I would like to get the attention of the sales management team or the sales manager today because the blog that I saw is for them. It is about sales management on how you handle your sales team. If your team is doing fantastic, it must be because you are a good leader but if your team is doing poorly, it is time for you to ask yourself “am I a good sales manager for them?”. Your sales people need help from their superior before they do the business. Make sure that they are equipped with the knowledge they need before you let them go to the field. Here’s the article from Ken Thoreson, your sales management guru.
Sales Mgmt: Understanding “Setting the Hook”
By Ken Thoreson
One of the main jobs of sales management is to help their salespeople see where they are in the sales opportunity. Are they early? Do they know what they need to know? Do they have an excellent strategy to close? I like to think that a salesperson is a juggler, tossing X number of opportunities in the air and the sales managers job is to assist the salesperson on judging what opportuniti8es to work , which one’s to toss away and to provide ideas on HOW to work the selected ones
During a few recent client/consulting meetings I realized that this remains an extremely important aspect of any salesperson’s life as well as any sales manager or president of any firm. Exceeding monthly sales objectives are the goals of the sales organization, especially the sales manager. What to do?
First: if you have not subscribed to the “Sales Managers Tool Kit”, atwww.AcumenManagement.com , you can get a free copy of the Sales Strategy Guide by sending me an email: Ken@AcumenMgmt.com The Tool Kit contains 40 tools/guides for any sales manager. The purpose of the Sales Strategy Guide is to be used by each salesperson and the sales manager to discuss and strategize on individual sales opportunities and uncover what you know, what you don’t know and develop tactical steps to move the account to conclusion.
Second: The salesperson must know what the “Impact” of your product or services will have on the prospects business. The salesperson must fully understand this question and its answer. You will use it during critical aspects of closing the opportunity. YOU close for the prospect’s benefit-not the salespersons.
Third: Depending upon your product/services that you offer and vendor relationships, knowing when the prospect wants to be fully utilizing your offering is critical. It is not about “when a decision will be made” it’s about understanding timing and any issues surrounding that timeframe.
Fourth: Knowing early on during the sales process the reason the client will make the decision, the impact of your solution on their company and timing, allows the salesperson to begin to set the hook early. Now I am not suggesting unethical sales tactics, but making sure early in any sales cycle you fully understand the prospect’s key issues allows you control the sales process.
The key element to remember is individuals are always challenged to make a decision, your job, as a trusted advisor is to assist the individual in making the right decision that will impact their business and to help them make it on your time line. This is selling vs order taking.
Being mentally creative and tough and moving your role from simply presenting products/services to providing business guidance moves the role to the next level. It is the job of sales management to assist the salesperson to move forward professionally.
Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 14 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America. His latest book is titled: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.
As a sales manager, it is your obligation to inform your team about your company and about their role in the business. It is also your duty to motivate them and to bring out the best in them. Remember they are looking up on you. You must be a good example and you must be firmed all the time, to get their full respect! Questions?
This is an amazing day! It is amazing because I am here again sharing another interesting stuff with you. The blog title is No Problem, No Need which was written by Jim Keenan (@keenan) of A Sales Guy. What makes this blog interesting is how the author presented the term “need”. We have been taught to sell something that the people need. This is true but why some people refuse your product? Is it because they don’t need the product or services? If you are certain they need it why they are not buying it? These questions will be answered through this blog. Come on and read it and include this to your inside sales technique!
No Problem, No Need
By Jim Keenan
As sales people we are taught to find a need and sell to it. Needs based selling is what many of us have been taught from the early days. In almost every conversation I have with sales people on how to sell, the word “need” comes up. It’s without a doubt the most common term I hear sales people use when discussing how they sell and what sales is all about.
In almost all cases it’s explained as the “thing” a sale must be attached to. Need, is what sales people need to ferret out. Good sales people find need. The best sales people dig and search until they can find a need, then they sell to that need by telling the prospect how their product or service can fill their need. As good as it sounds, this approach is wrong and actually handicaps sales people.
