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Sales Tracking: The Ramification of not holding Sales Reps Accountable

Sales Tracking

Sales Tracking: The Ramification of not holding Sales Reps Accountable

As a Business Owner you are held accountable everyday for everything. rent, leases, advertising, salaries, whether sales come in or not! How quickly would a sales person fire you if your were consistently inaccurate with their pay? 

We find that one of the most difficult tasks for us as Sales Management Trainers is to actually get Business Owners to stop and step outside the box in order to identify and uncover the root cause of their sales problems. Symptoms are easily identified and are typically what most Business Owners and Sales Managers spend most of their time on. However, unless the root cause of the symptoms is discovered—what you see, is what you get. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

The Traditional Approach to Sales Obstacles: Traditional Sales Training Organizations—those selling you technique based books, tapes, CDs and Seminar seats—focus solely on the symptoms. These symptoms include the failure to close, ineffectively prospecting, the inability to differentiate your company, failure to hold margins, and so on. For those of you who have bought the books, tapes or CDs, or have attended sales seminars, motivational programs and even boot camps, known as Impact Training in the past, you may agree with the following.

If you utilize hindsight and analyze the sales obstacles that existed in the past, the sales obstacles that you tried to overcome by purchasing those products or attending those events, and you add an ounce of honesty into this equation, you may agree with the following: Those sales obstacles that lead you to attend programs in the past, are exactly the same obstacles that have you frustrated in the here and now! Training towards symptoms simply does not work. The behaviors, mindsets and routines sales people establish over years of doing what they do will not change through reading a book or attending a one-day seminar. They read the book, listen to the CD or attend the seminar; they subsequently experience a temporary motivational boost, which in turn is followed by falling back into their old unproductive routines and mindsets. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

The Root Cause: Our belief is that unless someone in the sales performance arena actually gets around to digging down deep, in order to uncover the root cause of the symptoms, the very obstacles that impede your organization’s ability to get from where you are, to where you know you deserve to be, then sales seminars, books and tapes will continue to be a waste of your time and energy. For example, if a Doctor decided to operate on you without first determining the root cause of your symptoms, would you hire him or her? Once we actually assist the Business Owners in identifying the root cause of their sales problems, and even bigger problem rises to the surface. And this problem has a side effect. This side effect is the biggest problem in the world of sales. The Problem and the Side Effect The problem is that decision makers, when faced with the most uncomfortable decisions, don’t make decisions at all, instead they procrastinate.

First, let’s examine the word uncomfortable, or discomfort. We as human beings all work and live in a comfort zone. A comfort zone essentially is what we are comfortable doing. As such, we often neglect to do the things we are uncomfortable doing. Let’s look at this in context of the world of selling. Sales people also work and live in a comfort zone. They also neglect to perform those tasks that are uncomfortable for them. Some do not challenge objections, some do not call at the top, and some don’t call at all! Sales people discard vital components of sales success. Ok, so now you think you’ve got it right. You are telling yourself that you now are going to go back and hold your people accountable to higher levels of sales productivity, right. Wrong! Sales productivity is down because sales behavior is down! Now your job is to hold your sales people to sales behavior they are naturally uncomfortable doing, uncomfortable for them, uncomfortable for you, hope is at your front door and procrastination is slamming at your back door, you find yourself 18 months down the road no further along than when you identified the problem to begin with! Now, the Side Effect When you fail to hold sales people accountable to the behavior required to reach sales goals, sales people in turn fail to hold the prospect accountable! Let us first define prospect. In the profession of traditional selling, sales people spend their careers trying to get to the decision makers, right? Not exactly!

Although sales candidates’ resumes attempt to reflect that they are most effective at closing deals, obtaining appointments, getting to the decision makers, or holding margins, they are in fact actually most effective at what we refer to as the Effective Conversion. They effectively convert decision makers, into procrastinators! They fail to hold decision makers accountable to making a decision. Unfortunately, decision-makers when in the presence of sales people, defer making decisions. Sales people accept excuses, objections and reasons for this deferment because they are not held accountable. After all, you the decision maker are held accountable everyday to those you pay rent to, automobile leasing companies, telephone, marketing and advertising expense. Once in your career try the following. Tell your landlord that you had a bad month. You’ll have to make it up to them in the future. You’re good for it. You’ll try harder! See if they accept your excuse.

