I recently attended the Allied Executives Refocus Sales Symposium titled Refocusing your Sales Department.
The panel discussion was great. Literally tons of insight from people out in the trenches, consulting and running sales organizations.
I don’t claim any these insights for my own and wont be able to properly attribute these quotes or insights to the individual panel member.
What follows is a combination of direct quotes, my notes and my thoughts.
The primary reason to have a sales force is to alter the customers decision process
This is a given for most people but in our work I’ve found few small business owners or professionals realize this point. The market place and consumer (even on a B2B level) is changing rapidly. No longer is the sales person just there to get the sale, the sales person must at some point offer a distinctive advantage over the other options. In doing so must help alter the decision process of any prospect or client.
Pipeline management for many organizations and business verticals is no longer what it once was. It used to be that you would fill your pipeline and be fairly confident what would come out on the other side. For a majority of businesses and individual owners this is no longer the reality of the market place.
This is a critical component as you project out on your sales cycle. If your sales cycle is 60 days, what I’ve gathered is you could with some confidence predict what would come out the other side.
A huge insight I received was this…
You must hold a salesperson accountable. The sales person must be able to describe to management exactly what will happen if we put this proposal on the table.
Not what could happen, not what they feel will happen, but what will happen.
I believe this one insight used properly can drastically change your sales cycle, your sales process, and your expectations for both internal and external sales forces.
Owner and managers feel that many sales people do not think strategically. They don’t think on a strategic level before, during, and after the sales process.
What is the behavioral recipe that it takes to bring one typical piece of business.
What elements, processes, conversations does it take to make your typical sale. This goes back to processes of building a sales pattern. Knowing these type of behaviors can help you better plan, predict, and find business opportunities.
This goes deeper than where does your typical sale come from. Today you can track down that X percent of your sales came from social media, pay per click, or trade shows. But what process did these sales come down.
How was the person pre-framed before they became a client or prospect? What happened when they came into contact with you or your organization?
The questions to be answered are endless but knowing this recipe for success will keep you more focus on reproducing those types of behaviors.