Archive for market leader

Are “Politically Incorrect Market Secrets” (PIMS) Stalling Your Sales Growth? Six Quick Questions to Find Out….

Posted by on June 28, 2013 with 6 Comments

 secret

We are at the half way point of your sales plan. How is your team doing to plan? I have heard statistics that state 70% of salespeople will miss their sales plans this year. Why? Can your team afford to let this happen?…I did not think so. In this post I am challenging you, right here in the privacy of your computer. If this post pertains to you and you are a driven, dominant type leader that is so focused on the vision you believe to be true, (that may have actually been true 10 years ago) this post is going to make you feel uncomfortable. If you are market leader it will reinforce the importance of why you must wake up each day humble seeking current market truth and create a culture where it’s safe to tell you what your asking the team to do or say  is nuts.

 

One of the reasons sales plans fail to create sales velocity is “Politically Incorrect Market Secrets” salespeople are afraid to share with you. Trust me, every business, (even yours) can do better. In the dynamic markets we serve today changes are occurring every day and sales teams that have a culture where it’s safe to share current truths, are agile, and they adapt and thrive. Sales teams with culture built in the shadow of a dominant leader(s) that lack the emotional intelligence to consider their vision may be wrong or dated fail. They fail because one of the key components of having an agile sales process is “stand up meetings”. The value of this process is shut down before it begins when your team is only sharing the politically correct answers and not what is really occurring. It’s that simple.

 

The role of sales is a tough job. Each day you will be rejected more than accepted and you need the internal strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make another sales call. However when that fear of rejection is both external in the market and internal within your own team, sales people shut down. They stop looking, listening, sensing and communicating shifts in how their buyers are buying. They stop sharing customer complaints and problems and what they need to achieve their sales goals. When salespeople feel it is internally politically incorrect to share real current market secrets…you have already lost.

 

In a recent blog post that listed 10 reasons why great business plans fail to deliver the top reason was the plan itself was not a good plan. How can this be? You are smart enough…your did your three day get a way of strategic planning…you did not get to the position of senior management by creating plans that do not work. If your culture is one of Hippo’s (highest paid people in the room) leading by intimidation and making it very clear to you sales team what the “right” answers are before the questions are asked…you will fail to achieve your sales plan. As this post goes on to share; great plans count on a deep understanding of your customer’s needs and problems and not gut instinct and the tribal knowledge of your senior management team. I addressed this common problem in a blog post years ago titled; Attention leaders: Don’t look now but your lack of market knowledge is showing

 

 

In another post in the Harvard Business Review discussing “40 ways to crash a new product launch” the number one reason why your new product launch will fail, and sales will miss the sales plan is; no market research was done. Why? I believe smart people make good decisions and can shape market leading strategies with current unfiltered market data. If your team does not feel it is safe to share current data, you have a big problem.

 

How can you quickly tell if your sales team has tuned out?

 

  1. Do your salespeople openly share shifts in how buyers are buying on a frequent basis?

 

  1. Do your salespeople share buying experience problems your customers are having?

 

  1. Is it “safe” in your organization to be a Heretic?

 

  1. Have you asked a question and the room full of typically vocal salespeople and everyone becomes silent?

 

  1. Do your salespeople communicate ways your buyers are asking for new and improved service?

 

  1. Are salespeople who share “politically incorrect market secrets” welcomed or chastised in your sales meetings?

 

If you can not say yes to the above five questions, I promise you a number of your salespeople are going through the motions. If you can not say yes to any of the above questions you have a BIG problem. If you honestly can not say yes to all of the above your salespeople  have already shut down and like a robots are showing up and throwing up in front of customers what they hear from you and not listening to your customers. They have lost all accountability for their sales goals because you have emotionally beaten it out of them. Mentally they are saying; “screw it, nobody wants to here the truth, if I share the truth I am criticized in front of my peers and may risk my job security so I will do it ____’s way, I might not hit my goal but at least I will have a job”…and you have lost them. Is that who you want?…salespeople going through the motions or do you want and need sales super stars?