Call Peak Performance today to discuss how to get back on track…and stay on track. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

 

 

Price Objection | How they Negatively Impact a Business

Price Objection

Price Objection | How they Negatively Impact a Business

As much as 80% of objections that salespeople encounter are price related and most often they are self-created. Although situations may vary, all price objections have the same cause: your prospect's perception of you and your product are low, or the salesperson's perception of themselves or what they are offering is low. Sales is unique in that it is really the only occupation that spends most of its time focused on getting in to see the "decision-maker". The decision-maker is the one who has the least amount of time! Once they make that ultimate contact sales people begin to pitch, present and demonstrate their features and benefits, in other words they provide the customer with a lot of intellect.

Unfortunately, this method of presentation often turns Decision-makers into Procrastinators. Upon converting the Decision-Maker into a Procrastinator the sales person now doubles up on intellect with a proposal: more to "think about"! The chase is on. How much time and money do you invest simply allowing your sales people to chase people that they never really sold on value to begin with?

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Question: What motivates you to buy something? Do you buy for YOUR reasons, or some sales person's reasons? Your reasons of course! However traditional sales people force feed their own reasons and do not focus on uncovering what the prospect is trying to overcome, improve or eliminate by buying sooner, rather than later. Prospects really do not want to think about anything, they actually want time to "compare". Compare your features and benefits with that of their current vendor or other competitors trying to get in on that business. Quite often in the eyes of the prospect your features and benefits are not much different from their current vendor or others competing in your field. Hence price becomes a front end and back end obstacle as they focus on YOUR reasons (features and benefits), not their problems and negative effects that are already costing them time and money by not using your product or service. So, What's the Problem? There are several to consider! Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Problem # 1 How you buy, IS how you sell. Therefore should a sales person, when in a buying situation always get the best price, how effective are they Monday morning when someone comes in focused strictly on price? Not very. The reason is that subconsciously they are thinking, "Hey, I can relate to that"!

Problem # 2 Some sales people have what we call a money weakness. In other words a sales person making $50,000 per year selling software that is $200,000 may in their own mind believe that their product actually is expensive and fail to properly utilize techniques and strategies they know, but cannot use because how they feel overrides what they know should be done. Problem # 3 The following is the most common problem found in "Traditional Sales people". They fail to focus on what they are actually overcoming for their prospect. Their focus is on me, myself and I. My features, my benefits and how much better we are than they are. Rather than focusing on what you are selling you must focus on what you are improving, reducing or eliminating. What has this need, want, pain, fear or problem been causing the prospect? What has it been costing the prospect? Most importantly what will it cost them should they decide to "back burner" this problem? Overcoming the price objection increases profit, increases sales and clearly differentiates your company from all others by focusing on what is really important, the prospect's reasons, NOT your own.

Click Here to Take our Complimentary CEO/Sales Management Diagnostic | Immediately determine gaps in your Sales/Sales Management effectiveness. 

 

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Customer Empathy | The Financial Impact In Sales

Customer Empathy

Customer Empathy | The Financial Impact In Sales

In the traditional sales world, price is both a back and front end obstacle. When you are selling in a stagnant economy, this obstacle results in margin decay, impacting the company and the sales person.

When a prospect tells you that they do not have time or money, what they are really saying is that you have not conveyed enough value in their mind to give you their time or money! How well do you handle this objection? Do you handle it at all? Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

 

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Take Actionable Steps | Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Why is your prospect going to pay for something, that they don’t believe is worth anything? In other words if the problem has been something they have been managing for some time, WHY would they invest to resolve it now? The answer to this question opens the door to selling on value and differentiating your services from that of your competition. A perfect example of selling on value is the typical infomercial. Does any infomercial start with a rundown of the product’s features and benefits or how great the company who made the product is? No, they open with outlining the problem and the negative ramifications associated with the problem before any mention of the product they’re selling. Right about now, some of you may be saying to yourselves: “But in my industry they just want the darn price! Why go through this process? It may upset them or make them feel uncomfortable!” If you are saying this to yourself, it is YOU who is uncomfortable, not the prospect. This is known as Customer Empathy!

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Why objections are not challenged: Customer Empathy is one reason that sales people don’t challenge objections. However, another more compelling reason for the failure to challenge prospects is that buying habits strongly influence selling habits. For example, if you are uncomfortable with people asking you about your financial situation, you will probably shy away from pre-qualifying a prospect’s budget prior to scheduling a meeting.

