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Relevant Sales Activity and the Equal Odds Rule

Relevant Sales Activity and the Equal Odds Rule

In Sales YOU have as much chance of winning as losing.

Where you engage in meaningful and relevant sales activity…

You have as much chance of getting a customer as getting a rejection.

You have as much chance of succeeding as failing.

Your chances are equal.

Need more proof?

The Equal Odds Rule was published by a Harvard psychologist, Keith Simonton in 1977.

Check out James Clear for more information.

Here’s my 3 line take:

  • Sales is actually a numbers game.

So get dialing! Get talking! Networking! Profile Building!

  • You have to be in it to win it!

If you’re not dialing, talking, networking, profile building you’re not in it!

  • Your chance of failure AND success increases with your level of activity

Extra dials, the more rejections you’ll suffer, therefore the more success you’ll enjoy.

So What?

The Equal Odds Rule is simple. You’ve as much chance of success as failure, and it’s really that complicated, or that simple, depending on how your brain is programmed.

BUT too many sales people aren’t even in the game, not at all. They just think they are, and that’s where it’s dangerous, for them, their employers and their sales forecasts.

They don’t believe that the harder the dial, the more they dial, the more people they speak with, the more people they meet with, the more networking they do (online and offline)…they just don’t get the Equal Odds Rule and it’s predictor of their fate… or their success

Cutting to the Chase

It’s not about saying no to maxing the level of activity, it’s now about just one thing…

Maxing Out the Level of Relevant Sales Activity

Activity = Failure/Success can be replaced by Relevant Activity = Failure/Success

What Does Relevant Sales Activity Look Like?

What’s your WEEKLY relevant activity schedule look like? For example…

How much time do you spend

  • talking with customers to get referrals?
  • with customers building relationships?
  • engaging with prospects?
  • with influencers in your industry?
  • encouraging dialogue and courting referrers?
  • nurturing relationships in your LinkedIn Groups, Facebook communities, Twitter sphere?
  • scouring LinkedIn and other such data sources to build comprehensive family trees of suitable organisations with relevant contacts?

Plus:

  • What efforts did you invest in working towards being recognised as a ‘go to expert’ in your industry?
  • How many educational posts did you put out this week?
  • Count the people in your personal/professional network your helped this week?
  • How much goodwill did you create via referrals/introductions across your network?
  • Did you spend enough time leveraging your personal network for your benefit and for the benefit of people who know you?

It’s not my job to point the finger and tell you what you should do or even what your Relevant Sales Activity should be, because I have no idea about you, your ambitions or how you currently work, instead I’d ask you to reflect on how you spend your time and how you could better spend your time to make sure you weight the odds in your favour in the Equal Odds Rule.

You have as much chance of winning as losing…you just have to be in the game.

To what extent are you really in the game?

Here’s the Truth about Relevant Sales Activity

Whether you believe the Equal Odds Rule or not, just think about it, there is an inevitable fact.

The more you are out there as a proactive sales person, the better you will get at your craft, the greater your skill, the better your professional profile, the higher your status, the better your sales skills will be.

You’ll get all of your ‘failures’ out of the way, by default, you’ll improve your chances of winning.

Work the Equal Odds Rule because you can’t lose.

You can take control of your own sales career now and focus on the absolute and critical sales success factors, and create your own relevant sales activity – just hit the link here – tell me more

What’s Your Sales Why?…Why Should the Buyer Buy From You?

What’s Your Sales Why?…Why Should the Buyer Buy From You?

What’s Your Sales Why?

Everyone knows sales isn’t just about your product, your service, your money back guarantee etc…it’s about so much more. It’s also about you, the sales person.

Sure people buy from people is a very old cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

So my question to you is – what do YOU bring to the party?

And whilst you’re thinking about it, please be very clear that whilst you’re buyer is dealing with you, he’s asking himself – why you?

Whilst it might hurt to accept this, ”Why You?” is a perfectly legitimate responses from your prospect.

And? So what? Who cares? Well?

There’s a few more…legitimate responses that is, to your well crafted sales pitch.

It doesn’t get any easier to hear does it?

But, how do you combat it?

Spend loads of money? Of course, because we’ve all got the marketing budgets of Virgin, Nike and Apple.