Selling to a need assumes the customer has a need and more importantly, knows they have a need. The problem with this assumption is most sales opportunities are found because the prospect didn’t know they had a need. They didn’t know they needed anything. They thought things were just fine. Have you ever listened to someone sell to a need that didn’t exist? It’s painful. The customer says they don’t need the sales persons product, and the sales person flounders around looking for a need, while the customer says nope, I’m happy with my current product, yup, it does that, nope don’t need that feature, nope don’t need that, nope, don’t need that feature either. After about 5 min. if the sales person is lucky, the call is over, dejected and confused, they call the next poor soul, ready to find their need.
Here’s what’s wrong.
There is no need without a problem. Trying to find a need without finding the problem is like trying to fish without a pond. NO pond, no fish. No problem no need.
A problem is when something can’t get done, a goal is being blocked, or when there is a hinderance to reaching an objective. A problem is when something is preventing something from being achieved such as; information, knowledge, a tool, resources, insight, etc. Problems exist when things are missing. The missing things is where the needs come in.
Rather than selling to need, find the problem. Don’t ask if the client needs something. Don’t look for need but rather for a problem. Dig in to see how they are operating the business your product effects. Try to determine if they are happy with the results they’re getting. Ask if they are getting everything out of the current environment they want. Ask if they are on track to achieve their yearly goals. Ask if their competition can do things they can’t. Find out if they would like to get more out of the current environment. The key is to look for problems or even better show them they have a problem they didn’t know they had.
If you want to increase sales stop looking for a need. Start by trying to identify a problem. Once you’ve found the problem, you then can start focusing on what they NEED to solve it.
All sales starts with a problem, everything else comes after. Find or uncover the customer(s) problem and everything else will take care of itself.
This is a great real life story on how focusing on need gets a “NO!” But, finding the problem gets a “YES!”:
Be a problem finder.
As a final thought, the author states that you should find first the problem then offer the solution they need. In this case, they will find your product or services irresistible because they badly need it! So what do you think about the whole post? Have you learned something today? Comments are welcome!
I have read a blog today that I thought would be a good topic for a sales debate. It is about referral practices. The author Paul McCord (@paul_mccord) states in the blog that referrals will lead your business into risk. I know that some of you automatically raise your left eyebrow at this statement. We use to get referrals to increase sales but he says that this could happen if the client isn’t well experienced in the industry. The usual problem will occur once they keep on referring yet not doing their part well. Judge the blog itself by reading it completely. I am sharing everything he had written below.
Building Your Business on Referrals Pt. 2: Asking for Referrals is Bad Practice
By Paul McCord
OK, I know, you’ve been told your entire life as a salesperson that you have to ask for referrals and that if you don’t you’ll fail. But if you’re like most sellers you’ve asked and on occasion get a name and phone number of someone that turns into a new client, but most of the time the names and numbers you get are about as targeted as taking a dart and throwing blindly at the phone book.
The above situation is so common that a great many sellers simply stop asking, thinking that referrals are nothing more than sales mythology, while others, thinking they are the cause of the failure to generate significant numbers of quality referrals, continue to ask with little success and a growing sense of frustration and failure.
The reality isn’t that generating quality referrals are nothing more than a myth or that the seller himself is the root cause of referral generation failure.
Referral generation fails primarily because of the way most sellers have been taught to seek referrals. The seller isn’t the problem; the strategy they’ve been taught is at fault.
How have most of us been taught to get referrals?
For the most part out referral training consists of nothing more than “do a good job for your client and ask for referrals with a question such as, ‘Mr. Prospect, do you know anyone else who I might be able to help as I’ve helped you,’ or ‘Ms. Prospect, do you know of anyone who might benefit from my products or services?’
Certainly on occasion the training may be a bit more in-depth—one trainer might encourage sellers to ask the question early in the sale while another stresses the need to ask only after the sale has been completed, or one trainer might use slightly different phraseology or might encourage the seller to ask for a specific number of referrals, but the essence of the training is the same—do a good job and ask for referrals.
The problem is the process taught causes more problems than it solves.
First, the good news—the traditional referral training solves a major problem—it encourages the seller to seek referrals. Although the success ratio is typically very low, it does produce the occasional prospect that turns into a client.
Now the bad news—it fritters away one of the most valuable business generation resources a seller has—the potential quality referrals from a satisfied client.
