Several years ago, I began consulting with a minor league baseball team to improve sales performance. The owner of the team was frustrated with revenue, but that is only part of the story.
As with most sports teams, they hired salespeople, fresh out of college, to sell for them. These salespeople, the good ones anyway, stayed for about two seasons. At that point, they would pursue another job.
When that moment came when a salesperson submitted a resignation, it was catastrophic to revenue performance. The executive team was left wondering how another salesperson would be able to step into the role and keep revenue flowing. Most of the time, that didn’t happen.
Looking at sales performance in the various markets they served, the chart resembled an EKG report with huge peaks and valleys. The peak correlated with a seasoned salesperson who had been in the role for a year or so. Valleys correlated with a salesperson leaving the company and a new person learning the ropes.
As the owner and I delved into the sales functions, we found there wasn’t a defined sales process for those markets. A newly hired salesperson would look at notes in the CRM and figure out how to sell. Some succeeded, but many failed.