Right? Maybe not.

How about network like crazy and talk to as many people as you can? Sure that might work.

Social media? Absolutely, because that’s easy and cheap…(or is it?)

So, we’re back to the question – What’s Your Sales Why?

Why You?

You can have the best message pathways in the world but if your message is wrong, then your message is not going to move the sales needle.

Delivery mechanism matters not one jot because unless you know what your message is, well, what’s the point?

If you don’t know what your point of differentiation is, then there is no point being social about anything.

When you can’t nail absolutely what it is that your prospect wants from you, then forget it.

If you’re going out there saying exactly the same as your competitor, then you might as well walk behind your competitor with a sandwich board saying ‘wot he said’

That’s harsh too.

Simon Sinek is a great advocate of discovering what your WHY is all about.

I think it’s useful.

Very useful.

In fact, I’d say WHY is one of the most powerful words in the business world.

WHY?

(See what I did there?)

Try this.

Any problem, ask why enough times, and be willing to be honest and truthful and you’ll get to the answer.

Now to your business message, you might ask this

Why Should My Clients Buy From Me?

What’s Your Sales Why?

You can come up with any string of answers in response to why.

Here’s the trick, because until you hit on such a response that is totally different and identifiable from that of your competitors AND that has a deep and meaningful impact on your clients, customers and prospects then it’s likely you’ll still be one of a very big crowd.

Why? What Does That Mean?

It means:

  • Depressed sales
  • Reduced charge out rates and prices
  • Low sales conversion
  • Weak profits
  • Sales instability and uncertainty

The truth is this:

If you can’t work out your WHY, how can you expect your customer to?

You can’t. You shouldn’t expect them to.

But many sales people do.

They expect the buyer to join the dots.

Lean how to do it differently.

Discover how to be different and communicate that difference to your buyers because when they GET that about you, your chances of doing business increase –  when they get IT and they get you.

The real reason they should buy from you.

That’s My WHY.

I’m tired of mediocre sales pitches – receiving them, listening to them.

And I’m tired of watching sales people leave money and deals on the table.

When they should be in their pocket, and their bank account!

What’s my why.

That’s why I’ve created the Sales Improvement Workshop

Designed to help you uncover your sales why because it matters

During the day we’ll cover how to build a red hot sales pipeline and keep the sales funnel flowing with great sales leads, as well as how to take a prospect from cold to order with minimum fuss and zero objections:

Plus:

1. How to create your own competitive sales pitch because you won’t get the extraordinary sales results you want if you just sound like everyone else!

2. How to make your sales pitch so compelling that the prospect will think ‘wow, this is a no-brainer, where do I sign?’

3. How to build a sales pipeline full of HOT sales prospects who want to buy from you…

4. How to maximise your prices using three simple techniques…

5. How to maximise your profits and not leave cash on the table…cross selling, up selling and sooooo much more.

6. Discover handfuls of reasons why your buyers should buy from you rather than your competitors, and how to communicate your sales why’s with conviction and confidence, because that way,  no-one will ever need to ask you what’s you sales why is ever gain because they’ll just know!

Be great to see you discover your WHY…just hit the link above and book your seat…

Best

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

P.S. For an online sales program for you to follow in between your busy week hit the link TurboCharged Sales

What’s Your Sales Why? This could be the most important question you ever ask yourself in your quest to become a high performance sales professional because if you don’t know, don’t expect anyone else to.

Sales Pipeline Management: Do Not Resuscitate

Sales Pipeline Management: Do Not Resuscitate

Sales Pipeline Management: Your Sales Crystal Ball

Sales Pipeline Management is the key to predictable and stable sales performance.

That means sales growth, sales security, certainty and the ability for any business to produce accurate sales forecasts.

So today, whether you’re a sales leader or a sales person, let’s think about your sales pipeline.

How do I know?

Because proactive sales pipeline management is a daily task. For sales professionals their sales pipeline is their true north.

The sales pipeline feeds the sales forecast…so managing the sales pipeline is a high priority task.

The sales pipeline is the holy grail of sales crystal balls.

Your’s isn’t?

It should be.

Sales Pipeline Management Facts

The profile of a typical sales pipeline will show you it’s a mixed bag; for example.

