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Continuous Sales Improvement | Sales Process Audit to Boost Sales

Continuous Sales Improvement | Sales Process Audit to Boost Sales

What is a Sales Process Audit?

You know there are 100’s of sales levers to improve sales results, how do you know you’re working the right levers to get the sales improvements you need?

The truth is you don’t always know, it’s more intuitive, its worked in the past, it seems to be working now, you read about it in a book…

Sometimes sales improvement is just 100 of mini things rather than a few big things that are done differently

But the question is, just where do you start?

Start Here! The Sales Insight | Sales Process Audit

Just hit the link above for full details.

But Why Should I Get a Sales Process Audit?

Well that depends on you, so I’ll share some of the reasons past clients invested in Sales Insights for their business:

Software client:

Problem: dramatic drop in sales after a long plateau, is a subscription product so recurring revenue took a hit

Discovery: they’d recently invested more focus, energy and money on new business development than customer ervice and retention, ex customers were starting to talk and their credibility was shot.

Solution: power up your customer retention

Business Solutions Client

Problem: loosing 100k+ per month

Discovery: their average sales order value was just 20% of their competitors, they didn’t focus on specific sectors so message was all over the place, sales guys were diverted between sales and new business development as well as account management

Solution: create separate functions for new business development and account management, pick 3 red hot niches and get s robust ROI to demonstrate value, restructure the management team – average order value after 5 months was x5, and team had stopped loosing money

Professional Services Client

Problem: Client retention, poor margins

Discovery: commission structure stopped paying out at 3 months, coincided with biggest client drop off, poor pricing skills based on being unable to demonstrate strong value based ROI

Solution: changed commission structure to reflect a period where the sales person could hand over to customer services/internal team, introduced sign on costs and bulk buy packages, tighter terms and conditions for long term block usage, improved skills on pricing and relaying pricing information and packages.

Could All These Firms Improved Without a Sales Process Audit?

Yes.

Maybe.

Eventually.

Worth the Wait to Find Out?

That’s your call…but why risk it.

Book you Sales Insight Now

To discuss how you’d like to improve your sales results, the functionality of your sales team or simply take your competitors out for a walk next quarter – call Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

To sign up for free sales and business development insights – hit the link – The Advanced Business Achiever – and claim your free subscription.

A sales process audit is your key to releasing the infinite potential within your sales team…so why wait?

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

 

How High Performing Sales Teams Close More Sales

How High Performing Sales Teams Close More Sales

High Performance Sales Closes are like Unicorns.

They exist, but no-one has ever seen it. Yeah, you know it.

And the truth is – really successful sales people ask for the business, of course they do, but they never, ever hard close, because they just don’t need to.

High Performance Sales Pro’s 

Have a totally different way of closing more sales.

They simply don’t rely on the close. Not at all.

They don’t ask for the business until they know the answer will be YES!

In fact, some of the sales high flyers will wait for the buyer to ask…where do I sign?

Are you asking yourself just how do they do this?

They angle their prospect interaction so that the buyer is begging them for the opportunity to buy. Talk about turning the tables.

You know what also happens?

They close faster.

Typically discounting less.

And they close more sales, more often.

High Performance Sales Closes Rely on One Thing

And it’s not the close!

Think of it like this…

Your ability to create a ‘sales no-brainer’ for your prospect is directly related to your sales success.

If it’s not a no-brainer it won’t be a fast, easy close. In fact, it might not be a close at all.

So, now your sales pitch is not about closing but it is all about creating a no-brainer!

If you can create a situation where the buyer has to conclude – ‘well, I’d be mad not to do this’ …then you have an order. Typically an order on your terms.

That’s how to he a sales super star.

How close to ‘no-brainer’ are your sales pitches?

Because close just doesn’t cut it.

Selling ice in a hot place – name your price. That’s no-brainer.

Even the national/state lottery…for some people, it’s a no-brainer to buy a ticket. Sure the odds are crippling, but for such a small amount, it’s worth a go. Plus it’s easy.

So, is your sales pitch a no-brainer for your prospects?

Then don’t bother wasting their time.

You’ll do far more harm that good.

You’ll be entering a competitive sales race that will exhaust you and tie up your resources with no guaranteed reward.

Why would you do it?

