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3 Steps to Recruit Easily Sales Leaders

Only 3 Steps to Recruit Easily Sales people that will produce results

(Source: Flickr)

We are working closely with companies like yours recruiting the best sales leaders. By leveraging our unique and highly customised approach to sales talent identification, development and recruitment. It is easy to implement , will save you a huge amount of time and the results are amazing.

     See how  it works (Webinar)

 

 

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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

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How to Monitor your Margins for Better Profitability

How to Monitor your Margins for Better Profitability

If you’re not satisfied with your current profit margin then it could be time the company reassesses its current offering to clients. If you’re in the business of producing products, for instance, could you add a service side too?

Certainly, an article by researcher and Professor of Marketing at the University of Cologne, Werner Reinartz, in the Harvard Business Review, pointed to the far higher profit margins that could be achieved by adding on a service provision – to the extent it may turn out that the services side is more profitable than the actual products themselves.

Selling services: a whole new ball game

But it’s not simply a case of adding on a service and getting the sales team to start pushing it. Selling is a service that is different to a product. Not only that, but the people you’re selling it to (i.e. the existing ‘product’ contacts) aren’t necessarily the correct people for sales. And, in order to ensure sales effectiveness by getting that company to invest in a service which is a completely new concept you would usually have to go higher up the management chain for approval.

In his studies of more than 20 industrial companies who started adding services to their product offerings Reinartz found that one group had profit margins for those new services which were eight times higher than its product profit margins. However, another company struggled to even break even considering the investment they had put in. Reinartz concluded this was down to the fact they didn’t take enough time to study their sales offering and tried to introduce the services too quickly.

“Successful firms begin slowly, identifying and charging for simple services they already perform and using those to build enthusiasm for adding more-complex ones,” he explained. “They then standardize their delivery processes to be as efficient as their manufacturing ones. As their services become more complex, they ensure that their sales force capabilities keep pace.”

One final step, he pointed out, was to ensure that management switched its focus from the way the company set up and delivered the services, to what the customers needed i.e. if they were having difficulties with a product or it could be made to work more efficiently, then what services could be added in order to make this happen? And what did the company need to ensure they could provide those services?

Essentially Reinartz recognised four key issues to ensure sales effectiveness when adding services to a product offering. These were:

Understanding there is already a service there

The French arm of international pharmaceuticals company Merck never charged for deliveries or insurance. When they did introduce the cost to 100 existing customers as a trial, a huge 90 per cent of them simply paid it. Only 10 per cent queried their higher bill and insisted on reverting. Once the service charges were added to every customers bill, Merck’s profit margins took quite a jump.

Reviewing and monitoring existing services

Air Liquide had the habit of sending all its customers a gas-consumption report. However, on review learned some of them didn’t even bother reading it. The company then stopped producing that service for those customers and increased its profit margins as a result.

Ensures sales are capable of selling services

Services mean longer sales cycles and decisions are made higher up. Schneider Electric encouraged its sales team to focus on cost-plus value-based pricing rather than cost-plus when introducing services. This meant educating them on how their customers’ managers justified decisions internally. In this way the sales team could help the managers ‘sell in’ the services to the decision-makers, increasing their sales effectiveness.

GE Medical Services refer to those in its sales team who sell products as ‘hunters,’ while services sellers are ‘farmers’ i.e. the latter cultivates relationships with customers in order to grow their offering over time.

Looking at customers holistically

Understanding what the customer needs to function can result in increased service offerings as forklift company Fenwick found out. After installing sensors in fork lifts they ended up selling customers new services such as remote monitoring technology and forklift driver training – to the extent their service side today makes up 50 per cent of their profit margin. As a Fenwick spokesman explained: “Whenever we can’t directly break into a customer account with a product, we’ll offer to provide services on a competitor’s product.”

 

For more information, contact us at WIN Programs. We’ll be happy to help!