  • You’ll have some great prospects in your sales pipeline
  • Some rubbish in there
  • You will have new leads in there
  • You’ll have some very old leads in there
  • Some entries in your sales pipeline will be ready to close, some just in the process of being opened up
  • Other records will offer you huge sales rewards and some will barely cover the sales acquisition costs
  • Some you’ll love dealing with, some you’ll want to shoot
  • Others won’t know what they want, some will know exactly what they want but can’t afford it
  • Some will be liars, some will be chancers and some will be using you to get a better price to beat your competitor with
  • Occassionally, youll find those who will enjoy your hospitality with no intention of buying from you
  • Some will have told their team to always say they’re in a meeting when you call
  • Often there will be others who will always see you to chat…picking your brains for free is part of the deal…right?
  • Some will think they know best, yet continue to fail, they want to do it the hard way first

Just a fragment of what you might find in a typical sales pipeline…the good, the bad and the ugly is just a cliche, so how about the prospect, the chancer, and the waster?

 

Key reminder: if you’re like most sales teams your sales pipeline is 90% rubble and 10% gold.

 

Sales Pipeline Management: Think Again

I’m not jesting when I tell you that your sales pipeline should be your Holy Grail. It REALLY is your sales crystal ball if only you’d let it be.

No-more guessing. No more getting half way through the month and realising the sales target is just not going to happen this month.

No. A great, well managed, quality based sales pipeline gives you and your business all the sales intel they need to remove risk and to provide the basis for a health sales result at the end of every month.

Plus, it’s a great start for a replicable sales and business development team…but that’s an aside.

Today

Today, when you look at your sales pipeline, think about this:

Think about getting rid of all the dead beat prospects, all the prospects that are just taking up space, the ones that your eyes fly over without registering any more, the prospects that give you hell and always want something for nothing, the prospects that take forever to pay, the firms that only use you when your competitors have put their account on stop.

Say no to continually calling those prospects that don’t respond to calls, ignore emails, tell you time and time again that they’re the decision maker when you suspect they’re not.

Reposition those prospects that have said yes 10 times and never sent the order, say goodbye to the prospects who give you grief or just call you in to batter you on price with threats to go to your competitor.

Make today the day you say ENOUGH!

DO NOT RESUSCITATE

Your time is precious because you can earn whatever you want when ever you want. If only you can manage your time.

A poorly managed sales pipeline is a killer.

Undiscerning sales pipeline management will definitely diminish your ability to close business effectively and efficiently.

Poor sales pipeline management will also compromise the quality of the sales you close.

Instead of carting around 600 questionable sales prospects (for example) be very cute and very commercially attuned to where you’re spending your time (and therefore your money) and clean out all the gunk because all those prospects that you’ve been nesting in the hope they’ll somehow wake up to the value you could deliver, probably won’t!

Give Up On Being A Sales Stalker

Surrender the wasters to the universe…at best your competitors will pick them up and get mired in the prospect’s maybe promises.

At worst, you’ll have set yourself free. Free to concentrate your fabulous skills, efforts, talents, time and money on prospects that are worthy of that investment.

So with pride, with head held high, and a huge sense of relief and rebirth slap those DNR stickers all over the prospects that are clueless, spineless, not interested, not worthy and just stuck.

Instead, march forward with the brave, the enlightened and the glorious because that’s what you deserve!

Your sales pipeline is your key to sales glory, endless commission and a genuine joy of doing a great sales job…and your discerning sales pipeline management skills are crucial to you achieving this.

Ditch The Losers!

You owe it to yourself.

Fly higher and devote time to the prospects that have the potential, insight, budget and mindset to work with you.

Don’t compromise on the quality of your sales prospects or the quality based criteria in your sales pipeline.

Your sales pipeline management could be all that stands between you and huge sales success.

Happy Selling

For further insights on sales pipeline management as well as information on how you can boost sales and super charge your business development efforts for free – hit the link – The Advanced Business Achiever

If you want to know how to fill your sales funnel and sales pipeline with high quality sales leads – check this out Leads ++

And if you want to discretely discuss sales improvement in your business – contact me, Carol on 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com

You can also check out the blog for articles on improving sales performance, building replicable and scaleable sales and business development systems as well as sales pipeline management, but act fast, because this is the fastest easiest way to boost sales performance – Morton Kyle Sales Improvement

For further insights into sales pipeline management, sales funnel creation and creating accurate sales forecasts – check this out – tell me more

You can also check out the Morton Kyle Sales Audit for a super fast insight into the real reasons you’re not getting the sales results you want, need and deserve.