 

Ya, that’s what I thought….

 

The good news is you can change and adjust. The reality is there was a time you were tuned in to your market, your buyers, how your buyers bought and the criteria they used to make buying decisions. You did not achieve a senior leadership position based on luck but on hard work and achieving results. Let’s rekindle that spark that propelled your career and let’s position you to lead your team and blow your sales goals out of the water. Are you in? If so the quickest two ways I have used to help senior leaders clearly understand the markets they serve is booking what I call four legged sales calls. On these calls, working in the field with your salespeople your main goal is to seek to understand. You are to be a sponge listening and asking open ended questions. The second is from this day forward creating a sales culture that keeps and attracts sales super stars.

 

Don’t ask, don’t tell sales leadership is not a proven method to achieve profitable sales growth.”

- Mark Allen Roberts

 

Are you a salesperson who feels it’s unsafe to share the truth? If so please comment…

 

Are you a leader who feels I am totally wrong and your team is to do what you tell them to do?…bring it, share your thoughts…

 

Do you have sales meetings where its very obvious politically incorrect market secrets are not safe to share?

 

Are you a sales performance consultant or a sales coach and you have seen this problem? Please share how you have helped the leader and team create a culture where it was safe to share market secrets.

As the leader what do you really want more? to win and achieve your objectives?…or have a team of robots scared to share market truths and fail? …

When I find myself personally struggling with this, I am reminded of Proverbs 16 and how we are instructed; Pride comes before destruction.

 

“Protecting the Fort” and the Failure to Achieve Sales Goals

Posted by on December 28, 2012 with 8 Comments

by Mark Allen Roberts

When asked to help under performing sales teams, I always start by understanding the problem to be solved then working with their sales people in the market. One common role misunderstanding  among salespeople limits their ability to achieve their sales goals; “Protecting the Fort”. Some salespeople, often those who have been with you for a number of years believe part of their job is “Protecting the Fort” and not selling.They envision the sales and buying process more as a battle and they have to ward off buyer advances. What I am referring to can be simply explained as;

Protecting the Fort; a sales behavior exhibited by salespeople that is inward focused, not market serving, that believes part of their job is to teach buyers how to buy according to their companies’ internal rules, needs, and wants or quickly disqualify them and move on to the next sale.

Salespeople who protect the fort miss sales goals.

I was asked to help an under performing sales team some time ago. I spent time with each salesperson and I was surprised how much business two of their salespeople were not closing. They both had strong pipelines, a defined sales process, and a great lead nurturing plan and yet they were not meeting their sales objectives. I decided to spend some time doing four legged sales calls and after a few calls with each salesperson I quickly understood the problem hurting their sales performance. I found both sales people followed a sales process, followed up with their accounts timely, but consistently failed to close because they spent more time trying to get buyers to comply with how their company did things. The buyers were trying to buy this companies’ product but were met with …”we can’t do that..” “that’s not how we do things…” and both were saying “ I could never get that approved” . The salespeople would quickly use their understanding of internal unbreakable rules and policies to disqualify customers and not close the sale.  However when I asked the CEO if the salespeople had shared buyers needs and requests the answer was a quick..No. He even went on to say that some of what the buyers requested he would have gladly approved based on the customer and the size of the order.

Markets change and buyers buying processes and criteria change. Market leading companies are constantly sensing for market shifts and adapt…they must be more agile.

Teams that practice an Agile sales methodology meet and exceed growth goals.

Sales teams forced to sell based on …”the way we do things around here” fail.

So how about your sales team?

When was the last time you went on a four-legged sales call?

What internal rules do your salespeople think are acceptable to be deal breakers?

When was the last time one of your salespeople challenged one of your policies?

When you analyze lost sales , is their a common “internal rule” that is interrupting the sales process?

Are your internal rules for sales engagement market focused to help buyers buy…or designed to protect the fort?

