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Not Every No is a Hard No | Not Knowing the Difference Costs You Sales Orders

Not Every No is a Hard No | Not Knowing the Difference Costs You Sales Orders

Sales rejection is a killer.

And I know.

But what dawned on my last week is that lots of sales people suffer from it and that many more of them are carriers.

It’s just a hot bed of sales rejection germs…

Sales Rejection | Are You Infected or a Carrier?

Check out these symptoms:

A genuine belief that a buyer will say no to your offer.

Sometimes praying that the buyer will say no quickly so you can update your sales pipeline and move on to the next sales prospect who you also expect to say no.

You have a tendency to either close to early, before you can guarantee a yes or…

Maybe you close to late, by which time the buyer has forgotten why he was even talking to you…or

You don’t close at all because you’d rather have some sales pipeline of questionable value than an empty pipeline

When your prospect does say no, you take that no utter something about keeping in touch and end the call, update your CRM and move on

How many of these symptoms have you got?

Is it fatal yet? I ask because sometimes we call catch sales rejection, might just be for a day, a week, a month, may just be when we hand out with certain people…but the first step to recovery is recognising we have it, and then how to cure it.

Because there is a cure.

Sales Rejection | The Story of Stephen.

I see Stephen 4 times per yr as part of a sales audit I do for a national client. Steve is a top performer. He’s the guy I ask everyone to chat with if they’re struggling with sales.

Firstly, because he’s a really nice guy, but also because he treats his prospects and his sales pipeline with respect

Steve tells it like it is. He challenges when he needs to, is great at listening, asks fanatstic questions.

BUT the reason Steve consistently smashes his sales targets, his cross sell lead gen, his up sell, and the reason why his average sales order value and customer lifetime order value is higher than anyone else is because Steve know s how to handle objections.

At this, he is a GOD!

So, having spend the week with Steve and his colleagues I move on to do some preliminary work on a sales turnaround project ready for next month.

Faced with a failing sales function, and some real anti-sales, almost sales prevention, selling techniques during sales call review, I couldn’t help but ask myself, when it comes to sales rejection…

What Would Steve Do?

Here’s the guidelines Steve uses for handling objections, minimising sales rejection and turning that sales rejection into an order and an invoice.

Here you go:

Steve only asks for the order when he knows he’s going to get a yes.

So, Steve reduces the times he can get hit with the Sales Rejection virus.

Until that point when Steve asks for the order and expects to get a yes, he uses that time by being a very valuable person to the buyer.

During which, Steve is simply asking questions.

Steve gets the buyer to clarify their thinking.

He challenges some of the buyers believes about Steve’s solutions.

Steve is also working with the buyer to help the buyer understand the cost of not buying. That’s a cost not just within his own business, but within the buyers, competitive market.

After a while, the buyer sees Steve as a very valuable person to talk to.

In fact, the buyer often calls Steve to have a chat about some aspect of the industry, competitors.

The buyer is interested in Steve’s thoughts and views.

It’s almost like the buyer has forgotten Steve is there to take his money off him!

What Else Would Steve Do?

That’s a good question.

Steve never takes the first ‘no’ as and actual ‘no’.

That would never occur to him to take the first ‘no’ and a final sales rejection.

When Steve hears ‘no’ from his contact what his brain does is flip it immediately into…’I’m not sure at the moment, let’s talk some more and then ask me again’

Do you know how much difference that makes to Steve’s sales performance?

Huge amounts, so let’s take a closer look.

‘I’m not sure at the moment, let’s talk some more and then ask me again’

Ok, so how does Steve flip this?

First of all, let’s understand that Steve, wasn’t expecting this response, because, as above Steve doesn’t ask until he’s sure he’ll get a yes.

So the first thing Steve needs to do is look at where the mismatch is, because obviously he and the buyer aren’t on the same page any more.

So maybe he asks…

Ok, so the time’s not right at the moment. What needs to change, for everything to slip into place so you can go ahead?

Now, think about what this question encourages the buyer to do, and how Steve can benefit from this.

Then perhaps Steve asks, 

Right, thanks for that. I understand where you’re coming from now. You know we talked about you losing £X K every month you didn’t have this solution in place? How viable is it really, as we sit here today, knowingly writing of a loss of 6 months worth of £XK whilst you get these other elements sorted? Instead, together, lets find a better work around than this?

What Steve’s just done, because he’s already calculated the Sales ROI for his buyer before the sales close, is be able to quantify the money lost due to waiting

In doing that Steve’s asked the buyer in the nicest possible way…’Are you TOTALLY insane’.

But the buyer won’t hear that. Instead he’ll see Steve trying to help him save money.

What Steve has also done, is make himself part of the fix with the buyer. Now they are a team. It’s a peer to peer conversation – not a battle of wills in a tense sales arena with the buyer running scared as happens here: Anyone Seen My Buyer?

But it doesn’t stop there

And it doesn’t stop because the buyer has given Steve an insight into what the blocks are, now Steve needs to challenge the buyers thinking and reframe those blocks as something else, maybe milestones, gateposts but certainly not full stops in the sales process.

Steve now goes into a counsellor mode with the buyer, where his job is not to provide solutions, but just to ask his buyer the right questions.

Steve wants his buyer to come up with the solution.

And, Steve wants his buyer to have clarity on that solution.

Steve wants his buyer to own the solution, because, when that happens the buyer doesn’t say no to his own ideas!

What Doesn’t Steve Do?

He certainly doesn’t take the first no

He doesn’t take the second or third no either

Doesn’t offer to leave the buyer to take up the conversation with a competitor

He doesn’t say ‘ok, I’ll update my file and give you a call in 6 months to see if anything has changed’

He doesn’t burn sales leads and opportunities

Why Does Steve Refuse to Catch Sales Rejection?

That’s the killer question in this.

Why does Steve not fold at the first no and so many other sales people just accept sales rejection as part of the job?

Because Steve has a single focus that means he’ll never ever be a sorry victim of sales rejection, and her’s why:

Steve never progresses poor quality sales prospects through his sales pipeline…he cuts then loose when he realises either the prospect is not a fit for his solution or the solution is not a fit for his prospect buyer.