Here are some of our most recent sales improvement reports – all free, instant downloads

How to Generate High Quality Sales Prospects

10 Steps to Out Sell the Competition

How You Can Increase Profits by Avoiding the Commodity Gap

Fill the Diary with High Quality Sales Appointments

How to Recruit the Best Sales Talent into Your Business and Reduce the Costly Risks

 

 

 

Lead Generation for Professional B2B Sales People – Leads ++ 

Lead Generation for Professional B2B Sales People – Leads ++ 

Sales Lead Generation | How to Generate Leads for B2B Sales | At Zero Cost 

Lead Generation that’s Fast, High Impact, Easy AND Generates High Quality, Profitable Sales Opportunities at Zero Cost.

Suitable for: Professional Services, Law Firms, Accountants, Insurance Firms, High Volume Sales Call Centres, Resellers, Software Houses, Business Service Providers, Brokers, Multi Channel Sales Teams, any business with more than 3 products or services to sell.

Why?

If you’re dealing with customers and prospects on a daily basis then I GUARANTEE, you’re in charge a zero cost source of high quality leads.

You have access to a sales lead generation machine!

The truth is, you’re sitting on a HUGE asset.

Yet, so few businesses make the most of that asset to help then dramatically improve their sales lead generation.

Very few businesses turn that very valuable asset in to cash, profit, market share, competitive advantage, stable growth and sales certainty, because they just don’t know it exists!

Don’t be one of those businesses, because you don’t need to be hunting for business in the dark anymore.

Are you guilty of having a huge lead generation asset but ignoring it?

Don’t Make the Same Mistake.

Create high quality zero cost leads while competitors go chasing questionable business.

Don’t be the business that:

  • Ignores zero cost, high quality leads, because you don’t know any better
  • Refuses to accept high quality, well qualified leads into the sales pipeline, because you’d rather chase cold deals
  • Leaves their customer base open to competitor attack, because you don’t know how to be a wrap around provider
  • Struggles to fill the sales funnel every day, because you’re ignoring business leads that are straight in front of you
  • Sees precious selling opportunities go to their competitors, because you leave the sales door open for them
  • Falls foul of running half empty sales diaries, because you don’t realise that your most valuable asset could give you more
  • Struggles to get meetings with great prospects, because you’re missing a few simple techniques
  • Leaves pure profit on the table…ready for someone else to pick up, because you fail to do one simple thing
  • Spends endless time and marketing budget on chasing new business, because you think that’s the only way to grow
  • Accepts that ‘the leaky bucket’ is just part and parcel of being in business, because that’s what everyone else does
  • Struggles with customer retention and costly account management, because you make it easy for businesses to move from you

Can you even begin to imagine hope much all of the above costs? I can’t, but I know it’s a lot of money and even more opportunity going to waste…right under your nose.

Serious Lead Generation Action?

Yes Please!!!

Of course, sales lead generation is the life blood of every business.

Now you can cross sell, up sell, and generate leads in every single sales call, visit, customer service call, complaint call…in fact at every interaction with the customer or prospect, you can generate well qualified leads…

As many as you want…

Whenever you want…

In fact, with Leads ++ you’ll be able to sell and generate leads without selling!

You’ll see how easy it is to generate leads confidently, professionally and successfully on every single call.

Yes – every single sales, customer service or customer interaction.

Serious Lead Generation with Leads ++

It’s the fastest way to fill your sales funnel with leads, so you can get qualified sales leads into your sales pipeline whenever you want.

And the extra good news:

As if you need any more reasons BUT, this is all at zero cost.

Zero Cost Lead Generation!

This is the easiest way to:

  • Increase the quantity of sales leads in the sales funnel, therefore increasing the chances of smashing sales targets
  • Reduce sales lead acquisition costs, hence making more margin
  • Improve the quality of sales leads going into the sales funnel, which means that you’ll likely close faster
  • Save time, money and resources, which means you get extra days per month
  • Gain a steady flow of continuous sales leads for the sales funnel, so you don’t have to go chasing cold leads

All at zero cost.

