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By admin

Do you get lots of “may be”, “let me think” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

Do you get lots of “may be”, “let me think” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

So far, I have posted lots of content which tells you about general mistakes in a sales call. Today we are going to talk about the situation when you do everything right but still, you got a “MAY BE” as an answer.

Most people subconsciously avoid decision making after the first conversation. Every sales guru knows and advice that one needs to guide the conversation to make the prospect to come to a decision.

But this is a tricky thing some time while guiding a conversation, salespeople become very pushy. So, the big question is, how do we guide the conversation while still making the prospect feel like they’re in control?

There is a very simple solution for this, set up an agenda before the meeting. It will align you and your prospect on a plan for the meeting and make sure you’re working on the same team to get one of three decisions about a next step:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Future meeting date & agenda (figuring out the next steps)

By following the above process, you are avoiding the “MAY BE” or “I WILL THINK ABOUT IT”. The main advantage of this process is that you are saving valuable time on the lead follow-ups.

This can feel awkward at first but if you practice it in your next meetings and make it your own, I promise you will start to see such positive results that you’ll want to use again and again.

If you have any specific questions or suggestions about the implementation of this process then ask me I am waiting for your comments.

By admin

Time to Put Your Sales Force on a Sharp Training Schedule

Do you lose business to competitors just because their sales force is more skilled?

If it is so, then it is probably time to put your sales force on a sharp training schedule. It may help them identify the reasons of their failure and address the skills needed to fundamentally change the way they approach clients/customers.

 

The Selling Jobs Crucial Needs

Sales is a job that needs constant upgrading of skills. Even people who have intrinsic skills of getting things off the board quickly need to hone up themselves. They need to reorganize themselves to sustain that competitive edge. Professionals who do that reap the benefits along with their organizations, while those who fail to take it into account witness plummeting sales.

Problems may crop up in the approach of even the most competent sales professionals. They may assume too much when Dealing with clients; Fail to identify compelling reasons for product sales, Premature proposing, quoting and presenting; Lack of research about competition; Inefficient differentiation, etc. Sometimes, they may just be outdone about the sales team of the professionals.

A business enterprise will do well to conduct periodic sales training, conventional or online, for their sales force as it would help them fill in the gaps and improve their performance. There are companies that specialize in conducting training courses for the sales professionals. The training offered is focused on action planning for participants to ensure impact on return to the workplace. Instructors are face-to-face with the sales team, discussing their problems and explaining to them where they had been committing mistakes. Case studies are conducted to get home the point.

A sales training schedule will touch all aspects of sales such as Direct Sales, Objection Handling, Presentation Skills, Negotiation and Closing Skills, Sales Management, Sales Writing, Telemarketing Skills, etc. making it increasingly useful for the participants.

 

Sustainable training versus Results

Professionals who receive quality sales training show tangible results. They tend to become more focused on their job, seeking out opportunities to test their polished skills. They develop better understanding of their job after the training which shows. You see more leads converted into sales, which boosts the bottom-line of the company. ROI on the sales force training becomes visible.

Any corporate sales training session is held with a specific objective. You can discuss with the trainers curriculum, duration and any nuances you want to get your team specifically trained in. If you are not very sure what real benefits the training will bring in, discuss it openly with the trainers.

Training module is designed keeping in line the job profile of the participants. Executives will receive sales training on interpersonal skills, working in teams and boosting profitability. On the other hand, module of a sales manager will include leading a team, setting objective for better efficiency, how to manage by objective and controlling environment to optimize presentation.

Participants learn communicating efficiently through process understanding, avoiding communication barriers to succeed in business, recognizing non-verbal signs of expression, identifying personal obstacles to effective communication and identifying opponent next action after reading their body language.

By admin

Sales Performance Strategy to Empower the Sales Force

Companies in the 21st century, that are facing sales performance challenges, asks themselves:

  1.  Why the market is becoming so hard to reach?
  2. Why closing clients is taken so much time?
  3. Is it the sales performance, is it our marketing strategy?

As per the last Harvard Business Review study, January February 2013 issue professor Richard Ettenson, after a study involving 500 managers and customers in multiple countries across a wide B2B industries, showed that that we need to reinterpret the 4p’s.

The rules of the game have changed and we are talking more about:

1. Selling solutions than selling our product service features
2. Value of the solution that we are offering to our leads than focusing and negotiating the prices.

In a way improving the sales performance of the sales force while implementing the consultative sales approach.

Now that client’s behaviors towards buying have changed

The hardest thing about selling today is that customers don’t need you the way they used to because:

  1. They are informed i.e. they are a click away from Google,
  2. They have access to any information they are searching for through blogs articles, free webinars etc…
  3. And in some cases we face extremely competent procurement teams or consultants armed enough with data to define solutions for themselves when we are approaching multinational companies.

