If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.
Like life, sales is a game of inches. The most successful sales professionals know focusing on doing the little things correctly over and over again, will cause big things to happen. They are diligent and hold themselves accountable to a consistent sales process in order to create the proactive buying experience customers crave.
I was recently working with a company looking for substantial sales improvement. The sales numbers were dismal (I usually try to be positive about things, but there really is no other word for it.) They had carefully examined the product, the price, and the market. On paper, sales should have been strong. Instead they were going nowhere fast.
After careful examination, the challenge became evident . . . they had put their trust in the “wrong” sales person. She did not believe in the product and was not committed to making the sales goals. When asked about her conversion goals she said, “My conversion goal is 100%. I try to sell to everyone.” When asked about sales process she said, “It really depends on the situation.” She actually told me, “Once they develop a product that sells, then I can start worrying about sales goals.”
In most sales forces, the top 20% make 80% of the sales. What separates the top from the bottom is a dedication to utilizing a consistent, effective sales process. The lack of a consistent sales process can lead to a number of challenges including a longer than necessary sales cycle, an inconsistent definition of “good” leads, a lack of sales goal accomplishment and a negative impact on customer satisfaction.
Following a consistent sales process allows you to be in a “pro-active” position rather than “reactive.” Proactive sales professionals are flexible, adaptable and focused on continually improving their customer engagement and market share. They approach each customer interaction with a plan for moving forward. They are prepared to lead the process but still able to adapt to the communication style and specific needs of the customer.
Being “reactive” implies you are not in control of what is happening. Outside influences set the agenda. Each new objection or challenge catches you by surprise. Reactive sales professionals, never maximize the potential of their businesses because they postpone change until it’s absolutely necessary — and perhaps too late.
Here are some recommended ways to be more proactive in your sales approach:
Document the steps in the sales process. This is the foundation for continuous improvement, measurement and focus. Outlining each step will help hold everyone accountable and simplify the process for the customer as well. A documented process keeps everyone on track.
Position yourself as a “problem fixer” (focus on customer needs) rather than just a sales person (focus on sales person needs). There is a big difference between presenting information and delivering solutions. Ensure the voice of the customer permeates in everything you do. Consistently doing what you say you are going to do is one of the most reliable ways to build trust.
Create and track conversion goals. In the words of Thomas Monson, “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
At Conversion-omics we recommend closely looking at each step in the process and assigning a conversion goal to it. Starting with your sales goal, establish your appointment conversion goal, which then feeds into your lead generation and marketing goals. By carefully tracking each step, and assigning a goal to it you will be able to align your overall strategy with the customer buying cycle. Each stage of the sales process should consider your customers’ interests, motivation, and actions.
Customers come to you because they want/need something. Businesses hire you because they have valuable products and services that need to be sold. The best sales professionals find ways to bring both together in a consistent, straightforward, and positive manner.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. –Aristotle