That’s right – Zero Cost Lead Generation

Find out more here – just fill in the enquiry form below and I’ll send you everything you need to know about creating an infinite source of leads and sales for your business

Or you could just continue struggling…

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If you’ve any questions or queries – email carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

Want further insights into sales improvement? Because hitting this link will start the sales improvement in your business. Get weekly sales and business development newsletter – The Advanced Business Achiever

And, if you’re looking for a first class online sales training pack – check our TurboCharged Sales 

Strategy – Cheap or Fast…What’s Your Choice?

Strategy – Cheap or Fast…What’s Your Choice?

Strategy and Sales Business Plans – Questioning the Reality

Strategy Overload, Strategy BS and Strategy Words Without Meaning!! I’ve seen it all over the last 4 months.

I spent three weeks in summer looking through some very ambitious sales strategy and business plans for a company that has huge ambition and even bigger potential.

Huge potential. In fact, off the scale potential.

Little competition. Great product. Demonstrable ability to deliver. Fabulous reputation. Outstanding service ethos.

Strategy – Why Bother?

As you would expect when the business needs to break through to the next level, then their senior business leaders put tremendous effort into pulling the business plans together.

That’s cost serious time and serious money.

We drafted, redrafted, discussed, argued, challenged, tested, refined, redesigned, road mapped, reflected, showcased and shredded…until the final business plan was alive and kicking.

At which point, the senior business leaders confirmed they’d all created a plan they knew they could achieve, something they could have faith in, fully recognising that if they didn’t take action now, then one of their hungry competitors would.

The value of a well designed sales strategy is not just making sure that it works on paper. That’s one aspect.

But it’s also about seeking alignment in the thinking of the key players.

It’s a chance for everyone to have their input into the sales strategy, everyone can say their piece, share their concerns before reaching a workable consensus.

So, by the time everyone has signed off on the sales strategy, you know everyone is on board.

That’s it. Committed to. In love with. Totally sold on what needs to be done…

Sales Strategy – That’s All?

No!

None of that is as important as the bit that comes next.

This is the most important bit.

It’s this question.

One single question.

That question comes when it’s time for action.

Time to make the dreams come true.

This is when I know whether the senior business team are really in, or if they’re just saying they’re in.

The question?

At this stage boards will ask one of two questions:

How cheaply can we get this done?

or

How quickly can we get this done?

Two completely different mind sets and two completely different trajectories to success (or not).

Of course, the ideal sits somewhere in the middle of the extremes…well, you’d like to think that, in an ideal world.

Because this is the truth, if you’re wholeheartedly behind what you’re going to do and you’ve been sensible, realistic and conservative with your projections, transparent in your risk analysis and have a business model you truly believe in them money is rarely as big an issue as time is.

Either way – the point of this: are you asking yourself the right questions?

Because the best sales strategy in the world is pointless if you don’t believe in it enough to make it go as far and as fast as possible.

Action is key. Action drives everything else. Action matters when the words are just words.

Think about it next time you have to commit to business changing actions.

In the meantime:

You can download a selection of free reports on how to improve your sales performance – just hit the link on our blog 

Plus you can sign up to a free weekly digest of practical and proven sales and business development improvement strategies – hit the link – 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 Funnel: How To Fill It With High Quality Sales Prospects…Free Download

Sales Funnel: How To Fill It With High Quality Sales Prospects…Free Download

Filling the Sales Funnel? That’s someone else’s job right?

Sales Funnel Truth.

Experienced sales people and sales leaders know lots of things about sales and how to sell.

But they forget stuff too…we all do.

And you and I get rusty at the things we don’t do regularly, so if you’re in sales then listen up.

Regardless of what other great sales skills you have, and however high up the sales hierarchy you are, one skill should be continually practised and developed.

It’s the skill and ability to fill your sales funnel with well qualified, high quality sales opportunities.

This one of their most important sales skills in the whole sales tool kit

Really? Knowing how to fill the Sales Funnel is that important?

It is!

Absolutely and without question.

