Simple Sales Tracking Blog

The Cost of Delaying Training

Many businesses delay sales training as other systems and budgeting demands take priority.

These delays come at a cost as sales are the only function in any business, with the exception of not for profit type businesses that bring in income.

You can have the best products in the world but unless somebody actually makes a sale – nobody in the business will be paid.

The majority, if not all, of the businesses that fail ultimately do so because of the lack of sales.

The lack of a sales process leads to salespeople missing many sales opportunities.

If we look at McDonalds they didn’t achieve consistency by waiting to hire the very best trained people. Rather they created a system through the use of checklists, processes and repetition and then trained people to use it. This approach applies to any business that is striving for consistency in the results they achieve.

The very best salespeople are systematic in their approach to selling while ordinary salespeople are haphazard and tend to “wing it”

How would you be feeling if just before your routine surgery you overheard your surgeon telling the nurse he hadn’t done any prep and was going to wing it this time? Sounds ludicrous however many salespeople know the fundamentals of selling however have no set process they follow.

I like to use the analogy of baking a cake when talking about sales processes.

My wife follows the programme “Chelsea Home Baker” and I happened to watch the finals with her. One thing I noticed was that the contestants all spent time writing out detailed plans and checklists for their baking even down to estimated timelines for each element of the bake.

Most of us have a rudimentary understanding of baking and could probably follow a recipe to produce something edible. If we were to continue practicing eventually we would become very good bakers.

The problem occurs when we’ve been using the same recipe and we become over-confident and eventually stop following the process relying on memory and experience to produce results.

This often leads to ingredients being left out which in turn leads to some pretty inedible results.

The same occurs with many salespeople.

The trouble with leaving major ingredients out of our sales process is missed opportunities leading to inconsistent results.

So what does a sales process consist of?

  1. Sales Plan – Targets, Time Lines
    2. Prospect Plan – Prospect Profiles. Suspect Lists
    3. Prospect Research Process – Key Information
    4. Sales Interview Process – Questioning Process, Closing Process
    5. Follow-up and Contact process – 90 days Maximum

With this in mind, consider your current selling process and answer “Yes” or “No” to the following questions to see how your processes stack up –

1 Do you have a system for optimising referrals?
2 Do you have a system for calculating the cost of your prospect’s problem?
3 Do you have a list of the key questions you should ask each time to uncover the prospects needs?
4 Do you have a presentation process?
5 Do you have a follow-up process?
6 Do you have a prospecting system?
7 Do you have a pre-interview planning process?

How did you score?

If there were a number of “No’s” then these are the areas you will need to focus on.

Many see training as a cost to the business where in fact it is an investment.

The key question I always ask companies I am meeting with is – “How many extra sales would each salesperson need to make to recover the investment?”

The answer more often than not is – “one new client”

Quote:

From Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company, who once was asked by a wholesaler why
he invested so much in training his people, when ultimately they might leave.

His reply was “What if I didn’t train them and they stayed?”

 

Hayden Burgess

Hayden Burgess  is a Programme Developer and Facilitator for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

Top Five Easily Avoidable Mistakes of Sales Presentations

We’ve all been there, you walk out of a sales interview that was almost across the line and wonder to yourself, what could I have done differently that would have made for a different outcome.

Luckily as humans most of us learn from our mistakes and with that in mind here are five easily avoidable mistakes of a sales presentation. If you keep these in mind and avoid them you will be well on your way to making more sales and making the most of your selling time.

Not Being Prepared.

This may seem like common sense but many salespeople do very little preparation before a sales interview. The more prepared you are the more confident you will feel walking in the door. Consider what information you need to obtain about your prospect in advance, what industry are they in, who are their competitors, what are the possible challenges they may face?. Good preparation will save you on the day.

Being late

Well this one just rolls on from my previous point, but once again many salespeople make this mistake. They believe their time is more important. But consider this, in the prospects mind if you are five or ten minutes late without an explanation, how does this reflect on the delivery of your product or service?. Plan to be early but if worst comes to worst phone ahead and let them know if you are running behind.

Focusing too much on your product.

This is perhaps more harking back to the old days of selling but it is still very common. We want to go in and spout on about the great things our product or service can do for the prospect, how we can solve all their problems if only they would sign on the dotted line. You will get more sales across the line if you focus on the prospect and their needs first then worry about what your product can do for them later.

Giving price too early

Say you are going to buy a new PC, you have in mind that you want to buy a basic laptop that you can use to browse the internet, watch movies and do basic word-processing. The salesman at the electronic store instead quotes you on a workhorse desktop PC that will cost twice as much. The mistake was instead of asking you what you were after he made an assumption and quoted the price too early. When making your sales presentation make sure you uncover if they have a need for your service and justify it before price is ever mentioned. Only then will they be considering how, not if they can afford to use you.

Focusing on ourselves instead of helping the prospect

There is so much competition in the business world that sometimes we can be so focused on trying to sell sell sell that we forget that we provide solutions where there is a need for what we offer. If we are pushing to get everyone across the line even if they don’t need our services we are doing ourselves and our clients/prospects an injustice. Find out if your prospect has a need for your service, qualify them, then set about filling that need.

Hayden Burgess

Hayden Burgess  is a Programme Developer and Facilitator for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

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Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
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