Sales Person Hiring Criteria: When you hire a sales person, the sales person must have strong
Hunter,Qualifier and Closing Skills. The sales person must be highly money motivated with a strong desire to be successful, and have a presidential mind set.
Sales Manager Hiring Criteria: When you hire a sales manager they must have strong coaching, mentoring, motivating and recruiting skills.
Sales Process: To win more sales and market share you must have a strong clearly defined sales process that supports filling the sales pipeline with quality prospects that are consistent with your model of the ideal prospect opportunity.
Sales Pipeline: The sales pipeline is the life blood of the organization. The sales pipeline supports the financial stability of the organization. The sales pipeline measures how prospects enter the pipeline from suspect, to cold prospect, to warm prospect, to hot prospect, to closed business.
CRM Program: It is vitally important to capture the notes of every attempt, contact, conversation and meeting your sales people have. The information in the CRM program is monitored and tracked by management, and is used to conduct pre-call and post-call planning sessions with your sales team.
You need to be aware there are four levels of sales people you can hire to prospect, increase your sales, profits and market share.
At the first lowest level the sales person is driven and directed by the sales manager. The sales person is driven by commission only and typically sells on price. There may also be an element of fear and worry if the sale is not made.
The next level up is when the sales person doesn’t necessarily need to be managed by the sales manager, but is still driven by commission, selling on price, and their own desire for success.
The third level at which the sales person can approach sales is to act autonomously and sells value. When they sell value they no longer sell on price, but look to provide a solution to the prospect, and no longer need to be managed by a sales manager.
If you are committed to increasing your close ratio and retention of customers you need to be aware of the fourth level of sales person.
The fourth and highest level of sales person is a very unique individual. They have a quite and strong confidence without being arrogant. This is the sales person that has gone through a personal transformation, and operates at a higher level of consciousness and awareness. At this level the sales person sees themselves as a driving and creative force with a definite life purpose.
They operate autonomously. They look to reach higher levels of personal growth and mastery. There is no fear, but a real sense of knowing, with a conviction that they are and will be even more successful.
They sell with a purpose and a mission, which is based on the fact that they are doing what they do to make sure their prospect or client is successful.
They are givers and not takers. They are committed to the company, their customers and prospects. They know when the prospect and or customer are successful, then and only then can they be successful.
When a sales person operates at this level they ask the right questions. They do not jump to submitting premature quotes. They are sure when they make their presentations it is at the correct time in the correct way that makes sense to the prospect. Their pipe line is filled with qualified prospects. The close ratio and retention of customers is high and the success and money role in.
To learn which of your sales people have what it takes to rise to the fourth level CLICK HERE:
The need for approval is one of the most common weaknesses in sales people. When you as a sales person have a need for approval from prospects you neutralize your ability to do or to say the right things.
For example, legitimate tough questions are not asked. This results in business opportunities are not qualified to the degree they should. This lack of proper qualification fills the pipeline with too many unqualified prospects. Following up on too many unqualified prospect is a waste of you valuable resources.
In my previous blog I discussed follow up as a way of improving the close ratio. While this is true you can only increase the close ratio by following up if you have a truly qualified prospect opportunity.
When you fix the need for approval you will increase your productivity by 35%. To fix your need for approval begin by setting goals and accomplishing your goals. As you achieve more and more goals you will feel better about yourself. The better you feel about yourself the higher your confidence level will become. The stronger you feel about you, the less you will need the approval of others. As your self concept increases the need for approval will decrease.
You will be positioning your self to increase your market share, sales profits, close ratio.
Did you know that 48% of all sales people never follow up with a prospect and only 25% of all sales people make a second attempt to reach a prospect? This includes your competitors. Imagine your ability to increase your sales, market share and close ratio if this was corrected.
Here is a statistic that is shocking, 12% of sales people make only three stops or contacts. By making an adjustment and holding your sales people accountable and tracking behavior you should increase the bottom line.
When it comes to close ratios 2% of sales are made on the first call, 3% of closed business happens on the second call, 5% of all sales are made on the third call, and 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.
Did you know 80%of all sales are made on the fifth to the twelfth attempt?
So if you are looking for the secret to closing more sales and profits, increasing your close ratio and market share, just follow up more on good qualified business opportunities.
Qualify your business opportunities so you know what is real and what is not,hang in there and don’t give up. It is far better to follow up until you get a No and not walk away too early thinking it is a No.
At a business meeting I had the pleasure to meet a number of business owners and salespeople. When I left the meeting I had spoken to five people I had not known and learned about their businesses and what an ideal prospect opportunity was for each of them.
A day after the meeting which was on a Monday, I realized I could use the services of one of the salespeople I had met. I called the sales person on Tuesday morning and left the following message.
Al: “Hello John Doe we met at the Monday, business meeting I enjoyed getting to know you and learning about your business. As it turns out I need your service for this Friday please call me at 908-472-3848.”
I did not get a return call on Tuesday. On Wednesday I called and again left the same message. Later on Wednesday I received an e-mail from the sales person which read as follows…..
