How to Keep Business Development in the Selling Zone

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How to Keep Business Development in the Selling Zone

The Selling Zone – a wonderful place.

The place where maybe’s convert to money.

And promises become real live signatures.

It is, at once, the best and the worst place to be if you’re in sales or business development.

And which one depends on whether you’re riding the waves of sales success or being swamped by silence, shoddy rejections and broken promises.

It’s a fine line!

When it’s the latter, it’s tough to see a way to get out of the bad run quickly, claim some high ground wins and start again…

So bad is it that the best advice I can give any B2B sales team is to work really really hard to ensure you don’t get into this position in the first place.

Classic case of prevention being infinitely better than cure…that way, you only need to do the hard work once!

So, if you’re in a sales leadership or sales management role then take a read of these, and think how you can build these activities into your sales days…

Plus, if you’re looking for a dynamic Sales Accountability Partner – check out our – Sales Coaching Offer 

Daily Sales Training Keeps Business Development Teams in their Selling Zone

But what kind of daily Sales Training are we talking about?

  1. Listen into a least 6 full blown decision maker presentations every single day. Then, at the end of the day, take 15 mins to share your findings with the whole team, using two headings: ‘here’s what we’re great at’, and here’s ‘what we need to improve’. To be time efficient plug into these calls while you’re sat at your desk. It takes almost no time and there is a huge ongoing payback. Start today!
  2. Take 10 minutes mid morning every day to focus on one topic that will help the team sell more / book more appointments. It could be ‘how to get past gatekeepers’ ‘how to ask for the order’ or how do deal with X objection’
  3. Every day, have yesterdays worst performer sit with yesterday’s best performer, if they’re working remotely, then give the worst performer the best performer’s calls to listen to and learn from
  4. Ask everyone to keep a daily journal. Daily ask them to document what new techniques did they try, what worked, get then to share there big wins with the team at the end of the week

What Else Can You Do To Support Ongoing Learning in the Sales Team?

  1. Sales Pledge Huddles – Set aside 10 mins at the start of the day to have a Sales Pledge Huddle – what can everyone commit to deliver today, review again at the end of the day, no-one will want to over promise and under deliver for too many days in a row
  2. Circulate daily,  yesterdays activity and sales success stats. Ear mark the bottom 10% for a 121 that morning. Do a public shout out to the top 3 as a thank you. This supports growth, acknowledges great contribution, and builds in competition
  3. Tackle poor performance fast – anyone who is consistently below acceptable levels for more than 3 days in 5 gets ‘back to basics’ sales support to get them on track. Plus as part of this they’re put on an an immediate Sales Improvement Plan.
  4. Don’t be afraid to move people on, not everyone is suited to sales. Sales people can often burn out, letting a failing sales person free to pursue a role that suits them better and makes them happier. It is a great kindness.
  5. Treat every Friday as a month end. Split targets down into weekly targets and always front load the first two weeks of the month. This gives you 52 sales spikes instead of the usual 12 monthly sales spikes
  6. Get super close to sales forecasts. Demanding accuracy and good judgement. Show them what a good sales forecast is and how it gets put together
  7. Let them be accountable to coming to you and asking for help when they spot sales dips in their focus, make them responsible for their sales future. Show them how you look at their sales figures and let them self diagnose and problem solve, with your help.

Daily Sales Trouble Shooting and Business Development Planning

Be extra vigilant about where the sales trends are going.

Keeping sharp tabs on things like: contact rates, opened opportunities, quote rates, rejection rates, pipeline movement, regional variations in results, team variations in the key sales metrics, people variations, whether that’s close rate conversions, close-losts, over stuffed sales pipelines, depressed average order values, higher levels of discounting, there are a multitude of sales indicators that can all show you when you have trouble ahead (and under-lying trouble today) – I’ve detailed some of them here – Sales Improvement Training to Help Sales Leadership and Management Teams

Solve These Sales Problems Before You Launch Any Business Development and Sales Training Plan

The following sales problems are critical sales fails in many business development teams.

Just being able to spot and react to them early is a major win for a savvy sales leader.

Use this list to see where your team are dropping opportunities they should be winning.

Take each of the following points and ask your team….

It could be in the form of a quiz.

It could be a multi choice

Even works well as a simple call listening in exercise for you.

