One of the most startling from a variety of sources is that over 70% of buyers in a B2B world today make their decision forever talking to a sales rep. WOW! What is a sales rep to do? It is imperative that sales people and teams reinvent themselves. We have to automate and streamline some of the mundane tasks such as prospecting, phone dialing, proposal generation, etc. The time-saving has to be reinvested into practices that allow salespeople to get in on the front part of the buying process. Here's a brief list of action salespeople can now take:
Let's be honest, tracking sales such as leads does not drive sales performance. Tracking won or lost sales also does not drive sales performance. So why do I bring this up? Recently, I met with a sales organization in the manufacturing sector that was telling me they meet with the people every single week for coaching sessions. When I asked her what was the basis of the sessions in terms of what was conducted, she started to tell me typical answers that are related to the top and the bottom of the sales funnel such as:
We all talk about angry customers. Let's be honest, sometimes we don't even want to talk to angry customers, but what if there were a way that we could change our relationship with angry customers? What if we actually looked forward to an angry customer? You must think I'm crazy at this point. Let me explain. If everybody in the world gave great customer service and every customer was happy, how would we go about differentiating ourselves? What would separate us? What would make us unique from the competition, especially when it comes to customer service?
Recently, we began using a platform called PhoneBurner. EssentiallyPhoneBurner is an innovative technology platform that allows you to load up a list of phone calls in their system that does much of the work for you in regard to the mundane tasks associated with prospecting. For example, here are some of the following features that seamlessly reduce tremendous time associated with prospecting:
I received a number of emails and inquiries from my last post on the Sales Difference and think you. The Sales Difference is really when you think about it a nebulous but also very specific concept. What I mean by that is we can make it more or less what we wanted to be.
Today customers are buying more and more frugally, thus putting the pressure on sales teams to outperform the competition. The challenge is are we attacking this issue from the right perspective by training sales people on selling skills and product knowledge? While these are valuable they do NOT provide customers with the opportunity to look at YOU or your sales team differently. What if there were a way to differentiate yourself and what you sell every step of the way where customers look at you as a partner and NOT just someone selling a product or service they need? The way we sell is as important as what we sell and each interaction creates a perception. Thus the coaching opportunity!
What if customers could define your training that would provide you an opportunity to differentiate your company right? WOW what an advantage that would be. How should a company do that void of simply doing the annual client feedback survey that is rarely put into actionable development?
One of the most fundamental things we see in our business is something that I've coined assumptive management. Let me give you one of my most infamous examples. I will ask a salesperson what are they specifically going to say in the event of a price objection. Typically, what I get is a response such as:" what I try to do is leverage the relationship…" Here's the problem with that response it simply does not answer the question. You are not going to look at a customer when they give you a price objection and say "Bob, can we stop and back up and talk about us"? Hope you are laughing?
|A good attitude will help you to...||A bad attitude can...|
We talk often about coaching employees and constantly helping to develop them into superstar top performers. However, as we have all experienced at one time or another, sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. If not done in a friendly and open way, employees, or anyone for that matter, could become defensive and closed off.
Are your salespeople really building relationships? Most salespeople believe that they have a great relationship with their clients but if you ask them the following question, “What have you done in the past 30 days to build deeper relationships with your clients?” Most salespeople are not able to answer this question. You now have an opportunity to coach them to build and sustain their relationships with their clients. Relationship building is a nebulous and vague concept in selling. If we don’t encourage specific action-based relationship building, then it becomes a concept more than a reality. Action-based relationship building is the key to success and salespeople will not take it upon themselves to do this on their own.
Coaching employees is like solving a Rubik's cube. Each Rubik's cube is solved differently, you need to use a different combination of steps, algorithms, and processes to get the end result. However, to start solving the cube, you need to get the base cross. This is the first thing you aim to do when you start solving a Rubik's cube, solve for the base cross, once you have the cross, you can figure out how to solve the rest of the cube. The fundamental attributes are this cross. Once an employee has a good handle on these fundamental attributes, you can coach them in all the skill and performance areas that they need to improve upon.