I can hear the voice of past company owners I have served saying “ Ya but..” so let me address their concerns. I am not saying all the parameters you have given your salespeople should be allowed to be challenged. For example a lost sale is not the worst sale. The worst sale is one you work, nurture, close, deliver, and the customer never pays. So I am not advocating changing policies that insure buyers have the ability to pay. I am not advocating salespeople be permitted to sell products or services at a profit loss.

What I am saying is your sales team must understand their fundamental role; helping buyers buy not protecting the fort.

Are your Salespeople Focused on Landing Elephants While Rabbits and Squirrels Run to Buy?

Posted by on July 24, 2012 with 25 Comments

Are your Salespeople Focused on Landing Elephants While Rabbits and Squirrels Run to Buy?

By Mark Allen Roberts

hunting smaller accounts

In my previous post I discussed a problem: “One common problem I am observing in the market today is salespeople are “hunting elephants with BB guns” and getting frustrated when they fail to bag their trophy. The market is tough and salespeople are hired to make it happen, make the sales number. Far too many salespeople focus on selling elephants to help bring their sales to quota back in line and this tactic backfires.I shared how ill equipped and poorly trained most  salespeople are calling on large key accounts ( elephants) , and they are not only destined to fail, but there is a high probability they are also damaging your brand in the mind of key account buyers. Another,  problem  that compounds the focusing in on elephants is the opportunity cost lost  rabbits and squirrels running to buy.

Do your salespeople clearly understand the market they serve and the opportunities that exist?

What I have personally experienced helping sales teams is everyone knows who the elephants are. This is a problem as all your competitors are just as likely focusing their scopes right now to bag what you thought was your elephant.

In the background of your market, there are smaller accounts, (rabbits and squirrels) running to buy.

I like selling smaller accounts as well as elephants.

Why do I like selling smaller accounts?

  • sales cycle is much shorter
  • the equipment and training is less expensive
  • you are dealing with the economic buyer ( the owner) in most cases
  • they are busy, and value your consultative approach as an expert in the solutions you provide
  • they are more profitable as a % of sale than elephants
  • they appreciate your solutions to their problems more
  • the buyer is in the market you are hunting in and not “corporate” some where
  • higher close percentage, higher probability to win the sale
  • they rarely use RFP’s
  • they are less likely to source complimentary products, accessories and parts
  • the salesperson does not require a great deal of training and experience
  • they often grow into bigger accounts

Market leading sales organizations balance their focus on elephants, rabbits and squirrels.

How about your sales team? Do your salespeople have a balance of elephants, rabbits and squirrels?

Does your sales team focus only on landing elephants or do they also fill their commissions on rabbits and squirrels?

Have you segmented accounts by lifetime sales opportunity?

Do you have an inside sales model that helps identify where the rabbits and squirrels are hiding?

As the sales leader, are you equipping your salespeople with a complete market opportunity profile, or is your lack of market knowledge showing?

Insure your salespeople hit their numbers by providing a market opportunity profile that includes elephants, rabbits, squirrels and any other varmints you can land in your market.

Failure to do so and you are setting your salespeople up to be road kill in their year end performance review.

Are Your “Salespeople Hunting Elephants With a BB Gun?” Answer 10 questions…

Posted by on June 29, 2012 with 6 Comments

Are Your “Salespeople Hunting Elephants With a BB Gun?” Answer 10 questions…


As I have shared in prior posts, salespeople are like water; they find and take the path of least resistance. Having carried a sales bag for years I get it; it takes a tremendous amount of work to sell a large number of new accounts when I can sell one big account and make the same amount of money, and possibly more. The problem is most salespeople are ill equipped to land big accounts so they are hunting elephants with a BB gun. When your team hunts elephants with a BB gun they not only fail to hit sales objectives, and fail to increase the number of prospects in their funnel….there’s a high probability they are irritating the elephants.

Some of my fondest sales memories were landing some big elephants in the markets I served like; Wal-Mart, Block Buster, Musicland Stores, Nintendo, Dell, Blackberry, and others….and I have to admit it was a rush. I had a big advantage though and that was training and sales tools to land big accounts (elephants). When you sell big accounts you must understand how they buy, who is involved in the buying decision, and aggressively pursue the economic buyer. ( the one who has the power to write you a check) Just as if you were hunting elephants on the plains in Africa, you would equip yourself with a different set of equipment (tools) to bag your trophy, than if you were hunting rabbits or squirrels in Ohio. The environment is different, your weapons are different, and the net number of targets and shots you can take is very different.

