How-To Guide Part 3 – Improve Talent to Increase Sales
Welcome to our MWBE How To Guide, in which we give you simple and practical steps for reaching your sales targets. This five-part series covers the fundamentals of sales, and in this third part, we discuss improving your sales talent. Read the previous article, Engage and Align Sales with Marketing, here.
Sales people are professional relationship builders. The best sales people are people their clients consider friends. They take the time to understand their customers’ problems and make every effort to solve those problems. They are genuine service providers, and they earn the trust of their customers.
If this doesn’t sound like your sales people, perhaps it’s time to consider improving the talent on your team. In some cases, a person is simply not comfortable with this level of personal interaction, in which case it may be time to release them to find a better fitting job. In other cases, a person may just need greater feedback and training.
Here are a few steps to help you assess if you have the right people on the bus, and some tools to help them perfect their relationship building skills.
Step 1 – Start With Your Sales Manager
Are you sure you have the right leader for setting sales standards? If your company is large enough to have multiple sales managers, start with their supervisor. Having a sales culture that is built around genuine relationships comes from the top. If your top people don’t support this culture, that’s the first change you need to make.
Step 2 – Evaluate Sales Team Performance
On a regular basis – every year or six months – check in with every client to request feedback on your salespeople. Personal calls are nice, but electronic surveys can offer a degree of privacy that some clients may prefer. A hybrid program that begins electronically and follows with personal outreach to those with surprisingly negative responses or those who don’t respond at all can prove to cover all your clients. Make sure you are asking questions that speak to trust and relationship building, not just quality of product.
Step 3 – Provide Consultative Sales Training
When prospects become clients but cancel their order or don’t bring repeat business, you should find out why. This “churn” reflects a problem with the sales process that needs immediate fixing. Stay tuned for a special report on Consultative Sales Training, in which we address this very topic and go into detail on how you can reduce churn.
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