Congratulations! You’ve just implemented a new customer relationship management software solution! It’s slick, it’s versatile and it meets all your specifications… and in no time, it’ll help your company become more efficient and increase sales. There’s just one problem: none of the salespeople want to use it! CRM – Management Tool or Sales Tool? The C-Suite’s biggest frustration with CRM is that it’s less popular on the sales level than it is with them. Senior management has been told that it’s a great tool for maintaining a database of customer information and using it to nurture relationships. But to salespeople, it…
The IMPACT Sales Training Blog
The bottom 20% of sales reps focus on themselves, their own survival, or just having a quota of phone calls, hours in the office or other short-term measurement. The bottom 20% have a focus on themselves that says, “I don’t know if I can do this,” or “Sales isn’t right for me” (survival), or “If I just make enough calls,” or “If I can do enough to get by (quota), I’ll be fine.”
The middle 60% or salespeople have a focus that dictates that they pay most attention to their product, personal income or their own ego…
Based on years of observation across a broad number of companies, we’ve seen that certain factors have to be present for a solid sales culture to flourish to any degree within the organization.
First, an organization should decide exactly how it wants to define itself in the broadest sense. Once that’s in place, the organization must devise its’ plan of attack. This invariably involves the sales organization and a selling strategy…
Top-performing salespeople are the exception, not the norm. If you’ve been in a sales leadership or HR role for even one day, then you know the pain associated with selection, turnover… the whole nine yards.
Developing the ideal screening and selection process for hiring top sales talent is about trial, error… and frustration. What works for one industry may not work in others.
The good news is that there are certain principles-based tactics to help guide your search for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Check them out…
When used properly, a CRM solution can be a powerful and effective sales tool.
But a tool is only as good as the people using it. If you don’t know how to use it properly, your CRM solution can become a hindrance that’s more trouble than it’s worth. There are a number of common mistakes that companies make when implementing a CRM solution that make it difficult for employees to adjust to it and take full advantage of its capabilities.
4 Things To Avoid When Implementing A CRM Solution…
This short story can provide good food for thought as you think through your sales compensation plan.
If you recall our post on the 12 Universal Sales Management Truths, you’ll remember that there’s one in particular that relates to the sales compensation plan:
“The sales compensation plan structure is essential to sales performance and should, ultimately, determine how much of what gets sold.”
Here’s the deal. Top salespeople enjoy making money…
So… I wish I could claim this one, but I can’t. The 12 Universal Sales Management Truths were developed by the late Bill Brooks, founder of our company and my father. He was a student of his craft and distilled his experience of the way the most successful sales coaches grew top-performing sales teams… and developed the 12 Universal Sales Management Truths.
For the record, it’s not a great idea to use someone else’s content… however, something tells me that Bill wouldn’t really mind if I used it and shared it with you!
Field coaching is one of the most important – and leverageable – ways sales managers can invest their time, and the ability to conduct an effective joint sales call is an absolutely critical skill set for any sales manager.
Here’s the good news. Many sales organizations are placing more emphasis on sales coaching skills than ever before.
Now the bad news. Without solid sales coaching skills training, most sales managers – especially those who were promoted due to being top salespeople – aren’t necessarily as prepared as possible to deliver quality field coaching.
I could go on and on about the finer points of sales coaching (individualized development plans, understanding how each rep is “wired,” funnel management, the best way to conduct sales meetings, etc.), but instead, I’m going to give you 3 nuts and bolts – ways to maximize a joint sales call…
We don’t normally self-promote (at least not blatantly!) but we thought we’d share with you a pretty good resource if you’re planning on rolling out enterprise-level sales training anytime soon.
Check out the infographic!
A top-notch sales management team is as pivotal – if not more important – to sales success as top-notch salespeople.
Why? Because the best coaches lead the best teams, not the other way around.
Sales management excellence “killer mistakes” such as…
If your company is like those that I’ve worked for, it spends huge amounts of money and effort in defining its brand… let’s call it “brand DNA.” Advertising, marketing campaigns, mission statements and core values published on the company’s website. All are aimed at accomplishing very critical and difficult tasks – attracting prospects to consider doing business with your company, and reinforcing partnerships with existing customers.
That’s what your salespeople get paid to do, right?… Attract prospects and close them, and maintain strong partnerships that drive growth with existing customers. And again, if your company is like those I’ve worked for, it spends huge amounts of money and effort programming the brand DNA messages into the sales rep’s repertoire.
You spend the money and effort so that the rep’s brand DNA message aligns with what your prospects and customers can glean from their own experience with your brand, and from their online research. Prospects and customers are consumers, too.
So what’s the catch here? What’s the big deal?
We’re constantly being asked by our clients about where sales managers should be spending their time.
Here’s the challenge.
No matter what one’s position in life may be, whether it’s a CEO, Vice President of Sales, Regional Sales Manager, President of a country or the general of an army, there is one common characteristic. Each has an equal allotment of time. Every person has the same amount. And your success will ultimately be defined by your answer to one question…
If you’re looking for ways to make sure your team is selling at premium prices, share these principles with them ASAP. They’re simple, easy-to-remember reminders – as well as food for thought – so take a quick peek then share them with your team.
There are lots of sales organizations and sales executives who believe that when hiring salespeople, prior experience in an industry, a specific marketplace or with a certain product is the main reason for hiring or not hiring a salesperson. Worse yet, they’re hiring salespeople because of their “contact list.”
That’s just not accurate thinking.
It is, instead, being held hostage by a false premise that your shiny new hire will bring a lot of deals and experience that will guarantee quick time-to-productivity, minimal hand-holding, shorter orientation, etc.
There are lots or reasons behind why this premise isn’t true…
Last year, The Brooks Group partnered up with Training Industry, Inc. – a sales training industry analyst and research organization – to conduct a study to help us identify best practices for building the most effective sales coaching program possible. The study, one of the most comprehensive ever completed on the in’s and out’s of sales coaching, included input from over 240 respondents representing 175 separate organizations.
The resulting report is called “The Essential Elements of a World Class Sales Coaching Program” and it outlines some pretty eye-opening stats. One of those stats includes the single biggest obstacle to sales coaching effectiveness.
Why Are 65% Of Sales Coaching Programs Considered Ineffective?
“You must determine your competitive advantage and use it to differentiate your product or you will be seen as selling a commodity.”
Using your higher price to your advantage…
Every group of people, no matter what profession they’re in, takes on its own unique philosophy, culture, expectations, norms and values. This is the fundamental power of small group dynamics. And a wonderful power if it is properly focused. The problem? This culture will be formed with or without sales management’s active participation!
Realizing that this is an organic reality – that your team will take on an identity of its own – sales managers need to take a strong hold on the group and then ask themselves a very important question…
One of the single biggest challenges our clients share with us are those associated with selling against lower-priced competition. Your team may tell you, “everybody buys on price,” and “I had to cut our price to get the deal.”
Well… the truth is you can’t afford to have them deal with price-buyers AT ALL!
I watched as a light bulb went on over a VP of Sales.
“We’ve been winning a lot of deals lately and I never asked ‘Why?’”
We were talking about how benefits apply to different prospects in different ways. It’s common for managers to conduct postmortems to determine why a particular deal was lost. However, it’s far less common for them to call for a post-win analysis.
Since I’m an optimist, I decided to create a list of questions to ask when a deal is won. I’d say questions 5 and 6 are the most important…
Your salesperson gets word from a prospect that they bought from your competitor. It happens.
You can just get P.O.’d or you can reach out to the buyer to determine what went wrong to perform a lost deal analysis with your salesperson. Maybe you do both. I’m going to recommend you don’t do both at the same time, though…