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By admin

Solving the Sales Conundrum

Solving the Sales Conundrum

 

What has happened to your team’s sales effectiveness? Just what are they doing wrong? Many company sales leaders and CEOs ask themselves this when turnover isn’t what it should be. And it’s why they automatically assume they need a course in sales training. But is that really the case? Could their current lack of sales be down to something more than just poor sales performance?

And, anyway, wouldn’t it make more sense to find out exactly what the underlying problem really is before going ahead and spending hundreds – or thousands – of pounds on something that could be solved much easier (and at far less cost) at home instead? In this post we’ll go some way to attempting to help you solve that sales effectiveness puzzle of yours by yourself. For instance, we’ll get you to ask yourself the following questions:

What is the real problem with sales?

The reason your sales staff aren’t doing too well could be for any number of reasons, not necessarily simply their sales performance. Could the answer be, for instance, down to a lack of knowledge about the product they are trying to sell? Then again, it could be that you, as a company, haven’t provided them with the right sales tools in the first place i.e. they may have a poor Customer Relationship Management system or poor sales materials. Is the data base any good? And on that note, is the sales coach doing his job properly? Another reason could be that your selling incentives just aren’t motivating your staff enough for them to go out and give the performance of their lives.

 

Analyse sales performance

One way to find out for sure why your sales performance is down is to analyse the performance of your sales people – do you have the right people in the right positions to begin with? Then again, you could look at the sales pipeline to find out where exactly you need to introduce some form of training and, finally, review your sales turnover. These are the three main aspects of sales activity that an analysis of should certainly start to throw light on where it’s all going wrong.

 

Find out what’s missing from sales performance

Go out on the road with your sales team and find out individually how each of them really performs. Are they, for instance, as good at closing a sale as they say they are? Is there something they are missing from their sales performance? What skills are they lacking in this arena?

Get your sales staff to be fluent

If they are lacking and embark on sales effectiveness training, then encourage your staff to practice their new sales technique. It’s the only way for a sales person to achieve fluency i.e. so they are never back-footed by a question and can answer queries instantly. By practicing they will build up that particular ‘sales muscle’ and won’t be tempted to fall back into bad habits. Golfing is an analogy which is frequently referred to in this respect i.e. it can take a golfer up to 500 swings before he or she has learned a new technique.

It’s all down to role-playing and is definitely a lot like being an actor; repeating your lines until they’re word perfect. Then again, perhaps an improvisation comedian is a better analogy – they don’t know what’s coming so they’ll have several practiced scenarios up their sleeve at the one time.

Role-playing and improvisation acting also help your sales people remain present in their conversation with potential buyers – a skill that is pretty much essential when it comes to tackling a tough sale. Not only that, but it instills confidence. Knowing he or she is not going to get wrong-footed by a customer because they have already rehearsed all the possible answers, gives your sales person an added advantage.

So, how’s your team’s sales effectiveness? If poor, could it be time to give it a proper analysis, rather than just pick up the phone and order more sales performance training? Contact us at WIN Programs for more information

By admin

Do you get lots of “maybe” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

Do you get lots of “maybe” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

So far, I have posted a lot of content which tells you about general mistakes in a sales call. Today we are going to talk about the situation when you do everything right but still get a “MAYBE” as an answer.

Most people subconsciously avoid decision making after the first conversation. Every sales guru knows and advises that one needs to adjust their conversation to guide the prospect to come to a decision. This can be tricky as salespeople can become very pushy. So the big question is: how do we guide the conversation while still making the prospect feel like they’re in control?

There is a very simple solution for this: set up an agenda before the meeting. It will align you and your prospect on a plan for the meeting and make sure you’re both on the same page and moving forward together toward one of three outcomes:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Figuring out the next steps – Future meeting date & agenda

By following the above process, you are avoiding a limbo stage. The main advantage of this process is that you are saving valuable time on the lead follow-ups. This can feel awkward at first but if you practice it in your next meeting and make it your own, you will start seeing positive results that you’ll want to use again and again. If you have any specific questions or suggestions about the implementation of this process, we are here to help!