Salesperson’s e-mail: “Got your message. Send me an e-mail with some dates and times you are available.” I thought to myself, I want to give this person a piece of business but he is screwing up the process.
I did not send an e-mail response, but called the salesperson back and asked that he call me, because time was running out, and I needed to make arrangements. This sales person’s sales process was getting in my way.
I finally received a call from the salesperson on Friday morning. At that point in time I had made other arrangements and the salesperson lost a $700.00 sale that was a layup.
Now, why am I telling you this story? Because I know you have salespeople and you want them to fill the sales pipeline with quality prospects that move to a close.
The pipeline is the life blood of your organization and is driven by salespeople that have hopefully, a sales process that will close business, increase sales, profit, and increase your company market share in the shortest period of time.
Your salespeople may believe, as John Doe thought that they are working efficiently by using e-mail.
I had made a specific request as a prospect,” PLEASE CALL ME, I NEED YOU I HAVE MONEY AND WANT TO SPEND IT WITH YOU.” The sales person used technology instead of common sense. ( The prospect calls me and says they need me and my service for Friday so instead of picking up the phone and making a personal phone call which will take less than a minute and close the deal, I will send an e-mail because it is more efficient and that is the way I sell .)
You need to evaluate your sales department’s sales process.
The Sales Process Grader is an excellent tool you can use to determine, if your sales team’s sales process is as effective as it could be. ( AND IT IS FREE )
When you streamline your sales process, you shorten the sales cycle, increase your close ratio, and capture more business in the shorter period of time. The Sales Process Grader is an excellent tool for improving your sales process and closing sales. YOU CAN TRY IT FOR FREE JUST CLICK HERE
Meeting with a prospect I learned they had lost about $2,000,000.00 in potential business to their competitors. I also learned additional $1,300,000.00 in orders was no longer coming in from previous
When I reviewed the notes the salespeople had placed in the companies CRM program, I kept seeing:
- Things are slow, said they don’t need anything.
- Have plenty of stock, try me next month.
- Pete not in, I left my card.
Whenever I see the same notes repeat themselves over and over again, I always question the sales process first and then the salesperson.
As I read the notes for one account, they reflected the same message over and over again. I asked my prospect if we could visit the customer. My prospect agreed. We discovered something quite interesting on our sales call. Here is how the conversation went…..
Al: Mr. Smith, I am with the marketing department of XYZ Company. I am conducting a survey and hoped perhaps you could give us some input.
Business owner: I don’t have a lot of time we are real busy.
Al: Can we have five minutes of your time and we will be out of here.
Business owner: I can give you five minutes then I have to go, we are working on a big job.
Al: I was looking at the notes our salesperson Mike has been placing in our CRM program, for each of his visits. His notes indicated business was slow and you have plenty of inventory, and it has been hard to reach Pete. Your place seems to be jumping, and you said you are busy. Have we done something to offend you or your company?
Business owner: Not that I know of. I don’t know your salesperson Mike, and Pete has not been here for about six months.
I felt a knot in my stomach as I watched my prospect’s face turn red. I could almost see the smoke come out of his ears. Before leaving we made an appointment with the business owner to come back.
The business owner knew we were coming back to learn more about his business and discuss how we might be able to work with him to help his company be more successful. We thanked the business owner for his time and left.
On the way back to my prospect’s office we talked about what had happened on the sales call and the salesperson in question, and why we needed to evaluate his company’s sales process. The salesperson had been with the company for almost six years had a good attitude. Some months he had hit his quota and some months he had not. For all intensive purposes he was a team player and was a dependable salesperson.
I pointed out to my prospect that there was something wrong with the sales process his salesperson was using or he would have learned that Pete had not been with the company for a while and the owner of the business did not know him. Also it was apparent the company was flourishing.
When we spoke with the salesperson in question we learned he had been going into the company’s facility through the loading platform door as he always did and was talking with Louis who said he was a manager. It turned out later that Louis was not a manager.
There are a number of steps that must be followed in surgery. When steps are left out the patient could die. In the sales process if there are steps missing or out of order the sale could die. To check out if you have Sales Process CLICK HERE:
I am coaching my son’s baseball team. At the first practice I had the boys at home plate and had them do the following exercise.
Exercise: #1 Boys pretend you have looked at four pitches that were all balls and I say, “Take your base, run to first.” Each boy ran to first base as if they had all day to do it.
Exercise: #2 The second part of the exercise was to run to first base when I said, “You have a base hit.” Each boy ran fast with greater enthusiasm.
When I got the eleven boys together and asked why they ran slowly on a walk and faster on a base hit, I was told, on the walk they know they had the base so they didn’t have to run fast. On a hit they had to run fast because they might get caught out.
I explained the importance of running fast on a walk so the boys could potentially steal second. Two boys spoke and said, “We already know that.” To which I replied, “You may know it but you did not execute a fast run on the walk.”
So here is the sales implication.
When I make recommendations to business professionals in a business meeting on how they could increase their market share and market penetration, increase their sales volume, or move from being a commodity to a value added provider, I often hear the same thing. “Oh, we know that and to which I reply yet you are not doing it.”
