMs don't include email marketing. And if they do, they have tight limits and only offer partial functionality. That doesn't make sense to us from the perspective of the small to medium business' needs.
So we recently launched our own All in One CRM offering, designed from the perspective of what most small and medium businesses need. As such we offer sales, pipeline, and campaign tools all in a single system. We welcome you to consider VipeCloud as a system that will address most all of your sales and marketing needs.
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