What is your company’s sales culture or environment? Can that question be answered quickly and articulated consistently across your organization? The foundation for creating a clearly defined sales environment begins with the leadership – how they set sales standards and then demonstrate, communicate and inspect accountability to those standards. What sales standards do you set and communicate? Are they extraordinary? If we followed you around for 30 days, what would we observe about your actions and interactions with your team? What would we discover about the personal accountability of each individual in your organization and about their standards as a sales team? Do your salespeople make excuses? Do they blame the economy, the competition, or the company for their failures? Do they complain about the lack of support, technology, training, or products and services?
Here’s the litmus test, provided by Tony Cole, President & CEO, Anthony Cole Training Group
Tibor Shanto, Principal of Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., has expressed that there is no denying that there needs to be a focus on trying to do as much as you can (without discounting or cheating) to salvage a year or to bring in revenue NOW. The challenge is to do it in a way that does not adversely impact other aspects of your on going success.
It is an old familiar challenge, we are all familiar with the “You can pay me now or pay me later” syndrome. The reality is that if you have a sales cycle longer than five weeks, most of your prospecting as of now will likely be a 2010 revenue. Look at it differently if you ease up on your prospecting now to “close”, you are going to pay for it in 2010. You need to redouble your efforts right across the board to ensure no let down January 2nd, because I’ll bet you any amount you’ll have a new Target January 1st, and it may just be higher than your number was for 2009.
So what can you do?
The vehicle that introduces sales people to companies is a resume, but there are secrets hidden in the resume that hiring managers should know before they interview a candidate.
In Lee Salz’s sales management career, he would bet that he’s seen about 5,000 resumes for sales people. Yet, he still hasn’t seen one that shows someone who has achieved 40% of quota. Every single resume shows 100%, 200%, 2,000,000% of goal. Where are all of the people who have had less than stellar sales performances? Did they all leave the sales profession? If all of the resumes that he saw truly represented the performance of the individual, the U.S. economy would be thriving to say the least. Every company would be enjoying record revenue performances.
Think about this: The resume review should not occur for the first time with the candidate sitting in front of you. An effective interview requires preparation. As such, the resume should be studied and areas of question identified so that questions can be asked of the candidate during the interview. What areas should be perused? Here are five areas of a sales resume that require detailed attention.
There are two types of sales organizations. There is the sales business and then there is the sales team. They are similar in that they both are responsible for driving revenue. After that, there isn’t much more commonality. The difference is sales teams are driven by their needs. Sales Business is focused on the customer.
Sales Blogger Jim Keenan asks: “Who do you want selling to you?”
This week’s blog is by John Morey, who brings a real world look at what it takes to be an elite Sales Professional in his informative sales training articles. John goes beyond the training class and offers real life sales advice to help Sales Pros and Sales Managers achieve greater success. Visit John’s blog, The Sales Hangout.
In my opinion, the worst mistake you can make in any sales call is to approach it with a canned script or pre-set list of questions that you are determined to ask no matter what. It’s important to observe and adapt to every sales call that you’re on, read your prospect and the environment around you and then ask RELEVANT questions.
Experienced sales people can ask questions, listen to the answers, assimilate the information they have received and then generate follow up questions on the fly… without breaking a sweat!
Sounds easy huh? Well it’s not, and that is why sales is the hardest high-paying job or the easiest low-paying job you will ever have.
Asking the right sales questions is a complex topic, but here are some things you might want to think about as you prepare for your next sales call:
- Who are you meeting with and what is their title?
- Based on their title, what do you think is important to them?
- Do a Google search on the person you are meeting with and their company.
- Check out their website – what is their mission statement and focus?
- What industry is your prospect in and how is it doing in today’s economy?
- Are they publicly traded? If so, check out their financials (gold mine!)
- How do they make money? Who are their customers?
- Who are your prospect’s competitors and how well are they competing in their space?
- Reach out to your social network – do you know anyone who has sold to this company?
The bottom line is that you need to gather any and all information that you can on your prospect and their company. Some of it might be of little or no value. BUT you may also land on the one hot button for a successful sales call.
Once you’ve done your homework, start building an image in your mind about what your prospect’s working environment is like. More importantly, put yourself in their “place.” Imagine yourself in their job, on their side of the desk, and start thinking about:
- What drives this person to make a decision?
- What benefits will they derive from your product or service?
- What will buying your product or service do for them personally (i.e. promotion, less work, job security, recognition, money, etc.)?
Beginning today, start thinking like the customer. You will learn more about them, build longer lasting relationships and, most importantly, you will have more successful sales calls!
Are you looking to hire a sales coach to improve your career, leadership, life, business and sales results?
Well, Sales & Business Coach Jeremy Ulmer, is going to tell you right now that there are many sales coaches in the field and it is hard to know where to start, or what to look for when hiring a coach. There are highly qualified sales coaches like himself – and then there are others who just jumped on the sales coaching bandwagon so they can profit from you even though they have not proven themselves to be worthy of getting you as a client.
Knowing this, how can you find the best sales coach for you and your organization? Simply ask these 10 questions…
Large Account Management requires knowledge of where the account is going in relationship to its customers, competitors, industry and the economy. This knowledge is housed in the heads of the profit-center leader and his or her staff. So anyone that wants to manage a large account has to get to these leaders on a regular basis and learn issues, concerns, problems or target opportunities these people are thinking about. The only way these leaders are going to let that happen is if the vendor has established relationships with these C-level and senior executives.
So here’s the guide for large account managers from the leading expert on developing C- Level Relationship Selling, Sam Manfer, to follow for establishing C-level relationships.