Unfortunately we can still see the majority of the sales performance of organizations weakening by a sales force not prepared to face such changes and still trying to sell as sales representatives using the consultative sales techniques.

Selling Styles

• The higher up the scale the rep establishes as a base for the relationship, the greater value added to the customer experience.
• On the lower end, the salesperson relies on rapport to carry the day, adding very little to the customer.
• At the other end of the spectrum, the salesperson establishes him-self as a Trusted Adviser, using the consultative sales and  adding a significant value to the potential customers.

The act of building mutually rewarding relationships with customers, applying consultative sales techniques where sales people can help them solve their problems, achieve their goals, and maximize profitability while buying your products and services.

Remember:

Now that we pinpoint the Crucial need to :
1. adapt our marketing mix
2. take our sales people selling approach to a  consultative sales approach

After a study done over half a million sales people, statistical figures showed that:
• 85% of sales teams do not have a formal sales process
• 45% of sales managers struggle to manage effectively

We have to identify the sales force weakness and establish a long term sales development plan because Sales Training workshops returns on sales performance will last a maximum 3 months while a sustainable sales development strategy can lead to an increase of a minimum of 10% in sales.

Now that we all agree that Organizations have an urgent need to:
1. Adapt a new marketing mix approach to gain market share
2. Train and educated its sales force to a new selling solution approach

Whether you need to:

1. accelerate your growth,
2. reverse flat or declining sales,
3. reduce your cost of sales,
4. hire a key sales executive, or a VP of sales
5. change your sales model,
6. Or implement an efficient sales process

  • You will need to ask the right questions to identify the real issues you are facing and provide a comprehensive solution tailor made to your need
  • Then you will be able to take your sales force from an Order takers level to a Money maker’s level 

Look at this free webinar:

By admin

6 Sales force development rules to achieve more with less

How the sales force can achieve more? why most of them always fail? what should be done to turn on your sales machine?

Lots of crucial questions need to be raised to face the 2013 challenge, if you need to stand still and
grow your sales. Answering your questions is simple if you implement the following rules.

Rule 1: Be Consistent in developing your sales force instead of tight budgets

There is many ways to create a sustainable sales force whatever is your budget. There are plenty of  on-line sales training for sales people, live sales webinars or classrooms sales programs that should fit your budget. The only rule you have to follow is to invest in the sales force all year long and be consistent!

Rule 2: Never stop spending to boost your sales machine

Would you drive your car without fuel? what makes you think you can grow your sales without investing in your sales team? you must find time and money to plan  sales programs that fits your schedule, and your company needs.

Rule 3: Create an in-house sales academy whatever is your sales force size

Among the most valuable benefits of the sales academy that you can you implement in-house is the ability to deliver regular sales solutions whenever you sales team needs it in a very cost effective, consistent and personalized manner on regular basis. Focused sales development solutions will surely leads to sales performance optimization.

Rule 4: Never Recruit new blood without a sales assessment tool

Selection of new sales people is crucial step and a hassle to most of companies. Put in place:

  1. a full skills evaluation for new recruit
  2. a sales developmentInduction program for new recruits
  3. a 2 days self study sales programs along with coaching sessions for new recruits
  4. a 90 days ramp up program with Key performance indicators
  5. an online 24/7 studies self-online sales programs  for 90 days for reinforcement.

Rule 5: Link the performance of the sales force to the sales programs frequency 

Accountability is the first thing that motivate human and your sales team. Link your sales academy program to their performance. let them become accountable. Imagine yourself the chief of an orchestra, any move you do is followed closely by your team. Accordingly the better is sales academy design the better they perform.

Rule 6: Don’t forget We are all working with human being not machines.

We should expect deficiencies and work to fix that accordingly. Always look at you ratios to add, minimize, refine or sales academy tools in coordination with the sales team performance. To help them do thing differently to achieve, you should:

    1. set an accountability system
    2. monitor them accordingly
    3. coach them closely
    4. be always available for them
    5. give them faith in their abilities
    6. be their reference
    7. be credible
    8. be consistent

you can use for free the below sales force calculator to identify how you can improve your sales force. Enjoy!

By admin

Increase Sales Performance Using Technology

Increase sales performance of your sales force is probably your number one priority in 2017. How are you going to achieve that in an a global recession environment and with companies shrinking budgets year after year? What are you going to do differently?

