“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”
― Oscar Wilde
So you have been improving and streamlining your internal operations, you should find yourself in a position that has created more capacity to conduct more business. So what should you do? Fill it with more business!!! And when you obtain new business, the labor used is essentially free as previously it was being utilized for previous work, however now it’s being used for new business, therefore it is a Double Win for the business and maximizing your Sales Force.
1. It’s new business therefore more profits
2. The labor is essentially free so even more profits
This is probably one of the most simplest strategies there is to grow your business and so why is that so many companies use it as a way of doing the same with less instead of doing more with the same? They rationalize their staff thinking this is a great cost reduction strategy when the real prize is staring them right in the face. I’ve worked with companies who have done both over the years. The companies who have taken advantage of the extra capacity and demonstrated growth models need help with growing pains, and the others need to streamline to cut more costs as things are very tight, they have a disengaged work force and the business has shrunk drastically over the years. It can be very easy to get caught in the Shrinking Spiral and once in it, can be very difficult to leave, a chain of events have created a momentum making it hard to change direction.
So PLEASE CONSIDER THIS BEFORE YOU RATIONALIZE YOUR BUSINESS!
I’ve worked with many Sales Teams and I always get the same few questions at the beginning.
Q1. What do you know about Sales, you’re a consultant?
Q2. Sales is much different here, we do it our way, so how can you help us?
My answers are
A1. I’ve being working in Business Development for 8 years for 3 different businesses so yes I know a bit, and that’s not the point
A2. Yes Sales is different and I can guarantee each Sales Rep has a different approach to Sales and you all have mixed results
If you attended 10 different Sales courses, you would learn 10 different approaches to Sales all bragging about using the latest NLP / Psychology / Neuroscience techniques to get that sale. Firstly they can all do wonderful things, however how you use them makes you different. They can be either used in a manipulative fashion to create false connections with people or they can be used to better improve yourself and be the best you so when you meet people you create natural and real connections. While this chapter is not going to be based on any of this material, it’s still worth mentioning as they are powerful tools to improve yourself and I’ve attended many courses over the years in all the areas listed to be the best me or as I heard at one my most recent courses on Charisma ‘The Charisma Masterclass’ conducted by a friend of mine Owen Fitzpatrick:
‘Be more you and be you more’ – essentially be your Authentic Self and as much as possible!
When you are yourself more you will create the right relationships naturally.
For me, with my Business Development cap on, that has been the single most important and successful thing I’ve done.
Sales is one of the most important aspects of any business, new and repeat business is the lifeblood and heartbeat, so it surprises me why so many companies leave it to chance, no true and meaningful metrics, no reporting structure, half used CRM package that you probably paid a fortune for.
Another point of resistance I get is that if you standardize the Sales Process, you will lose the flair of the individual selling. My answer, ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, Flair / Charisma has to be embedded at EVERY STAGE of the Sales Force Process. As stated earlier, be more you and you more!
By developing Process Maps of your current state, it becomes very clear what is working well and what needs to be reviewed and potentially removed. This is also a great way of getting Sales Teams to communicate well with each other
With one of my sessions with a difficult group we actually had a eureka moment. Through some hard core and intense data analysis, we discovered that any time the Quality Manager of the prospect met their Quality Manager, a sale happened. So guess what was added to the Sales Process? Yes, a step was added, that the Sales Rep had to organize a meeting between the Managers. Again, leaving nothing to chance, the Quality Manager was given Sales Training by the Sales Reps and given a script to learn and ensure they got certain key messages across when the meeting took place. The Sales Team were over joyed, why? It made their selling process easier. How?
1. Their 1st goal was to organize a meeting with Quality Managers which is much easier than getting a sale
2. Closing the deal was also much easier as the hard work had been done
Yes there was a step added to the process, however this was well covered from the substantial increase in conversion!
Sales people are notoriously individualistic and with that work very independently keeping everything close to them. However when you can find that sweet spot where they can work together, it’s amazing what you can achieve and once they see that there is a Win for them, they become your best adopters!
Creating Value in the Sales Process
So where does the value start for the Prospect or Customer ?
This is a question I like to ask when I’m facilitating Sales Workshops and I always get the same answer and it’s something like ‘When the customer begins to use the product or service’
How does this build up trust with your prospects? The next question I then ask
‘Why can’t you start adding value from your very first contact point?’
Which is generally long before the sale happens. If you want to win that business, you need to be thinking ahead of the competition and start asking questions of how you can add value from the first meeting. And if you think about it, this makes absolute sense. They are giving you their time, make it worth it!
Maybe give them a free report as a gesture for meeting you, something that you know would immediately add value to their current situation and this creates engagement from day 1!
And what happens when you engage? You build trust and as Zig Zaglar says
‘If people like you they will listen to you but if they TRUST you they will BUY from you!’
And my next question
What does it mean to be a Sales Rep in YOUR Business?
Are you going to just throw them out into the big bad world or are you going to teach them YOUR Way to do sales so they achieve a certain target?
As I keep saying, nothing should be left to chance!