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Sales Improvement – 6 Ways to Amp Your Sales Results on Zero Budget

Sales Improvement – 6 Ways to Amp Your Sales Results on Zero Budget

What is not having a system that delivers predictable sales results costing your business?

Every firm is seeking continuous sales improvement. They would like to achieve that on zero budget. Every firm seeks predictability and stability.

It’s the Holy Grail because once you’ve cracked that formula for your sales lead generation and closing, then you can simply plug and play and collect the cash. Simply put your sales process delivers great sales results consistently. Primarily due, to a large degree, to you removing many of the failing and costly variables in the sales process variables.

The result? Predictable sales growth, high level of sales stability, fewer peaks and troughs. Plus higher levels of confidence in the future…exciting times? You bet!

And it won’t cost you, because you’ve probably already got all the resources you need…it’s the application of those resources that’s causing the gap.

It why so many firms miss out on implementing the key elements of a predictable sales system!

It’s costing them, and maybe you, fortunes, every single day. Business is sitting on the table or even worse dropping into competitors laps way too easily…and what’s even worse is that margins are being compromised on sales that are landed.

Predictable Sales Results and Continuous Sales Improvement

I’ve completed two quite intense sales audits this month and something struck me as quite odd.

Whilst writing their respective and separate 30 day improvement plans, I saw more than a few common elements between the two firms problems. The common elements existed even though the sales teams operated in different industries, selling different products, each firm operated at different price points and are selling in to different decision maker levels.

What was even stranger was the key common elements existed even though one firm was doing ok, but had plateaued, whilst the other sales function was in a real long term sales dry patch.

Despite all of this the root causes were essentially the same.

The question is; are they the same for your business too?

So What Does That Mean?

Very few firms go from soaring success to total sales nose dive over night. Maybe occasionally if there is some disaster or unplanned legislative changes, so I can can accept that depressed sales performance is a spectrum that can slowly morph from a plateau to a dip to a dive to insolvency…

However, this doesn’t distract from the fact that there are critical success factors. It is the absence of these critical sales success factors that sets of the chain of events that see sales results start to slip and then dive…

Predictable Sales Results – Is Your Sales Function In Danger?

When you look at this list below, just remember that any sales function can address these issues immediately. Remember that providing your take quick action you’ll see some sales improvements.

I hope the list gives you food for thought, and also a cause to take action if you’re seeking predictable sales results and the huge benefits associated with such predictability.

How many of these easy to fix sales improvement options are available to your sales function, and what could your sales results be if you looked at implementing just a few over the next month?

Don’t try to do all of these at once.

You’ll get on everyone’s nerves and be the sales dictator that no-one signed up for. Just pick two or three and see what happens:

  1. Look at your sales management information at least half daily…personally I like hourly because that way there can be no slippage…but half day might work for you. This does two things. Firstly, you get an opportunity to praise high activity/high results success. You get to ask questions and unblock any issues with the rest of the team. Without a decent level of activity, everything else is meaningless. Get on top of activity and stay there. Which does not mean managing the team by numbers – any monkey can do that – look at their conversion rates, look at the meaningful outcomes, look at who is closing, advancing sales and who is simply going through the motions.
  2. Don’t confuse talk time or client facing time with selling time, review the selling process. Are sales execs qualifying hard enough? Closing soon enough? Educating, questioning, advancing the sale fast enough? Are they having an easy chat and picking the low hanging fruit?
  3. Get embedded in the team – the fastest way for any manager to change the sales performance of the team is to start a high intensity side by side sales coaching program. Don’t think you can do 3 or 4 hrs per day sat coaching the team? Of course you can! get your mobile device so you can work any where and simply plug in. Nothing better than someone listening in to really get a sales person to up the game, and you get the chance for immediate 1:1 feedback. Win!
What Next?

