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Biggest Mistakes Sales Managers Make that lead to Sales Plateau

Biggest Mistakes Sales Managers Make

The Biggest Sales Mistakes Sales Managers Make

The Major Sales Management mistakes that lead to sales plateau. Most sales organizations enter into a new year optimistic about their future sales results. The traditional approach is to begin each year with a bang that includes sales meetings, new company and individual goals, incentive plans, advertising campaigns and of course hiring new talent. By the end of March we begin to see that goals have not been met, advertising dollars have not translated into expected sales volume and that talent, well, often they compound the problem! One must understand that this process typically is relied year after year by sales organizations and the problems that seem common and constant are a direct result of this process. Let’s examine the process to uncover where the mistakes are made.

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Problem # 1 Business Owners often begin each year by scheduling sales meetings to motivate their team moving into the New Year. These meetings consist of laying out management’s plan that more often than not is not a plan at all. It is really across the board increases in sales goals or quotas requiring sales people to step up their game. This plan however is often presented without a MAP, a Measurable Assistance Plan. A Measurable Assistance Plan is analogous to a map used when traveling cross country. For example, if last year we traveled from Boston to Los Angeles, we did so taking a particular course and in certain weather conditions. However, this year we need to be more efficient as we need to shorten the time it takes to get from one city to another. What course of action or direction should we take? How will the weather differ from our experience last year? What do we need to do on a day to day basis that will allow us to make up the desired difference? Without a MAP (Measurable Assistance Plan) we often get the opposite of what we hope for. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Opposed to motivating the team, we de-motivate the group because without a specific plan and agreed to course of action they simply see these new quotas as additional time and energy on their behalf. Establishing new quotas without a real course of action and agreed to plan is simply a recipe for disaster. The optimism and excited expressed in January begins to fade quickly and is replaced by excuses and complacency. In other words this same sales team goes from wanting to move mountains……….. to hoping to meet quota!  CEO's and Business Owners Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

Problem # 2 Business Owners, Presidents and Sales Managers often succumb to the complaints of the sales team. They accept the excuse that they have no leads, or no one to call. You see opposed to dealing directly with the root cause of the problem (they are not closing the leads that they have now) they actually compound the problem. What management often decides to do is to reduce their margins by investing more into advertising, to get more leads in order to continue to close less business! This mistake erodes the corporate bottom line. The focus must be on the fact that they are not closing the leads they have now!

Problem # 3 Business Owners, Presidents and Sales Managers once again dramatically reduce their margins by making mistake number three which often become their biggest anchor impeding their ability to gain the traction necessary to get to the next level. Opposed to solidifying their core sales team by training them, changing them and providing them with the necessary tools to become more effective, they decide to compound the problem by hiring more superstars.

Often when speaking with Presidents, Business Owners and Sales Directors we here at Peak Performance hear a common theme. When asked about the overall effectiveness of their sales team with regards to generating new business they typically respond in the following way. “Well, I guess if I were to rate my team for developing new business on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most effective, I would say they are not bad, they are about a 6.” Let’s look at this situation for a moment. Sixty percent effective! Are you paying out 60% of their salary, 60% of the auto expense, 60% of the advertising and marketing dollars, 60% of their benefits? You are investing 100% of your time, energy and capital into a stock that is only delivering a 60% return on investment! Opposed to implementing real sales structure for this stellar group of 60 per-centers management again decides to erode their margins by compounding the problem. What most sales organizations do is that they rely on the same hiring criteria used to hire there current group of 60 per-centers, in order to locate their next sales superstar! Their mentality is that if they locate a real star, then this person is going to stiffen the spine of the existing team and get their attention.

Remember something; you thought the current group of 60 per-centers were superstars when you hired them as well, right? What happened to them? What went wrong? You see, as human beings we acclimate. If for example you have an under performer playing on a poorly rated NBA team, who is traded to a top performing team, watch him acclimate upwards. On the other hand often top performers when traded to poorly performing teams acclimate downward. This is analogous to investing into a top race horse with a great record. However the race track this horse is expected to run on has holes throughout the course. Might this horse slow down? Might this horse eventually get hurt? Might this horse not perform at the levels you hoped for? Improving the condition of your track increases the effectiveness of your current team and provides a solid foundation for new recruits. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

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Quantifying Real Loss Overcomes Price Objections

Quantifying Real Loss

Quantifying Real Loss Overcomes Price Objections 

In today’s economy it is not enough for a sales professional to simply resort to asking "You have a problem and it's costing you time and money, right?" In your mind, as a Real Trusted Adviser you must ask yourself, followed by asking the prospect "We need to determine to what extent these issues are really impacting you/your company. What is it causing? What is it costing? What will it cost you should you make a conscious decision to “back burner” the problems?" If the negative ramifications caused by the need, want, pain, fear or problem are something that can simply be managed moving forward, why would your prospect invest into a solution? In particular when they do not have a real clear vision as to what impact the problem has had and is currently (and potentially will have on the future) costing.

