5 Ways to Move the Solution Selling Needle
No matter how good your value proposition, your customer service or your marketing, if you don’t have a successful solution selling sales machine, you will not reach your potential.
Unless your sales team knows how, when and where to sell – the fundamental tenets of a successful solution selling training program – their results will languish. To move the sales needle to “excellent,” sales leaders need to build a true sales culture.
With more than 20 years of working with sales leaders and their teams to achieve a high performing sales culture behind us, here are five ways to drive higher sales performance:
- Listen, watch and create a profile for sales success
It’s true that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” That’s why we tell sales leaders to spend time with their sales reps in customer-facing situations. It shouldn’t take long before you observe gaps in the process and in the approach between high and low performing sales reps. And it shouldn’t take long before you can create a profile of the sales attributes and scenarios that matter most for your unique sales strategy and marketplace.
- Set clear expectations
Once you know how success is achieved, establish clear metrics for those sales activities that matter most. How many calls need to be made before setting up a meeting with a target prospect? How often do sales reps need to reach out to current clients to keep up to date on customer needs? How much time do they need to spend on developing a referral network to go to for “warm” intros? Figure out which are the critical few revenue producing activities that pay off in your unique sales situation and see that they are carried out.
- Provide solution selling training and reinforcement
Make sure that your sales team has the consultative selling skills they need to add value to their target clients. Where there are gaps, provide targeted solution selling training and follow-up sales performance coaching. Provide your sales teams with persuasive client case studies, research tools, customer contact technology, and your support…all they need to improve their understanding of their customers and how to approach them with value-added insights and support.
- Hold the sales team accountable
Monitor, track and provide consequences. When you have a sales rep who exceeds expectations, recognize them. You owe them your appreciation for hard work well done. It’s also an opportunity to encourage others to follow the desired behaviors. On the other hand, when you have a sales rep whose results are consistently below par, you need to act. After you have tried to find the root cause and to provide the support required for them to improve, you must let them go in a compassionate way that aligns with your values. The longer you allow substandard performers to stay, the more it costs your company and negatively infects those around them.
- Create some connection and pride
Sales reps will work hard for a company whose values they believe in and commit to. Give them reasons to be enthusiastic about what they do and to feel a sense of purpose and connection. The most successful and fulfilled sales reps are those who are dedicated to helping their customers and truly believe they and their offering can do so.
Create a high performance sales team by applying disciplined activity analysis, development opportunities, performance management and a dose of conviction that what they are doing matters.
To learn more about creating a high performance solution selling culture, please download How Much Should a Sales Leader Push Their People to Succeed?