In a nut shell, selling is about closing enough transactions to meet quota and grow a territory. A quota is set by sales management as a goal of the amount of revenue to bring in. Quotas are set annually, but are then broken into quarterly and monthly goals. To “hit quota” salespeople meet or exceed those goals.
To accomplish this, sellers must engage in a sales process to help you sort out the prospects, targeted prospects, and future customers. There are entire sales books written on how to accomplish this. However, it’s safe to say the job of today's salepeople hasn't changed in terms of steps. For example:
Get Their Attention: Get their attention of your prospect through some advertising or prospecting method.
Hold Their Interest: Hold their interest by using an appeal that resonates with them. It may be the prestige they will gain, the money they will save in the long run, or their ability to have the latest and most cutting edge technology.
Build Their Desire: Build their desire for your product by showing them the benefits of your products or service and painting a picture of what they will attain form using the product or service you are providing.
Gain Their Conviction: Increase their desire for your product by proving the return they will gain on their investment with your company. Show the worth of your product or service and compare it to its competitors. Use testimonials from happy customers if you can.
Take Action: Encourage the prospect to act. Ask for the order. If they object, sellers have to help them understand what they need. There are many variations of closing techniques that can help get the business. But the sales process doesn’t end there...All transactions are continuously evaluated by the buyer. That evaluation continues after the “close” of the transaction and the check is written.
Many times, Sales professionals can sell upgrades (up-sell) or other products (cross-sell) to their clients based on the success of the post-transaction experience. Each of these steps will require a deep understanding in order for you to be the best you can be at selling. It’s not easy, but even entry-level salespeople can do it. They figure out quickly that trying to close a sale before the customer understands enough about it is just like walking up to someone on the street and asking them to marry them.
Today's high performing salespeople synchronize to their buyer’s wants and needs and help them make their decision. To do this, they follow the 5-steps above (that have been around since the late 1800's).
The good thing about having these steps is the ability to understand the process and manage it. This is the key to selling success in today's more complex world.
So, what activities drive success in today's world. A complete, well-rounded, sales professional's work on themselves. They do more than just show up. To be a complete sales professional today, their daily activities should be in support of having more (and more) valuable sales conversations.
So, what are these daily activities? Recent Ph.D. research analyzed the activities and tasks performed by hundreds of sales professionals. The research found that these tasks can be grouped into nine areas. The key to being a complete (i.e. superstar) sales professional is to understand and master the following nine selling ability areas They are:
Personal Management – keep your personal life in check. Stay healthy. Set goals, make plans for your future. Keep your finances in order. Find stress-reducers.
Business Knowledge Management – If you’re selling to the CFO or the CEO you better understand the business of economics, business transactions, negotiations, and the return they will get on their investment.
Product Knowledge Management – Salespeople all get trained on this and the key is to understand the product(s) being sold, how to position the product(s), and how to embed the product(s) into the buying organization. Unfortunately, many companies only train their sales professionals on this one knowledge area when they should be training on all nine.
Selling Skills Management -- The best Sales Professionals seek out continuous comprehensive training and education to support their sales process. They are able to initiate, plan, and execute a sales process in order for their product or service to be integrated into the buying organization.
Opportunity Management – Complete sales professionals understand how to identify, manage, develop, and close the right sales opportunities. To do this, they’re experts at opportunity planning, territory management, opportunity development, and closing.
Relationship Management – Becoming a trusted adviser to the buyer only happens when the sales professional is successful at building relationships, communicating, distributing information, and influencing others ethically through collaborative dialogue. Building relationships within the selling organization is just as critical. Top salespeople make sure they take the time to forge relationships with their support teams, delivery teams, management or any other party that is involved in their sales process
Customer Management – Complete Sales Professionals continue their relationship after the sale. Providing top-notch service to buyers ensures repeat business and a solid sales reputation.
Time Management – Understanding the crucial elements of managing personal time to achieve ones goals and objectives. Great sales professionals understand that they must define the right tasks for the day or month, prioritize them, schedule them and execute.
Technology Management – Complete sales professionals utilize technology in order to maximize personal and organizational effectiveness. There are many people that wonder why sales professionals are harried, have short attention spans, are always too busy, or seem a little flustered.
Perhaps by identifying and understanding the 9 selling ability areas, there is a newfound understanding.
So the question is, what can you do today to help sellers become better in each of the nine areas? Which are they the strongest in? Or in which area are they the weakest? Make plans to improve in each area on a weekly or monthly basis to improve focus and execution.
To find out more, check out our book World Class Selling
About Growth Matters Growth Matters is a international business founded in 2011. This consulting and services organization is focused on the development and practice of sales management and sales enablement, our team of world-renowned experts spans the globe enabling businesses to improve sales conversations through services and solutions aligned to sales strategy. Our Americas operation is headquartered in Charlotte, NC (USA). With dedicated offices in South Africa (EMEA), and Sydney (APAC), we regularly facilitate senior-level workshops in 17+ cities in countries. For more information on equipping sales managers, and aligning to sales leadership, contact the Growth Matters team at http://www.growthmatters.today
Want regular updates and helpful tips? Subscribe to our blog