One common problem I am observing in the market today is salespeople are hunting elephants with a BB gun and getting frustrated and surprised when they fail to bag their trophy.

How do you know if your salespeople are hunting elephants with a BB gun?

  1. Have your salespeople focused on and failed to close elephants in the past 6-8 months?
  2. When you ask why they failed to close the sale, all they say is price?
  3. Do you keep hearing “good meeting” but fail to see an order or a clear understanding of what was achieved at the last meeting and what the next step of the buying process is for the prospect?
  4. Do you notice the entire sales territory is underperforming to plan?
  5. When you ask about the territory performance, does your salesperson always add the elephant to the discussion?
  6. Are other team members complaining they are being pulled into this “big” opportunity and they are not seeing the sale moving to a close?
  7. Has your salesperson said something like; the account just went dark?
  8. Have you seen new leads not being followed up on in a timely manner?
  9. If you did bag an elephant in the last 6-8 months, was it significantly under your profit targets?
  10. ..I saved the hardest question for last …What does your gut say, should your salesperson be presenting large key accounts in your market? Are they trained and have they demonstrated the ability to listen and present solutions to problems? Would you want your salesperson calling on you?

So how did your team score? If you answered “yes” to four or more of the above, your salesperson is hunting elephants with a BB gun. How did you answer question #10? If you said “no” stop irritating the elephants in your market today.

There are a number of problems with your salespeople hunting elephants when they are not equipped to win;

they fail to bring home all the rabbits and squirrels in their market

they only irritate and make the elephants angry and that anger is attached to your companies’ brand

they compromise margins and they are  operating in the domain of losses

they pull resources from other areas of the organization that fail to meet their objectives

Market leading sales organizations understand the buying process for large key accounts is different than the smaller accounts they serve, and they provide the tools and training to clear the jungle and bag those market elephants.

How is your team’s sales history bagging elephants?

What is the main reason your salespeople say as to why they failed to win their trophy?

How many other opportunities are not followed up on that they could close with a BB gun?

Do you agree or disagree elephant hunting requires different training, tools and experience?

If your team wants to bag some elephants, are you equipping them with the right tools and training? Or are you counting on them to “just make it happen”?

The Value of the “Four Legged Sales Call”, …Fix Sales problems quickly

Posted by on May 6, 2011 with 5 Comments

 

 

 

 

The Value of the “Four Legged Sales Call”, …Fix Sales problems quickly

An “old school” technique to drive explosive sales and profit growth is the “four legged sales call” It doesn’t matter if you have a direct sales team , regional managers and or independent representative firms, the four legged sales call is the quickest path to incremental revenues and fixing your sales problems.

Let’s face it, in most markets out there it’s tough. The buying process has changed, we have more irrational competitors, and a much larger number of people influencing the purchase.

 

Sales today is like walking on Jell-O, its difficult to gain traction and easy to fall down.

I have a number of business leaders expressing a need for a quick fix, a quick way to fix their sales problem. They often phrase the need as “my sales rep team just can’t execute our plan.” When I hear this I often pause as based on my experience most salespeople “try” to execute “the plan”, however the root of the plan (marketing strategy) is often flawed and therefore they fail to execute and meet their sales goals. What market losers do is race to engage with what I call Mullet Marketing; doing the marketing work after the launch instead of understanding the market and it’s problems before the launch.

What are some signs your sales process is disconnected from the market?

 

  • 70% or more of your sales team are missing sales key performance indicators
  • Profit per sales below key indicator goal
  • Lead to sale ratio below prior, below goal
  • New product sales fail to meet plan
  • Customer satisfaction scores decrease
  • Customer service, technical assistance increases

 

The quickest way I have found, even with all the new CRM tools , win/ loss survey companies, online surveys, and so on is the “four legged sales call.”

