Post about "Sales"

7 More Disciplines You Need From Your Sales Team

Make sure your sales reps:Provide an accurate forecast.
Many reps will pad their forecast to make it look good to the boss. Obviously, this eventually fails. But it is really up to the sales manager to make sure the forecast is accurate and realistic; regardless if the news is good or not. The sales manager needs to take the time to go through each of their sales reps’ Top 10 Prospects once per week and distill the real number. A forecast should not be a surprise.
Learn, practice or drill a sales technique every day. You never see a major league baseball player skip a game-day of batting practice. And many of those players make millions of dollars. Tiger Woods hits the practice range with a coach before the start of every tournament round. Professionals know they can never stop practicing and honing their “swing.” Top sales people know this as well and that’s why they constantly practice and refine their sales skills so they are ready to move the sale along at a moment’s notice.
Learn to really listen. Everybody talks about the importance of listening, but few people hear anything. Most sales reps are so anxious to either get their pitch out or want to answer a question before it is finished being asked, that they never really “absorb” the question. A good rule to follow is to wait three seconds before answering, even if you know the answer. That at least gives the impression you’re listening. And you actually may think of another, and maybe better, response while you pause!
Become your customer’s trusted adviser. Customers buy from people they trust. If there is no trust they will not buy. Sales people can develop trust by being straightforward and honest – even when the news is not good; especially when the news is not good. People are human and understand things happen. What customers do not tolerate are sales people who cannot be counted on. They count on sales people who are experts in the field in which they are selling to deliver reliable, pertinent information.
Know your product inside and out… and how it compares to the competition. Product and competitive knowledge just get you in the door. If your sales people cannot explain and demonstrate the benefits of your product, and why it is superior to the competition, do not put them in front of a customer. This is not to say they have to be 100% perfect right out of the gate. Nobody is. But they do need to be able to get through the fundamentals of a demo, and completely deliver a benefit-oriented presentation.
View themselves and their customers as equals. Too many sales people see themselves as less-than-equal to the decision maker to whom they are trying to sell. It can be for any number of reasons, but that attitude needs to be eliminated right away. The sales person needs to convey to the buyer that they too are professionals and that their time is valuable. This attitude will convey a sense of confidence that will translate into the buyer’s confidence in your sales rep.
Know where to draw the line. Many customers will ask for as much as they can get. Better pricing. More time to evaluate your product. Better terms. The list goes on. Your reps need to be guided as to where to “draw the line.” Several considerations can go into these concession decisions and you will ultimately decide your ultimate terms. However, your reps need to know when they are being taken advantage of and when they need to say “no.” And you need to stand behind them. If your reps believe they will “for sure lose the deal” if they don’t acquiesce, have them re-read item #6.