Sales Reps, Listen Up
Did you know that 50% of sales reps don’t make their quota? This is not just a recent anomaly. This happened for five years in a row. Wouldn’t you like to know how to keep sales reps from missing their quota?
Why such a decline in quota attainment? Our experience in working with over 15,000 sales reps tells us that it’s because sellers haven’t changed their game. They’re still selling as if the market has stayed the same. But buyers aren’t responding to the same old emails, the same old phone calls, the same old presentations. A new consultative selling approach is needed.
It’s Time to Change
If you are struggling to get buyers’ attention and close deals, it’s time to up your game. You need to shift from traditional selling to one that works in today’s more sophisticated, more competitive environment.
5 Tips on How to Succeed in Sales Today
Based upon business sales training best practices, here are five field-tested sales tips to lift sales performance.
- Redefine Your Role
If you want to emerge from the overpopulation of struggling sales reps, you need to swap your primary role as a salesperson for the role as an expert in solving your customer’s problems. Focus on helping your customer learn what they are missing rather than on what you have to sell. If you can provide the solution they need, you provide real value and earn a seat at the table where the decisions are made about what to buy and where to buy it.
The key? Being customer centric. Make the customer and their needs your top priority ALWAYS – not what you are trying to sell.
- Craft a Compelling Message
What is most likely to get a prospect’s attention? When you lead with their issues, not your solutions. Say something about what they need, not something about what you want to sell. It’s human nature to be drawn to a photograph in which you are front and center; so, too, will a prospect listen more carefully to a message that is focused on their situation.
The key? Begin with the listener’s point of view and what they care most about.
- Check for Receptivity
Don’t waste your time talking to an audience that isn’t interested in or ready for what you have to say. Even the most brilliant of arguments will fall on deaf ears if your listeners are not emotionally open to hear you. You first must have persuaded your customer that they are your top priority. Then you need to ease any pressure they may feel in the discussion. And finally, you need their permission to share your thoughts.
The key? Focus on three P’s: Priority, relieve the Pressure, and obtain Permission.
- Get in Front of the Right People
Are you talking to the upfront evaluators or the ultimate decision maker? You need to know who has the final say and be willing to hold out to make sure they are in the room when you make your presentation. If you have a gate keeper who won’t let you in the door, you should be willing to walk away and spend your valuable time in front of buyers who trust your expertise and your intentions.
The key? Ask the tough qualifying questions to be sure you reach the buyers with final authority.
- Direct the Process
If you believe you can provide the solution your customers want and need, don’t let them manage the process. If you give up your position as expert too easily, you become nothing more than a glorified relationship manager answering questions mostly around pricing, product, and delivery.
The key? Be ready to take charge of the meeting parameters.
The Bottom Line
Are your sales reps consistently missing quota? Chances are they are not customer-focused, not providing real solutions, not checking for a ready audience of the right people, and not retaining control of the process.
To learn more about how to keep sales reps from missing their quota, download The Top 30 Sales Qualification Questions