Three Ways to Help Your Sales Professionals Return to Work

July 14, 2020 by  

If you have ever been out of work for an extended period of time, then you might remember the challenges with getting the momentum and motivation back up to where it was.
Maybe it wasn’t due to a job loss. Maybe it was when your summer break ending and that first week back at school. Exciting, interesting, anxious, and not productive.  Right now it is likely due to the pandemic.
There will, of course, be challenges when your employees return to work, and especially salespeople. Either the transition from working at home or getting back to work being off will require a shift back into the normal work routine. Yes, there will be some excitement of going back into the office similar to those first days back at school. But there might also be a level of grogginess and resistance to the previous routine.
As leaders, it is important to ensure that you are aware of this possibility. It could take your sales team some time to warm back up. When you combine that with their fears/concerns about being in close proximity to customers or coworkers, they will be distracted and less effective than in the past.

Here Are Three Ways That Could Help You Handle This Reentry Phase with Your Salespeople:

1. Refresh Understanding
Ensure that everyone on your team knows what your company’s mission is and the core values that make up your culture. Constantly reminding your sales team about why you are there and what part they play in the mission of the company and the value to the customers will help everyone focus on what is most important. Also do what you can to bring your company’s mission and values into the conversations with customers, especially when making sales calls. This will allow you to sell from a place of opportunity to help your prospects and not feeling or being seen as opportunistic.

2. Listen to Concerns
In addition to following the guidelines for what needs to be in place for the safety of your employees and customers, have regular meetings with your team and listen closely to their concerns. Some of your team will be eager and willing to jump back in and others will be more anxious. The careful balance is that you want to listen but you also don’t want to encourage the anxious energy. Mitigate where you can, support them at all times, even if that means some of your team cannot come and work during this initial return phase.

3. Be Realistic
Set realistic goals and timelines for their sales production. If you have been closed down or operating with a skeleton crew and your product/service has an extended sales cycle then it will take them time to build that pipeline back up. It will also take the reps time to shake off the internal cobwebs. For most companies, sales volume won’t be like it was before – not any time soon. I have seen owners reset their figures in their mind, but the real key is to be honest and transparent and set proper expectations for your sales team. Even if it feels grim with little chance to earn a bonus or commission it is better than getting everyone excited and failing to hit the numbers.

The truth is that not every business will survive this time in our history. Many have already closed for good and others won’t be able to sustain even after reopening their doors. Those that do make it will most likely not just survive but will thrive and flourish. The success of your sales team will be the key to your recovery from this.

5 Strategies for Successful Sales

January 10, 2019 by  

Making a sale should be easy, especially when you have the right product or service. However, many people make it more complicated than necessary so lose the prospective client in the process. First of all, you must do your homework and determine what the prospect actually needs and then in your “pitch” focus on how your service or product is going to make their life easier or their business more successful.

Here five “make it happen” steps to get the green light rather than be rejected:

1. Cut to the chase.
A good salesperson doesn’t waste time with long anecdotal introductions. Rather you need to start describing the product attributes that will resonate with the prospect right away. For example, if you have determined that this prospect will benefit from your product or service, be sure to demonstrate the benefits right off the top and begin by saying that you understand whatever it is that they do and here is how our product or service will enhance your productivity or outcomes. Never waste the prospect’s time with unnecessary information that they will not relate to because they will tune you out and you will not be able to close the sale.

2. Skip the industry jargon.
Whether your product or service is technical in nature or not, be sure to use language that the prospect understands so that they will see right away why they should consider what you are offering to them. If you get into a long-winded technical explanation, again you will likely lose them as their interest will wane and again, you will not likely be able to close the sale.

3. Paint a picture.
Sometimes we do not get to meet the new prospect face to face. In that situation, you need to be able to describe your product or service in a way that they can clearly picture how the features you are offering them will enhance their business processes and outcomes. If you can send them something via email, maybe before the talk, that might also be helpful. However, again, it should not be anything lengthy as they will not likely read it if it is not short and to the point. Even if you are fortunate enough to arrange a face to face meeting, being able to demonstrate just how your product or service will be of great benefit to this new prospect will go a long way toward you being able to close the sale.

