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How to Know If You Need Help

When it comes to sales, if there's a gap between "where you are" and "where you want to be", can help.


Before we talk about how we can help, it's useful to go over the kinds of problems we can solve. This is because considering a solution is predicated on there being a problem to solve - in this case a gap between "where you are" and "where you want to be".

As you can see below, there are two kinds of problems that can exist for a business: a Growth Gap or a Trouble Gap.

These kinds of gaps - or differences between "where you are" and "where you want to be" - can exist with regard to any business goal, including sales, profitability, market share, or even stock price. But they can also apply to subjective goals such as a deficient perception in the market, a lower-than-desired quality of life, career advancement challenges, or just a lack of job fulfillment.

Regardless, the "gap" basically describes a situation where you have a goal, such as a revenue goal, but you're not achieving it. In the first case (above), a Growth Gap, you're doing okay, but you'd like to do better. In the second case, a Trouble Gap, you're doing poorly, and you need to get, at least, to the point where you're doing okay. As you'll see, there are the cases where can help.

To be clear, there are certainly situations where either you don't have a gap, or where you don't believe you have a gap despite evidence to the contrary. And in those cases, you don't need our help.

The first situation is called "even keel," and it's illustrated below.

In this case, everything's fine, and you don't need any help. You're hitting your numbers, so you're on an "Even Keel." And unless you want to raise the bar, you probably don't need our help.

The other case, where you also don't need any help, is where you think you are doing better than you really are (i.e. you're "Delusional"). And unless you want someone to checkpoint your analysis (which we can certainly do), we're again not the ones to call.

But if there's a gap between "where you are" and "where you want to be" with respect to revenue, market share or profitability, that's where we can help. And that's when and why you should consider

But first, you're probably thinking: Why not just do it in-house?

Why Outsource?

Once you've concluded that there's a gap between "where you are" and "where you want to be," you'll need to figure out how to solve the problem. If you know how to solve the problem, and you have the skills and resources in-house, you don't need outside help. But if you don't know how to solve the problem, or you don't have the skills or resources to solve it, you need to seek help from an expert. Maybe us, or maybe someone else.

This question of knowing how to solve the problem, by the way, is a lot more important, and potentially complicated, than you might think. For example, let's say you're not hitting your sales numbers. Is it because not enough prospects know about you? Is it because they're already working with your competitor? Is it because your solution lacks adequate value? Maybe people just don't understand your value. Or maybe your salespeople just can't close.

If you don't understand this real problem, then any solution - whether in-house or outsourced - probably isn't going to work. But one reason to outsource is to get a fresh perspective on the problem, and thereby come up with a viable solution.

One caution we would raise is that there's a huge trap in this approach. Specifically, even though you may not know what the real problem is, all the tools that are available to you to figure out what the problem is generally assume that you do already know what the problem is. For example, if you have a sales problem, and you Google "sales problem," you'll find a list of Web sites that provide lists of common sales problems and symptoms. And so you read through a few, and see your problem on one of the pages. "A-ha!" you say, "That's our problem!" So you click on the link, call the solution provider, and you're ready to buy. But if you didn't know the cause before, do you now know what it is just because you saw it on a Web page? (See "lawyers who are their own clients".)

Obviously, if you just start searching for particular solutions like telemarketing, SEO, PR, SMM or SEM, you've really biased the result. But you get the point.

At, we can figure out what the problem is, without bias, although we may not be able to do it without working the entire sell-cycle (see below).

Why Use

And so now, the short version:

  • At, we don't presume to know what the solution is. We first try to figure out what the real, underlying problems are, and then propose (based on our extensive experience, and sometimes with market research) what we think could solve it. If you agree, we'll implement the solution, and then we'll look at the results. If the results improve, we'll scale up. If not, or they don't improve enough, we'll use the new data to improve our diagnosis, and try to come up with a better solution.

    NOTE: Improving sales results is, by definition, an iterative process. This is because the bar is (or should be) raised continually; and market conditions change constantly. Therefore, our process is designed around the USAF's Observe - Orient - Decide - Act (OODA loop) concept.

  • At, we care about your entire sell cycle - from identifying market opportunities to account retention. While we do not do commission work, we measure our success based on your profitability.

This is why and its team of Partners offer the most effective, and cost-effective solutions, whether you know what the problem is or not.

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