When people in other careers ask salespeople why they are in sales, the most frequent answer is “money.” This is the pat answer salespeople give to outsiders who have never experienced the rush of closing a deal or the satisfaction of building a trusted friendship with a customer. Follow the link to read what Steve W. Martin shares as the real answer to the question of why salespeople are in sales is deeper and far more complex.
We’ve all done it, promoted a good salesperson, often our best, to sales manager. Dave Kahle, , has files full of cases where the results were below expectations for everyone involved. Principals and CSOs are often disappointed in the lack of results, and the sales managers are confused and frustrated with the lack of achievement of their teams.
Why is that? One of Dave’s thoughts is that when they become sales managers, they expect all of their salespeople to be just as hard driving and achievement oriented as they were. The rule is that few good salespeople make good sales managers.
This week’s blog is by Andre Boykin, who provides tips and techniques to help sales professionals increase sales and earn more commissions on his blog Winning the Sales Game.
If you know anything about selling, you know that one of the keys to developing a winning proposal and selling it successfully is having the skill to ask questions. Asking questions engages your prospect and allows you to get the information you need to develop a unique proposal and solution.
While there is no limit to the information that you could get from a prospect, there are four questions that you must get answered for every sales opportunity:
- How will the prospect determine the best alternative to solve their challenge or problem? You have to know the criteria that will be used to make the decision. Knowing this will help you develop a proposal that is focused on what the prospect is seeking. Rather than giving a generic proposal you will be giving one based on specific needs.
- Who will be involved in that process? You want to know who is going to be influencing the buying decision. Often, there will be more than one or even two people involved in a decision to purchase. While there is only one decision maker, there can be several who influence the decision. You want to make sure you have each of the buying influencers’ needs addressed in your proposal.
- What is the time frame for making a decision and implementation of the solution? Knowing when the decision will be made and when they want to implement can be very important in the development of your proposal. Not knowing this can lead to wasted time and effort. In addition, if the implementation is far into the future, it could affect your pricing.
- What is the budget? You want to know the budget so you can prepare a proposal that lines up with the needs of the prospect’s ability to pay. You could be thinking Cadillac while your prospect is thinking Chevrolet!
To get the answers to the four major questions you have to ask them. Practice doing so and watch your sales increase.
Kyle Salem has said it. “When it comes to understanding people there is no panacea.” Now, consider your expectations tempered. With that out of the way, let’s understand that there are some things you can do to increase your odds in selecting the right candidate and maximizing their performance and leadership on the job.
Cold calling can be fun, but you have to go about it the right way. Most of your success will depend not upon your product or even upon the quality of your leads (although both are important). The key success factor when cold calling is attitude.
Too few salespeople realize that the battle over price often starts with the baggage YOU (the salesperson) bring to the transaction. Confidently presenting price begins with what you personally think and feel about the price you’re asking — because no matter how hard you may try to hide it, your personal perception of how legitimate your price is will color your customers’ perceptions as well.
Scott Miller, Principal for The Complex Sale, Inc., is often asked, “What separates a complex sale from a simple sale?” because working for a firm called – The Complex Sale, Inc. often sparks this line of questioning. The way he defines it – a complex sale has multiple decision makers and multiple vendors. It usually is associated with a high price tag and a long, deliberative buying process.Therefore, to win a complex sale on a consistent basis, we must first understand the organization as a single entity. Recommending applying the 6 keys at the very beginning to understand what we are getting ourselves into, Scott considers this your first step in qualification.