What this means is, that by the time the buyer is ready to be closed, Steve knows its a great fit, there is huge value for the buyer and that the buyer knows this.

Which means it’s not about shoe horning a solution in, it’s simply working out the the final details based on a foundation of great advice, trust and education.

Steve doesn’t carry low level prospects with a vague interest in buying with a low value payback on his solutions. He leaves those to the other competitors in his field.

Sales rejection, and the potential to be subjected to sales rejection starts at the very beginning of the sales qualification process.

Steve knows this.

That’s why he has the best sales conversion rate. The highest average sales order value, the biggest lifetime order value. Why he smashes his cross sell lead generation target and why CSI score is the highest in the team.

Discover How You Can Avoid Sales Rejection Too

You can join us on or bespoke or open B2B sales training courses – you can check out the dates for the Sales Improvement Workshop here

Or,  to embed a B2B sales training course and continuous sales improvement culture into your sales function, take a look at TurboCharged Sales

To discuss how to build a productive, efficient and high performance sales team, call Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com 

Sales rejection need not be a sales killer but leaving handling sales objections to the end of the sales process definitely increases the chances of experiencing the symptoms which could so easily be avoided.

 

 

17 Things Your Buyer Wished You Knew About Sales | How to Win at Sales

17 Things Your Buyer Wished You Knew About Sales | How to Win at Sales

Sales call best practice is a tough one. The very essence of being a great sales person is that you know how to interact with decision makers.

You build rapport easily. You’re confidently able to challenge thinking respectfully as well as encourage senior buyers to open their mind to new ideas.

You can influence and persuade at the highest level.

And none of those skills come via any tick sheet.

You’re a natural.

So, just consider this as a gentle reminder, or if you’re new to sales, an insight into your buyers thinking.

Sales call best practice is something great sales people understand intuitively, but it can still be developed.

So, here goes…

10 Things Your Buyer Wish You Knew About Sales Call Best Practice

1. Your buyer doesn’t hate all sales people.

Just the ones who waste his time on pleasantries and stupid questions. The buyer is busier than a very busy person. He needs you to respect that, and tailor your approach accordingly.

So when he does spend time with you, get to your value laden point quickly.

Sales call best practice relies on you having a foundation, knowing what a good sales interaction looks like versus what a bad sales interaction looks like, and being able to switch when things don’t go to plan.

Some of the key elements of that it your mind set, your energy and your level of motivation.

If you think your buyers hate you, and that’s the reason they’re pushing you for discounts or not returning your calls, then get some time with a sales coach, your mentor or your boss and talk this out.

Buyers don’t hate sales people, good buyers know that a good sales person will help then do their job better.

2. Price isn’t the only objection, he’s interested in reducing risk too

Some sales people start off on the back foot when the conversations get on to price. Primarily because they don’t believe their own sales pitch, the minute price is mentioned the sales person gets defensive.

So, what does this make the buyer do? It makes him question what you’re trying to hide, why you’ve suddently gone all earnest and therefore what he’s missed.

In reality a buyer is as concerned about value and risk as much as he is concerned about price.

Don’t be the sales guy that gets defensive, focuses on price, panics, discounts, then stalkers the buyer.

Buyer’s don’t like that.

Instead, have some pride in your price. Never give a price until you’ve been able to demonstrate value. Relate any price you do give back to the value the buyer will get and the risk it will remove, and the problem your solution will solve.

For a buyer, price is just one of the jigsaw pieces, don’t be the sales guy who makes the buyer think you have something to hide by making it the only jigsaw piece.

If you can’t be proud of your price, your value and your solution…why are you still working here?

3. He does hate know-it-all jack asses

You know the type, the sale person who infers the buyer has only ever made poor decisions, and the buyer should thank his lucky stars that he’s now speaking with an expert.

So, to avoid this, next time you’re trying to engage the buyer remember that prescription before diagnosis is malpractice, so instead of questioning the buyer’s judgement, how about you ask a few questions so you understand his decision making process, his buying process, and his reasons.

Might be a great start, before you start pitching in with your ‘saving the world’ solution.

There is no quicker way to identify yourself to the buyer as a fool than to go down this route, but then I guess if that’s the case any sales call best practice has totally passed you by.

Closely tied to this is; Listen and Get Curious, which we’ll deal with later

4. He wants a peer to peer exchange with you, not a sales pitch.

If you have a lock, load, release type sales pitch when you meet the buyer that’s a disaster. And you’re begging for a fast decision that’s likely to be NO!

So, instead of blowing the deal before it starts, how about asking some big open questions? Or maybe giving your buyer a 30 second run down of why you thing he needs to speak with you. Maybe you’d gain some brownie points by telling the buyer this might not be for him, but you wanted to give him the opportunity to make an informed decision, rather than make an assumption?

5. Buyers first question is not ‘how good is this product and how much does it cost’

Sales people often think this is a buyers first concern, actually it’s not. Well not all ways anyway.

Quite often the buyer is wondering if the sales guy can be trusted, if he knows what he’s talking about and if, in the vent of their being a problem, the buyer can work with the sales guy to work it out.

Secondary to that the buyer might be wondering if the sales person would be a good person to know, if he’s experienced, and if he’s not just shifting orders but interesting in delivering value.

So, let’s put it this way, your product, service is often not as important as the person selling it!

6. Buyers will suss out your competitors

They’d be mugs if they didn’t. So they will see who else is claiming to do what you do. That’s a given.

So next time, why not help your buyer and tell him who you share some of your competitive space with. Note, I didn’yt say who your competitors were, because, if you are genuinely offering the value you should be, then you won’t have competitors, you’ll have ‘wannabee you’ shadows, the aspiration crowd who haven’t quite reached your level of excellence.

So, point your buyer in their direction and give him a summary of their strengths and weaknesses, prompt him regarding what questions he might want to ask them.

And, by the way, if you’re scared to do this, you need to talk to me about Sales Innovation and Disruption Sessions

7. Your buyer does hate it when you don’t do your research.

If you want to let him know you think his business is low level and not worth your effort or your time then try this. Engage with the buyer without having done any research on his business, his sector, the market conditions, his competitors, and then see how far the conversation goes.