In the four legged sales call the salesperson in charge of the account and is accountable for the sales from that account is joined by the VP of sales or the company President. While your salesperson is selling, your focus is to listen and observe.

What you are listening (looking) for?

  • salesperson’s understanding of the buyer’s problem
  • salesperson’s ability to communicate the problem your product or service solves
  • Does your salesperson have the right tools to help the buyer make a buying decision?
  • What are the buyers’s buying criteria today?
  • What is the buying process?
  • Does your sales process mirror the buying process?
  • What sales tools does your salesperson have and which ones do they use? Are they current, or something they created themselves?
  • Does the buyer have other problems they verbalize but your salesperson fails to hear?
  • Where does the buyer turn today when faced with an unresolved problem? …the internet, a trade journal, calls a local representative…
  • What other products does your buyer buy from competitors that they could be buying from you?
  • What % of the time is your salesperson listening versus talking? ( my favorite indicator)

 

I promise you, after a few four legged sales calls you will have a much better understanding of your market, buyers, and how buyers are buying. Make sure you visit accounts you are currently selling as well as those you lost and or are trying to sell. When you return to corporate gather your notes, look for common data points and adjust.

If you have not changed your sales process in the last six months it is broken!

 

When is the last time you went on a four was legged sales call?

 

When you ask your salespeople why they are not hitting sales objectives, do they say “price”? ( if so they are wrong)

 

What is your buyer’s buying process today? How has it changed over the last 6-12 months?

 

Are their other “old school” methods to fix sales problems? If so, what are they?

Is “Mullet Marketing” Hurting Your New Product Sales Launch?

Posted by on April 13, 2011 with 7 Comments

 

"short in the front...all business in the back"

The product everyone has been so excited to launch is now in the hands of your sales team. You thought this day would never come fast enough as your life has been a series of meetings, planning, possibly training and now your “birthed your baby”. However if you are like 90% of the organizations out there you are practicing “mullet marketing” and  you are missing ( falling short) of your new product launch sales goals and making that baby uglier by the day.

Why do new products fail to hit sales goals so often? The answer is often “Mullet Marketing”.

I was flipping channels the other day and a comedy was on from the 1980’s and the main character had a mullet haircut. As the charter explained his hair cut was ; short in the front and long ( all business) in the back…and it struck me how this is how most companies launch their new products.

Teams build a new product and or service and they rush to market so as not to miss a perceived window of opportunity. They feel their idea is so brilliant that how could it not be a huge profitable hit? They leap from idea to tactics.

Then reality hits and the Silo’s form as everyone spend time and energy trying to cover their tails….

Product Management

 “We talked to our key accounts and they said it would be a hit…must be a sales execution problem

Marketing

we hit our timeline on the web content, ads, and brochures, must be a product design issue…”

Engineering and Design 

you’re lucky to launch anything given the terrible product requirements we received, luckily since marketing and product management dropped the ball we designed something even better than what they were asking for…”

CFO

we conservatively invested $xxxxxxxx expecting a strong ROI and we are not hitting anywhere close to the numbers we were given and I’m looking for a throat to choke

CEO

we are having a tough enough year as it is, we were counting on this new products revenue, don’t tell me why you can’t hit your numbers…”just make it happen!”

So what happened? You thought your new mouse trap was going to take the market by storm.

In the majority of cases it is the result of ; Mullet Marketing, a short amount of effort before launch then all hands on deck after launch to figue it out and drive reveues. Teams that practice Mullet Marketing often measure each silo’s specific goals without a cross functional goal that defines a win for the team.

Market leaders understand the importance of marketing and product management prior to product design and definitely prior to launch. Market leaders spend time with customers, as well as non customers to understand the market. They clearly identified the market problem, the product requirements, buyer personas, buyer criteria and buying process.

Market losers believe they can “baffle the market with their brilliance” and we often hear this product is so smart …”even a monkey could sell it.” They spend very little time in the market doing their research and as a result spend a great deal of time and energy trying to drive revenue after launch.