Case Study: Recently a business owner contacted Peak Performance because of two common barriers: Long selling cycles and the inability to clearly differentiate their product/service from competition. Our first question to the business owner was why these conditions existed? The business owner did not have an answer. However, after we spent some time with this organization’s sales manager, it became where the root cause of these symptoms lied: The sales manager talked about recently buying a new car—he was very excited to tell us what a great deal he got, a deal he attributed to the seven months he spent looking (for the same type of car) and working 19 dealerships to get the best deal. Do you think this sales manager: - really thought about it, - really did his homework and collected a lot of information, - did a lot of comparing? The more important question here is how effective do you believe this sales manager will be when he is involved with a potential buyer who wants to think about it or a buyer who is just in the information gathering phase? More importantly, how effective was he at giving advice to his sales team in dealing with long selling cycles? Do you see how one person’s weakness can create a snowball effect with the rest of a sales organization? Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

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Sales Barriers | How Business Owners Compound their Sales Obstacles

Sales Barriers

Sales Barriers

How Business Owners Compound their Sales Obstacles

Presidents, Business Owners and CEO’s all have, for the most part, good intent. In fact we all do what we do because we believe that it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately it is not always the most effective thing to do. Sales ineffectiveness and pipeline bottlenecks ultimately create a situation where companies work harder and longer yet fail to gain real traction. This in turn results with the organization being stuck atop a sales plateau. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

As opposed to dealing with the real root cause of sales barriers which in turn leads to bloated pipelines, which leads to a complacency in the mind of the sales team, business owners instead begin a process which is a series of common mistakes. This process is not relied on because management intends to set out to sabotage the company. We will first outline the process, and then we will detail the mistakes.

 

Get your Free CEO Growth Barrier Information Kit | Click Here
Identify and Remove the Top Sales Obstacles that Impact Growth with CEO Sales Tools
Take Actionable Steps | Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

This process is relied on because many at the top fall prey to several issues.

1) Business Owners become conditioned to the excuses, lies and reasons for deferring change by the sales team. They come to believe that 50%, 60% or 70& efficiency is the best they can achieve. In other words the Business Owner accepts 50%,       60 or 70% effort, yet they are held accountable to 100% of the salaries, commissions, bonus, benefits, advertising and marketing and other expenses necessary to maintain the sales team.

2) Business Owners fail to change their sales team’s minds, resulting in failure to change their routine.

3) Business Owners do not realize that in order to get someone to “think” differently, they first must get them to “feel” differently.

4) Business Owners want and desire change, yet fail to uncover their sales team’s “incentive” to change.

Business Owners, regardless of their past selling experience, if any, do not know the answer to the most important question: WHY?

 Why do sales people go from wanting to move mountains to hoping to meet quota?
 Why are sales people not as effective or proactive at prospecting to open new opportunities?
 Why don’t sales people consistently and diplomatically confront objections?
 Why do sales people consistently fail to clearly differentiate your unique products and services?
 Why do sales people rely on price slashing, resulting in margin decay?

The answer to these vitally important questions uncovers the actual root cause of sales failure.

Mistake # 1 Business Owners impact their margins by adding to their sales team, opposed to solidifying their existing team currently producing at 50%, 60% or 70% of their potential. Relying on past hiring criteria in order to increase the number of feet on the street also does little more than compound the problem.

Mistake # 2 As opposed to dealing with the actual problem: poor qualifying and closing skills, poor follow up on leads previously developed, Business Owners again negatively impact their margins by investing into more advertising and marketing campaigns. They simple want to spend more, to get more leads, to have more opportunity to close LESS! Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Mistake # 3 Business Owners rely on optimism inherent in most sales people or their gut feel regarding a sales candidate as opposed to system and structure.

The goal is not to rely on hope that new rainmakers will simply appear, again at a significant cost to the company, but to close the gap of inefficiency found in the less-than productive sales team. As opposed to putting their financial future into the hands of a system, they put their financial futures into the hands of sales people who have consistently proven that their own personal routine is flawed. Presidents and Business Owners, do you want to give your sales people the tools to realize untapped potential and increase your bottom line? 

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Business Owners | Request your Free Consultation

 

Confronting Sales Problems and Ineffectiveness

Confronting Sales Problems

Confronting Sales Problems and Ineffectiveness

You are going to have to do it sooner or later—What is the cost of doing it later? Business Owners, Presidents and CEO's: You invest more money into hiring and training more reps, invest in additional advertising and marketing, conduct more sales meetings— Are you achieving more productivity? Regardless of how many rounds of golf your sales people play with prospects, or how many sale meetings or attempts you make to motivate your team, sales are simply not good. Now what?