The top three issues should bump your sales results considerably…but there are three more I want to share with you:

  1. Pay attention who the sales execs are pitching to…the number of sales execs that pitch to gate keepers in the hope they will put them through is a shocker (but they need the talk time right? of course, that’s why side by side coaching is so important). It’s also important that your sales execs don’t try to be Idiot Converters
  2. Have a performance improvement plan for everyone, (I call it a sales coaching plan) and just as the doctor leaves your notes at the end of the bed during a hospital stay, fill in the daily report card on what needs to improve daily due to your coaching and guess what? You’ll see fairly rapid sales skills improvement, and the inevitable knock on affect of more sales, better quality sales…in less time.
  3. Don’t treat your performers and your non-performers the same…I’m not explaining this further, you’ll know what I mean by this
So Will You Get Predictable Sales Results?

You’ll be well on your way.

Building a business development, lead generation and sales closing system that delivers predictable sales results is not just 6 bullet point.

The points above are 6 key reasons why firms DON’T get semi predictable sales results, and are in a sales slump/dive.

Don’t ignore the obvious.

The market is no tougher for you than anyone else.

The buyers are no more exasperating with you than your competitors

The economy is not penalising you, it’s impacting all.

Don’t listen to it.

Take control of what you can control (click here if you’re totally out of control or heading that way…) and you’re well on your way to predictable sales results…

Happy Selling

Carol

0779 002 1885

carol@mortonkyle.com

P.S. Want to receive a regular feed of sales improvement and business development tips? Then simply claim your weekly free (and span free!) subscription to The Advanced Business Achiever. It’s great for sales meetings, in house sales training, daily coaching and daily huddles…

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a way to create your own internal sales and business development system to predictable sales results…you can find that here TurboCharged Sales 

And if you want to book your very own Sales Audit – hit the link here for more details. Or give me a call for a confidential chat 0779 002 1885

So, lots of ways to get predictable sales results…let me know how you get on

Business Development Workshop

Business Development Workshop

Join us now – just one day to boost the sales results in your business, increase sales conversion rates, shorten sales cycles, and ultimately increase turnover and sales margin – just hit the link – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield 

Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Ask any business leader about the relationship between the business development skills of the sales team and the sales results of the business.

You’ll not find a single sales leader able to disagree. They’ll all tell you there is a very direct, very important and ultimately business success defining relationship between the strength and level of skills of the business development effort, turnover and margin.

Here’s another thing they’ll tell you…if they could fully realise the extraordinary sales potential that exists within their team then they could dominate their sector, and smashing target would never be an issue.

You’re probably the same?

All that sales potential. Sat in your offices. All costing you a small fortune. Some performing. Others performing not so much.

All that sales potential, just waiting to be set free.

What would that look like for you? For your business? Your industry reputation?

Find out here – start your journey – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Just 1 Day – Improve Your Sales Skills and Sales Results

Spend just one day attending the Morton Kyle Limited Sales Workshop and discover everything your need to DO to make sure sales targets are smashed, sales conversion rate goes through the roof and you’re no longer having to discount to get the order signed.

If you really want to find out how much you could really bill if you fully realised your sales potential then this is the sales and business development training course for you.

You see, sales potential is great to have but it won’t get you very far. Whether you’re a sales person, a sales team or a business, your sales potential will never make you rich. At some point you have to release that potential. You have to DO something with it…

Here’s your chance – reserve your seat now – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Monthly Business Development Workshops – Sheffield

Don’t wait! This course is run monthly. It gets filled quickly.

And for a short time we’re running the following promotion

  • Send 3 people and only pay for 2.
  • Enter into a draw to win 6 weeks of 121 sales coaching – winner drawn on the day

Here’s how you sign up to reserve your seat now – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

If you want to run this course for your sales team internally as a closed course – hit the link – Fixed Price Sales Training 

If you want to discuss a bespoke sales improvement and business development course for your sales team, then email carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885

p.s looking for regular Sales and Business Development hints, tips, training, success stories and how to fact sheets straight into your inbox (all spam free) weekly? Check this out – The Advanced Business Achiever 

p.p.s. If you’re looking for a Sales Improvement Program to embed in your sales team and your business – check out TurboCharged Sales – the 21 day step by step guide to boosting sales performance on a rinse and repeat cycle.

Three Sales Myths That Cost You Sales – BUSTED!

Three Sales Myths That Cost You Sales – BUSTED!