Nothing happens until a well qualified, choice prospect is identified with, and the preliminary qualification is undertaken.

Nothing. Not one thing.

Great closers have nothing to close. Account managers have nothing to manage and relationship builders can sit around twiddling their thumbs.

Without the new business executive, the lead generator, the appointment setter the whole sales world stands stock still waiting for something to happen…the email to ping, the phone to ring…

But who really wants to wait…couldn’t it be better to go out there and make it happen?

Whenever you want?

Like today maybe?

I think so, don’t you?

Doesn’t that seem kind of simple?

Of course it does…and that’s what fazes some sales people.

It is simple…much more simple than complex and costly marketing campaigns with the huge risks.

But forget all of that, because here’s the most important thing about new business generation and feeding the sales pipeline.

You can test out a different position every call, you can try different sectors, different job tittles, different geographies, different products, different everything with minimal risk and as a by product of all this you learn almost everything there is to know about your target prospect in your target market.

You get wise!

So your success rate soars!

That’s worth a lot in sales.

You know what it also takes? Hard work, perseverance, wit, tenacity, charm, intellect and ambition. Added to a great customer orientated mindset, a genuine desire to help prospects solve their problems, excellent communication skills and a will of iron.

Now you can see why lazy sales people a: don’t like doing it, and b: are so bad at it.

It’s a special skill.

A valuable skill.

A life skill if you’re serious about a career in sales.

Building a Great Sales Pipeline

This skill, in my view, is the difference between the sales Super Star, mediocre sales pretenders and ex-sales people.

Knowing how to  set about filling the sales funnel, to get the sales pipeline activated and to start the very, very important relationship building, well, the last two activities mean nothing if you’ve nothing in or to put in to your sales funnel.

Being a great sales prospector, a door-opener, a business developer, a lead generator, an appointment setting…whatever you want to call this function, it’s vital at whatever stage of your sales career you’re at.

Plus: being a master of this sales funnel filling skill means that you do have total and complete control over your earning potential.

As a great sales prospector with the ability to create a sales funnel from thin air, you’ll be very highly valued in the sales industry.

And even better, you’ll never have to rely on anyone in sales support ever again, you can use you in-house business developers as the guys that top-up your diary and your sales funnel, not the guys that have to fill it from start to finish…that way disaster lies.

And, if you needed any more proof, then let it be this.

The quality of sales leads that you’ll get as a result of your own new business skill, your own nurturing and development will (typically) outweigh the value of leads in your sales funnel that either come in from marketing or via the inside sales team.

And, don’t even get me started on the value of prospects and relationships you’ll create simply by being good and quick, timely and efficient, proactive and professional, dynamic and engaging in this one very specific and very important area of sales.

Which ever way you look at it…being in charge of creating and boosting your own sales funnel and sales pipeline is the key to earning whatever you want, when you want.

Filling the Sales Funnel and Sales Diary with High Quality Sales Appointments
Generate High Quality Sales Leads and Sales Appointments – Filling the Sales Funnel

Free Guide: To help you improve the quality and quality of opportunities in your Sales Pipeline

Download your free guide on how to generate high quality, well qualified sales appointments now.

It’s your’s…totally free.

And if you only read one thing today, make it this guide…It’s your guide to filling your sales funnel quickly, efficiently, with high quality sales opportunities….hit the link for a free and instant download How to Generate High Quality Sales Opportunities

Make sure you download this free guide today – it’s practical, direct and written for you if you want to increase the number of quotes you generate, fill the gaps in a half-empty sales diary and generally boost your sales funnel with fresh leads ready to progress though your sales pipeline.

It’s your immediate inside into getting a diary choc full of high quality, well qualified, interesting and curious sales prospects…and we all know what that means…quotes, a fuller sales pipeline and a sales target that will never ever keep you awake again.

Your sales funnel and what’s in it, is your highway to sales success.

Create the perfect sales opportunities by carefully selecting the most choicest of targets in your market. research and qualify and get to your critical prospect mass as soon as you can. After that your sales target won’t keep you awake again…ever.

Plus, continually refreshing your sales funnel means you’ll always have red hot prospects ready to convert. Your sales pipeline will have a reached the point of an unstoppable critical mass.

