Is selling really a number game? And if so, which numbers really matter? The purpose of a good sales metrics system is to provide reps and their managers with meaningful data about results achieved at each stage of the selling cycle. That way, both can determine which actions are most productive and where there is need for improvement.
Do you begin your sales meetings with an agenda that consists mostly of your telling your team what they need to know and what they should do? Well, think about your background in selling, where you learned to lead the customer to the best decision by asking smart questions, not by telling. In the same way, use questions to lead your sales reps to the best practices.
The trouble with interviewing sales reps is that the candidates are all in sales; they know how to present themselves in a way that may or may not reveal their true skills. Here are two simple questions you should ask every sales candidate — questions that will quickly and accurately separate those who have real sales talent from those who don’t.
What motivates sales representatives to achieve top performance? Many would answer “Money.” But is that all there is to sales motivation? That would be like saying “All customers buy on price.” Sure, making a nice income is important, but you need to understand the many other factors that motivate each rep to achieve their best.
Many of us do not have the benefit of a skilled sales manager to help us grow and to coach us through difficult selling situations. But even if you have a good manager, most of the time you are out there on your own making the difficult decisions as issues come up and developing your own strategies for each account. So you’d better learn how to be your own sales manager.
As professional salespeople, we have been taught that “telling isn’t selling.” Telling a customer why our solution is the best is not as effective as helping the customer discover why it is best. And we accomplish this through smart questions. This also holds true for sales management. We cannot just TELL our reps how to improve their methods; we must lead them to discover this improvement on their own, using the best sales rep coaching question.
When sales managers and executives stand on their soapbox, the consequences of preaching are severe, since they’re the only one participating in the meeting. Here’s how to avoid the stale, monotonous sales meetings and reinvigorate ones that create the engagement, buy-in, alignment and accountability you need to achieve greater results.
At this point in the year, it is probably clear which of your salespeople will have a relatively strong year and which ones will not. Clearly, the general business disruptions caused by COVID-19 have affected most companies, but some sales reps still outperform, and some underperform. Before you write off those who have been slipping, read these strategies for turning around a marginal sales performer.
If even your most skilled salespeople are delivering poor sales results, the cause may not be a lack of skills, pricing or products. The problem may lie in multiple aspects of your overall sales and marketing processes. This may be a good time to conduct a top-to-bottom examination of every component and make incremental improvements in all areas.
As all sales managers know, motivation can be a fleeting thing. Some days, your reps are inspired to achieve more. They are engaged, laughing on sales calls, and there’s a spring in their step as they traverse the office, guiding meetings with insight and outlining new processes for the betterment of the team. If only you could bottle this exuberance!