Let’s take a look at the primary problems the traditional referral “method” creates:
- The Referral Question Comes Out of the Blue: Most clients are not comfortable when put on the spot to give referrals. When we ask for a referral we may be thinking that we’re asking a small favor but most clients take the request far more seriously. When a client gives a referral they believe they are putting their reputation on the line, something most don’t do lightly. Clients need time to become comfortable with the idea of giving referrals. If we really want quality referrals, we have to allow our client the time to become comfortable with the idea of giving us referrals before we ask.
- We Don’t Give Our Client the Opportunity to Give Quality Referrals: When we follow the traditional training of “do a good job and ask for referrals” we literally stand in front of our client (or are holding on the phone) expecting them to pop off the names of great prospects for us. We are asking them to go through their mental file cabinet and come up with great referrals in the course of 10 or 15 seconds. That is simply an unrealistic expectation on our part and we usually get what we deserve when we put a client in that position—little to nothing of value.
- Our Client Doesn’t Know Who a Great Prospect for Us Is: Not only do we expect our client to be able to give great referrals just off the top of their head, we expect them to know exactly who we can help when much of the time our client hasn’t had the opportunity to fully appreciate what we’ve done for them, much less know what all of our capabilities are and who is really a top prospect for us. We’re asking our client to do the impossible—know our business as well as we know it.
- It Ignores Human Nature: The traditional referral request is one-sided and offers the client no reason to give referrals. There are, obviously, clients who will give referrals even when there is nothing in it for them, but human nature being what it is, the referral request can be far more successful if it can be shown that it benefits the client as well as the seller.
- It Makes the Client do the Work: Rather than making it easy for our clients to give us great referrals, we make it as difficult as possible by asking them to do something they are ill prepared–and often not inclined–to do. Giving high quality referrals should be so easy for our client that literally all they have to do is say “yes.”
Although referral generation as traditionally taught is laden with self-defeating issues, referral generation when practiced properly can be a highly successful business generation tool—one that can literally be the cornerstone of a successful business.
I know that some of you if not all ask for a referral to our clients but after reading this blog, how does it change your perspective? Are you still going to ask for it or not? What is your experience in asking for a referral? You can agree or disagree, your comments are expected below!
I have here another great blog which you can relate. This blog is posted by DH/Theo of Sales Grail Team (@SalesGrail). The author states his opinion regarding his observation on how inside sales rep or sales people perform in dealing with clients. Although they are very intelligent, they look like otherwise. This is very painful to see. Although, the title said “Sell More Without Working Harder”, the author did not tell us how to do it. Maybe it is up to you. You should think carefully what should be done not to be like them. It is like telling you to get out of mediocrity.
Sell More Without Working Harder
How many times have you seen someone in your office or on your sales team that is going about things the wrong way? I’m sure you see it all the time, it’s part of working with a diverse group of people. It’s harder when you see someone you know who is smart, intelligent, and skilled acting like an amateur – in some cases a novice. It drives me crazy! Why are they succumbing to average?
Are these sales professionals making a choice to be mediocre? They’re clearly skilled in sales techniques, yet they take shortcuts which leads to lost sales and profits.
When trying to work with someone like this I find the first response is the “yes” mentality. They typically agree with you on everything you say and commit to making changes and doing their best. I walk away from these conversations hoping rather than believing they’re committed to being a pro. Sure enough, little to no changes take place.
The second stage is indignation and overly bold justifications for their actions. A typical response is, “Hey, this is how I sell! It works and I’m implementing best practices at times, but it’s not easy when you get busy or when leads are down…”(blame, blame, blame). When confronted with the truth (their lagging sales numbers), salespeople can tend to lash out and justify rather than face the reality to see what can be done.
Interestingly, during these sales training discussions, sales people think they’re being asked to put in more hours. They’re not – they could probably work less. With simple changes and sticking to the basics, these sales people can sell more without doing anymore work.
My question is this – what is the next step? How do you get through to this sales person? How can you get a seasoned salesperson to realize they could be getting better results with the SAME amount of work or LESS with some focus and avoiding shortcuts? As a sales professional reading this, what would you do?
Thanks for reading,
Does this article hit you? If so what are your plan of actions to get away from this? If you are not one of these people, what are your strategies to sell more without working hard? This is very important thing to be learned so I am looking forward to your opinions.
