KEYS TO HYPER SALES GROWTH
In this world of immediate gratification I’m often asked what are the “quick actions” to growing one’s business. I’m not sure there are “quick actions”, but here is a quick summary of steps.
My overall mantra for business growth is “if you want to grow your sales, grow your sales force in quantity and quality.” Three keys to entrepreneur success: 1. Vision- you can’t get there unless you know where there is; 2. Key people in key spots- which means someone in charge of growing the sales team; 3. Culture- creating a business environment where people want to work, versus have to work.
I’ve been selling for over 60 years, having begun selling at 7 years old, and I know I’m darn good at it. However, there are only so many hours in a day which holds me back from more sales. If I hire and teach others what I know, that team will eventually outperform me. Therefore, a Sales Manager’s job is not to grow sales, but rather grow the sales team. This is key to hyper sales growth. As such, the Sales Manager’s job should be focused on holding each sales person to minimum standards of performance, and removing those who don’t measure up. Recruiting is a process and not an event, and we should always be looking for additional quality sales people. There’s always room for a top performer! Once on board, it comes down to training, practice and coaching.
Think sports teams here. In fact, sports teams are run better than most businesses. There isn’t a sports coach in any sport at any level that doesn’t have a Playbook. As well, there isn’t a coach in any sport that would put the players on the field without proper preparation and practice. Yet, the overwhelming majority of companies do not have a Sales Playbook, which means each sales person is selling “their way” instead of the best way. On top of that, most sales people are thrown into the market without training and practice, meaning the sales people are practicing on real opportunities. Sounds foolish, huh?
The Sales Playbook should minimally include the following:
A. Goals for each salesperson, focusing on High Payoff Activities (HPA’s), a system of measurement and a means of accountability. Our estimate is that more than 50% of a salesperson’s time is spent on non-HPA’s.
B. Proactive Pipeline Management, identifying the prospects, customers and clients of each salesperson. This pipeline needs to be reviewed at least once a month, and my best clients perform the review weekly. We want to identify how often the salesperson is “touching” each category and what’s standing in the way of each progressing into customers and clients.
C. Employing an effective Touch System. Recent studies have stated it takes an average of 9 touches before the prospect knows you exist. Additionally, the touches need to be more about the prospect and less about the company and its products and services. Most sales organizations quit at 5 or less touches, and most of those are all about products and services. People don’t want to be sold and this approach is just that.
D. Build your Success Guide, identifying your unique attributes compared to your competition and being prepared with best answers to objections to sales. There’s hardly anything that goes on in a sales call that you couldn’t anticipate before arrival. As such, there is no reason to not be better prepared. The best sales people are “canned”, saying the same thing each time they encounter it. They have figured out what worked, and say it as if it’s the very first time they’ve said it.
In closing, with all of the above stated, be alert that 50% or more of selling is more about ATTITUDE. If you don’t believe in your product/services; if you are not passionate about what you do; the prospect/customer will be quick to note that and skip on the opportunity to do business with you. Passion sells.