So, don’t be the random cold calling sales person, just getting high talk time and dials in, spend some time thinking about how you’re going to net the great prospects by working smarter.

8. He wants a win-win.

Most buyers aren’t out to fleece you. They want a fair deal. For the both of you.

So, the quicker the you show him where the win is, the quicker he’s on board. So, be ready with the sales ROI outline, case studies, testimonials, references and social proof.

9. Most buyers don’t make buying decisions in isolation

That means when he says he needs to talk to his team, that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Does that mean you have to fall for that old sales fob off – ‘I need to talk to my team? Of course not.

Instead understand that whilst he may have the final say, he probably will need to check in with the implementation guys, the users, the compliance team, the IT guys…all depending on what you’re selling.

So next time, when you’re talking with the buyer, how about you find out who else is in the decision making process and make friends with these guys too.

Spend some time talking to them to understand what their needs are, what their thinking is and what buying criteria they will use to decide if you’re in or out.

Sales call best practice means yuo don’t get caught out when the buyer goes to his influencers and users and finds out they’ve already decided what solution they want…and it isn’t yours.

Do your back up work early on.

10. Buyers expect you to profile them.

That means they expect you to ask if they are the decision maker, if they have the budget to make the purchase, if they have the authority to say yes and if a time table has been agreed.

They expect you to ask them these questions, because they know this is your job.

A serious buyer won’t mind you asking.

You should also know that if you don’t ask these questions, then your serious buyer might not take you so seriously.

So, don’t be afraid to BANT.

If you’re dealing with professional buyers (in line with sales call best practice) then this is business as usual.

11. It’s ok to set an agenda of expectations for every stage in the sales process.

in fact, if your sales calls are seemingly a tad random, then you might want to revisit your sales call best practice.

Your buyer knows that it’s you job to keep the sale on track, so he’s ok with you calling up for a very specific reason, he knows you’re not calling up to touch base or to shoot the breeze.

So, when you ask him for a date to call back on a critical decision, he’s ok with you referencing that on your next contact.

This is a win win remember. So if you’re doing your job and keeping the sales process on track then that;s one less think for the buyer to worry about.

12. The buyer doesn’t mind sharing his buying criteria with you, or his decision making process.

But he does expect you to ask.

He’s not always going to volunteer.

The buyer knows once he’s shared that information with you, you both have a common road map, and you’ve both established trust.

So ask, because him volunteering is unlikely. He wants you to earn your commission after all

13. The buyer is not interested in features…

He is interested in benefits. Don’t forget your buyer will probably have to go and sell your product/service to another team of buyers internally.

Make it easy for him to convince them.

Give him all the red sparkly ammo he needs to get a rousing standing ovation because he found such a great supplier.

14. Your buyer expects you to be direct.

Want to know something – ask.

Need to share something – share.

No-one has enough time for you to waste. Cut to the chase and don’t apologise.

15. Your buyer expects you to make him look like a super star!

This has to be the cornerstone of all sales call best practice.

You really need no explanation for this on…but if you do, then here it is.

Your job is not to put the buyer in a position where he has to apologies for you. Where he has to justify your actions. Or explain why and how you’ve let the business down.

Your buyers brand value, his personal stock value, should increase as a result of him banging you to the table.

16. Sometimes your buyer just expects you to just shut up and listen.

After all, you’ve asked all those great questions. So listen.

Plus, it’s the ultimate respect you can pay your buyer for extending to you the opportunity to talk/meet.

He’s sharing with you because he hopes to get some value back.

So listening is a must.

Trust me, a buyer who doesn’t feel listened to, won’t be sold to.

You can’t listen yourself out of a sales…but I’ve seen lots of people talk themselves out of a sales order,

Don’t be that sales guy.

17. Your buyer will give you all the information your need to close him – Curiosity will get you further than you think. 

I’ve seen sales people with very little training close huge deals. I’ve seen very experienced sales people fall at the final sales hurdle. Sales people go through peaks and troughs, losing deals they should have won, and then being unexpectedly been give a gift of a sales order.

Life is like that as a sales person.

So, when you find am element of sales call best practice that is an absolute. A classic cornerstone of your trade.

Work it.

Every time.

Curiosity is never misplaced.

It never goes out of fashion, just like listening, no one ever lost a deal because they were too curious.

Too jaded, already got the answers, I’ve heard it all before….get rid of this mind set if you’re serious about being a high performance sales professional.

Your buyer has all the information you need. It’s all inside his head.

All you have to do is to get him to share it with you.

Get curious about everything.

Summary: Sales Call Best Practice

Your buyer is not your enemy during the sales process, he is your closest ally and you are his.

It’s a sales win-win.

Or it’s a no deal.

Remembering best call sales practice might help you decide what to do and how to behave with your next sales prospect.

Good sales prospects are rarely in infinite supply, so even if they aren’t going to do business with you know…fostering good will, a professional demeanor and a detailed qualifying process will serve you well when the time is right to do business

Reviewing your personal sales call best practice is a critical skill.

It takes honesty and self awareness to be able to reflect and in doing so change your patter.

But it’s worth it.

Being able to do this will help you understand where you’re viewing yourself in relation to your buyer, and just remember, you are never any higher or any lower than your buyer, you’re in this together.

Plus, sales call best practice allows you to revisit the very basics occasionally, perhaps where your not getting the results you want, a key sale is stuck or you’re repelling more buyers than your attracting.

Happy Selling

p.s. To receive free sales and business development insights straight into your inbox every week, register for your free subscription to The Advanced Business Achiever.

If you’re looking for bespoke sales and business development training, you can contact us ion carol@mortonkyle.com or on 0779 002 1885

And if you’re unsure how to fully release all that sales potential that’s wrapped up in your sales team, but don’t know where to start, then talk to us about our Sales Insight Audit.

Sales call best practice is one of the most important foundations of good sales efforts, dictating how you present yourself, how you interact with your prospects and how your brand is perceived by your target sector.