How are you guys? It is fun to spent time with you again my readers. What a glorious chance we have to learn more today. I am lucky that every day I encounter things that motivate me to do the things positively. With this I am always smiling and laughing with my friends and sisters at home. No negative energy! Well there is no space for negativity to me. My readers let us talk about “motivation”. I had read an article by Mark Hunter of Sales Hunter. It contains tips to motivate sales. This also tackles the vitality in performing task and responsibilities in organization. So, if you are feeling down today, just read this.
By Mark Hunter
We’re a month into 2013 and it’s not too early to be looking at where you are compared to your yearly number.
Your annual number is to be a motivator, not a “downer,” so use it as just that — a tool to keep you motivated.
Regardless of where you stand year-to-date, it is essential for you to have some successes early on in the year, even if they’re small, to give you some sales motivation. I’m a firm believer that momentum creates momentum.
Nearly every salesperson I’ve ever talked to has been able to tell me at least one time where it seemed like once the sales started coming, they just kept on coming.
My suggestion is you look at your current number and compare it to where you should be for a month gone in the year. If you’re there, great! Then challenge yourself to get to that annual number by the end of November.
Pushing yourself to go beyond your number does two things. First, it creates more sales, and second, it protects you should something not go the way you expect it to somewhere through the year.
If you’re not on your number, don’t panic. Relax and assess. There’s plenty of time.
What you want to do is to start looking at some things that have gone right so far. Write them down and then do two things. First, celebrate and congratulate yourself for what you’ve been able to accomplish. Remember my comment about momentum creating momentum. Many times all it takes is something small going right and then leveraging that into something bigger.
Second, ask yourself why were you successful with that and what can you learn from it and apply elsewhere.
We have 11 months left in the year. That means there is plenty of time to make things happen, but it starts by first reviewing where you’re at now and charting the appropriate course.
Motivation is very important and helpful in performing task and responsibilities smoothly for the growth of the organization where you are working, to increase the productivity. It helps to save time and effort because you are focus.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone because we are born with different personalities, talents and capabilities. Know your strength and use it as an instrument for the self-growth so that you are ready to face the outside world.
Don’t think that you are loser because it is not true. Don’t let other people define of what will be who you are, instead prove that you are the perfect one. We are all born smart, gorgeous and talented in different aspect.
Dear Sales Rep,
This blog from Radius (@radius) is for you. Just find it right now and I think that it is better to share. It tackles about the inside sales techniques on how to become successful in hitting the company’s goal. The number one key is to motivate the team, let them know the vision so they can have mind set of what they need to achieve. The work collaboration is a must to build strong team and to get the job done faster. As a leader, you must also show your participation and concern. You need to inspire your team about your hard work and how to reach your dream. You and your team should learn something new which is beneficial to all. Here you go!
I’m regularly asked by CEOs and other sales leaders “how do you motivate your sales team?” My answer usually stuns them. My mantra is “If I need to motivate you, then you shouldn’t be on my sales team to begin with.”
What? Yep. But a mentor of mine, Bob Perkins, founder of the AmericanAssociation of Inside Sales Professionals, said to me, “That’s great Kevin but that doesn’t relieve you from being the day-to-day cheerleader.” Touché! So what are the three keys to motivating your inside sales team?
Hire for Motivation
Start with somebody who is ALREADY motivated! But that’s easier said than done. If you think motivated salespeople are people who go above and beyond on a regular basis, or are people that come in early and stay late, then ask your candidates for examples of times when they demonstrated those traits. Use the “tell me about a time when….” technique to determine if the candidate is a fit. Here are a few examples:
- Tell me about a time when you when above and beyond at your job (or college if you’re hiring inexperienced salespeople). Then……tell me about another time.
- Tell me about a time when you came in earlier or stayed later to excel at your job. How often do you do this?
Mentorship towards Mastery
Do you teach your salespeople? When they move on to other roles or other companies, will they look back at their time working for you and think of you as somebody who helped them accelerate their career? It’s more than just inside sales, it’s about their overall career goals and aspirations. Are you challenging them to become the top 5% in their class? As a leader you will motivate your inside salespeople to want to work hard for you when you’re challenging them to be the BEST. At least two times a week, in the safety and comfort of my “jammies” in the morning, I read my favorite inside sales blogs or posts on twitter and then share it with my team….and then challenge them to PUT these new or different ideas into place. Here are three of my favorite blogs you should be reading and sharing with your team:
Paint a Picture
If your inside sales reps are going to work hard for you and listen to your guidance, then what happens next? Where do they go from here? You need to paint a picture of where they’re going in their career. Will they get a title change? Will that result in more money for them? More prestige? Can you tell them about inside sales reps that are no longer working for you that are now making two to three times more money and have WAY bigger titles than they have now as a result of working for you? Tie what they’re doing now to something in the future. Paint that picture for them! And this isn’t always about money. This could be:
- Career advancement
- Saving money for a honeymoon.
