The Killer Sales App
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The Killer Sales App
by: Drew Stevens
In speaking with my clients recently all sales managers seem to have the same
issue on their mind how to gain more production and profits from their sales
staff. With audacious goals this is a grave issue.
Stunted growth still continues to haunt sales teams as organizations continue
to sit on cash. Many continue to seek the magic bullet or in today’s vernacular
the “killer app” to aid in sales profits. However, while many question where to
discover “the secret”, it might very well be in front of them.
During any economic resurgence innovation begins. Such transitions are needed
within many sales organizations. The recent recession created a need for
organizations to terminate many non-productive selling personnel. Through
attrition those that did not meet goals were asked to leave. However this does
not decrease the notion that there exist some remaining underachievers.
While many managers continue to seek new talents and personnel there is a
dire need to look from within to discover sales mechanisms that harm sales
teams. Many do not know they exist and many do not know how to identify them so
here is a brief look at those applications killing your sales performance.
- Value – Selling today requires a keener look at the value that organizations
provide to clients. While this term tends to get as overused as that of
“guerrilla” in the late 1980’s there is a dire need for sales professionals to
focus on the value they provide. Organizations must strategize and help selling
professionals articulate a message that attracts clients and helps manifest the
brand. The use of value propositions and audio logs will be helpful here. Forget
the “Elevator Speeches” and assist the team with the articulation of value.
- Relationship – Just sitting at my desk writing this post I received two cold
calls. These are transactional methods that do not work today. Consumers are
simply too busy in this world with too much interference. They lack time and
attention and will not reply to a cold call from someone “pitching” products and
services. Transition your sales team to become less transactional and motivate
them to create customer-centered relationships with true buyers.
- True Buyer – We all know the power of negotiating with the decision maker but
are your sales professionals really speaking with the proper person? More than
86% of sales representatives spend enormous amounts of time with gatekeepers.
Sales Managers must ensure sales agents are spending less time with
subordinates. Sales teams must only spend time with economic buyers since they
control the budget, understand the objectives and realize how your services
integrate with the firm’s strategy.
- Knowledge – The single most alarming issue for any sales manager is working with
professionals that do not know what to say before hello. Similar to an athlete
that must practice prior to the competition selling professionals must conduct
research or homework so that they have the right questions, are aware of any
objections as well as have a “script” to articulate value. Content is king and a
lack thereof will kill sales performance.
- Behavior - Some sales managers are unclear of their talent. I have been asked
many times over the years about the proper behavior for a successful
representative. Too many today seek gregarious highly persuasive individuals.
Behavior is dependent on the clients. When we speak of behavior there are really
two issues the ability to be assertive as well as persuasive. Good selling
professionals are good communicators that perform well under duress. While
persuasiveness is useful it sometimes hinges on ethical boundaries since being
too persuasive can equate to “pitching” products. Sales Managers must simply
seek talent that understands the products, can articulate value as well as be
assertive enough to generate prospective clients. Look at your team to discover
whether the right individuals are sitting in the dugout.
- Need – Sales professionals harm themselves and future business when they cannot
establish need. The only method to ensure discovery of need is with terrific
questioning skills. These questions are based on client objectives, the
measurements to ensure success and the value to the organization. These
questions should be scripted. True buyers will provide the answers. However the
path to success is based on the selling professional that can lead the buyer in
a clear direction.
- Priority – With the crazy world in which we operate both buyers and sellers are
extremely busy. The issue then becomes what is a priority. If sellers want to
close business then the actual sale must be a priority to the buyer. When buyers
do not see a priority the seller has failed to establish value and meet
prospective client objectives. It is vital for every seller to establish value
and illustrate the priority to buyers otherwise the sales cycle becomes very
long as everything else takes precedent.
Selling today similar to many technological tools requires more innovative
concepts. The notion is working smarter not harder. This requires a relentless
focus on customer value so as to shorten the cycle and better performance.
© 2011. Drew J Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.
Drew Stevens Ph.D. President of
Stevens Consulting Group is
one of those very rare
sales management and business development experts with not only 28 years of
true sales experience but advanced degrees in sales productivity. Not many can
make such as claim. Drew works with sales managers and their direct reports to
create more customer centric relationships that dramatically drive new revenues
and new clients. He is the author of
Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the
Sales Leadership Program at Saint
Louis University. Contact him today at 877-391-6821.
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