Sales Insight

Every business leader craves real, meaningful and timely sales insight. If that’s what’s bough you to this page then check this out

Meaningful sales insight is so important, especially since much of the information floating about will leave you mired in superstition and folklore…not so good when you’re aiming for sales improvement.

I’m a scientist at heart. That means all things are semi-predictable and there is typically a cause and effect at play somewhere along the line, you’ve just got to dive in far enough to find it.

That’s why sales myths like this just blow my mind (and not in a good way) so here they are – busted once and for all.

MYTH 1: It Takes 7 Touch Points to Make a Sale…

Sure if you’re THAT incompetent…hell, let’s make it 25 and really over egg the pudding.

First Fact – the longer the sales cycle the greater the chance of the competition joining the party. That what you want?

Second Fact – with more touch points, I guarantee, you won’t be increasing the sense of urgency, you’ll subconsciously telling the prospect he’s got all the time in the world.

Third Fact – who has that much time to WASTE?

Fourth Fact – ok budgets are on hold for specific release dates, decision makers are sometimes wrapped in endless buying criteria cycles and decision making nightmare. BUT…if your sales contact plan is predicated on 7 touches you might be giving the sales cycle just a bit too much time

Sales Insight 1: Understanding the decision making process and the buying process is key to shortening the sales cycle.

To find out how to REALLY SHORTEN the sales cycle, kick the competition out and engage the prospect in the SHORTEST possible time – check this out

MYTH 2: There is Less Competition in the Extra Mile

You’ll all have seen the stats claiming that most sales people give up after 2 follow up attempt. The same stats that claim most orders are placed after 12 follow up attempts. Is this true?

So what do these stats actually tell you?

  • Some sales guys are cut and run merchants?
  • Sales guys are super hot at qualifying and have made a commercial decision to ditch a prospect who’s not worth the time/effort investment?
  • Some ales guys can’t invoke prospect urgency and curiosity in any shorter time frame?
  • Some sales guys are stalkers? (12 follow up calls and I’d be changing my telephone number if I were the prospect!!!)
  • Prospects are just playing the long game?Trying to get the sales guy to panic and drop the price (‘cos that never happens!!!)
  • Sales guys can’t close!

Any, all, some, none of the above could be true.

But, based on 20 years experience let me tell you what I know:

  • Most sales guys don’t know how to shorten the sales cycle, and this is simply because they often don’t think to, which means they don’t ask for the buying criteria or the decision making criteria before they invest their valuable time in the sales process.
  • Sales guys who maybe lack a little focus and who don’t love new business development typically fall in to the Sales Stalker camp. It’s easy there, they feel busy, they can boast about the value in their sales pipeline…
  • Prospects are not always fast to make decisions – that’s why having the sales person create urgency is sooooo very important.
  • Some sales prospects will drag their heels because they just KNOW that it’s the fastest way for the sales guy to get nervous and drop the price (smart prospect huh?)

Do I believe the stats? Maybe…

Do I think it’s good use of a sales persons time to chase 12 times? Rarely…

I’d rather have a process that didn’t rely on that…if you’d like the same process – check this out

Sales Insight 2: Getting in principal decisions/agreements at every stage of the buying cycle/decision making process is critical to ensure your buyer is not simply a chattering head with no intention of committing.

MYTH 3: Sending 20 Sales Emails is as Good as Having 20 Decision Maker Sales Conversations

Internet businesses are springing up all over, telephone numbers are disappearing from websites, everything is done via a contact form or an email.

Why is that important? Well these firms boom, record sales, mega growth and wow. All supposedly on the back of email and online interactions. That’s amazing.

And it’s turning the heads of B2B sales people because they got to thinking that people buy from emails, that people will read 12 page email brochures, that buyers click a few buttons and send the purchase order.

Oh if only.

Sales guys think a great email is as good as a great sales conversation. NO WAY!

I’ve seen good sales people fail miserably because they forget (displacement activity) to pick up the phone every single chance they got. I mean really tanked. Off a cliff tanked.

Likewise, I’ve seen mediocre sales people smash sales targets because they worked the most effective sales channel harder than their email writing, social media surfing, LinkedIn connectors!

