The problem with Sales
According to the Sandler Sales Institute, the average sales person has less than 6 hours per week of actual face time (sales) with potential clients. With industries turning over clients as high as 90% year to year, this statistic shows why sales based organizations fail and fail hard. As you know, the actual best productive time spent by a sales person is Selling. No new info there, but in your world, there are key items which help to double and sometimes triple that money making activity. Today I will speak to two of those key items.
First- Have them measure how they are spending their time.
In my coaching practice, I share that we must have equal parts of the triple “A” . This triple “A” consists of Actions, Abilities and Attitudes. It is hard to have results if they can’t sell (Abilities) and the best salesperson won’t get a sale if they don’t take Action not to mention the best sales person taking Action who has a lousy Attitude, again no/little results. Were you to fix only one of these, the Action step needs to be first.
Taking action needs to follow a process of lead attainment and working these leads through a rigorous systemized process. When you measure what your sales people are doing, you can find where their time is not being used well, let alone where they can add to those Money Making Activities of getting face to face with prospective clients which is where most sales occur.
The first part of measuring is simple; Have them keep a time journal for two weeks which tells how they spend their days. Have them write down everything with little omission. Of course with salespeople, you will get smart alecks who write down bathroom breaks and stopping for a smoke, but you will be able to better coach and direct them when they accomplish this simple task . Do this same activity for yourself and see how it folds out- you may surprise yourself~!
Second- Have them set a goal.
90% of sales people hate to cold call. The other 10% lied. Fact is Cold calling is a necessary thing to find success. In this economic climate, you cannot wait around for clients to land on your lap and kiss you on the cheek with a commission. In order to have success in cold calling, you first need a strong reason why you need to cold call.
Let me share this with you: Most sales problems are sales management problems. The failure to monitor, educate and motivate fall squarely on the side of those who are in a management role of the sales.
Through setting a proper goal, you can then encourage to not just hit the goal, but surpass the goal. One technique that is very effective here is Gamification or making it a challenge, a game or a contest. Salespeople have proven to not be motivated as much by money than they are through competition. I have often told clients they can many times triple their sales by adding 2 more sales people to the mix. The competition button gets pushed and then you’re off to the races~!
In setting goals, you need one week of intense work to set the baseline, then back off 20%. This sounds easy but can get a little tricky, so seek me out to help.
By The Way- if you are a sales force of one, the above principles still apply, you simply need some accountability to help you at times.
Face to face is where the sale really and truly happens. Help you or your sales crew get out there more and make more sales by following these two steps.
If you need help with your sales or sales management, we should talk. Problems like this will not resolve themselves with taking action which can bring a better bottom line and a much better business life.