By admin

Time to Put Your Sales Force on a Sharp Training Schedule

Do you lose business to competitors just because their sales force is more skilled?

If it is so, then it is probably time to put your sales force on a sharp training schedule. It may help them identify the reasons of their failure and address the skills needed to fundamentally change the way they approach clients/customers.

 

The Selling Jobs Crucial Needs

Sales is a job that needs constant upgrading of skills. Even people who have intrinsic skills of getting things off the board quickly need to hone up themselves. They need to reorganize themselves to sustain that competitive edge. Professionals who do that reap the benefits along with their organizations, while those who fail to take it into account witness plummeting sales.

Problems may crop up in the approach of even the most competent sales professionals. They may assume too much when Dealing with clients; Fail to identify compelling reasons for product sales, Premature proposing, quoting and presenting; Lack of research about competition; Inefficient differentiation, etc. Sometimes, they may just be outdone about the sales team of the professionals.

A business enterprise will do well to conduct periodic sales training, conventional or online, for their sales force as it would help them fill in the gaps and improve their performance. There are companies that specialize in conducting training courses for the sales professionals. The training offered is focused on action planning for participants to ensure impact on return to the workplace. Instructors are face-to-face with the sales team, discussing their problems and explaining to them where they had been committing mistakes. Case studies are conducted to get home the point.

A sales training schedule will touch all aspects of sales such as Direct Sales, Objection Handling, Presentation Skills, Negotiation and Closing Skills, Sales Management, Sales Writing, Telemarketing Skills, etc. making it increasingly useful for the participants.

 

Sustainable training versus Results

Professionals who receive quality sales training show tangible results. They tend to become more focused on their job, seeking out opportunities to test their polished skills. They develop better understanding of their job after the training which shows. You see more leads converted into sales, which boosts the bottom-line of the company. ROI on the sales force training becomes visible.

Any corporate sales training session is held with a specific objective. You can discuss with the trainers curriculum, duration and any nuances you want to get your team specifically trained in. If you are not very sure what real benefits the training will bring in, discuss it openly with the trainers.

Training module is designed keeping in line the job profile of the participants. Executives will receive sales training on interpersonal skills, working in teams and boosting profitability. On the other hand, module of a sales manager will include leading a team, setting objective for better efficiency, how to manage by objective and controlling environment to optimize presentation.

Participants learn communicating efficiently through process understanding, avoiding communication barriers to succeed in business, recognizing non-verbal signs of expression, identifying personal obstacles to effective communication and identifying opponent next action after reading their body language.

By admin

Sales Performance Strategy to Empower the Sales Force

Companies in the 21st century, that are facing sales performance challenges, asks themselves:

  1.  Why the market is becoming so hard to reach?
  2. Why closing clients is taken so much time?
  3. Is it the sales performance, is it our marketing strategy?

As per the last Harvard Business Review study, January February 2013 issue professor Richard Ettenson, after a study involving 500 managers and customers in multiple countries across a wide B2B industries, showed that that we need to reinterpret the 4p’s.

The rules of the game have changed and we are talking more about:

1. Selling solutions than selling our product service features
2. Value of the solution that we are offering to our leads than focusing and negotiating the prices.

In a way improving the sales performance of the sales force while implementing the consultative sales approach.

Now that client’s behaviors towards buying have changed

The hardest thing about selling today is that customers don’t need you the way they used to because:

  1. They are informed i.e. they are a click away from Google,
  2. They have access to any information they are searching for through blogs articles, free webinars etc…
  3. And in some cases we face extremely competent procurement teams or consultants armed enough with data to define solutions for themselves when we are approaching multinational companies.

Unfortunately we can still see the majority of the sales performance of organizations weakening by a sales force not prepared to face such changes and still trying to sell as sales representatives using the consultative sales techniques.