- Buying a house.
It’s up to YOU as a manager to tie together what they are doing now with where they want to go.
While I think that sales contests and gamification have their place, notice that NOTHING I wrote above had anything to do with sales contests and gamification. Furthermore, for a great read, check out Daniel Pink’s book Drive. There’s more to motivating inside salespeople than a 500 word blog post but I guarantee if you do the three things I’ve noted above, you’ll be way ahead of your competition.
Embracing the inside sales techniques are worth the payment. It offers millions of possibilities to get a reliable client. You will never get left behind in having it. It will lessen your worries to find more clients that can do business with you. They give exposure to your company as you can get involve with millions of social media subscriber. So, what are you thinking now? Open up!
Good day isn’t it? I wish what I have here today will make your day better. It is a blog from Strideapp (@strideapp) teaching us how to pitch. If this is your waterloo then this is for you! This will help you cope up with the sales competition. The initial step in pitching using business e-mail is not to give the entire detail of the business. Make it precise and inviting to arouse their interest to interact with your marketing proposal. Ensure also the format and outline. The next step is to tell your boss the content you send to the client. Why you have to do that? Read the complete blog!
How to Pitch: 3 Simple Steps to Getting Your Ideas Across
By Andrew Dumont
Regardless of what you do, pitching (large or small) is undoubtedly part of it. Don’t buy it? As a consultant, you have to pitch your expertise to potential clients. As an employee within an organization, you have to pitch your ideas for budget allocation. As a small business owner, you have to pitch your product or service to prospective customers. The list goes on.
The thing that remains unchanged is the fundamentals of doing so. This post is meant to help walk you through the fundamentals of pitching, so that you can better convey your ideas, and generate excitement around them.
1) Say More with Less
When you begin formulating your pitch, it’s easy to get caught up in all that you want to say. Likely, it’s a topic that excites you or an opportunity you’re anxious to capitalize on. What this typically leads to is overly wordy pitches and long emails without a clear takeaway. The best way to refine your thoughts is to get them all out on paper, without any filtering. Think through the value, the core of the pitch and why it’s valuable to the other party. From there, refine. If you find yourself pitching via email, make sure to follow this fantastic format that Rand laid out in a recent Whiteboard Friday. It provides a great outline to follow.
2) Help Them Pitch
Once you gain initial interest from your email pitch (or presentation), you’ll still have some work to do. In most cases, your pitch will likely need approval from another person — a boss or colleague, for example. What this means is that you have to make it easy for others to pitch what you’re pitching, to whomever they need approval from. The best way to do this is to create a onepager with the following information:
- Value Created – What is the value of what you’re pitching to the other party? How can they measure it?
- How It Would Work – Screenshots of the proposed idea or product, along with a timeline for implementation.
- Trust Signals – Call out happy customers, big brands that you’ve worked with.
3) Test, Then Test Again
Finally, as with any process, there’s a way to refine it. Although pitching is primarily qualitative, it can be fine-tuned. Think of pitching as a science. Try different tactics and measure how they perform. Use different subject lines, different levels/titles of contacts that you’re working with, different onepagers. Whatever you can alter, you can test.
Of course, this only scratches the surface on the topic of pitching, but it’s a great place to being. Frankly, it’s all you need to get started. You’ll pick up the rest along the way. The hardest part of pitching anything is the fear of starting. The fear of being turned away. Once you’ve made an attempt, you’ve won half the battle.
If you have any other tips on how to pitch, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
The business should never stop developing its operation to meet the fast changing development across the globe. It aims to give insatiable opportunity as it allows you to work online and collaborate with talented people worldwide. It sets no boundary for an entrepreneur to outreach the overseas services that he can use to be successful. What about you? What is your pitching style? We love to hear from you!