If you’ve identified any of these issues within your sales team – check out our easy to download sales training packages – you can find details here – How to Win at Sales – Download B2B Sales Training Courses

3 Sales Questions No-One Uses Any More

3 Sales Questions No-One Uses Any More

So, your’re a progressive sales person, you understand the concept of ask great B2B sales questions and then listen.

And, it works, you’re doing ok.

Great.

Now, you can kick these 3 B2B sales questions out of your tool box.

No-one uses these any more, and I’ll explain why now.

B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:1

What Keeps You Awake at Night?

Never ask the prospects this.

I was with an MD a few weeks ago, and up until I went in, he’d done the sales training for his team, and this was his favorite question to have his sales team ask their prospects.

NO!

In today’s sales arena, the sales person should have a fair idea of what’s troubling the decision maker before they even start.

Sales people do their research before they get to the prospect.

Now, well prepared, well researched sales professionals will now use their very precious time with the decision maker to demonstrate value, explain how they’ve solved challenging problems, in fact this same problem, for many people in the decision makers industry.

They’ll use the time to explore impacts, challenge the buyers thinking maybe, reframe the problem and potential solutions, explore details.

One think they won’t do is ask the buyer what’s causing him to lose sleep at night.

Likewise:

Tell me about your industry and what’s happening now?

How competitive is your industry sector?

Instead:

If you’re really looking to add value and bring an additional dimension to the prospects thinking, you’ll need to get comfortable with telling the prospect three things:

What key problems you’ve solved

For who

And how

So any questions you ask should be geared around driving curiosity so that the prospects response is ‘ you know, we’ve been struggling with the same thing…tell me how you did it’

B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:2

Tell me about your business?

For the same reason as above, a well professional sales rep knows that this question is redundant if he’s done his research.

You should know the prospects market place before you tip up and waste his time.

Instead, you might want to ask about market conditions versus particularly strong competitors within the buyer’s space, new market advanced and the implications to the buyer’s organisation, legislative changes because this is an easier way to get the prospect to give you all the information you need…before you deliver your disruptive position.

Diagnoses before analysis just makes you yesterdays sales has been.

B2B Sales Questions to Avoid:3

Tell me about your competitors

You must know who their competitors are and how the war is being waged then you really need to think about how much value the buyer is getting from talking to you.

Unlike a few decades ago when a buyer expected you to know not some much about his business, industry and sector, that’s not the case anymore. The sales person is not the one needing educations.

Buyers, and wait for this, expect to be educated, informed and entertained by the sales professional.

Summary:B2B Sales Questions to Avoid

Selling has changed.

Sales people are catching up…or trying to.

Get rid of with old sales techniques, tired sales scripts, dated sales pitches so that your buyers miss all the value they could gain from you.

Happy Selling

Carol

If you’re currently reviewing your sales training or sales coaching needs and would like to discuss how to improve your sales results contact Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

Likewise, if you know your sales function has huge sales potential that’s not being fully used. Or you’d like to improve sales performance but just don’t know where to start, or if you’d need to health check your sales function, then take a look at or Sales Insights Service 

Free Sales and Business Development Insights.

Sales and business development insights into your inbox every Wednesday. Great for team meetings, sales training sessions and daily huddles – register here – totally free – The Advanced Business Achiever

When Is A Sales Person Not Really A Sales Person?

When Is A Sales Person Not Really A Sales Person?

When they can’t deal with sales fails from buyers!

There are some sales fails you can’t avoid.

Your buyer gets whisked away by an alien space ship and is never heard from again.

The prospect wins the lottery 2 days before he was due to send you the purchase order and he’s now only contactable via his broker.

Or even worse, your sales prospect has found a new religion and is giving up the rat race…and to send you the purchase order he promised would cloud his karma for years…

We’ve all been there!

Sales Fails Happen

And most of them are avoidable.

They just need a bit of backbone.

A dose of gumption.

Some carefully prepared responses.

An ambition not to be messed around or have you time wasted, and not to be taken for a ride.

A voice!

And guess what…no sales person ever died from having any of these

Unlike the many sales careers which have died as a result of not invoking the above.

So, which is it to be?

Do You Deserve the Job Title Sales Person?

Because if you’re falling for any of the prospect lines below then I’m afraid the computer says NO!

Let’s test it out.

Great sales people, professional sales people just don’t tolerate the sales fails…

  1. Send me some information
  2. Call me back on Friday
  3. I need to discuss this with my partner
  4. I have to get three quotes
  5. We’ll buy in two months time, the time is not right now
  6. We don’t have the budget now
  7. We’ve bigger things to sort out now, so we like your product/service, but the time is not right
  8. We like your competitors product better, so we’re going with them
  9. We’ll stay with our current supplier, thanks for all your help and work to date
  10. What discount can I get?

So, are you falling foul to these sales fails?

Hearing these sales lines from your prospects and saying ‘ok, talk soon’, putting the phone down, updating your CRM with the same shoddy sales lines and moving on to the next call?

Are you?

Wake Up. These Sales Fails Are Killing You!

Do you even know how much money you are leaving on the table.

How many ripe sales prospects you’re leaving there for your competitors to pick up, just because they might be a bit more sales savvy that you?

Even worse, you’re burning sales leads.

And even worse than that, you’re wasting time.

That’s the killer trifecta in sales – Time, Money and Opportunities. All going up in smoke because you won’t, can’t don’t care enough to push back.

What the hell kind of sales person are you?

Wow, way to go, broke, time poor and scrambling for sales leads.

Sucks to be you!

Sales opportunities trickling through your fingers…

Stop It. Now. No More Sales Fails

Join us for one day and discover how to consistently handle all potential sales fails.

Discover how to flip the sales fails that are now costing you time, money, opportunities, respect, career advancement and critically strangling your earning potential.

This is for all sales guys who are tired of being messed about by sales prospects and buyers.

Are you ready to say goodbye to mediocre selling?

You can also sign up for our weekly sales and business developments newsletter – The Advanced Business Acheiver

You can also check out our self study sales improvement package – TurboCharged Sales

Happy Selling

Carol

0779 002 1885

carol@mortonkyle.com

Join is The Sales Improvement Workshop and discover how to deal with the sales fails that are crippling your sales potential.