Selling Styles

• The higher up the scale the rep establishes as a base for the relationship, the greater value added to the customer experience.
• On the lower end, the salesperson relies on rapport to carry the day, adding very little to the customer.
• At the other end of the spectrum, the salesperson establishes him-self as a Trusted Adviser, using the consultative sales and  adding a significant value to the potential customers.

The act of building mutually rewarding relationships with customers, applying consultative sales techniques where sales people can help them solve their problems, achieve their goals, and maximize profitability while buying your products and services.

Remember:

Now that we pinpoint the Crucial need to :
1. adapt our marketing mix
2. take our sales people selling approach to a  consultative sales approach

After a study done over half a million sales people, statistical figures showed that:
• 85% of sales teams do not have a formal sales process
• 45% of sales managers struggle to manage effectively

We have to identify the sales force weakness and establish a long term sales development plan because Sales Training workshops returns on sales performance will last a maximum 3 months while a sustainable sales development strategy can lead to an increase of a minimum of 10% in sales.

Now that we all agree that Organizations have an urgent need to:
1. Adapt a new marketing mix approach to gain market share
2. Train and educated its sales force to a new selling solution approach

Whether you need to:

1. accelerate your growth,
2. reverse flat or declining sales,
3. reduce your cost of sales,
4. hire a key sales executive, or a VP of sales
5. change your sales model,
6. Or implement an efficient sales process

  • You will need to ask the right questions to identify the real issues you are facing and provide a comprehensive solution tailor made to your need
  • Then you will be able to take your sales force from an Order takers level to a Money maker’s level 

Look at this free webinar:

By admin

6 Sales force development rules to achieve more with less

How the sales force can achieve more? why most of them always fail? what should be done to turn on your sales machine?

Lots of crucial questions need to be raised to face the 2013 challenge, if you need to stand still and
grow your sales. Answering your questions is simple if you implement the following rules.

Rule 1: Be Consistent in developing your sales force instead of tight budgets

There is many ways to create a sustainable sales force whatever is your budget. There are plenty of  on-line sales training for sales people, live sales webinars or classrooms sales programs that should fit your budget. The only rule you have to follow is to invest in the sales force all year long and be consistent!

Rule 2: Never stop spending to boost your sales machine

Would you drive your car without fuel? what makes you think you can grow your sales without investing in your sales team? you must find time and money to plan  sales programs that fits your schedule, and your company needs.

Rule 3: Create an in-house sales academy whatever is your sales force size

Among the most valuable benefits of the sales academy that you can you implement in-house is the ability to deliver regular sales solutions whenever you sales team needs it in a very cost effective, consistent and personalized manner on regular basis. Focused sales development solutions will surely leads to sales performance optimization.

Rule 4: Never Recruit new blood without a sales assessment tool

Selection of new sales people is crucial step and a hassle to most of companies. Put in place:

  1. a full skills evaluation for new recruit
  2. a sales developmentInduction program for new recruits
  3. a 2 days self study sales programs along with coaching sessions for new recruits
  4. a 90 days ramp up program with Key performance indicators
  5. an online 24/7 studies self-online sales programs  for 90 days for reinforcement.

Rule 5: Link the performance of the sales force to the sales programs frequency 

Accountability is the first thing that motivate human and your sales team. Link your sales academy program to their performance. let them become accountable. Imagine yourself the chief of an orchestra, any move you do is followed closely by your team. Accordingly the better is sales academy design the better they perform.

Rule 6: Don’t forget We are all working with human being not machines.

We should expect deficiencies and work to fix that accordingly. Always look at you ratios to add, minimize, refine or sales academy tools in coordination with the sales team performance. To help them do thing differently to achieve, you should:

    1. set an accountability system
    2. monitor them accordingly
    3. coach them closely
    4. be always available for them
    5. give them faith in their abilities
    6. be their reference
    7. be credible
    8. be consistent

you can use for free the below sales force calculator to identify how you can improve your sales force. Enjoy!

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Time to Put Your Sales Force on a Sharp Training Schedule