Post about "Sales"

Sales Bottom Line – What’s The Big Idea!

What is the professional reality for any Sales Manager? You are only as good as your weakest link allows you to be.I am often asked by Sales Managers what the secret is to getting sales solutions quickly.Here is part of what we do and it reflects how we get to increase sales, quickly and cost effectively for major benefits such as:Easily accessible sales bottom line skills knowledge & training with an 8 step process. A system for individual coaching irrespective of sales team size. Goal setting & drive are at the heart of successful sales with a simple to follow process made available to individualsAccess to online sales and sales manger coaching with blended learning techniques sales bottom line. The collective hands-on sales and Sales Manager industry expertise of our sales bottom line specialists using our proven COG System cover all aspects of Selling, Prospecting and Lead Generation by an experienced battle hardened 15 year veteran of the internet & social networking environment.Pricing Analysts & Specialists.
Sales Database Engineers and in the cloud Management.
Proposal and Presentation Specialists.
Sales and People Management,
Sales Training and Motivation,
Social media Policies and Procedural matters,
Sales Manager Compliance Issues,
Web 2.0, Sales,
Special Seminar Events,
Customer Service & CRM specialists.
Marketing Integrators.
Organizational gap fillers plus niche and sales systems.Once we start digging, the real sales picture will quickly emerge.Before these solutions can be executed, authority should be sought from the Sales Manager or sales representative who has been given permission to over see such projects for unfettered access to the sales team including all existing methods and manuals. The sales task force, working with the sales manager will set about discreetly, or otherwise, unearthing the real reasons behind the current situation – good or bad. These facts will then be reconciled against the sales bottom line information that has already been previously supplied by sales management to Head Office.Any discrepancies that exist between those two lists, the Sales Manager and the sales person list, will then be red flagged as both important and urgent. In other words, by drilling right to the core of the problems with your sales bottom line with bankable rapidity.The first question you want answered is, “What is actually happening when the Sales Manager and management are not there?” Such as out in the field, 2.00pm Friday afternoon, in other words a complete picture.But, when you start putting their sales people under pressure, the Sales Manager should be informed to be prepared for any of the following traits in their salespersons:weaker less enthusiastic
poorer performers
out of their depth
bored or sheltering in a comfort zone
unmotivated with disruptive attitudes
adverse to instructions from the management
no idea about sales bottom line
no goals or enthusiasm for improvementTo resist, feel nervous, threatened, the blame game, or come under so much team mate pressure they leave to become someone else’s headache. Some else’s problem perhaps.Call us old fashioned if you like, but we’re from the school that considers taking an unscheduled 10 minute break, talking to friends on a mobile phone during work hours, abusing the company internet & social media policies or giving shoddy service to clients as tantamount to theft and should be treated as such.Yes. We recommend that you do adopt a somewhat hard-nosed common-sense, roll the sleeves up, get down and get the hands dirty approach. That comes from our sales task force collective of over 50 years combined international experience knowing and executing what really works at all levels, from small local sales teams to large International multi cultural ones. But this is only for the initial preparation stage and prior to the transition to performance enhancement.Pre planning prevents poor performance!You should ask questions about your business, your sales goals, your ideal prospective clients and your clients. These questions will help underpin your Sales Bottom Line Blueprint with sustainable profitable solutions. This is far more than just a “survival turn around kit” for sales driven organizations.It is a complete step-by-step action plan of what to do to ensure the sales and profit at better margins heads upwards on the graph.Any organization who is trying to find ways to increase their Sales Bottom Line should also carry out a complete and extremely confidential assessment of everything related to sales. Whether you have them or not here are just some of the elements of your sales bottom line that we at Sales Drive scrutinize and perfect, listed in no particular order.Individual salespeople performance, attitude towards the Sales Manager, time management, punctuality, promise making, delivery, tasking, recruitment
Compliance issues, confidentiality and security
Ideas, creativity, expanded thinking, sales presentation, service
Occupational Health & Safety manuals, operations manuals, policies, training manuals
All sales and Sales Manager performance to date
Sales budgets
Checklists, daily activity lists, sales orders
Flow charts, procedures, delivery
Understanding of client issues, ability to uncover potential lost opportunities for clients and other matters
Sales commitments and obligations
Client prospecting, segmented marketing, sales event mix, special attractions and reasons to buy
Equipment, material, maintenance, improvements
Your rivals and your competition, everythingIf they drive a company car we will even look in the trunk to see the hidden time wasters – golf clubs and the like. The good news is that nearly every imaginable challenge and problem in the sales industry has a solution.Thankfully for you, there is no need for you to reinvent the wheel or rely on guesswork.What is learnt from these in depth analysis’s about your business is should be kept strictly confidential. Both parties should sign a Non Disclosure Agreement, because you wouldn’t like any of the matters discussed repeated to anyone either.You can expect to enjoy increased sales.Before you know it, your sales team will be fully systematized; the key people up skilled, motivated and working at capacity for your benefit. This means you can sleep soundly at night knowing that:All stakeholders will see progress
Your role will be appreciated and elevated
The sales support staff will be eager to satisfy the clients
The clients will be eager to return more often
The reputation and therefore the value of your organization will rise
Quality salespeople will be queuing to join your team
Staff turnover will drop
Costly Lost sales will decline
Sales Team and overall Staff morale will improve
Recruitment will be easier
Poor performers will be gone to become someone else’s headacheWhat more can I say about your bottom line?© Phil Polson – 2013. All rights reserved.