When a sales person presses forward to uncover the real cost of the problem(s) and the prospect balks, is this is a problem? Not unless the sales person does the same thing! Vagueness is a red flag. When you hesitate to uncover a real cost associated with the problems, that were the very reason why the prospect meets with you, you can generally bank on the fact that money will become an issue, in particular for those of you selling a product or service that is higher in price that that of your competition. Are your margins suffering based on the inability to sell on value and hold your price? Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

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

Stop getting in your own way! It is your job to assist your prospects in identifying and uncovering the real cost of not acting. Remember why they (your prospect) meet with you does not always translate into why they buy from you. When you look at 100% of the prospects that meet with you, they basically are in one of two camps. Those that buy from you and those that don’t! What is the difference between these two types of prospects? Two things; You are one of them as you obviously are different from the competition. We either connect with prospects, or disconnect. We have all left a meeting with a prospect for the first time only to ask ourselves a question, “What planet was that come from?” Remember one thing, they may be asking the same question about you! The other is the real emotional attachment and extent of the problem. How badly do they need or want your service or product? The pain, fear or problem, what is it causing? What is it costing? This is your job! Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Business Owners Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

Prior to pitching or presenting anything, you must first allow your prospect to fully and completely understand the extent of the problem and the real impact it is having, and will have if not addressed! What will it cost you moving forward should you, Mr. /Ms. Decision Maker decide to make a conscious decision to place this problem on the back burner? The real question is; “What will it cost you Mr./Ms. Salesperson should you decide against pressing forward when faced with this common sales obstacle? “ To re gain the profit lost based on difficulty in differentiating your product and holding value Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

 

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Sales and the CEO

Sales and the CEO

Sales and the CEO

The Cost of the “Disconnect” between CEO's & Sales

Why it is Crucial that the CEO play an integral role in Sales?

 

The most important reason is answered in question form. Who has the most to gain and the most to lose from a sales team’s business development activities? Many Presidents, CEO’s and Business Owners make a crucial mistake in actually putting the financial future of their company in the hands of their sales team! We are not implying that you should not do everything possible to create a sales team that is self reliant and responsible for their own territories and sales quotas. However, when there is a break or disconnect between the leader and sales team, this is where a long-term pervasive problem begins. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

The Problems associated with the Sales Black Box. The black box view of sales is an attitude often found in Presidents, CEO’s or Business Owners who do not have a background in or an intimate knowledge of the problems inherent in sales. They set organizational goals that are dependent on revenue numbers and so present sales goals to the black box of the sales department and anxiously await the outcome without managing the intricacies of reaching the goal—namely they fail to oversee the microcosm of day to day activities that are required to meet the goal. This laissez faire mentality often results in a disappointed and frustrated CEO. In order to realize revenue goals sales management needs to arm itself with an array of skills—a skill-set that allows them to effectively manage what occurs between the one extreme of goal setting and the other extreme of goal realization. In other words, they must learn to identify, anticipate, and then effectively deal with those common sales constraints that frustrate organizational efforts in reaching their revenue goals.

CEO's Identify your Most Costly Sales Management Deficiencies | Click Here for our CEO Growth Barrier Diagnostic

The Negative Effect: Failure to identify, anticipate and correct the most frequently occurring sales issues and obstacles results in organizations scaling back their revenue goals.

Have you ever wondered why it is that:

 Sales people fail to diplomatically confront common objections?
 Sales People are simply not proactive or are ineffective at prospecting?
 Sales People look at your product as a commodity and rely on price slashing to secure the deal?

