You just started a new sales person after your last sales person walked out the door only after 6 months. You ordered new business cards, set up an email address, put together some sales figures, printed a customer list, and gave them a stack of brochures. They should be set to go, right? This is the most common scenario for any company that has a high turnover in their sales teams. In fact, it was the way I was on-boarded as several companies earlier in my career.
Most companies do not have the proper systems and processes in place for on-boarding new sales people and without them, the sales person is set up for failure from the beginning. What does it take to set the new sales person up for success? I call it the 4-P’s and it is everything that should be given to a new sales person to hit the streets faster and produce an ROI for your company.
Position: How thorough is the job description? Have all of the expectations been communicated? Are their support people in place? Have goals been set? Does the sales person understand what their role is in the achievement of those goals? Without a clear understanding of the sales position, the opportunity for misunderstanding of role and expectations can lead to frustration and lack of results.
Products: Has the new sales person been trained on your product or service and fully understand the value it can deliver to your customers? Do they know the pricing? Do they know your entire portfolio? Do you have technical expertise that can support the sales person? Are your marketing materials current? The failure to properly train and even cross train your new sales person will destroy your credibility with customers.
People: Who are the people that you want to deliver your product and service to? Do you know what an ideal customer looks like? Do your marketing materials speak to your target market? Do you know your competition? Do you know your differentiators? Do you know how your customers buy? The failure to understand your market will not develop a clear marketing and selling plan to follow.
Processes: What metrics do you have in place to measure success? Is your CRM in place and the use of it mandated? Can you document your customer buying process and what roles are responsible for the various stages and touch points? Do you have support people for order entry, shipping, billing, and servicing so your sales person can stay in front of customers and new opportunities? The failure to have proper support in place for customers will make your sales person get involved with non-selling activities and you will only get 20% of the selling effort you need.
To get a faster ROI out of your sales person, you need to take away any potential for misunderstanding, not knowing expectations, ruining you credibility, and not being able to measure success. For help developing your 4-P’s, please contact us at SalesTechnik
Many organizations are unable to grow fast enough because their sales teams spend too much time with opportunities that are wrong for your business.
Have you ever:
- Thought your weekly sales funnel reviews are the same week after week with no progress?
- Been tired of hearing phrases such as “They asked me to stay in touch” or “They are still deciding”?
- Believed your sales efforts are focusing on prospects that you do not want to do business with?
The simple fact is that sales people hate saying “no” because they believe they can every opportunity they find and hence every opportunity they find becomes a prospect of some sort. This leads to waste of time and efforts on opportunities that will never close, your opportunity funnel becomes clogged with bad prospects, and your business does not grow. I guarantee these opportunities were never a good opportunities to begin with because you have not identified the characteristics of your good clients and what a good opportunity looks like to your organization for the sales team to call on.
What was done by the salesperson to identify the opportunity as ideal? What questions were asked to qualify the opportunity? Can your organization even identify what an ideal client is and what an ideal opportunity looks like to help your sales team target better opportunities?
If a company is able to define what an ideal client looks like, then the marketing and sales efforts are able to work more efficiently because selling time is only spent on qualified opportunities that match the characteristics of your ideal clients. Additionally, your operations should perform better because you are only doing business with ideal clients that you are meant to be serving.
Should your ideal clients be of a certain size? Should they have certain annual revenue? Should they be able to purchase one or more of your products or services? Should they have a certain structure? Should they have a certain credit rating? Should they be able to lead you to more business?
By identifying your ideal client characteristics, you will be able to identify what an ideal opportunity looks like and hence your sales team will be able to identify where their time should be spent and become more efficient with closing more ideal clients to grow your business faster.
It has become quite apparent lately that employees in non-traditional selling roles are being asked to help create more opportunities for their organizations. Attorneys, specialized consultants, sales support personnel, engineers, bankers, and traditional account managers, executive directors, and even board members are all attending meetings and being given new “selling” tasks…usually with a reply like “If I wanted to be in sales, I would have applied for it!”
Downsizing, budgets cuts, shrinking margins, shrinking markets, and changes in client buying behavior, and increased costs are finally leading organizations to realize that they have to pick up the phone, they have to go knock on doors, and they have to go out and build relationships in the community…..and guess what, there is no budget to hire someone specifically for “sales”.