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How Sales Directors Succeed in a Tough Economy

How Sales Directors Succeed in a Tough Economy

Let’s face it, in a tough economy every director finds it difficult to succeed. For Sales Directors though, it’s particularly painful. If fewer customers than before are purchasing a company’s products or services after all, the buck lies with Sales. So, how can you ensure that sales effectiveness means business continues to tick along nicely – even when consumer spending power is vastly reduced?

1.Align sales strategy and growth objectives

What we mean by aligning your sales strategy with growth objectives is for you to check that it’s actually possible for your sales strategy to meet the current ambitious goals you’ve set yourself. It may, for instance, be an idea to reduce your growth target at this time (for many a CEO the most difficult challenge in a recession is simply for their company to stay afloat). But you still want to grow, of course, so ensure your strategy focuses on where that potential growth is. Is it, for instance, by potentially penetrating a new segment of the youth market? Or could it be by zoning in on where a competitor is obviously failing? Then again, has new legislation in your sector made it easier to promote particular products, and as a result ensuring sales effectiveness?

2. Get the structure to support sales goals

It’s all very well having these great plans for success, but if you can’t back up your strategy with the right tools, equipment and people then it’s going to show those weaknesses within a matter of weeks. So, in order to succeed, it might mean having the manpower in particular geographic or market locations. If you’re targeting a youth segment, for instance, does your company have the IT know-how to reach them? If your new potential customer base doesn’t have a clue about your product or service, they certainly can’t buy – and benefit – from it. And neither, for that matter, will your company (benefit).

3. Have the right people in place

Are your employees in the right roles – both for them and your company? If you’re targeting a youth segment, for instance, then it’s not a bad idea to get someone of that age on the team. They should have a better understanding of how your customer base thinks, for starters. It’s crucial to ensure that the skill sets of your employees match what you require, not only in order to get your strategy implemented successfully, but also to maintain team morale and ensure sales effectiveness. Just like with getting the sales strategy right, finding the best employees for the job can also prove to be a CEO’s most difficult challenge.

4. Make sure you target the right markets

Once those target market/s have been identified it’s easier to know the type of resources you’ll need in order to reach that group of customers. You’ll also be able to fashion your message more appropriately, as well as learn the best way to promote your goods or services, in addition to pricing them suitably and distributing them in the best way possible for them to literally hit home – and lead to more sales.

5. Utilise technology in the best way possible

Social media is free to use (if you’re not paying for click advertising) so make use of that cost-free resource. Find out which social media channels your target audience is more likely to be found on and use it to reach them. Provide educational posts for your sector, humour and, every now and again, promote your product or service. It’s all about getting your target audience to recognise, appreciate and trust your brand/company. They’ll then like your products or service as an extension of that ‘good will.’

CRM software is another invaluable piece of IT when it comes to sales effectiveness because it allows a company to enhance its relationship with the customer. It does this by keeping a record of all interactions he or she has with the company. That means tracking orders and getting to understand a customer’s preferences and what future products or services may appeal to them based on past purchases etc. It also helps you provide a more efficient and effective service by being able to immediately let the customer know the status of their order. CRM systems can also indicate how particular sales staff or products/services are performing at an early enough stage for you to do something about it.

6. Invest in the correct software

The main point of CRM software is that it provides data (which is the newest form of currency). It is companies which have found ways to “collect, interpret and act upon customer data that are winning,” according to a survey by 3rd-party research firm, SPOTIO, conducted last year. It based the results on responses from 492 American sales professionals in both inside and field sales roles. Despite the importance of keeping up-to-date with both hardware and software, only 52% of outside field sales personnel felt that they were equipped with the right equipment.

At the same time, a “State of Sales” report from Insidesales.com, found that companies on average invested just over £4000 on software per sales rep. It’s a 22% increase over four years, leading the report’s authors to conclude that “organizational heads are recognizing the importance of investing in software as they see the direct correlation between modern tools and sales rep success.”