And, just  in case you do get to the stage where you’re sending out sales quotes and then your buyer disappears (yes, yet another one of those sales fails) – check this out What To Do To Stop Your Buyer Going AWOL – Following Up Sales Quotes

 

 

The Perfect Sales Recipe – What Sales Metrics To Use

The Perfect Sales Recipe – What Sales Metrics To Use

Sales Metrics and sales KPI’s matter,for lots of reasons.

Having the right team sales KPI’s and the right individual sales metrics means your chances of achieving sales success are already increased.

The following will help you identify some of the challenges around this area, and for a more step by step guide you can download our free guide. See the link at the end of the article.

What Sales Metrics to Use?

That really depends on what you want to achieve?

And that’s the easiest way to start.

For example, if your primary aim is to drive activity then there are key metrics that will impact that:

  • How much data is available?
  • How much of that data has been called more than 7 times?
  • Average call duration?
  • Average admin time per call?
  • Contact rate for your industry – i.e. ratio of decision maker call/gate keeper call

This is not an exhaustive list, but you’ll get a picture for how you create your very best sales metric template for you.

BUT don’t set up metrics for the sake of it.

Ask yourself; if you had to identify the most critical sales improvement, profit improvement, sales performance improvement sales metric then what would it be, then monitor that by reviewing the intrinsic parts.

Often one of the first and biggest piece of work done in any sales turnaround or sales performance improvement is to agree to measure those sales metrics that have a direct relationship to sales success.

The sales metrics you can control.

The sales metrics you can influence.

Why Use Sales Metrics?

Lots of reasons, primarily it’s an indicator for the sales management and the sales people that you’re all on the same track.

It’s a way of measuring sales progress when the month, week, day is still in play. Check out more on this here

If you’re a sales person, you know you’ll earn bonus, and if not you’ve got some idea of what to do to change that.

If you’re a sales manager, you know what skills to re-coach and with who.

And if you’re the business owner, you don’t have to wait 2 weeks after the month end to discover how much money you’ve made, or not made, as the case may be.

Agile use of your sales metrics is the easiest, quickest and most efficient way to improve sales skills, sales people, sales function performance and bottom line profits.

The key to continuous sales improvement.

Plus, it engages everyone.

Whether you’re using a league table, a weekly sales meeting, a daily sales huddle, everyone is following the same road map.

Everyone is working with the same sign posts and with a supported and directed mission to get there!

When to Proactively Use Sales Metrics?

That’s simple, every day.

Both the team sales metrics/sales KPI’s and the individual numbers.

This is the top of the tree in hands on sales management and sales leadership.

It will focus everyone’s attention on what’s not happening.

Not so you can blame anyone but because now, as a sales leader, you can make it right.

But it helps if you launch that months sales metrics at the beginning of the month. Explain why you’ve selected these metrics. Explore what success looks like, what disaster looks like. Highlight what support the business is providing to help everyone get where they need.

Then you’ve set the premise of expectations, it’s your management guide map for the month.

These sales KPI’s can then be reported/reference daily via huddles, emails, leader board, office screen, 121 sales coaching.

How to Use Your Sales Metrics?

Your selected sales metrics and sales KPI’s are also part of every sales persons sales review.

They form part of every performance management and sales development plan, personal development plan.

Used to drive performance, striving for continuous improvement.

They can also highlight areas where sales training, coaching, shadowing, mentoring or additional support is required.

To foster team spirit and collective sales team focus for the good of the individuals and the business.

A reason to celebrate sales success.

To foster team spirit and shared focus, as well as giving a team platform for discussion and suggestions.

Collective learning, ideal for targeted buddying.

Sales Metrics Matter…but that’s not all

Of course, it’s not all.

No-one manages solely by numbers any more.

Numbers, sales metrics, sales KPI’s well they’re just the foundations. Keeping score.

The real winning benefit is how the sales leadership team use these metrics. Great sales leaders use them to interact, develop, coach and motivate the team.

Having worked with thousands of sales people, I know for sure that the fastest way to improve sales performance is to spend more time coaching and mentoring the sales team.

Having great clarity and shared ownership of group and individual sales metrics/sales KPI’s is the easiest way to do just that.

To get more details on what sales metrics you could monitor in your team, download this free guide 7 Sales Metric You Need to Measure, Manage and Monitor 

Also if you’re really serious about improving sales results within your business, hit the links below:

TurboCharged Sales – for when you are ready to embed a continuous sales improvement framework into your sales team

The Sales Improvement Workshop – the fastest way to refocus, re-energise and improve sales results – one day course inhouse or open – check dates and locations

Sales Audit – for when you want to improve sales results, turnover and profits, but have no idea where to start.

And, if you’re great at getting sales quotes out, but your buyer’s all seem to disappear when you follow up the sales quite check this out Buyer Gone AWOL – Following Up Sales Quotes

To discuss your specific sales training and sales improvement needs you can contact us on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

Remember, having the right sales metrics is critical to any sales function wanting to outperform competitors, drive margins and foster continuous sales improvement.

5 Times You Need to Shut Up in a Sales Call | Listening Skills | Selling

5 Times You Need to Shut Up in a Sales Call | Listening Skills | Selling

Listening skills aren’t often spoken about in B2B sales training courses, I think it’s because sales people imagine they talk a lot less than they actually do, so it’s not until they actually measure it, or listen back to calls, or even get feedback from the buyer that they realise how much of the sales conversation they dominate.

And that’s a shame

It’s also the reason why lots of buyers say No.

Too much noise.

Not enough time to process.

Too high a volume of information being projectile verbally vomited in their lap…

Not pretty is it?

Yet, as sales people, we all do it from time to time, so here’s…

5 Times Your Buyer Wants You To Shut Up!

1. Prospecting calls 

Remember, this is just a fact find.

The idea is to ask big, fat, fact finding open questions so the buyer can give you as much information as he deems relevant to your brilliantly insightful questions…(you do ask brilliantly insightful questions don’t you? If in doubt check here – Brilliantly Insightful Questions All Sales People Should Know)

Being so brilliant with your sales question, this is a key time to shut up.