Sales is not a dirty word
The stereotypical image of a used-car salesman is that he is a pushy, arrogant, egotistical deal maker, and a bad dresser, to boot. Good sales experts are just the opposite of this clumsy, thoughtless, ugly stereotype. Think of a time when you left a selling interaction and thought to yourself, “That was a really good salesperson.” The positive attributes are universal:
• They listened
• Asked good questions
• Cared about me
• Gave me options to think about
• Was interested and genuine
Are these not the traits that we would all like to have and be known for?
Selling is not winning a deal at any cost, it’s being realistic
Selling is about doing what is best for the customer. It is always about creating measurable business results for the client. If you can’t help your clients with their business, you shouldn’t be doing business with them. Be willing to walk away from situations that aren’t right, and when you may not be the right fit for the client be willing to offer a referral to someone who has the expertise you don’t.
Sales success is about building and leveraging your relationships
You know lots of people from many different areas of your life. Consider your community groups, hobbies, volunteer organizations, sports, service providers, family, neighbors, and friends. The list goes on and on. Companies are asking you to leverage these relationships by finding out who these people know, what their network is, and who they might know that would be interested in what your company does.
You’re not asking your contacts to do business with you. You want to know whom they know and how and when they can refer you to opportunities in the market place. People are actually very delighted to help when they are asked.
Do not look at it as “selling”, look at it as creating opportunities
Several clients tell me they don’t “sell”, and we can’t use the word “sales” in our discussions. I agree! Look at it as creating opportunities for the organization that were not there before and you are accomplishing that by simply talking to people you know about what you do. Good salespeople are authentic and genuine and when you are sincere, care about your clients, and ask your contacts who they know, you are helping your organization grow.
Are you willing to help your organization grow?
What you do today has an affect on your future income. Whether you’re a sales manager developing a plan for your salespeople or a salesperson developing your own sales plan, you need to develop a daily and weekly plan that is based on pre-determined activities levels reverse engineered from your goal in order to be successful. It is the only way to stay focused on growth and stay self-motivated to actively pursue success, rather than waiting for it to come your way.
How do you develop the plan?
1. Set your annual sales goal that is needed for you to make your targeted income level.
How much do you want to make this year? How much revenue do you need to close in order to justify your salary and company overhead expenses associated with your position? If you don’t know your goal, how do you know what success looks like?
2. Define your ideal client and what their average value is to you.
Do not take every piece of business you find. What type of clients do you want? What is their average worth to the organization? If you do not have business intelligence to use, your need to determine an average worth of your client base to set a baseline for the next steps.
3. Divide the sales goal by the average client value to determine how many clients you need.
If your goal is to make $100,000 this year and the average client is worth $5000 to your organization and you make 10% commission, you need to find 200 clients…..Pretty simple! Know how much business you need to close in order to meet the goal.
4. Know your closing ratio.
If your closing ration is 50% and you know you need 200 clients, then you need to propose to 400 targets to meet your goal. Again, pretty simple!
5. Know how many targets you need make proposals for.
You can’t do business with everyone. If you do, I guarantee that you will lose money. 20% of the typical customer base in any company costs more money to the company than they bring in revenue. If you make sure you are talking to “qualified” targets based on your ideal client profile, you will know how many qualified targets you need to propose to.
6. Know how many prospects you need to qualify as targets.
How many prospects do you talk to or meet with that do NOT meet your ideal client profile? At first, the prospects may seem like they can do business with you but when you are done talking or meeting with them, it is not a good fit for the organization. It’s not your fault! They looked like a target and do NOT feel remorse by disqualifying them to stay focused on better targets.
7. Know how many leads you need in the top of the funnel to qualify as prospects.
The phone book is not a lead list! Although you may think everything with an address is a prospect, you need to be smart about where you spend your time and energy to develop business. Much like the conversion of prospects to targets, the smarter you are about the leads that you generate, the more successful you will be at moving leads to clients.
8. Develop your “lead-o-sphere” to fill your funnel.
Much like the universe started in chaos and eventually developed into form, you need to form leads from the chaos in the market place. What are your lead sources? Who have you partnered with to be a complimentary provider? What networking groups have you joined to increase your contact base? What service organizations do you belong to? What boards are you on? What social events do you attend? Where do you go hang out? Who is in your LinkedIn network? Who are your centers of influence? Who do you need to meet to put you in a position to talk to your next lead?
You can download the “Get There” Calculator on the Technik Resources page to help you determine what your funnel volume and funnel velocity needs to be to guarantee your success.