5 Elements of a “Best In Class” Inside Sales Team

Recently I was asked by a client what a best in class inside sales organization looks like. This got me thinking about all the companies I’ve worked with, and after a while I picked a client company in Canada that I believe is practicing the 5 crucial elements that define it as “Best in Class.” Before we get into these elements, here is what they do and how we started working together.A little over a year ago, I met the C.O.O of a young company in Canada that sells HR Solutions over the phone to businesses across Canada. This company was already doing well and had been designated one of the fastest growing companies in 2010. They had a team of about 35 inside sales reps and in each of their first two years they had broken new sales records. When we met over the phone, the C.O.O. told me that they had accomplished this without any official sales structure or training and he was anxious to see what kind of growth he could accomplish by implementing proper systems and sales processes.After an initial evaluation, we identified several key areas that we could improve and after working together for several months, we implemented the following 5 elements that would ensure his company’s continued growth and their “Best in Class” status. Here they are:Number One: The first thing we worked on was defining his sales process. As is the case in most sales rooms, of the 35 sales reps prospecting and closing accounts, there were about 35 different ways this was being done. It took some reps 2 calls to close a deal, while other reps needed to make 4, 5 and even as many as 8 calls to close deals.In addition, while interviewing the reps I found that there were vastly different opinions on what was needed to close a sale. Some felt that extensive emails and information was important for gaining trust and closing the sale, while others used a demo of the website to sell a prospect. Still others relied on referrals from others within the prospect company, while others couldn’t tell me what the deciding factor was. They said they just sent out information to whomever appeared to be the decision maker and then hoped for the best.So the first thing we needed to do was to look at how the top 20% of their sales reps were prospecting and closing sales and then standardize those successful techniques into a best practice structure. We started by indentifying the bench marks in each step and then used these to define the most effective sales process. I call this building the DSP (for Defined Sales Process), and once we had that in place, we could then develop a scripted sales approach that their entire team could use to be more effective.Number Two: Once we had the DSP constructed, we then needed to take these best practice steps and benchmarks and turn them into a useable, repeatable scripted playbook. In other words, we took each step of their best practice sales process – starting with dealing with the gatekeeper, to identifying he decision maker, building rapport, qualifying, etc. – and we scripted, word for word, each part of the sales process out.Taking the time to comprehensively script out each part of the sales process – including best practice voice mails, emails and complete objection handling – allowed them to equip each sales rep with the most effective way of handling the sales situations they were in 80 to 90% of their day. By developing and subsequently practicing a uniform and proven sales approach, the reps were able to qualify better prospects which allowed them to close more deals in a shorter period of time.Number Three: Once a Defined Sales Process and a scripted playbook were in place, the company was now able to better empower their front line managers and supervisors because now they had a uniform way mentoring and coaching their sales reps. Prior to this process, when the reps were adlibbing and unstructured, the style of management was reactive and inefficient. Without a standard to grade, coach and evaluate by, the managers made inconsistent progress and were generally ineffective.This all changed, however, once both sales reps and managers were following a proven, objective sales process and scripted sales approach. During this process we developed actual script grading adherence forms so managers could regularly grade adherence to the best practice sales approach. In addition, script grading also allowed the managers to target problem areas for each rep and design very specific development plans for improvement. Because each step of the process was defined and objective, evaluating and changing performance and measuring and tracking progress of these changes was now possible.Number Four: Once these processes were in place, the company saw the need and benefit in rearranging personnel and redefining job descriptions to better manage and train their growing sales team. Some of these changes included reducing the sales quotas of their team leads/supervisors so they could spend more time in helping their reps improve their sales skills and close deals, and in tasking their sales director with more involvement in hiring and recruiting talent. In addition, they promoted one of their human resource members into a full time sales training position – something they had never had before.A crucial change was the creation of a qualify control person whose sole job it was to listen to and grade recordings of the sales team. Because an important component in this process was to record and grade rep’s adherence to the new sales playbook (and so analyze their sales skills and measure their improvement), it immediately became apparent that listening to 35 sales rep’s calls was a full time job. The innovative change this company made was recognizing this need and creating a position to fill it. Having a full time quality control person allowed the front line managers to spend more time on the floor working with reps and it also provided the ‘real time’ feedback on how each rep performed during the actual sale and how they were tracking in terms of improvement.Number Five: Motivating a sales team is an important component of sustained and improved sales performance, and in this area the company deviated from the daily cash bonus and spiff model of short term motivation and instead took a longer term approach. Recognizing the need to grow the sales team and the benefit of offering its employees a more sustained career model, the company created a career advancement program that rewarded long term sales performance by promoting sales reps into different levels of responsibility and increased pay.The company created new team lead positions, new supervisory positions and even new customer reorder departments that created new growth opportunities for performing reps. Each of these new positions became linked to bi-annual performance goals and replaced the short term bonus plans previously in place. The result was a more engaged and motivated sales force who’s focus was more on the long term goals of the company rather than the short term goals of daily production.While a lot changed in this company’s sales structure, focus and execution, the amazing thing was they were able to make these changes in a four to six month time frame. The results in terms increased sales production were exceptional. Not only did they grow sales by over 34% in their existing department of new business, but they were able to expand their current accounts business by penetrating deeper and cross selling departments and products.The bottom line is that when this company took the time to improve and implement these 5 elements, they were able to leverage their existing sales personnel and create a scalable model for across the board sales improvement. And that is what I call a “Best in Class” sales company.Copyright (c) 2013 Mr. Inside Sales