The 5 Key Element of a No-Brainer Sales Pitch

You must show the prospect/buyer:

  • A ROBUST ROI for your product/service
  • The true cost involved in him saying no to you
  • How his current thinking can be improved. To do this you need to respectfully challenge him so as to reframe your product/service as the solution
  • An easy way to do business with you
  • How your product/service is without competitors

If you can’t do all of these, at the very least, then you’re just one of the many mediocre sales pitchers out there.

Don’t be those guys.

High performance sales closes don’t exist. High performance sales people do. It’s your choice.

What Next?

You can join us on our next Sales Improvement Workshop. This is run as an open course and also as a bespoke inhouse course, onsite sales training on a day to suit you.

Or if you’re looking for a sales process and sales methodology training to embed in your own business, then check out TurboCharged Sales.

And finally, if you’ve no idea where to start but you know you need to improve the sales results within your business, book our Free Sales Health Check

And, if you’re struggling to sell because of buyers going AWOL after you’ve sent the sales quote – don’t get caught out – read How to Follow Up Sales Quotes

There are no magic high performance sales closes that will totally change you sales results, because that sort of change needs a change of heart, mind, positioning and the skills to influence and persuade.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

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

Close More Sales | The Perfect B2B Sales Training Package For Hitting Sales Targets

Close More Sales | The Perfect B2B Sales Training Package For Hitting Sales Targets

Everyone wants too know how to close more sales…

The Perfect Sales Package to Close More Sales

There are 3 critical elements in the Perfect Sales Package:

Prospect.

Pitch.

Presentation.

2 out of 3 won’t cut it. No chance.

The very best pitch to the wrong prospect…dead opportunity and wasted time. You’re a busy fool.

A mediocre pitch to the right prospect, means you probably won’t get the chance to find out if your presentation is any good. The opportunity won’t mature that far.

If you want to close the sale – then only 3/3 is good enough.

Where Do Most Sales Processes Fail?

Invariably it’s not pitching to the Perfect Sales Prospect.

Aiming your product or service to a prospect too far down the food chain, someone who is neither critically interested or chronically in enough pain to care what your solution can do for him/her.

Talking to anyone within the business who is happy to talk/engage but who has no actual budget, decision maker power or investment in identifying or solving the problem your solution addresses.

Spend your time talking to anybody rather than THE somebody means you’re just churning rubbish through your sales pipeline.

Ain’t nobody got time for that! Yet still too many sales people, and poorly managed sales teams still do.

First rule of selling – make sure you’re talking with someone who could buy, has the budget, authority, need and urgency to buy. You can read more about that here – Engaging the Perfect Prospect 

But What About the Sales Pitch?

Yeah, that can trip you up to.

Most sales people don’t ask nearly enough questions – and that’s sad. It’s sad because prospects like questions. They like explaining. They love people who are interested in them, those who care, who want to know more.

The Perfect Prospect likes chatty sales people…not so much! But good listeners who ask challenging questions, who educate and seek to understand? Go straight to the top of the class…and you can collect your commission on the way.

And the Sales Presentation

You know what’s worse that a generic sales presentation? Nothing!

Nothing is worse than a generic sales presentation, and if your sales presentation even hints at where you are based, how many employees you have and your year of incorporation, well I just don’t know what to say.

Stop it!

There are three rules for a good sales presentation so you can close more sales:

  • Ensure it’s relevant to that specific buyer and his business.
  • Make sure it solves identified problems.
  • It should end with you asking for the business.

No-one closes more sales by accident, you see, the truth is, you find a sales process and a sales system and you work it!

If you want a whole day creating your own winning sales package so you can close more sales, work at profiling your prefect sales prospect, refining and polishing your sales pitch and making your sales presentation a knock out, then just hit the link to join us on the Sales Improvement Workshop

You can also subscribe to get free sales and business development insights into your inbox every week – perfect for sales meetings, sales huddles, sales training sessions and on going coaching – register here – The Advanced Business Achiever.

And if you’re super hot at sales, but simply struggling when your buyer goes AWOL after you’ve sent the sales quote, then  read How to Follow Up Sales Quotes

Any questions – carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

Plus, if you’re looking for an online B2B Sales Training Course – check out TurboCharged Sales –  it’s the fastest most cost effective way to get a continuous sales improvement system embedded within your sales team and business.