Your sales organization must follow a strategy or MAP (Measurable Assistance Plan) developed by the company - and you, the CEO, must lead this critical process. Goal or quotas without a MAP are rarely met or exceeded. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

After the exuberant 90’s when sales people did very little selling, yet did a great job of taking orders, we had to adapt to an increasingly complex world that requires real selling skill. Your sales people are the most critical component of your business. The sales engine, when not running properly, impacts every other area of your business. In order to effectively drive the business, the CEO, need not understand every aspect of that engine, but he or she must understand the basic maintenance to keep the engine running smoothly and most important of all, the CEO must realize when the engine is not running properly and where to go to repair it. Automakers are considerate enough to put warning lights on our dashboards, unfortunately warning lights don’t come with a business and it’s up to us to alert ourselves to problems. CEO's and Business Owners Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

When we at Peak Performance question most Business Owners about the condition of their company, more often than not the Business Owner may know that things are not good or not what they should be. At best some know of the symptoms such as low closing ratios, margin eroding price slashing or extended sales cycles that have led bloated pipelines and complacent sales people. Unfortunately these are merely symptoms and not the root cause of sales problems. As such, treating the symptom usually results in a costly short term benefit. Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Business Habits | How they Dictate Success or Failure for the CEO

Business Habits

Business Habits | Dictating Success or Failure for the CEO

All Business Owners face constant decisions as they navigate through changing economic conditions. The problem they face is not the fact that economic conditions or market conditions are constantly changing and have dramatically changed since the late 90's. The issue does not lie in the fact that buyers are buying in a completely different way from the way they bought in the late 90’s. The problem lies in the fact that the Business Owners fail to change their approach to business development and growth. As human beings we are habitual, meaning that we create habits that convert into a routine. The problem with a routine is that it will only produce a certain level of productivity.Businesses have habits and often these habits are either developed or approved by those at the top. What is a business habit? A business habit is something your business relies on and repeats eventually becoming automatic.

Sales Organizations that find themselves stuck atop a plateau generally either rely on bad habits, or they rely on habits that in the past produced good results, however longer are effective. If you find yourself stuck atop the “Sales PlateauClick Here to Call 866-816-0991. Remember one thing. Extreme conditions create extreme behavior. This means that when sales become flat or economic conditions become extreme we become extreme in our behavior.

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

If you are not gaining the traction necessary to get to the next level or gaining the results you need it is now time to examine your business habits and re-engineer them, maybe even ask for help. This again is very difficult for the CEO, President or Business Owner as they more often than not are the ones providing help and support to others within their organization. However who do you rely on? Who do you count on for support and structure when things get tough?

CEO’s Click Here to take our Complimentary CEO Diagnostic | Identify Sales and Sales Management Constraints that Impact your Bottom line.

Successful Businesses Have Successful Habits... So, you have come to the realization that change must occur in order to get a change in your top and bottom line results! What business owners and sales managers become most frustrated with are sales people who fail to change. Their results do not change because their routines do not change. Their routines can only change when you begin to change their minds. However the first step is that you must have a change in mindset. Once this occurs another problem rises to the surface. The symptom is that business has been flat for a number of years. The problem (cause) is that many within the management team are long term employees who have become quite comfortable with the pace at which the business is operating and not highly motivated to self-raise their expectation and performance. Hence, they fail to raise the level of expectation and performance of the sales team! Our business habits will determine our business future. Call Peak Performance Training and Development today Click Here to Call 866-816-0991 to discuss your options.

"The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of the force of habit--and must understand that practices are what create habits that can break him--and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires." -- J. Paul Getty

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Sales Course of Action | Peak Performance

Sales Course of Action

Sales Course of Action | Peak Performance Sales Training

All CEO’s face constant forks in the road as they navigate through changing economic conditions. The problem they face is not the fact that economic conditions are constantly changing. The issue does not lie in the fact that buyers are buying in a completely different way from the way they bought in the late 90’s. The problem lies in the fact that the CEO fails to adapt.

As human beings we are habitual, meaning that we adopt habits that convert into a routine. The problem with a routine is that it will only produce a certain level of productivity. Businesses have habits and often these habits are either developed or approved by those at the top.

 

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

What is a business habit? A business habit is something your business relies on and repeats eventually becoming automatic. Sales Organizations that find themselves stuck atop a plateau generally either rely on bad habits, or they rely on habits that in the past produced good results, however longer are effective. Remember one thing. Extreme conditions create extreme behavior. This means that when sales become flat or economic conditions become extreme we become extreme in our behavior. When external factor change, so must we. If you are not gaining the traction necessary to get to the next level or gaining the results you need it is now time to examine your business habits and re-engineer them, maybe even ask for help. This again is very difficult for the CEO, President or Business Owner as they more often than not are the ones providing help and support to others within their organization. However who do you rely on? Who do you count on for support and structure when things get tough?