There’s more…

If you want to fast track your sales funnel growth and effectively manage your sales pipeline so you get all the sales you want, when you want them, then just hit the link – I want to SKY ROCKET my sales results…you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s the link. Register for free sales and business development insights. Delivered straight to your inbox every week Advanced Business Achiever.

For further free guides – check out www.mortonkyle.com

And to subscribe to the Sales Improvement Blog – just hit the link

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

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

To receive the most up to date Sales and Business Development Insights into your business every week, register for your free copy of the Advanced Business Achiever

 

 

Not Just Sales People – Value Added Problem Solvers

Not Just Sales People – Value Added Problem Solvers

Changing Times

Sales and the art of selling is changing….just like everything else.

New theories, practices and reworked ideas come around again and again.

Some of them stick, some of them fade.

Many work, some don’t.

Some we’ve seen before, maybe under a different name, and some are genuinely original, just check this out regarding B2B sales

One thing that’s been around for ages, but always there in the background, as something that good (and great) business development professionals have know is this.

Sales Is Not About Selling…And It Never Has Been

And that’s even more true today than it’s ever been.

It is not about taking the order, being a walking brochure or even pitching harder than the competitor.

Customers, Buyer, Prospects and Procurement teams have no use for that sort of sales person any more.

The sales person that succeeds today is the sales person that out performs his competitors. Who secures the business. Whot leaves his sales persona at the door and picks up the position of the Buyer’s problem solver.

That means your business development and customer facing target carrying team may need to have a slightly different skill set than you’d imagined.

Instead of thinking about the value of their address book, the length of service in your industry, the length of their business development career, maybe there are additional things to think about.

The Sales Skills Tool Box

Critical thinking skills – their ability to grasp complex situations, issues and constraints and see the Buyer’s issues for what they are and the impact they have on the Buyer

Team building – to build cooperation around creating a suitable solution with the relevant internal and external parties

Problem solving capabilities – the ability to see the real problem and it’s implications as opposed to just seeing the manifestation of that problem

Rapport building – to gain trust quickly and establish expert status with the Buyer and their influencers

Listening skills – genuine listening skills, listening to understand and not listening simply to sell

Communication skills – how good are they are respectfully pushing boundaries in the Buyer’s thinking. How good are they at being able to coherently present ideas, discuss scenarios whilst having all parties keep an open mind

Ability to prioritise – their ability to differentiate between the urgent and important and respond accordingly

Negotiation skills – their ability to compromise and to broker compromise across different parties, different solutions

Resilience – in the face of challenges, objections, resistance, nay-sayers and group think

Creativity – seeing solutions that are not evident to the Buyer. Conveying those solutions with high levels of confidence and credibility

Belief – do they have it, can they convey and transmit their true belief in their solution

The Future of Sales People

Business development might have historically been thought of as a trade that people ‘fall into’.

Ask any 5 year old what they want to be when they grow up and I’ll bet few of them say ‘sales person’.

Sales people can be nurtured to be better business development people, that’s true.

What’s also true is that most great sales people are born with a certain skill set that they invest in to make better.

So, anyone can be a business developer?

I don’t think so.

What do you think?

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

If you’re looking for further support and guidance on how to recruit the best sales talent for your business – check out these two Free Guides:

Beware of the Twins – How to Recruit the Best Business Development Talent in Your Business…and minimise the costly risks associated with recruitment.

Wait! Is your New Business Development Recruit Really That Good – Your Top 10 Check List

And this Blog Post

How to Recruit High Performing Business Development Professionals

 

Problem Solving in Sales Performance and Sales Results Improvement: 3 Easy Steps

Problem Solving in Sales Performance and Sales Results Improvement: 3 Easy Steps

3 Easy Steps to Being a Sales Detective

Sales Performance and Sales Results Matter! Making sure that the key metrics are on point all through the month is key, plus having the skills and insights to reverse any decline and accelerate any upward trends is vital.

But, before that you’ll need to learn how to be a Sales Detective, embrace the fact that your  favourite question will now be ‘WHY?’

That’s the BIG WHY…

  • Sales results aren’t as they should be…
  • Consistent performance is so elusive because sales performance and sales results are is over the place…
  • Why profit is a fluctuating feast or famine.