Sales Insight 3: Look – both routes work. But neither route works to the exclusion of the other.

Sure, social media is great for research, relationship building, building highly qualified lists of prospects. But it’s the sort of activities that can be done at any time, BUT not during core selling hours and not to the exclusion of picking up the telephone.

So What?

I did a sales audit last week. Some sales guys were spending as little as 20 mins a day on the telephone and the Sales Director wondered why sales results were nowhere near what they needed.

Strangely no-one could really identify where the rest of the day went. They just knew that it went. The figures showed that wherever it went, it wasn’t on generating sales, feeding a pipeline or creating value that prospects were prepared to pay for…so, go figure.

We need to understand what sales channels work best, and work those, because that’s where the sales results are.

The Sales Improvement Workshop is designed specifically to get the juice back in to talking to prospects. Get the sales function having proper sales based conversations. Sharing sales insight. Delivering business development and sales techniques that will destroy all the myths that are leading to sales people losing focus.

This course can be delivered internally or it’s run monthly in Sheffield. Just call or email to discuss which option is better for you, contact details are below.

What Next?

Book Your Sales Audit. If you’re looking to improve your sales results, then before you do anything, book your Sales AuditIt’s the fastest way to identify all those areas that are stopping you getting the sales results you deserve. Delivering sales insights that allow for targeted and focused sales interventions…instead of buying into the the sales folklore and myths currently derailing your sales results.

Book now.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885

p.s. You can also subscribe to a free weekly sales insight and business development newsletter. I’s great for supporting daily sales huddles, internal sales training and sales coaching sessions. Subscribe here – The Advanced Business Achiever 

 

 

The Relationship Between Risk, Value and Price – Know the Implications

The Relationship Between Risk, Value and Price – Know the Implications

Risk, Value and Price

Risk, Value and Price, and how your explore these areas with the buyer are the cornerstones are sales success. Or sales failure.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the buyer/prospect is complex.

That’s a fact.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the sales person is not always as well defined as it might be. In fact it is often confused and assumptive.

That’s an observation…based on extensive research.

For a win-win sale to be made there needs to be clear line of sight in the buyer’s mind in terms of the financial outlay versus the value received from the purchase.

This is closely related to the risks involved in both making that purchase and NOT making that purchase.

For the sales person, that’s a lot of things to uncover, explore, define and incorporate as part of the sales process.

That’s why the quality of the sales persons and their ability to openly explore  risk, value and price with the buyer needs to be razor sharp.

Some sales people do better than others.

Refusing to Explore the Risk, Value and Price Relationship Costs Sales

Some sales people will ignore the exploration to a large degree, hoping that the features and benefits will sell their solution easily enough.

This breed of sales person won’t exists for much longer. They create little value, they treat their product/service like a commodity and invite the buyer to do the same.

Often this leads to a no sale or low margin sale…and no-one really wins.

Some sales people will conduct a low level discovery around the issues associated with risk and value, maybe erring more on the value side than they ought. Quite often they’ll lose sales because they are simply selling the ‘positives’

According to Cialdini, an expert on influence and persuasion, people will invariably do more to escape pain then they’ll do to seek pleasure…and so now you can see why just selling the positives will stifle your sales conversion rates.

What’s the Buyer Really Thinking About?

A typical buyer, hearing a typical sales pitch will, primarily, rarely be focused on all the good things your solution will deliver. That’s a given. A tick box exercise completed before your appointment was dropped in his diary.

Instead, your typical buyer’s mind will be reaming through the endless list of risks involved. That’s the list the ambitious sales person concerns themselves with, because that’s the list that needs taking to pieces.

These risks will typically revolve around what happens if he takes your solution and pays your price.

BUT, there is a much bigger area of risk that buyers often pay scant attention to, even though they acknowledge it exists.

Some sales people, in their efforts to keep away from anything overly contentious, will avoid this MUCH BIGGER area of risk completely, and therefore deprive themselves of one of the most powerful sales tools, that, if only they could capture and use this, would almost certainly lead them to close more sales.

YET, still they stay away. Head in the sand. Ruled by fear.

So? How Can Uncovering this Unexplored Area Help You Get the Sale?

