Watching Over Your Sales Force
Measuring sales results is about far more than how many deals are closed.How well does your sales team - research accounts, make calls, assess needs, propose solutions?
The expertise of your sales reps during these essential processes - that are between identifying and qualifying prospects - is critical. This is where all selling actually takes place. Therefore you need to be taking a careful look at the activities your reps are undertaking, and how well they're doing each of them.
- What qualifying processes do you have in place and do your sales reps follow them?
- Have your reps demonstrated that prospects have acknowledged a need for your solutions?
- Do your reps know what the compelling reasons are that lead prospects to want to buy from you?
The most important skill your sales people need to possess is this:Understanding your prospect or customer’s business, then accurately relating your product or services’ features and benefits to meet their needs. This is worth reading over a few times.
Because without this essential skill you do not have a prospect, let alone customers.
So why aren't more companies ensuring their reps are properly trained and supported in this area?
According to the sales and training professionals over at Objective Management Group,
"it’s because most businesses (especially start-ups) hire sales staff and send them out before underlying systems and processes are put into place. What you have then is a costly process of trial and error, and turnover."
By having some basic processes and systems in place, sales people will more quickly and consistently identify who is and who isn’t a solid prospect.
The point is to know what your prospect's problems are, identify who your ideal customer is, i.e., the most viable (ergo profitable) potential source of business for your product or service, and then deliver solutions to those ideal customers' problems.
Suggestions:1. Profile three or four top prospects or existing customers, their size and market position, personalities, key decision-making factors and buying motivators – this will help sales people to quickly identify who is and who isn’t a solid prospect.
2. Determine the top three selling features of your product, in relation to those customers' characteristics and motivators.
3. Prepare a conversation guide for your reps containing rifle-shot questions that will quickly determine if potential prospects’ pain points can be resolved by your primary features and benefits. These solutions also become the anchor for punchier, better-targeted proposals.
4. Prepare first. Sales people must be prepared before making sales calls. The internet's never-ending flow of information about businesses and people ensures that pre-call planning and targeted conversations can easily be custom-tailored for each prospect's unique industry and marketplace.
By having these simple yet effective processes and systems in place, you will be better supporting your sales team, your high cost reps will be more productive, and you’ll be able to hire less expensive reps who can produce faster.
Abby Rubin is the principal consultant at Abby Rubin Personnel, a Vancouver employment agency.
Since 1989, Abby has been providing corporations throughout Western Canada with expert employee recruitment services in administrative, property management, sales, marketing, finance and executive management positions. Abby Rubin Personnel was founded in 2007 to provide select clients with personalized service.
Contact Abby today at 604.836.2672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org