Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Simple Tip on How to Increase Sales

Sales Managers have a tough job. Grow sales by improving sales effectiveness of the sales team – the sales behaviors.

They must keep all those they report to happy, as well as coach the team, drive tactical and strategic sales, motivate, smack and hug. If we compare it to a set of golf clubs, a sales manager must use nearly all his leadership clubs daily! Some days a driver, and other days a six iron with a soft hands chip and run. They need to be flexible, multiple club players to win at sales management golf.

Amongst all the busyness there is one activity which must be completed weekly. Building sales behaviors in your sales team is key to high performing sales. 

How do you change sales behaviours?

Once you have identified the key sales competencies needed in the role of sales, audit your team against them. The simplest method is to use a scale from 1-10. Score them from a sales manager's point of view and also allow them self assess. Come together monthly and compare results. Focus on the weaker competencies and develop coaching around the main 4–5 behaviors that require change. Coach over the following 30 days to increase the effectiveness of those behaviors.

Let's say, for example, the competency is 'good planning.'  If a member of your sales team is unorganized, a little overwhelmed and/or complaining of time management issues then coach the behaviors of goal setting, priority management and one page planning over the next 30 days. Over time the results will reflect with better sales.

Armed with a set of 4–5 sales behaviors to coach every month, ad-hoc support will become a thing of the past and a disciplined approach to increase great sales behaviors in your team will result.

This is how great sales managers coach their team to become sales champions.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Quiet Sales Cat – Are they Really Selling?

During the production of our book Sales Cats much discussion was had about the behaviours of those Sales Cats—top gun sales people.

Most people's perceptions are that all sales people are gregarious, loud and ego driven. In some cases, elements of this is true. There is no doubt that self confidence, high energy and resilience rank highly in top performing sales people. So what about the quiet ones?

Today I was building a sales strategy with a CEO of a wonderful small business in Perth when we started to discuss one of his high performers. "He has all the attributes you describe in a Sales Cat and a lot of the competencies you outlined in the Banjar competency model" he commented, "but he is unusually quiet and often says, "I'm not really selling."

"What?" I said, "Not really selling! How could that be?"

The facts are this guy is so comfortable in his particular selling environment he has become the ultimate stealth bomber Sales Cat. He knows his product well, he is experienced in the particular trade he sells into and most of all he clearly understands how his product solves problems and helps the customer see this. He is a true business person who sells!

The tip here is this. Recruit sales people who know their product or service well, however make sure you recruit and coach people that are intimate with the application of their product or service in it's business environment. What problem does it solve? How will it add value to the clients business so they get better? Teach your current Sales Cats about the industry they sell into. If it's retail get a retail person to describe the language, issues and gaps to success in retail.

These quiet sales stars will grow raving fans in your customer base and no competitor will hear it coming.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Sales Funnel (or Sales Pipeline) Part 2

A sales funnel is for sales. CRM is for managing the data about customer relations.

A commonly cited definition of CRM is that of CRM (UK) Ltd (2002), as follows:
Customer Relationship Management is the establishment, development, maintenance and optimisation of long-term mutually valuable relationships between consumers and organisations.

Let's unpack this definition.

The key to the definition is long-term mutually valuable relationship. This is based upon a definition of marketing that considers marketing as a mutually satisfying system of exchanges (for example Baker 2002).

So CRM is the building and maintenance of long-term customer relationships. The relationship delivers value to customer, and profits to companies. The relationship is supported (but not driven) by cutting edge IT. 

The business strategy is based upon the recruitment, retention and extension of products, services, solutions or experiences to customers. This is the core of CRM.

CRM is not an indicator of sales effectiveness or sales process unless the system you use directly and accurately reflects the organisations ACTUAL sales process. CRM is not sales pipeline! 

Now, get your sales process right, build an authentic sales funnel/pipeline and then coach it. Simple. 

Once that is done investigate and implement an accurate CRM strategy with a company who has a track record in developing and implementing CRM as their core business.