It is exploring this much bigger area of risk where the sales person can be of greatest value to the buyer. And in doing so can also positively and ethically help the buyer arrive at the most suitable solution.

The key element that is the missing link for many under performing and mediocre sales people is simple. It’s the discussion around the ‘cost of doing nothing’. The cost of not buying. The risk, value and price of NOT buying from you.

Whilst it’s crucial to remember that demonstrating value is the minimum entry level focus of the sales exchange, the sales person will rarely achieve the sales they could without consideration and balanced exploration of value against price and risk, both in the areas of ‘buying’ and ‘not buying’

What many forget, to their loss, is that there are two opportunities in a well defined sales process to explore pain.

Two opportunities to explore risk. Two opportunities to understand the buyer’s perspective on both.

Using both risk laden opportunities to their fullest extent, helps you and the buyer to shorten the sales cycle. Helps create raving fans. Helps you protect/defend your margins in instances where there is price resistance.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the buyer/prospect is complex. Unraveling it for the buyer has a high level ROI. It’s more than worth the effort.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the sales is often ill defined. It is often lacking clarity and focus. That alone is costing business, orders, margin and market share.

It needn’t be that way.

Discover how you can gain razor sharp focus in exploring risk, value and price during sales exchanges, because it’ll make the biggest difference to your sales conversion rate, your sales pipeline and your sales acquisition costs.

Just hit the link – Tell Me More

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

p.s. You can check out Free Sales Improvement Guides from Morton Kyle Limited here.

p.p.s Subscribe to our weekly sales improvement and business development guide here – The Advanced Business Achiever

Your Sales Conversion Rates: Your Very Own Sales Crystal Ball

Your Sales Conversion Rates: Your Very Own Sales Crystal Ball

Sales Conversion Rates: The Ultimate Sales Metric…or is it?

Lots of sales leaders and sales people monitor their sales conversion rates since it’s a good top line indicator as to how things are going…from staying steady to gently increasing or, heavens forbid, heading south.

But, I also know some firms who don’t pay that much attention to it at all. Personally, I think that’s a huge mistake and hopefully, soon, you’ll agree with me.

Here’s why…

Sales Conversion Rates, whether you are a sales person or a sales leader, informs you how you are using your most precious money making commodity….time.

Plus: anything that allows you to predict future performance in sales is worth watching.

Very closely.

Sales Conversion Rates: Where do I measure them?

Your sales process, documented and detailed, rigid or flexible, will have certain gates in it.

If you subscribe to my idea of a Plug and Play Sales Model – see here – then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

But, for the sake of speed, let’s assume you don’t.

You’ll know (or should know) how many sales calls you make in a day. How many of those convert to opportunities – meetings (that’s one gate) or quotes (that’s another gate)…or declines, or call backs, or deadlines…(these are all gates too)

You’ll know how many of those meetings turn to quotes. how many convert to orders immediately. How many decline and how many pipeline for another time (that’s another 4 gates). Even more gates will you consider monitoring sales cycle times also.

From your quotes, you’ll get another series of sales gates….

And at the end of that, you’ll get a final, maybe monthly, weekly or daily overall sales conversion rate based activity during that period.

It’s all about knowing what gates to measure

What gates to pay especial attention to and how focusing on the quality of interaction at each of those sales gates can dramatically improve the sales conversion rates for the individual gates as well as overall sales conversion rates.

Further sales metrics that drill even further down into the sales process is you’re serious about really improving your sales performance are detailed here. Just hit the link for your free guide – instant download – The 7 Sales Metrics to Measure, Manage and Monitor.

You see, measuring just one overall sales conversion rate is just not enough…it doesn’t give you a detailed enough picture.

And certainly you won’t be able to do the sales improvement diagnostic you need if you’re serious about really boosting those sales figures…

Sales Conversion Rates: The Fastest Way to Predict the Sales Future

Once you know the metrics at each of your selected sales gates, you’ll have your sales recipe. If you’re struggling as to how to calculate this – see here.

Your sales recipe is the formula, which may fluctuate slightly, allows you to judge sales performance, manage sales resources, predict sales performance, optimise sales resources and most certainly is the first step in creating any scaleable sales model.

