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How Long Will It Take?

Quite often I get questions about how long it will take to complete various sales performance improvement interventions.  (It’s the business equivalent of, “Are we there yet?”)

I’ll answer some of those questions one by one before I philosophize:

Q: How long it does it take to get a sales team performing at quota (and remaining there…)?

A: Think one to three years, depending on the size and capabilities of the team, your selling environment, your training vendor, how many tools and processes must be built, getting a measurement system in place, getting your CRM system integrated with your sales methodology, your company’s and team’s ability to adapt to what might be significant change, etc.

Q: How long it will take to get marketing and sales aligned?

A: Three months to a year, again depending on the circumstances.

Q: How long will it take to evaluate and select the right sales training/consulting partner/vendor?

A: Based on our experience, 3 to 6 months.

There is an old expression I recite when responding to those “how long will it take” questions:

You can have it:

Right Away,
Cheap, or
Pick only two out of the three.

The point here is simply this. Whether you are embarking on a sales performance improvement intervention, renovations on your home or tutoring for your child, you’ve got to decide what’s important.

From the questions I get it seems that people are most often focused on “right away.” If “right away” is what you need, that’s fine, but what are you willing to give up?


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