Monday, July 15, 2019

More Business Strategies = More Profits?

As sales guru Mike Bosworth says, don't tell them your offering IS the solution. You're a sales "guy" and they won't believe you. Instead, ask them if your possible solution might help them. If they believe it does, they have accepted your solution as truth. Then get them to tell you, in real dollar terms, what fixing that problem is worth.

3. Increase Sales Training. Use the 10% solution.

But don't expect any one salesperson -- even your superstars -- to be 100% at every part of your sales process. They almost never are. But there is a way you can raise the level of every person in your sales organization -- immediately.

Use this process adopted from W. Edwards Demming's principle of optimization. Break your sales process into as many discrete -- but meaningful -- steps as you can.. Cold calling. Letter writing. Setting appointments. Identifying pain. Writing proposals. Presenting. And so on. Find out who in your organization excels at each step, and have those reps explain their methods and mindset to the rest of your sales force. Do all the steps at once in a marathon session, or one step at a time. Either way, the results will be amazing.

4. Use the 80/20 Rule. And get rid of the bottom 20.

There's no room in today's world for mediocre producers. Hold each member of your team accountable for reaching two kinds of performance benchmarks: results measurements, which include not only revenue, but perhaps new accounts and repeat business, and action measurements, which might include prospecting calls, appointments, and new contacts.

Not every sales person will be a superstar, but every one should pay their own way -- and then some. Salespeople who aren't producing not only cost you money, they drag down the performance of your whole organization. You may not pay them very much, but why pay them anything? I suggest you do both yourself and them a favor, and let them go. Don't worry about having an empty desk: that warm chair was an expense your company doesn't need.

If you feel it isn't fair to "dump" them, or if your sales cycle is too long to measure short-term revenue results, give the problem reps a 30-day plan to increase their level of activity in specific ways. That's long enough to see an improvement if there's going to be one.

5. Track your results and work harder

Most entrepreneurial sales organizations fail to analyze their efforts. They have no idea how much effort -- or money -- it takes to create a new customer. The only indication they have of whether salespeople are "doing enough" is based on the revenue numbers. The answer? Track both activity and results, and use the statistics your garner to quickly raise performance. Break your sales process into a series of meaningful steps, counting each time a rep completes one. Calculate averages and set a benchmark. And while you're at it, analyze the percentage of deals that close whenever you complete that step. That knowledge can dramatically improve your sales forecasts.

Once you establish benchmarks -- this one's a no-brainer -- RAISE THE BAR. Yes, that's right, because the fact is, revenue isn't coming in fast enough. Do everything discussed above to improve your sales effectiveness -- then do more of it. Just working smarter isn't going to cut it. You're going to have to work harder as well. And anyone who doesn't want to? See number 4 above.

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