It’s also the crux of real sales or performance management program.

5 Things To Think About With Sales Conversion Rates

  1. Too high and it could mean you’re pricing too low, or at least it’s an opportunity to reconsider your offer, your pricing, your route to market, how you package your product/service, and how you compete in the market place.
  2. Too low and it could be an indicator that you need to look at the prospects your chasing and the offer your proposing. On the whole this presents a huge amount of opportunity for positive growth (Click here to find out how one company went from 1:25 sales conversion rate to 1:3, and tripled their average order value)
  3. A sales conversion rate that stays the same (as long as it’s healthy) could mean many things, but on the whole it means you’ve got a solid test bed for testing out some new sales initiatives; namely – testing out new pricing, new positioning, different sales techniques.
  4. A sales conversion rate that’s in rapid decline should set all alarm bells off very quickly. Are you under competitor attack? Is it dissent in the sales ranks? A change in product? A raft of customer complaints? (A branding issue? Pricing problems? Quality issues? Read here about poor customer service nearly killed one firms new business efforts).
  5. A sales conversion rate that’s increasing dramatically – well first thing you do is celebrate…obviously, the second thing you do is monitor customer complaints…and then refer back to my first point.
Sales Conversion Rates: The Sales and Business Thermometer

Sales Conversion Rates are gold to me. At a glance I know who is performing and who is not. I know where to focus my efforts and what to leave well alone.

I know who’s on fire and who needs a fire setting underneath them.

Sales Conversion Rates tell me what types of customers my clients should avoid. What types they should hunt for, what to charge in what sectors, how to pitch and present in those sectors, as well as when to actively hammer a region as well as when not to waste time.

Monitoring sales conversion rates works.

It’s very effective and takes no time at all to set up, and it’s the certain route to optimising sales resources and minimising costly waste.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

779 002 1885

P.S. To check out more sales improvement insights and business development strategy, then check out our blog  

Plus: to receive weekly sales and business development support, directly into your inbox, just hit the link. Claim your free subscription to the Advanced Business Achiever

Sales Audits: Uncovering Untapped Sales Opportunities

Sales Audits: Uncovering Untapped Sales Opportunities

Why Conduct Sales Audits?

Sales Audits are vital if you’re serious about continuous sales improvement.

The truth is – sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know!

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s mastering a new sport. Developing a new skill or just trying out a new Jamie Oliver dish for the first time.

We miss things.

You and I will give much greater importance to some things and negate the relevance of others. Sometimes to our cost.

Eventually we get where we need to be, and hopefully, we’ll have enjoyed the process and all our inexperience will have cost us is a bit of time, maybe a few bruises in the pursuit of a new sport and hopefully no dodgy tummy when cooking plans went awry.

It’s all part of learning, and it makes life interesting.

But what happens when you need to solve a business problem.

And the clock is ticking.

Money is running out, or at least the money isn’t coming in as fast as it should.

What do you do?

Would you enjoy the process of solving that problem as much?

Would you enjoy the detours the challenges gave you?

I didn’t think so.

So it makes sense to make the problem solving process as smooth, effective, efficient and productive as possible.

Why a Sales Audit?

Here’s two examples to show you why Sales Audits are so valuable.

These examples are specific to failing divisions/firms. Beware, Sales Audits should also be used in profitable firms to ensure nothing is lurking in the background and to further ensure that all profit and sales generation opportunities are retained.

Sales Audits are crucial in showing that uncovering the REAL problem. Scoping the impact of the REAL problem can save you time, money and stress, lots of time money and stress.

Sales Audits – Example 1:

Client was looking at the new business team in a buoyant and expansive market and seeing a long term sales plateau starting to take a sharp downward slide.

Their options:

  • Invest in training
  • Start performance management
  • Increase coaching
  • Talk to customers
  • Enhance/change the product
  • Fire the sales manager
  • Up the marketing spend
  • Fire the sales team
  • Ditch the market and concentrate in another vertical

Or, any or all of the above…what’s the solution?

On further exploration, the Sales Audit took me 4 days, I discovered the cause of the sales drop was a change in strategy. A change that had been employed about 18 months ago in the business.