Many Business Owners adversely impact their margins by dipping into the corporate pocketbook to implement a new bonus plan. At best this may elevate performance temporarily, only to have sales people fall back into their regular non-productive routine. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Some CEO's fall prey to the complaints and bad attitudes of sales people who say they have no leads, or no one to call. Opposed to dealing with the actual problem, poor closing skills, they again adversely impact their margins by investing into more advertising and marketing campaigns. They simple want you to spend more money for them to get more leads, to have more opportunity to close LESS business! Business Owners:

Get your Free CEO Growth Barrier Information Kit | Click Here
Identify and Remove the Top Sales Obstacles that Impact Growth with CEO Sales Tools
Take Actionable Steps | Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

The Negative Impact of failure to change Sales in the late nineties were very predictable and just seemed to come to you. Sales today are anything but predictable and most sales people fail to go out and make it happen. Relying on a few rainmakers to attain sustainable growth these days just does not work. These rainmakers merely allow you to remain above water. Relying on past lackluster hiring criteria in order to increase the number of feet on the street also does little more than compound your sales problem. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Today the most successful sales organizations are run by managers (Presidents, CEO’s, Business Owners or Sales Directors) who focus on elevating sales person performance. This is opposed to a “wing it” mentality of hiring more sales people who will ultimately acclimate and fall into the same level of lackluster performance as the rest of your sales team Transform "The System" into "Your System" What these leaders have in common is a more systematic approach. The key word here is system. Opposed to relying on the optimism inherent in most sales people or your gut instinct regarding a sales candidate, these successful leaders rely on a sales system and structure. The goal is not to rely on hope that new rainmakers will simply appear, again at a significant cost to the company, but to close the gap of inefficiency found in the less than productive sales person.

Opposed to putting your financial future into the hands of your sales people, you now put your sales people into the hands of your system! The first step towards confronting sales ineffectiveness is to determine the actual time your sales team spends selling. This does not include time spent chasing, or dealing with existing customer issues, or writing needless unqualified proposals. This is simply the end result of not having in place a uniform system of selling. Reorganization or reallocation of time will not be effective without a system to rely on and fall back on. Otherwise inevitably your sales people fall back into their counter-productive habits and routines. Business Owners Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

Click Here to Call 866-816-0991 to discuss how system and structure in your sales approach can profit you with control and growth

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Bad Sales Management | The Common Mistakes

Bad Sales Management

Bad Sales Management | The Common Mistakes

During the late nineties we experienced economic growth at rates unmatched since the roaring twenties. However the tremendous demand of the late nineties was not business as usual and it is highly unlikely that we will re-experience these same conditions anytime soon. Therefore, the sales production most companies experienced during the late nineties may have been more a condition of this economic explosion, rather than stellar sales ability or overwhelming demand. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

There is no doubt that we are now in a contracting economy. However, how we handle this contraction may end up a question of corporate survival! Common but often ineffective approaches to remedy low sales production: You accept the excuse that the poor sales performance is a result of the poor economy, and decide to wait out the storm rather than implementing strategies to increase sales.

Get your Free CEO Growth Barrier Information Kit | Click Here
Identify and Remove the Top Sales Obstacles that Impact Growth with CEO Sales Tools
Take Actionable Steps | Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Although a victim of expensive turnover, you continue to hire using the same criteria believing that your sales superstar is just around the corner! You increase the amount of money spent on marketing and advertising so your sales levels don't continue to decrease. You implement attractive bonus incentive plans to encourage your sales team to meet quotas. And the most Dangerous Approach is... You back off your sales team so as not to rock the boat.

What are the results of these common approaches taken? The additional advertising dollars spent do nothing for closing ratios but do decrease your operating margins and increase your phone bills. Bonus incentive plans created to motivate sales people merely to do their job further decrease margins Each sales person is doing his or her own thing and results from one to another vary greatly. The time, energy and money dedicated to locating the next sales star result in high expectation levels for you but low productivity levels and disappointment for your company. How these results impact the business owner or sales director: On one extreme you are working harder and longer hours for less profit. If you are on the other extreme you are going to work merely to keep other people in a job. Most business owners learn from their own mistakes- costing time, a lot of money, and sometimes the long- term viability of the company! Maybe it's time to focus on the real root of the problem. CEO's and Business Owners Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

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