In a nut shell…we need you to discover the answer to the question every sales leader asks himself on a very regular basis

Why Am I Getting this Level of Sales Performance and Sales Results?

It’s not what you think…the answer, that is. It never is because there’s always more. So much more!

So here’s your 3 step guide to uncovering they you’re getting the sales performance and sales results you are

The 5 Whys

Write your sales performance and sales results problem down and then ask why.

To that response ask another ‘why’

To that response ask ‘why’ a third time

And so on, until there are no more different responses

The truth is, you’ll get two dozen reasons…some of those reasons will be big, some small. Some of those reasons will be part of one bigger reason, some will be stand alone reasons, some reasons will already be known to you and others will be new.

The skill here is just to keep asking ‘why’ until you get to the fundamental and most basic of answers.

For example – why are the sales guys diaries empty?

Your first response could be – lazy sales team

Why? We recruited badly, cheap people, poor commission structure

Why? We’re not making any money, couldn’t afford better people

Why? Competitors are killing us

Why? We’re too expensive

Why? Competing with China

Why? We’ve always done it this way

Why? It’s all that we know

Why…..

Because the empty sales guy’s diaries is only a manifestation of a problem then getting to the root cause is what makes the solution much easier

Cause and Effect 

Get a large blank piece of paper. At the centre of the page write the problem…empty sales guy’s diaries.

Down the middle left hand side write all the possible causes of that.

Down the far left hand side write all the causes of the first line of causes.

And so on and so on…

Down the middle right hand side list all the implications, or consequences of that.

Down the far and side list all the further implications and consequences

What you’ll start to see down the left hand side is some of the common elements that cause the empty sales diaries

What you’ll see down the right hand side is an order of the impact…so you can see if this is a problem that is worth applying your time and intellect to.

For example, if the implications are few, it may be a problem you have to deal with, but perhaps there are bigger problems with more far reaching consequences.

You might come to the conclusion that actually the empty sales diary is the result of poor territory management, data selection and prospect clarity because that’s the REAL cause, rather than just blaming it on the reward and bonus structure.

Sales Performance and Sales Results – Best Practice Gap Analysis

Look at the whole sales process – you should have this mapped out, it should be universal and it should be standard practice across the business. If you want to know why you should have a well documented sales process – check this out – Companies with a Formal Sales Process Generate More Revenue

Look at which of the sales guys perform best in each section of the sales process.

Now look at which of the sales guys perform worst in each section of the sales process.

Now you’ve identified another set of causes or you’ve confirmed the causes you’ve identified above.

Pitfalls of Being a Sales Detective

In your role as Sales Detective, you’ll have to fight the continual urge to solve the problem immediately.

That’s not your primary concern…if you do that, you’ll simply be falling into the same trap that many sales leader do.

The skill is in being able to STOP trying to find the solution long enough to allow you to discover what the REAL problem is.

Once you’ve discovered the REAL problem then you’ll most likely be able to solve the sales problems in a heart beat.

Solutions

So now you have now identified all the key causes and problems that manifest themselves in poor sales performance and sales results.

Now you’ve identified some of the causes then you’re able to evaluate a plethora of suitable solutions because there is never just one simple fix.

Filter through the solutions – apply some creative thinking and beware of some of the pitfalls that will destroy your decision making capabilities 

If you’d like to understand more about the absolute sales performance of your sales and business development function and how to increase sales and reduce wastage in the sales unit – let me know.

The Morton Kyle Sales Audit is an intensive diagnostic and sales improvement tool, because it’s specifically designed to facilitate rapid sales performance and sales results turnaround.

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

For further insights into improving sales performance and sales results because every day lost really does cost you, then download Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow – a report on how to create value in your business

Plus – here’s a blog case study showing how to increase sales conversions and profits – Here’s the link

Your can also download some of our most recent sales improvement reports right here:

How to Generate High Quality Sales Prospects

10 Steps to Out Sell the Competition

How You Can Increase Profits by Avoiding the Commodity Gap

Fill the Diary with High Quality Sales Appointments

How to Recruit the Best Sales Talent into Your Business and Reduce the Costly Risks

Plus for other sales performance and sales results improvement insights – check out the blog – Morton Kyle Sales Improvement