In such environment, sales force need to work more to achieve or work smartly. Here some ideas that we believe will help a sales force to increase sales performance on the go:

 

Get a smart phone or a tablet

Be all day long connected is the rule number one, to be proactive and interact quickly:

–   To clients and prospects
–   Access easily your social network for data mining
–   Follow web based sales training
–   Get you sales manager sales coaching tips
–   Be fast, beat your competition

 

Use powerful data mining as a compass whenever you need it

Identify all possible segments of prospects within a region or an area . Address each segment with a personalized sales pitch. Using data mining to identify groups of potential clients like:

–   DataSift.com that offers the most powerful and sophisticated tools for extracting value from Social Data. imagine
–   LinkedIn.com that helps the sales force build relationships and access executives in a whole different way.
–   Social123.com that is a powerful and easy to use platform that quickly adds social media contact information to your database and CRM system.

 

Leads generation

–   Inbound marketing and social networking activity two hours a week at least create hot leads, boost sales performance and shorten the sales cycle
–   Invite your employee to follow the company activities and leave comments

 

Sales training on the go

Nowadays, sales performance is impacted by regular sales training, sales coaching and follow up. Sales people can spend few days per year in a classroom but need to spend at least 1 hour a week in sales training, follow up and sales coaching to boost performance.

Sales people are under pressure all year long,specially in these though times, they don’t have the time to spend hours of training in classroom. Though, they can easily follow :

–    On-line sales trainings any time they can, in the evening, at the airport, in the car to refresh their selling potential

–    Or Live sales training webinars to follow trends and new sales techniques and interact with sales experts for better sales performance.

Sales Coaching on time

The sales force should interact with clients all day long. Long sales meeting to coach our sales force is time consuming and a luxury, but unfortunately crucial to the our sales growth. Some web based platform are excellent to help sales managers do the job remotely.

an example CallidusCloud.com or Membrain.com  Sales Coaching, provides real-time feedback on the leading indicators that determine actual sales results, delivered on a cloud and mobile platform that lets sales managers collaborate with their team on each goal, deal by deal, to ensure successful growth, quarter over quarter.

By admin

5 sales strategies to prevent organisations from collapsing

Sales force must use five sales strategies to face a tougher competition,better educated clients and fierce economic recession.

Organizations face stagnant or decreasing sales try sometimes to search for other markets and products to face the challenges while  new sales strategies approach are available to answer though market situation  Sales force must change change their way of approaching clients to prevent from collapsing in the coming 5 years.

A study , by Mc. Kinsey quarterly , show that Organizations identified three primary sales trends:

  1. Customers have become more demanding
  2. Companies are exploring lower-cost ways to make clients happier and to generate sales growth.
  3. Organizations large and small are following the lead of business-to-consumer such as Amazon.com by making smarter use of customer data to predict behaviour drive sales

 

Organizations are requested to adapt and face the market changes and modify their sales approach to prevent from collapsing in the coming 5 years.

For this matter we detect 5 sales strategies to help the sales force increasing their sales.

Strategy 1- New Prospecting

Finding leads is harder, it takes nowadays more than 15 times to reach a CEO. Cost per lead are higher and time consuming struggling. That is why in the last decade organizations change their way of searching for leads and approaching them. Leading organisations takes actions through the following list of prospecting sales strategies:

      • Attract on-line traffic to their web through blogging, seo, social networking
      • Insert call to actions to their articles and websites
      • Use networking techniques on LinkedIn, Facebook Google, etc.. to get in touch with maximum prospects
      • Write article on their Blog and communicate daily with social media through platforms like hootesuite
      • Educate leads and customers
      • Bring the best of the industry trends and news to position themselves as leader in their field and beat their competition.
      • All the above mentioned actions if used all together will boost a high volume of interested hot leads to the sales force.

Strategy 2- Approaching leads never been that easy!

Usually, whenever the sales force receive a request, they get in touch with fresh hot leads using classical mediums such as  phone and emails. While nowadays it is much more easy and powerful to keep in touch with prospects all the day long through social network, Skype or Google  and be able to reach them at any time. One the sales strategies approach is the mix between all the following mediums to bond with your audience:

  • by phone,
  • mail,
  • skype
  • Social network LinkedIn, Facebook…
  • and direct smooth interaction becomes king!

Strategy 3-  Have a sales conversation strategy and follow-up

The management of the incoming leads is crucial. If you received a request from a lead it means that your solutions, products or services are needed. When you reach this point, the questions that you should be asking yourself are:

  • How to convert leads to clients?
  • What are the questions you should be asking to identify quickly in the process their compelling reasons to buy?
  • How much they are willing to pay?
  • Who is the decision maker ?
  • When they want to buy?And why?

What if the sales force approach prospects with a great sales conversation but they are not ready to buy now?

Strategy 4- Nurturing leads strategy for 30% increase in future sales

Nurturing leads that are not ready to buy becomes a crucial step in the new selling 2.0. keeping the conversation going with prospects is essential to be present when they are ready to buy.

