The Making of an Expert!
Are you searching for Sales Experts, or making experts of your people?
In a recent Harvard Business Review article research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent.
You are expects with your products, services and support, right? However, how effective is your sales team when it comes to their sales expertise?
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In this article it discussed how thirty years ago to Hungarian educators, Laszlo and Klara Polgar, decided to challenge the assumption that woman do not succeed in areas requiring special thinking, such as chess. The Polgars home schooled three daughters and they were taught to play chess at a very young age. With daily training their approach paid off. By 2000 all three daughters were ranked in the top ten female players in the world. There youngest was a grand master at age 15, breaking the previous record for the youngest held by Bobby Fisher!
In 1985, Benjamin Bloom a professor at the University of Chicago wrote a book that examined the factors that led to developing real talent. His findings show that there is no correlation between becoming an expert and IQ. The only correlation found was in the case of sports or physical activities where body size did matter. This however, is not applicable in sales, which is an intellectual game. All of the superb performers, regardless of field practiced intensely with devoted teachers; Sales Training Experts.
Later research found that practice was a key factor in the level of expertise achieved. Now this may sound self serving coming from a Sales Training Company. However the question is what course of action have you taken in order to increase sales?
Remember one thing. In the interview all sales candidates believe they are the best! Never forget that inherent in sales people is an ego. Were you sold on their ability, only to be disappointed with their inability to actually sell! Or have you invested in your sales team as you do in other areas of your company. Have you provided them with the tools to become effective sales people? If you find yourself at this point in this article. then this subject is obviously of importance to you.
Fix them, Fire them or Grin and Bear with it.
Firing them leaves you with one bad option: relying on the same hiring criteria that led you to hire your current group of under producers. Grinning and bearing with it is simply acceptance of mediocrity. For example, look any professional athlete: Are they simply drafted, followed by being placed on the field? Or are they put through on-going, rigorous and disciplined practice sessions prior to, and during the entire season? Could your one week of product knowledge training followed by occasional pep talks be part of the problem?
You must look at the “Gap”. The “Gap” is the difference between where you are, and where you are capable of being. One way to gauge the Gap is to answer this question. On a scale of 1-10 where would you rank your sales teams ability to Develop New Business?
Now a 10 would relate to a sales team/people who:
- Proactively and effectively prospect to identify and open new opportunities
- Consistently diplomatically challenge and dissolve objections
- Clearly differentiate your unique services opposed to commoditizing them
- Hold margins opposed to price slashing eroding your margins
- Do not waste time chasing pipeline hopefuls and invest time developing new business.
So..... what is your answer?
The difference between where you are and where you are capable of being now can be translated into sales revenue. Are you 60%, 70% or 80% effective? How is this impacting your bottom line? Our final question is, are you OK with it?
At Peak Performance we essentially get two types of inquiries. We get the Business Owner who has problems, however they simply sit back, grin and bear with it. The second type has the same problems as the first however these problems are in the hands on someone who is proactive and decisive. These are leaders who are open-minded to exploring their options.
If you have come to the point where your options are limited contact us today. The cost of accepting your current situation is significantly more than the cost of investigating what might be the difference between where you are and where you deserve to be.