So what kind of marketing is your organization practicing?

Just as a mullet hair cut stands out in our society today, companies practicing “mullet marketing” stand out as market losers in the markets they serve.

Have you ever seen mullet marketing work?

Who in your organization is held accountable to “figuring it out” and or “making it happen”?…after a mullet marketing product launch?

Have you been in a meeting of the silo’s…how did that turn out?

Market leaders understand the importance of spending the most time and energy prior to launch to enable and empower their sales teams to win new product sales.

Do You Have a Repeatable Sales Process? …Are You sure?

Posted by on December 22, 2010 with 12 Comments

Do You Have a Repeatable Sales Process? …Are You sure?

Market leaders understand the importance of having a defined, repeatable sales process. They clearly define the steps of the sales funnel and closely monitor the transitions from one step to the next. They are constantly assessing the process to make sure it is in alignment with how buyers want to buy. If you find a sticking point, a common point in the sales process that stales get stuck or goes dark, then you have defined the need for new sales tools to keep the conversation moving to a close. Have you prepared your sales team to hit that goal you just gave them?

So let me ask again; Do You Have a Repeatable Sales Process? …Are You sure?

If you were to meet with your most recent salesperson to join your team  are they able to clearly articulate the sales process? Will the process they share be the same process your top gun salesperson uses to consistently exceed their goals?

When is the last time you changed your sales process?

Do you believe your buyers buying process and criteria have changed in the last 6-8 months?

What are some of the big changes you have seen to how your buyers buy?

What new tools has your team developed to meet changes in how your buyers buy?

Taking the time to clearly understand how your buyers buy and the criteria they use today to make buying decisions empowers you with valuable information to close more sales.

Sensing shifts in how your buyers buy before your competition results in your product or service being the perfect solution for your buyer’s problem.

You Do Not Need “More Leads”…

Posted by on December 14, 2010 with 2 Comments


Having led sales teams for over 25 years I have heard salespeople frequently say  …”If I only had more leads I could…” They say they could close more sales, sell more new products, and become more important to their distributor network…and so on. Like a carpenter with only a hammer, the solution is to just nail more leads. The trouble is the quickest way to improve revenues is not more leads.

What you need to do to quickly impact the bottom line is improve your sales close percentage with the leads you already receive.

Market leaders clearly understand the buying process and buying criteria.

Market leaders create sales tools to help their sales teams close a greater percentage of sales leads and create sales velocity.

Market losers play “extrapolation exasperation …if their team closes two sales out of ten leads, and they need to close six new accounts…its simple: we need more leads (30 or so)

You have already made the investment in marketing to drive the clicks…why not improve your team’s ability to turn clicks to customers?

Are Your Salespeople Playing “Feature and Benefit BINGO?”

Posted by on December 2, 2010 with 13 Comments

Are your salespeople costing you revenue you should be winning by playing “feature and benefit BINGO?” The only way you truly know is if you or your VP of sales is traveling and working in the market with your sales team.

Feature and benefit BINGO is a game untrained salespeople play far too often. They “show up and then they throw up” and they spew all the features and benefits they can think of waiting for your buyer to jump up and yell”…BINGO….I get it….I figured out what problems you can solve for me…”

Market leading salespeople ask questions and take the time to listen and understand the problems, the pain their buyers are experiencing and they position their product and or services as solutions to those problems.

As a quick litmus test, ask yourself who talked more in the meeting? Your buyer… or your salesperson? If it was your salesperson I promise you they are showing up and throwing up and it’s costing you sales revenues you could have won.

Are you playing feature and benefit BINGO in other areas?

Your website?

Brochures?

Your sales training?

Get Your Sales Team in Shape For Profitable Sales Growth

Posted by on November 13, 2010 with 8 Comments

calorieBurning-elliptical-intervalTraining         

Are your salespeople prepared to win in the market they face today? Are you sure? Market leaders are taking the time to clearly understand their markets, their problems, buyers, and buying process to make purchases. Market losers plan to work harder, doing more of what they have been doing that did not produce results. Losers believe it’s just an “execution problem” a “motivation problem” so they plan to “manage” their sales team’s activities even closer. Market leaders are getting their teams in shape for the market of today.