4. Be truly interested in the prospect.
When you speak to a new potential customer, concentrate on finding out about the customer and their business instead of just making your pitch. Ask open-ended questions and listen very carefully to the answers offered will give you more insights on how to interest this person in your product or service. In addition, you may discover some common areas of interest and this could certainly enhance your relationship right off the bat.

5. Make it matter.
Your product may have many benefits, however, they are worthless if the prospect doesn’t need them. Be able to constantly reframe those product benefits so that each prospect will understand the specific impact the product or service could have on his business. This can be determined by doing that so important homework before your meeting so that you better understand the needs of the prospect’s business and then can highlight those aspects of what you have to offer so that you will grab their interest and be more likely to make the sale.

Here is a unique way to think of selling: it is like a journey on which you are leading your customer like a tour guide. If the customer does not understand where you are headed or why he should come along, they will either choose not to take the trip or wander off in a different direction before you are through. All you have to do is get them excited about the destination, describe all the beautiful things to be observed along the way, and then be prepared to answer any questions they have so they feel safe and can enjoy the route. Again, a main key is learning what would enhance the prospect’s business so that you can adjust your “pitch” to suit their specific needs. If you do this you will be much more likely to close more sales.

5 Skills for a Successful Salesperson

July 20, 2018 by  

Effective salesmanship can be achieved by learning and implementing the skills required to retain and increase sales targets. So combine your energy and talents with these key skills and enjoy the outcomes.

Here are five skills to develop:
1. Be authentic and honest about your product/service
Having confidence in your self is crucial. If you are honest, clear, and simple in explaining the product you believe in you will be more likely to draw in your prospect. You need to have the persistence to gently relate the needs and/or concerns of your prospect by showing how you can fulfil his/her needs or solve their problems. If you fail to do this, you will not be closing many sales.

2. Employ Active Listening
No doubt a salesman is required to be a good speaker, so that they can explain what they have to offer, however, listening will offer you a far better chance to discover what the prospect is looking for and then you can “spin your pitch” to fill that need. Ask relevant questions so that you can get to know the prospect by being a good, focused, and engaged listener. When you do this you establish trust, respect, and rapport, the cornerstones of long-lasting and meaningful relationships and the key to every successful salesperson.

3. Perseverance
Do not turn away at the first no. Perhaps your prospect was not ready, or busy with something more pressing. Try to find out when would be a good time to call again. Benefits of a product or services are always more effective and enticing to a prospect than the features. So be sure to do your homework and know your prospect and their potential needs so that you can tweak your pitch accordingly.

4. Build an Appropriate Network
Building a strong, wide-reaching network is essential for a salesperson so that they can extend their reach to a larger possible market. Networking regularly and effectively helps to build, nurture, and maintain those important relationships and well and gaining new ones.

5. Keep Learning New Sales Skills
Embrace a positive attitude toward learning new things. Be open to new ideas and theories as this will surely open new doors for you. Continue to take sales training to help you develop, improve, and expand your sales skills.
It is never too late to gain new knowledge….if you lack a particular skill, you can always study it, practice it and then make it part of your strategies. Your most important asset is your attitude….keep it positive and you will be able to accomplish your goals!

To be an effective salesperson takes commitment, perseverance and a lot of preparation….follow the 5 suggestions above and then you can expect great results!

Is Sales Training Important for an Organization?

March 13, 2018 by  

Here are some questions you might want to consider:
– Why should an organization implement a sales training program?
– What role does it play in an organization?
– Is it just a “nice-to-have” option or a “must have” option?
– Is it a part of a conscious strategy to achieve organizational goals?

In the end, just how a sales training program is perceived really depends on the specific organization. Some may think that it is a complete waste of time and that a sales team learns best while on the job. While other organizations may realize that investing in that training is likely to result in better outcomes.

So let’s explore the elements that could be gained from a good sales training program.

I Produces Increased Revenue: The sales department in any organization is the main revenue-generating component of that company. Other departments usually provide support functions. In our current very highly competitive environment, where there is so much competition for customers’ attention, the onus is therefore put on the salespeople to offer the most appropriate product to the right customer at the best time. By providing sales training to the staff, an organization can ensure that no time will be wasted in trial and error methods and instead the sales team will know exactly how to go about their job and do it more successfully.