To employ those listening skills.

Gathering all that valuable insight from the buyer.

Letting your mind focus on what he’s saying so you can respond intelligently with another brilliant and relevant sales question (rather than some raked up questions by rote you’ve been using for the last 3 years, as is what usually happens)

Your buyer will appreciate your silence.

Your buyer will instantly lose any concept of value in speaking with you if you barge into his every sentence with a relevant or irrelevant semi sales pitch adjunct.

Just listen.

See, you’ve done the hard work, got through the gate keeper, you’ve got the decision maker, don’t talk him to death.

Big, open beautifully brilliant sales questions are only half the battle…the value is in the information they extract and how you capture and use that information.

2. Discovery Calls

Now this is the meaty heart of the sales call.

You and the buyer concur there is some potential common ground here, and you’ve both set aside maybe 15 minutes to explore this potential further.

There is no obligation on any side.

You want to see if there is a commercial fit with this buyer and his organisation.

The buyer wants to see if there is any value to exploring his needs for your product/service with you.

Mutual fact find, not a sales pitch.

You’d expect a typically split of at least 50/50 talk time between you and the buyer…even if the industry standard is 20/80 for the buyer.

How surprised would you be if in reality I told you the split was more like 80/20 where the sales person does the bulk of the talking?

It’s true.

It’s also criminal.

Criminal because it’s so costly in terms of lost sales opportunities, brand damage and just think of the amount of time, effort and money that goes into generating a sales lead.

All that lost because you can’t keep quiet and employ the listening skills needed to create rapport faster than anything esle.

3. Objection Handling Time

Now more than ever do you need to listen.

Listen like you’ve never listened before, because this is where the buyer typically unpacks are the reasons why he’s not going to buy from you (and if you struggle with this- take a quick read of When is a No Not a No?)

And if you listen hard, you’ll understand what he’s actually telling you.

The sales prospect si telling you all the hurdles you need to jump through so what when you ask for the order again, he will say yes.

Now, surely that’s benefit enough for you to switch of the verbal gear and tune in those ears and give the buyer the benefit of a good listening too?

To be good at sales, be good at listening.

Under performing sales people forget to use their listening skills, yet it’s the simplest of skills to improve.

Just stop talking!!!

4. Any Time the Prospect is Talking

I know, a bit of a coverall this one.

But very very true.

Be very careful about interrupting prospects.

After all, who knows what gem they might forget to tell you before they were so rudely interrupted.

5. When You’ve Asked for the Order

Always.

When you’ve asked for the order.

Stay silent.

More sales are lost at this time than any other.

Don’t be the one to talk the buyer out of his uncomfortable state…

Let him contemplate and reflect.

Listening Skills vs Talking Skills

Talking is easy.

But it takes skill to listen.

To focus.

To pick out what the sales prospect is saying as much as what he’s not saying.

Not everyone is a natural listener.

Some people are uncomfortable when they’re just listening.

Instead feeling the expectation to perform, to add value, to be seen and heard.

Now, here’s me reframing that thought process for you.

If you’ve amassed all the research you need before making contact with your prospect.

When you’ve invested the time and developed a list of great sales questions.

If you’ve value to share with the prospect then it’s ok to surrender control of the call to the sales buyer occasionally, see where he goes with it.

It’s the fastest and surest way to discover what is actually on the buyers mind. This will ALWAYS be far more relevant than whats on your sales agenda.

It’s a million times more important to the buyer.

Even if you do think you’re full of wisdom and value!

Listening skill rock a good sales call.

And, no-one ever listened themselves out of a sales, but I’ve seem 100’s of dales people talk themselves out of one!

To gain weekly insights into sales and business development hints and tips – claim your free subscription of The Advanced Business Achiever – great for sales briefings, daily huddles, sales coaching and weekly sales training sessions. And it’s free.

Happy Selling

p.s. If you can’t master great listening skills, you might find it tough to ever reach your true sales potential

 

Increasing Sales Results | What to do Before Starting B2B Sales Training

Increasing Sales Results | What to do Before Starting B2B Sales Training

Increasing Sales Results – What to do Before Selecting Your B2B Sales Training Courses

There are lots of ways of increasing sales results, you could:

  • Focus on bigger deals
  • Increase, or decrease prices
  • Sort out your incoming sales funnel and sales lead generation
  • Only chase good quality business with your clearly defined perfect prospect profile and decision maker
  • Soup up your case studies and testimonials so everyone gets more social proof
  • Fine tune your sales processes
  • Split the business development function from the sales closing function
  • Ask your sales manger to spend more time coaching in situ as salespeople connect with potential customers

And all of these would work… they’re all part of the 100% Club – the go to list of how to increase sales results.

Also on that list is…

B2B Sales Training to Increase Sales Results…

But that’s not the only way.

Whatever your sales and marketing efforts, whatever your business development strategy, effective sales, great B2B sales will invariably come down to how you intersect with the decision maker to get them to make a purchasing decision. But there are a myriad of other sales stimulating activities you can do before you get to the sales training stage.

If you do everything else in the sales process, but you cant get the decision maker to make a purchasing decision, well that’s a NO SALE!

Hers’s 10 ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

10 Way of  Increasing Sales Results

Ensure your sales process deals with the decision maker and the relevant influencers. However, never take your eye of the main buyer. Loosing contact with the person who makes the purchase decision can catch a lot of sales people napping. Never forget whose signature you want.

Increase your conversion rate by ensuring you spend time with viable buyers. Check this out if you want to know if you are dealing with a viable buyer or a tyre kicker – Engaging with the Perfect Prospect.

Also – read this if you want to know How To Qualify A Perfect Prospect

Too many sales people are happy just to be busy, but not especially effective sales people. I’m not saying lazy sales people sort of have the right idea, but how about you ask yourself this question every morning – what’s the fastest way, least stress, low risk way to get my sales pipeline full of high quality, viable  prospects who are able to make a purchase decision? Once you have the answer – do that! Being an effective sales person is key in an industry that judges you by results delivered and not hours worked.