In March of 2009 I decided I needed to get in shape. Years of traveling two to three nights per week, poor food choices and lack of exercise and I found me in the worst shape I have ever been in. It was not something that happened over night, but over a long period of lack of focus. So the first thing I did was get moving. I started working out like a maniac. I took spin classes at 4:00 am and then I would lift weights and end my workouts on the elliptical machines. This went on for months, and although I did have more energy, I was not losing weight.

More Activity alone was not producing my desired results.

So I attacked this like a business problem; I started doing research. I found that I fell into the same trap many people assume when trying to get healthy; activity drives healthy results. Therefore we assume more activity should produce even more desired results right? Wrong! The more I read I learned that 65% of your health is determined by the food you consume (inputs) and 35% is activity (execution).

I was focused on activity with little attention to what I was consuming, what was going into my body. I found with the right focus on inputs, you don’t need to have 2-2 ½ hour workouts. A strong workout of 40-60 minutes produced greater results. Within twelve months I lost 80 pounds, became healthier, and I now have more energy and more time.

I find many businesses try to fix unhealthy sales results by demanding more activity without focus on key inputs.(strategy)

 

Managers quickly direct their sales teams to more activity although the current activity is not driving the desired results. (Einstein’s definition of insanity)

Just as there is a proven formula for creating a healthy body, I have found a similar model to create healthy sales teams that drives profitable sales growth.

65% of your profitable sales performance is driven by strategy (inputs)

 

35% of your profitable sales performance is the result of sales team execution (execution)

 

(Ironic most of us have this backwards…)

 

 

 

Strategy

 

To insure your salespeople are equipped to be effective and efficient in the market of today you must have a clear understanding of your market, market problems of today, and map how your buyers buy today. These inputs will strengthen the core of your sales team performance with a power that the majority of your competitors do not have.

So how do you get started?

Get out in the market

 

Ask open-ended questions

 

Meet with customers and those who you did not sell

 

Identify the problems they face today

 

Equip sales with a value proposition that resonate with buyer needs of today

 

Map the buying process buyer’s use

 

Create a sales process that mirrors how your buyers are buying today

 

Develop sales tools for areas in the buying process where the sale grows dark and stalls

 

Constantly review the buying process and adjust your sales process, add tools as needed

 

 

 

Activity

 

Once you clearly understand how your buyers are buying, how they are making buying decisions today, equip your sales team with a new sales process and tools. Manage their activity using the sales process that mirrors how buyers want to buy.

“Your focus must be on how your buyers want to buy and not on how you want to sell.”

 

How do we execute new sales process?

Share the buying processes you discovered with salespeople

 

Train your sales team with the sales process you developed to serve how your buyers are buying

 

Teach your salespeople how to, and when to, use the new sales tools you created

 

Create sales tools that share the problems you solve in the markets voice

 

Create key performance indicators that measure key steps in the sales process

 

Constantly assess your new defined sales process for areas the sale seems to go dark

 

Lead your sales team by managing sales opportunities through the defined sales process steps

 

Identify salespeople who may need additional, individualized training, or may not be embracing new process

 

The core strength of your sales team’s performance is based on clearly understanding your market…stay close to buyers

 

 

Applying a sales process that supports how your buyers want to buy will produce healthily results in sales revenues and profits.

 

“If you have not changed your sales process in the last 6 months it’s broken.”

 

“If you have not produced new sales tools in the last three months, you are losing sales you could be winning.”

 

 

 

How about your team?

Do you clearly understand the problems your buyers are facing today?

How are your buyers buying today?

How do your buyers shop today?

Who is involved in the buying decision, and what additional information do they require?

 What problem does your product or service solve for your market?

 

Market leading sales teams understand their buyers, buying criteria, and how they want to buy. They design sales processes that mirror how buyers want to buy and they equip their sales teams with sales tools to help buyers buy.