II Provides Procedural Consistency: Excellent sales training offers knowledge on the fundamentals of good sales practices. The program would include the basics of sales procedure such as prospecting for your market, the means to determine needs identification, as well as strategies for closing the sale. In addition, in many industries, organizations need to follow certain rules and regulations while selling a product or a service and that information also needs to be shared. This is particularly true in the industries where employees have to adhere to the norms set by the local regulatory bodies. We certainly do not want any issues to be created if these mandatory rules and regulations are not followed.

III Offering Motivation to the Sales Teams: Sales is a certainly a high-pressure job that can easily lead to frustration and disappointment for the sales team. Sales training can provide an opportunity for managers to keep their sales team motivated toward reaching their targets or even more. By introducing fun team-building activities and morale-boosting workshops, managers can make sure their sales team does not lose focus on the organizational goals and the means to reach or surpass their determined targets. These sorts of activities and support approaches will likely reduce employee turnover and increase productivity.

IV Enhanced Product Knowledge: Information about the products that one is selling as well as those of your competitors is fundamental for a good sales outcome. A new salesperson needs to be well versed in the product or service that he/she is going to sell so that they can be better prepared to answer questions and determine if they are approaching the right prospects. A training program can provide all the information necessary about the products or services that the organization provides. Then the information can be passed on in an authentic and realistic manner, leaving no room for ambiguity or misinformation that might arise and cause the salesperson difficulties.

V Effective Soft Skills Training: The key to being an excellent salesperson boils down to effective communication skills and other soft skills that allow the salesperson to figure out how best to approach the prospect, grab their attention and ultimately complete the sale. Therefore, selling is both an art and a science as it involves both analytical and creative skills. By providing training in leadership, team-building, and communication skills, employees will be better equipped to showcase your companies’ products or services and employ their persuasive skills to convince potential customers that their product or service best meets the specific needs of that customer. In the end, this will ultimately help to complete more sales and thereby more revenue for the organization.

VI Ensuring High Business Values and Ethics: With increasing sales targets, there is always a risk of employees compromising on organizational business values and ethics. In order for an organization to succeed long term, it has to ensure that its employees follow the business and core values it espouses and this can be introduced and reinforced via an appropriate platform to effectively and positively deliver this key message to the sales force.

In summary, a sales training program provides the following advantages. It increases the efficiency, productivity, and creativity of a salesperson. It helps in accessing the abilities of a salesperson. And, last but certainly not least, it improves the organization’s ROI.

Finally, one can say that sales training is a most valuable investment that helps an organization remain sustainable and competitive for the long haul. It also motivates the team and helps them to remain current with the company’s products, market, core values, and competition.

5 Tips for Successful Sales

February 12, 2013 by  

People hate to be sold, but they love to buy….so if you are going to be a good sales person, your focus needs to be on the customer and their needs, not on you and your monthly sales goals. Doing one’s homework before the meeting is the key starting point before facing a prospective buyer who is looking for solutions or something to wow their business.

1. Get to the point: Keep it simple!! No one has time to waste, so come into the appointment with a clear idea of what approach you will use to solve the customer’s problem and to show them you have looked into their business requirements.
2. Avoid jargon: Always use language that is clear, universally understandable and appropriate. No one wants to feel they do not comprehend your explanation.
3. Be able to create pictures: You may not always be able to meet your customer in person, the better you are at verbally painting a picture of your products or services, the more likely the prospective client will be able to see the benefits.
4. Demonstrate curiosity: The more you listen and ask questions, the more you will discover about the needs and issues of your prospect. No one likes to be told what to do, but assistance in the resolution of situations they are facing will always be welcome.
5. Be sure your solution matters: Be sure that the description of your products or services illustrates to the customer how they will reduce costs, stand out from their competitors, increase efficiency and productivity, and/or decrease maintenance issues. Such attributes will always be interesting and attractive to a business owner as it affects their bottom line and may even enhance the happiness factor of the employees by reducing frustration and amplifying achievement of company goals.

Successful Sales follow a road map…keep on track and guide your customer effectively along toward the same destination, pointing out important sights along the way and answering questions to keep them interested and satisfied…you will both be happy when you arrive together!