Get a super clear picture of what your potential customer looks like. The sooner you realise what your ideal decision makers look like, and that you can increase sales results by killing your compulsion to try and convert every potential decision maker, the richer you will be, because it’s one of the fastest ways you can use for increasing sales results.

Then: if you’re really serious about increasing sales results and improving sales conversions

Work your referral networks. Draw up a list of 10 people per week, happy customers who have benefited from you an your expertise, then ask them for one or more of the following: an introduction to a named contact, a referral, a testimonial, a shout out on social media, a case study or a linked in introduction…that’s 10 new pieces of sales and marketing activity from people who love you, and as you know, social proof rocks

Purchase decisions can take ages to make, so when you do get the prospect to that stage, then don’t let them off the hook. Just ask for the business and don’t stop asking until you get what you need. Think that’s too pushy? Look at it this way. At this point you’ve just rolled a huge snowball up Everest, so why would you let it go now? A good buyer, a good decision maker will know what you’ve invested, he’ll work with you if he sees you working for the order so don’t fade away.

Talk to your sales and marketing and business development teams all the time. Especially if you’ve found a trend that’s swaying decision makers at the moment, or perhaps some competitors have a nice hook you’d also like to use. Sometimes the sales and marketing teams are working in isolation and inspiration from the sales team at the front line can really boost their creative juices. Get them creating compelling call to action sales and marketing material, and those first class landing pages.

Next:Sales Strategy

Understand your sales processes and work it hard. Whilst you’re doing that, look at where most of your sales stick in the sales process and get some help. I know lost of people ho are great at the first half of the sales process, but can’t progress to a close. Some would die rather than ask for the business. Likewise I know some sales people who are dropping opportunities because the deal doesn’t progress fast enough and they have no nurturing skills. Everyone needs help sometimes. It’s a valuable insight to know where your own strengths sit. If you need some help – check this out – it show you what sales metrics to watch if you want to increase sales results

Once you know what your sticking point is, what sales skills you need to improve, then take action. Either grab your manager for some training. You could even check out some self development videos. I love YouTube. Perfect for getting something sorted and a new skill gained really quickly. It  is learning on the go and you’d be surprised at how quickly you can pick up new sales skills. In fact, better still, get the whole sales team involved in the learning and sharing.

Register now for your weekly free and practical sales insights into how to increase sales results, improve business development efforts and fill your sales pipeline full of high quality sales prospects. Just hit the link Advanced Business Achiever

When you’ve done all of that and you need B2B Sales Training, then we’d be delighted to help.

Fixed Price Sales Training

Sales Improvement Workshop

Online TurboCharged Sales 

Or if you want to discuss how we could design a tailored sales improvement solution for your business – contact us on carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

New Starters Sales Training

New Starters Sales Training

New starter sales training has to take in so many things.

First of all, these people are new.

They may not know heaps about your products, services, competitors, industry trends, jargon, key players…and the list goes on.

And, they might not have a great deal of sales experience.

Maybe you’ve recruited people who have a great attitude. People culturally aligned with your business values. People with great energy, drive and ambition. Maybe you’ve decided to ‘grow your own’ sales talent…

So, it’s definitely not about polishing existing skills.

It’s about building the rock solid sales foundations so that the new starter can thrive in their new environment.

It’s as much about confidence, motivation, freedom to fail, learning to dance with the prospects.

Having some good quality, no hassle, no pressure, personable sales conversations.

So, Where Do You Start?

First of all, acknowledge that Rome wasn’t built in a day!

This means critically thinking about how the new starter can be of value to the business from day one whilst they’re learning the ropes, and all the time moving towards that front line sales role you’re recruited them for.

But even more important than that, is getting the new starter to feel confident and motivated in their new environment.

Quite often this means giving them a sense of purpose. A very specific set of self measuring tasks so they get to take in relevant and valuable information whilst being of value and gaining a sense of their contribution to the sales function.

And that looks like?

That depends on you, the firm, the team structure.

Some firms chose to have the new recruit doing lead research and gate keeper type list building tasks.

Other firms have new recruits list cleaning.

So do lost sales calls – very simple market research questions about current usage, number of users, next chance to quote, what would be need to do differently? Why didn’t we win it type of carefully structured calls.

It all depends upon the circumstances in your business.

And this is important.

It’s important because no one gets to be a sales super star in one day.

So, the worse thing you can do in taking on new sales recruits is to take them on, give them a desk and hand a target around their neck. That’s not good for them, and it’s not going to be good for your business either.

Fly or die isn’t a line I hear very much at all, and if I do hear it in a sales function, I only tend to hear it once.

What Else to Consider in New Start Sales Training?

Well, the first sales you make should always be to the sales person, right?

Because if the sales person is not sold on your product/service then there is no way your prospects will ever be sold on them. That’s just a simple fact of sales life.

So start with very simple product knowledge, competitors, strengths/weaknesses, trends/fashions.

Sell you to new sales recruit like they’re the most important sales prospect in your sales pipeline.

If you’ve picked the right person, they will be hungry for knowledge and have tonnes of questions.

And if you’ve picked the wrong person, shucks, here’s where you find that out too!

Find a Champion

Find the new recruit a mentor, someone in the business who has the time, tenacity, intelligence and communication skills to guide the your investment through the early stage angst, self doubt and steep learning curve.

This mentor can also ensure you don’t keep the new recruit in the nursery pen too long.

You see, there is no universal solution, no universal plan, and if you try to impose a one size fits all solution, you’ll lose the best people, you’ll just not be moving fast enough for them. You know what that will leave you with right?

Well what about sales training…when does that start?

First of all reflect on why you recruited this person.

Then recognise that trying to get them to be the sales person you want them to be by following highly scripted call flows is just one way to go, the other way would be to see what sort of sales skills they develop once they are immersed in the sales function and being mentored by a responsible leader.

Then it’s time to look at the new starter sales training. After all it’s a big investment and any business would be wise to play to the new recruits strengths and not try to impose some meaningless generic sales sales course that has no context or relevance.

Also, be flexible on what you new starter sales training looks like.

Some people work better using a sales coaching model. Others like, and respond well to directed self learning and peer discussion.

If that’s not available then why not reflect on the self learning and self development culture you have in your business.