Business people often know what to do and when the occasion arises, they don’t do it. Knowing and executing are not the same.
Get Your Top Performer’s 10 Point Check List Now:
You Determine if You are Executing These on a Regular Basis.
- Allocating time to work at your business and not just in your business.
- Working on your marketing plan.
- Your processes and systems support growing your sales volume and profits.
- Prior to a business development or marketing meeting all attendees have an agenda in advance and are prepared to participate in the meeting.
- When starting a business development meeting you start on time, and stick to the agenda.
- When leaving a meeting, there are specific action plans assigned to team members with accomplishment due dates.
- You are making the most of the latest technology to support sales growth and performance.
- You have defined a well-defined sales and business development process.
- Prospect consistently.
- Qualify and disqualify.
I had the opportunity to review prospects Sales Pipeline. The comment the prospect made was:
“We are doing GREAT, I am happy with everyone’s sales performance and sales volume along with hitting their quotas and gaining market share”.
As I examined the quote log it was obvious that while the owner had strong feelings about the increased sales and the sales team hitting their monthly quota there were some staggering numbers that were alarming. Here is what I saw.
# of Quotes
While the sales staff hit their quotas, gained market share along with increased sales volume for the month they were really losing when they had an attitude of winning.
1- They closed 29% of what they quoted on.
2- With an average cost of $235.00 to produce a quote they lost $6580.00 on the lost quotes
3- The lost $6580.00 was wasted profit dollars.
4- With an average sale of $10,000.00 x 14 quotes won gave them $140,000.00 in sales.
5- With a 29% Gross profit their gross profit came to $40,600.00
6- With an average sale of $10,000.00 x 28 quotes lost gave them a loss of $280,000.00 and $81,200 of lost gross profit.
7- If they continue the current course of action they will close 1.74 additional pieces of business and capture an additional $17,400.00 and $5046 in additional gross profit.
8- At the end of the day they closed $140,000.00 in sales missed out on $280,000.00 and may win an additional 17,400.00
The question is while they hit their quota are they really winning? Enter your comments in the comment box below.
From the first day of school we were programmed to answer questions when asked. Our legal system dictates we tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Some sales people see the prospect as the authority figure and go into presentation or quoting mode too soon in the sales process. Other sales people wanting to be recognized as authority figures will make premature presentations or quotations and still don’t get the sale and wonder why.
How to get out of this mess?
We have been taught there are two types of questioning techniques.
A-Closed end questions which give us Yes or No answers.
B-Open ended questions give us a response in the form of information.
In a recent survey it was learned sales professionals using open ended questions were still asking far too many questions and not getting enough valuable information to qualify an opportunity.
Once these sales professionals learned how ask questions with a broader bandwidth they were able to gather more information in a shorter period of time. They were also able to qualify the situation in a shorter period of time.
Here are examples of open ended, closed ended and broader bandwidth questions.
1-Closed end question- Is this your only location? Closed end response. No
2-Open ended question- How many locations do you have? Open ended response. We have 3 locations. (A little better response than question 1)
A question with a broader bandwidth- What are you most proud of when you look at your company?
A broader bandwidth response-We are a third generation company. My grandfather started this company in his garage and we now have three locations servicing companies from New England to Florida. (Much better question and more information gathered than 1 & 2).
A question with a broader bandwidth- That is fantastic. Please go on.
Because of our locations we can distribute our products faster, lower our delivery cost and be more competitive in the market place, etc.
Here is the Secret to Better Qualifying. Ask broad band width questions and get more information in a shorter period of time.
If you would like to learn more about this concept you can reach me at 908-472-3848.
If you are quoting a project you may have a distinct disadvantage—and it is not your price. I want to show you a surefire method of outpacing your competition prior to quoting and increase your potential get the sales you deserve.
With all due respect to you as a business professional, you live and work in a work bubble. Your bubble has some shortcomings you may not be aware of at this very moment. As you attempt to look outside of your world or work bubble you are influenced by everything you have done in the past and how you think today.
On the other hand I live outside of your bubble, outside of your world. I can see you in your world and also the world around you. If you want to discover how to quote less and close more business…read more.
Here is a theoretical situation. You want to close business make more sales and are quoting for a piece of work along with a couple of other competitive companies. One of your sales competitors is scoring high marks because it has:
- Quoted to your prospect in the past and won the business by being the low bidder. ( 25 points )
- Performed work for the customer and fulfilled or exceeded customer expectations. ( 25 points )
- Developed relationships with decision makers and influencers at multiple levels. ( 25 points)
- Positioned itself to be an advisor. ( 25 points )
If you have ever quoted, had the lowest price and still lost the business you now know why. You were outpointed. Even if you had the lowest price you were at a distinct disadvantage. On the other hand, if you had the point advantage, your competitor would be in a similar position as you.
The business strategy is to start building points and tipping the scale in your favor without dropping your price to get the business. The least expensive and most effective way to improve your position is by building points annd tiping the scales in your favor.
I have identified a number strategies to be effective at building points prior to quoting on a piece of business which I have outined in my report,“Quoting, How to Tip the Points in Your Favor” ,
To receive your free report click here:
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