Whatever you use as a means of testing, the key points to look at are these.

See How Effective Your Business Development Really Are…

  1. Did they effectively navigate the gate keeper and reach the the decision maker?
  2. Was it clear that they’d been able to grab the sales prospect’s attention quickly and confidently?
  3. How much of their conversation is a pitch and ditch versus a discovery based sales exchange?
  4. To what degree did they seek to position themselves as expert advisers and different from their competitors?
  5. How effectively did they qualify the sales prospect?
  6. Did they use ROI, case study, success story information as part of the exchange?
  7. Did they use an agreed sales structure?
  8. What percentage of the time did they speak versus the prospect speaking?
  9. Did they ask for what they wanted at the beginning of the call, so as to set up the ‘ask’ later?
  10. How successful where they in discovering the buyer’s current position?
  11. Did they address potential and hidden objections before they were raised by the prospect?
  12. How effective were they in demonstrating value for the prospect?
  13. Did they use test closes and intent based questions with the prospect?
  14. Was it evident that they got the sales prospect on side and in ‘buying mode’?
  15. At the end of the call did they set the agenda for what happens next?
  16. Did the prospect agree to the next action?
  17. On reflection – would you have bought from them / booked with them if they’d called you with that pitch?
  18. What are the key three things they need to get better at quickly?

See how your team get on.

If you think you need some support to combat these issues in your team, the you can check out the 90 Day Sales Performance Improvement Course – Fix and Flow

It’s a course specifically designed to address all of your sales improvement need.

Alternatively, you can check out the two day The Sales Improvement Workshop.

So, Here’s Your 10 Reasons Why Daily Sales Team Reviews and Sales Training Keeps the Business Development Function in the Selling Zone

  1. No-one gets a chance to have more than one off day
  2. Everyone in the sales team feels engaged with because they ARE engaged with
  3. You’re feeding daily drips of relevant and real world sales wisdom to them, stuff they can use immediately and in bite size format…you get them to start to think like you, and like their prospects!
  4. The element of competition will drive sales activity – because as much as people will fight it – sales is still partially a numbers game, especially in business development
  5. Your business development team will quickly see they contribution daily is a must – super for eliminating time wasting tasks – great for time and teak management
  6. Likewise they’ll understand that wasting time with tyre-kicking prospects who won’t commit doesn’t get them to the top of the sales leader board
  7. You don’t impact the critical selling time
  8. It’s a daily chance to change the sales message depending on what you’ve seen within the last 24 hours, so it’s always relevant
  9. You get to talk specifics – if you see that pipelines are getting over stuffed at one particular stage – that’s your message for the day…
  10. It’s not all down to you – you’re sharing the daily sales training heavy lifting with those who need to perform, be successful and improve in the team

And finally, and the most important thing:

Your business development team feel invested in, they feel valued, they feel appreciated and they know they are in a growth environment…so you should also see staff retention improve dramatically

Want more insights into how some of the worlds best performing sales teams get it right more times than they get it wrong? 

Do you want to get Sales Training and Business Development Insights directly to your inbox, spam free?

Sales insights to help you coach your team through any resistance?

To support you, the sales leader to build continuous sales improvement?

If so, then sign up for the Advanced Business Achiever

It’s totally free, spam free and direct into your inbox – every Wednesday.

So, What To Do Now:

First question – does this feel like too much work for you?

Do you think the payback is not worth the effort?

Sometimes initiatives like this can feel like a lot of work to get started.

You may have questions like

  • How do I get started?
  • What will the team think?
  • How do I cram this into my already packed day?
  • What if it fails?

Well, there is a starter solution I’ve put together based on some of the points covered here…

It will be really useful to you if you’re running a sales and business development team.

Especially if your team work predominantly on the telephone or use the telephone to run 80 -100% of the sales and business development process.

You can check out more details here TurboCharged Sales.

It’s a 21 day sales growth and sales improvement pack for business development teams.

You use the pack information and support system directly with your business development team.

If you have any questions – email me on or call 0779 002 1885

Sales training in ambitious B2B business development teams is the first step of a critical sales improvement ladder.

High performance sales teams have a growth mindset…

Now you and your team can too!

Working with the business development team and building sales training in to every single day comes with huge paybacks, and is the fastest way to make a considerable difference in your team, your culture and your sales results

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