Can we all agree that it takes an incredible amount of time and focus executing on a daily routine that is critical to success in a sales or sales management role? Below are just a few of the items that are an integral part of the formula for achieving and exceeding quota:
However, there are other equally important factors that impact results and need to be a disciplined part of every sales office, sales coaching session and continuous learning opportunity. Do you and/or your teams make the time for these skill-building areas?
Too often we hear sales managers and salespeople say “We just don’t have time for that”. What are these areas to which we are referring?
Are you and your teams “in the habit” of completing some type of call planning document for EVERY sales visit with a potential or current client? Too often, we hear teams bemoan the fact that it simply takes too much time to plan for sales calls. At Butler Street, we would argue this might be the most important thing for which you should make time.
Have you appropriately researched the client and the person(s) with whom you will meet? Have you established a primary outcome you want to achieve for the call and framed your questions to ensure success? What objections might arise on this sales call that will require a thoughtful approach to advance the sales process?
The amount of time you save in the long run by appropriately planning for your customer’s time will pay for itself in multiples with shortened sales cycles and more profitable wins.
Are you and your teams “in the habit” of assessing each opportunity subsequent to your client visit and debriefing on what we now know, and more importantly, what we don’t know? Has the client specifically communicated why they must make a change? Without a driving force, many clients will simply choose to stay with the “status quo”.
How can we truly create value for a client without understanding the current reality and what is either not driving optimized performance and/or creating a negative consequence? Do we understand how the customer is going to make a decision, and what is most important? We can tell you from research that it’s NOT about price…it’s about value. Are we aligned with the appropriate decision makers and influencers to ensure we become the only choice when the decision is being evaluated by the client?
These are questions we should be asking ourselves after EVERY client visit. The time you spend debriefing, and challenging yourself to be constructively critical of every opportunity, will certainly be recaptured with your ability to drive the decision process and differentiate yourself from your competition.
Are you consistently role practicing with your teams? How often and consistently are you working to improve skills around:
• Active listening
• Effective questioning
• Handling objections
• Closing the deal
If you think about the most successful sports organizations, the players and coaches alike will tell you how much harder the practices are than the actual games. This is to ensure the team is as prepared as possible for any situation that arises and has practiced for success in handling it.
Our best clients establish a weekly 15-minute role practice session (either live or virtual depending on your environment) and practice various scenarios that are typical of client interactions. You can use this for any of the above skills to appropriately develop best practices that are consistently delivered.
If you are not making time for the above, then you aren’t making time to drive superior performance. If you believe these are, or should be, a deliberate part of your team’s day to day “system”, let’s talk. Butler Street has developed best practice processes, tools and training to hardwire your team for success and we make time every day to ensure we are helping companies and their people grow.