Quite simply, the Sales Audit showed that 18 months ago the business has eschewed all manner of account management and moved their whole focus into new business development, which mean that the business had just one person to account manage per 400 customers.

So, in a nut shell, bigger focus on new business development caused sales to plateau then drop through the floor?

Absolutely.

It turns out, the real problem was nothing to do with the new business development, the team, the function, the price, the product, the market, the business or the vertical.

The Sales Audit Uncovered the Real Problem.

That real problem had everything to do with the vibe that was now going around in their vertical market that said ”this company is great at the up front sell, BUT, once you’ve signed, you’ll never hear from them again, and, heaven forbid if you do have a problem, it’ll take you months to get a response, if you are lucky enough to get a response that is”

By diverting extra resources back to the account management team. By ensuring a strong and immediate account management and customer retention strategy, the new business team started to see an immediate lift in their sales conversion.

4 days and 1 Sales Audit saved that company in that vertical market.

Sales Audits – Example 2.

Division failing badly, average order price just covering costs but conversion rate running at 1:25. The division was being propped up by other more profitable trading divisions by things were getting worse not better as time went on.

Again – large potential market, highly competitive but very buoyant, no where near saturation.

But 1:25 conversion from meeting to order was killing the business.

Lots of opportunities to improve and all pointed to firing the sales team and starting again.

Many solutions also pointed to cancelling the external sales function and relying simply on a telesales team.

Either way something had to change.

A three day Sales Audit came to several crucial conclusions:
  • Competitors we making the same mistakes as this company…so it really was a race to the bottom.
  • The division wasn’t selling what the prospects needed…although they could have
  • The division wasn’t selling what they thought they were selling…no-one had unpacked the benefits
  • The average order value of the competitor that was succeeding and doing very well was 7x that of the division in trouble
  • It was a very crowded market of failing ‘me-too’ competitors
  • Every competitor was trying to serve every vertical
  • Every competitor was doing a ‘hit and run’ sale

Knowing all of this and employing some highly practical solutions mean that neither the product nor the routes to market changed, instead by changing the vertical, extending the sales presentation by 1 stage that happened post sign up, and by employing a higher level and more robust ROI demonstration during the sales process, we got the sales results we needed.

.All resulted in a 3x increase in average order value and a 1:3 close rate instead of a 1:25.

Summary: Sales Audits

And there are plenty more examples of how an intensive Sales Audit can dramatically change the fortunes of a sales division…but you see, the most crucial  point is, sometimes the most obvious solution to a problem is the correct solution, but not always.

For example – had we dismissed the Sales Audit all together and taken some or any of the actions outlined in the first case study above, the client’s sales performance in that vertical would have nosedived still further, even faster…and still with no clue about how to improve it.

In the second case study…simply training the sales staff would have brought about marginal improvements in the short term, would have minimised the growth potential and most definitely would have seen the sales division closed within 6 months.

Solving the immediate problem is one thing.

Identifying the true cause of that sales problem is another.

That’s where a Sales Audit really comes into it’s own, and can prove invaluable in saving time, money and other valuable resources.

Solving the cause of the problem and not the symptoms displayed by the cause of the problem can just do more harm than good. You can send results spiraling out of control, waste precious time and money as well as driving you insane in the process.

When you’re dealing in high risk situations, where the cost of getting it wrong is huge, where you’re against the clock, and money is flowing in the opposite direction to you…shouldn’t you take a deep dive into causes before looking at solutions?

To discuss any aspect of the Sales Audit, just use the contact details below.

Sales Audits can be conducted in as little as 3 days and feedback provided within a further 2 days.

When you’re business isn’t getting the sales results you want, need and deserve, time is of the essence so contact me now.

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

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Competitive Strategy – Do You Just Drop Your Price?

Competitive Strategy – Do You Just Drop Your Price?

Competitive strategy allows you lots of options.

Competitive strategy takes more than simply dropping the price.

Discover how lowering price is not the best differentiator when you’re trying to boost sales, profits and market share, and why simply distracting the market with cheaper prices is the last thing you should do.

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