For expert guidance on ensuring sales effectiveness i.e. that your sales strategy leads to increased revenue, then take a look at sales coaching by Winprograms today.

By admin

How can a long sales cycle be shortened?

How can a long sales cycle be shortened?

timepiece by Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr)

The challenges of closing sales and reaching your yearly target are numerous. Are you under pressure to increase your average sales size? Would you expect an incentive if you achieve this goal, and most importantly, would the sales cycle of your product allow you to do so within the time frame allocated?

Let us explore in the article below some tools that have often proved beneficial.

1.Clarify the target Market

Once you start your research, you will initially need to find the influencers and decision makers you need to help you achieve your goal. Invite them, as well as several prospects, to a 1-day seminar held at your office. There you can explain to them what you do in greater detail and discuss the solutions your company can offer. 

2. Create a mutual action plan to reach your prospect’s goals

Start connecting with every person that will take part in the decision management. Identify their objectives, whether personal and professional. You can then start connecting with employees of the targeted companies that will likely benefit from using your solutions. Build a trusting relationship and recognize challenges that could be solved by working together as a team.  Building a strong relationship with your prospects can significantly shorten your sales cycle.

3. Select challenges you can solve

The correct systems and processes, as well as developing your sales teams’ skills, ultimately all have an impact on the shortening of the sales cycle.  The responsibility lies heavily on the Sales managers’ shoulders as statistics show that only 20% of salespeople have the skills necessary to sell successfully.  

Salespeople need to have a structured strategic approach when they operate. Breaking the sales process into sections allows them to analyze challenges and weaknesses.  The sales process can be compared to a GPS system on a car.  Once we provide the destination post code (goal to be achieved) the GPS provides the route to take (sales process) and the time needed (Sales cycle) to arrive to your destination.

4. Align your activities around your prospects

Establishing a time frame for your next step is crucial.  If you don’t confirm your next meeting or call time with your qualified client, you will find it may extend your sales cycle by an extra 2 weeks.  Be on top of the customers’ mind to maintain the momentum.  Getting the buy in and the “yes” is important at all stages; small yesses are just as significant. 

If you are skipping stages by jumping straight to the end contract or proposal and then face an objection, this means the client didn’t see your value or didn’t understand the full process.  Make sure you ask clearly: “Are you ready for the next stage or do we need to talk through any other details?”. 

5. Monitor your pipeline

Plan your pipeline flow versus your timeline. Is the speed of the qualified and potential deals in line with the date your want to close the deal?

Daily pipeline monitoring is essential if you need to manage prospects: is the size of your pipeline is satisfactory? Are the stages of your sales cycle optimized? Do you have enough prospects to reach your targets?

Answers to these questions will help you prioritize your visits to clients, prepare focused offers and follow up on pending matters with potential clients.

6. Master your self-limiting beliefs

One of the non-supportive beliefs usually sounds like this: “I don’t need to speak with the actual decision maker because my contact will take care of it.”

Our beliefs and emotions may sometimes negatively impact our sale. Thoughts like the following ones are self-limiting:

  • “In the markets I sell to, it is well known that the sales cycle is long.”
  • “The companies I target have long sales cycles.”
  • “The companies I target take a long time to respond.”
  • “Nothing moves fast in our industry.”
  • “New customers need more time to think about how they spend their budget.”

If the salesperson believes it is ok to think it over, analyze and research and accepts that the environment needs time, then the result can only translate in lengthier cycles and delay closing. The salesperson must understand the sensitive nature of the impact of self-confidence and speed on the sales procedure.

7. Deal with managerial pressure

Senior managers will always test their sales leaders’ capabilities and stretch their capacity towards better results every day. To make sure you will be amongst the successful salespeople, you need to create a sales effectiveness process that will insure you reach the required targets. The consultative selling approach has regularly proved highly successful in that respect

If you want to get more information, please access to following the following link. We will be more than happy to assist you.

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