Today there is on the market many platforms that help you design and nurture your leads and prospects without a hassle. Once you design your a email strategy the system will automatically send these pre-set messages to the list, filter they answers and nurture them. Organisation should notice an increase of leads conversion to clients up to 30%.

Strategy 5- Evaluate your sales force potential. be sure the sales force is ready for it!

With a nurturing system in place, prospects will come back with a follow up request when they are ready to buy. Then the sales force should you use all the techniques that are essential to close directly the prospect and cash in. But are they ready to to face tough questions and close deals?

sales force evaluation answer a of questions among them:

  • How to increase the sales force closing rate up to 50% ?
  • what sales skills to they need to boost their sales?
  • how can they grow their sales by 20% in the coming 12 months?

By admin

14 reasons why your sales force is losing business to the competition

If your sales force is losing business to the competition because of the recession, lack of sales management or lack of sales force performance, you know that avoiding the decreasing trend becomes challenging and not an easy task any more!

Statistics show that in last few years the percentage of businesses that close their door is incremental and the way of doing business is changing drastically.

Nothing is more frustrating than losing business to your competitors – specifically  when you there is great solutions to avoid it. frustration growth when your sales force is telling you that it is this close to get the deal but didn’t. Why did you lose it?

Our learning experience In most companies and for most salespeople show that losing business  comes down to one or more of the following several factors :

  1. Sales force don’t listen
  2. Sales force assume too much
  3. Questions weren’t tough enough
  4. Sales force did not differentiate the company effectively
  5. Compelling reasons to buy were never identified and addressed
  6. Poor qualification
  7. Poor relationship
  8. Lousy job of putting the value proposition into prospect’s context
  9. Premature proposing, quoting and presenting
  10. Lack of questions about the competition and/or incumbent
  11. Selling at the wrong level or to the wrong people
  12. Ineffective differentiation
  13. Sales force present features instead of benefits instead
  14. They were outsold

Identify why you are losing business to the competition and tell what can be done to fix it. All types of companies can use these solutions to their needs whatever they are small, medium or corporations. Solutions that should address their specific problems and needs.

For example, a typical company have in general , 20% of its sales force that achieve the sales targets while the remaining 80%  are facing difficulties or performing poorly. the first thing that we need to know what is holding my team back?

Ground Zero Skills Assessment become a must to have answers to  address them in the shortest time possible:

  • can they achieve what I want to achieve?
  • do they have the potential to grow?
  • are they trainable? are they resistant to change?
  • do they have the required skills to success?
  •  etc…
Based on the results you will be able to design an action plan. A multi-plan is designed. like skills development, coaching on the grounds, sales territory adjustments,  and sales approach…

you are  invited to take the following test to identify what it the best for your company

Let me know your comments?

By admin

4 Sales training tips to build your sales force

Sales training is the backbone of your sales force and is crucial for business development and sales increase.

The findings of a study conducted by the American Society for sales training and sales Development show that employees who receive sales training and reinforcement earn 50 percent more in net sales 

1- Is sales training alone the answer?

Yes, a trained sales force will boost business development and increase sales But Only If you have assurance that your sales team has the potential to grow and achieve your goal.
Using a sales specific and accurate assessment of your sales force will help you answer this crucial answer before  investing in sales training.
 
 

2-What results should you expect from your sales training and sales development programs?

Sales development should  higher gross profits for the company. Top-earning sales companies spend about 6 percent of payroll costs on sales training along with a sales development programs to the entire sales force. Do you?

3-What sales training options do you have to develop continually your sales force at minimum cost?

On the contrary of previous generations we have three types of sales training and sales development mediums that we can use.
 
1-The classroom sales training is the most known and applied medium, yet also the most expensive.
 
2-the webinars live face to face for sales training and coaching the sales force is 30 percent less
 
3- and the online training 24/7 is 60 percent less than the  classroom workshops..
 
Sales training and sales development plans then can fit any company size because packages will be compatible with their needs , capacity and number of sales people.

4-Which sales development plan will best suit my business development along with my sales force goals?

Sales development of a sales force may vary from company to another one. It depends on the company size , business development goals and geographical spread. For example Big companies:
    • Might need to implement a sales academy within their organization in  cooperation with sales development companies.
  • Will rely on their sales expertise, new sales and business development trends , techniques and tools and while delivering them internally by their trainers.

ALSO Other cost-effective trainings and  sales development solutions are available for small and medium companies.

How much you loose from not  training your sales force?

Well  a study by ASTD showed that “Sales people completing a selling skills intensive training program show increases in productivity ranging from 35% to 1665%.”
 
Would you invest a 5 percent of your sales budget to increase your sales by 35 percent?

Do you get lots of “may be”, “let me think” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?
Time to Put Your Sales Force on a Sharp Training Schedule
Increase Sales Performance Using Technology