The Bottom Line

Sales has come a long way in the last 2/3 years, so have the routes to increasing the sales skill sets and building sales intelligence in your teams.

Good sales recruits are harder to find, although they are out there. However, more and more firms are looking at ‘grow your own sales talent’. That’s great, as long as you realise that it’s a huge commitment, with an extended pay back when done correctly.

If you’re looking at adding to your sales team and want to explore the new starter sales training programs, you can contact Morton Kyle on 0114 236 1221 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

New starter sales training could be the answer if you’re business is tired of paying over the odds for jaded sales ‘professionals’. You know, those who have done the obligatory circuit around all of your competitors. If you’re looking to create a sales function where you don’t need to waste time unpicking the unhealthy sales habits, or you’re simply looking for the business culture you know you can create when attitude and enthusiasm means more that sales experience in your industry.

Happy Selling

p.s. To get free sales, business development and sales improvement tips straight to your inbox, perfect for sales meeting, daily sales huddles and sale coaching – hit the link Advanced Business Achiever

Also:

If you’re looking for a sales improvement program for your existing sales team – you can check out Online Sales Training – TurboCharged Sales, or come along to our Sales Improvement Workshops, running monthly

And if your sales function is performing below expectation – we have a range of tailored Sales Assessment and Sales Audits available to suit all firms and challenges.

Fixed Price Sales Training | B2B Sales Training Courses

Fixed Price Sales Training | B2B Sales Training Courses

Fixed Price Sales Training Courses | B2B | Book Now

Fixed Price  Sales Training – B2B Sales Training Courses – Train up to 12 sales people for just £1,250

Book your date ASAP….and get next month off to a great sales start…because that’s how quickly you’ll see improvements if you use the sales skills, techniques and insights you’ll learn during the course.

Did you know that according to CSOInsights, 54% of sales professionals will NOT hit their sales targets this year.

54%.

How many of your sales team won’t hit their targets?

More than 54%? Less than that?

What’s the Gap Costing You?

I’m talking about the gap between what sales revenues your sales sales team should be hitting and where your sales guys are currently landing.

That Gap…what’s it costing you?

What’s it cost you in the last three years?

What’s it going to cost you in the next three years if you don’t do something about it?

Either way…it’s costing you something.

The Fixed Price B2B Sales Training Course will help you close that gap. Stop the sales leaks and give you a solid sales pipeline BECAUSE, here’s how I look at it.

If 54% of your sales team aren’t hitting target it means that you should be able to double your sales output without increasing your overheads, headcount or wage bill

The Fixed Price Sales Training Course – Selling Vs Buying – B2B Sales Training Courses

The fact of the matter is that sales is a fluid industry, and buyers are now setting the sales agenda in a far bigger way than every before.

That can seriously damage and challenge some sales people…hence the reason why more sales people typically fail to hit sales target than actually hit it.

Over the last 4 years I’ve been studying key reasons for failure or under performance in the sales team, here’s what I’ve found.

Sales people/teams tend to fail to hit their sales targets for a handful of key reasons:

  • Inability or poor attention given to filling the sales funnel with high quality profiled sales leads in the correct quantity
  • Failing to ask the right questions, in the right format, at the right time to allow them to close sooner, with higher prices and a higher level of buyer urgency
  • Leaving the buyer confused at the end of the sales presentation due to inability to close, or reticence around closing
  • Confusing the sales process with a free information and advice service
  • Treating all prospects as being of equal value – failing to qualify leads properly
  • Letting the sales process develop without digging for, exposing and dealing with explicit and implicit objections
  • Being scared of price.
  • Poor sales follow up process…80% of sales will require at least 12 chase stages…
  • Inability to create clear blue sky between their offering and that of the competitor

This course is designed specifically to address all of these issues.

The B2B sales and business development training covers all of the key elements associated with:
  • Filling the Sales Diary because every empty selling slot is forever lost
  • Keeping the Sales Funnel Flowing because a slow and congested sales funnel costs money
  • Efficient and Effective Sales Presentations because being able to influence, persuade, entertain and educate takes skill
  • Smart Sales Closing because working hard and not getting the business is just a crime.
  • Increasing Sales Conversions because success is addictive
  • Boosting Prices because being the cheapest is just a race to the bottom
  • Minimising Objections because the best sales pitches have zero buyer resistance
  • Creating Ongoing Sales and Business Development Leads because that’s just plain SMART!
  • Generating Cross Sales, Up Sales and Referrals …every time, because your competitors won’t be doing this
  • Building a Strong Sales Pipeline – Quality and Quantity because that’s how you build a scaleable sales function
Hitting Your Key Sales Drivers

Don’t think this is some out the box course, your fixed price sales training package will focus on your key sales drivers, prior to the course, we explore your key sales issues, so you know the training focus is geared to have the maximum positive impact.

These could be anything from losing business to competitors, relying to heavily on discounts, lack of loyalty with your customers or any other sales and business development issue, or combination of issues.

Your fixed price sales training package has you covered.

If it’s affecting your sales results, your profitability and your business performance then we obviously need to do something about it.

The Fixed Price Sales Training course runs from 9 am to 5 pm on your site and is:

  • High Impact
  • Practical
  • Full to bursting with proven sales improvement techniques you can use IMMEDIATELY
  • Focused on getting the highest possible ROI back into your business as fast as possible
  • Maximising conversion rates, profits, market wins and time

To discuss your specific sales issues and how the Fixed Price Sales Training course can help you – email carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

www.mortonkyle.com

Feedback from recent attendees be found in the ‘Client’s View’ section which you’ll find at the top of the page.

For all your internal B2B Sales Training Courses you can also register to receive your free copy of The Advanced Business Achiever , it’s delivered weekly, totally free to your inbox and covers Sales and Business Development Insights to help you boost and improve your sales performance, it’s great for using in the sales meeting, board meetings and generally as part of ‘staying up to date with the world of sales’…Just hit the link The Advanced Business Achieve

*Expenses will be charged at cost for delivery over 30 miles of S1

Book your fixed price B2B Sales Training Courses today and see what your sales team is REALLY capable of.