CEO’s Click Here to take our Complimentary CEO Sales Barrier Diagnostic 

Successful Businesses Have Successful Habits... So, you have come to the realization that change must occur in order to get a change in your top and bottom line results! What business owners and sales managers become most frustrated with are sales people who fail to change. Their results do not change because their routines do not change. Their routines can only change when you begin to change their minds. However the first step is that you must have a change in mindset. Once this occurs another problem rises to the surface. The symptom is that business has been flat for a number of years. The problem (cause) is that many within the management team are long term employees who have become quite comfortable with the pace at which the business is operating and not highly motivated to self-raise their expectation and performance. Hence, they fail to raise the level of expectation and performance of the sales team! Our business habits will determine our business future. Call Peak Performance today Click Here to Call 866-816-0991 to discuss your options 

"The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of the force of habit--and must understand that practices are what create habits that can break him--and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires." -- J. Paul Getty

 

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Sales Dog: Why Business Owners cannot "Teach an Old Dog New Tricks"

Sales Dog: Why Business Owners cannot "Teach an Old Dog New Tricks"

Sales Dog: Why Business Owners cannot "Teach an Old Dog New Tricks"

Many Business Owners have a common problem that comes across when we first meet with them: Their frustration with going over the same sales issues with the same sales people, continually. By the time we speak to them they, have jumped to the conclusion that you cannot teach an old dog a new trick. Many spend their time pulling their hair out over why certain people just won’t deal with certain objections, hold margins, fail to call at the top, or over those who simply don’t call at all!

Regardless of their approach to rectifying the problem; whether through motivation, coaching, new techniques or financial bonus structures, the results, or lack thereof can often be attributed to a number of factors. How much time to you invest into sales people who fail to change their approach or your bottom line? How is this impacting your bottom line?

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 Problems Associated with Subconscious Filters We all have Subconscious Filters. Subconscious Filters essentially allow us to assimilate what we like, what we agree with, what we are comfortable with and what goes along with the routine we have developed during the course of many years of doing what we do. Although sales people may on the surface agree and convey their understanding of why certain strategies or techniques are necessary, they simply do not use them until and unless these subconscious filters are removed. While training individuals, regardless of their background or industry, we notice a common occurrence—we see heads nodding in agreement or in disagreement at various points during training. We know that this overt expression of agreement and disagreement is the manifestation of subconscious filters at work, allowing the individual to either “take in” or kick out” strategies, methods or techniques.

Business Owners, Click Here to take our CEO Diagnostic | Uncover the gaps in Sales and Sales management Inefficiency 

How You Buy-Translates Into How You Sell: Mirroring the Purchasing Process: Another reason why many sales people go through entire careers with certain sales related problems—such as long selling cycles, failing to confront objections , call reluctance or failure to hold their price is because they mirror their own purchasing process. In other words, how you buy, is how you sell! Are your sales people selling the way they buy? Are these buying habits translating into selling habits, directly impacting your bottom line? Click Here to Call 866-816-0991

Case Study The President of a local software company called us in recently because his group’s extended selling cycle was adversely impacting their bottom line. Many Business Owners and unfortunately many in the sales training business simply treat the symptom. The symptom here is a long selling cycle. Most treat the symptom with techniques that usually will not be utilized because of the subconscious filters and personal buying habits previously mentioned. While investigating the problem we uncovered the buying process used by their sales manager contributed to the company’s problem. One example that reinforced this belief was how the sales manager had purchased a new car. In questioning him about how he went about the process of buying that vehicle he proudly told us he took seven months and shopped 29 dealerships from Philadelphia down to Virginia! He meticulously gathered information and boy, did he ever “think about it” . He knew more about that vehicle than the plant that built it! How many sales people have you known or currently have on board that are plagued by over-extended selling cycles? Monday morning while he was back on the job in an actual selling situation he was faced with an information gatherer who stated “I am simply looking”. The question here is how effective will this sales person be when subconsciously they keep telling themselves “I would probably do the same thing”! Hence, the selling cycle within this organization was out of line for two reasons that would override any coaching, motivation or training. First and foremost the sales manager could not not do what was necessary because of the subconscious filters which impeded his ability to adopt strategies or techniques that went against the routine he had developed. And this unproductive routine was a direct result of his and personal buying habits.

For information on how to overcome sales obstacles Click Here to Call 866-816-0991 or Click Here for our CEO Tool Box Menu | Sales Tools

 

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