Sales & Sales Management Expertise

Why Sales Practice is Important

Tags: sales practice, highly successful sales people

Sales managers, why is it important to practice sales skills?

I watched two field goal kickers kick the ball in the closing minutes of two different games this past weekend. If you’re not a football fan, you probably don’t care about this but you may have heard about it. One kicker kicked a 35 yard winning field goal with 14 seconds left in the game. The other kicker missed a 27 yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the game. One team moved on the other went home.

I don’t know anything about the habits of these two kickers. I can only speak to the kickers I saw practice when I was at the University of Connecticut, the University of Cincinnati and Iowa State University. Greg Sinay, Rich Karlis and Alex Giffords. All three of them spent HOURS on the sideline during practice kicking. Kicking down the sideline, kicking into nets, kicking over goal posts. At the end of practice we would practice ‘special teams’ where the kickers would come onto the field and kick in ‘game like’ situations.

They were prepared to do their best when they were needed the most.

Unlike other position players kickers are called on maybe 3 to 6 times depending on the game. Also sometimes they are called upon to make a play that decides the game. Very rarely are other players ever put in that position.9723670_xxl_team_hands.jpg

How often are your sales people put in a position where they need to be at their very best? How often do you have them practice so that when that moment comes they can perform at their very best? How often do you create ‘game’ situations so that they are prepared for anything a prospect ‘throws’ at them?

Effective selling is a combination of:

  • An effective, consistent approach to the market
  • A strategy to conduct sales calls that focuses on
    • Uncovering the ‘have to fix’ problems of the prospect
    • Providing a solution that fits the requirements of the prospect
    • Presenting a solution so that the prospect values the value proposition
    • Asking for and getting a decision
  • Sales skills
  • Sales DNA

With the right sales DNA, a solid approach to the market and a strategy that is proven to be effective the only piece to the puzzle left is the set of skills piece.

Like all physical and mental skills, sales skills can and will deteriorate over time if not honed. Borrowing from president Lincoln who when asked what he would do if he had 4 hours to cut down a number of trees he responded that he would spend time sharpening the axe. Abe was known as the ‘rail splitter’. He knew how to wield an axe, but he realized that occasionally the axe needed sharpening.

To improve the productivity, the effectiveness and the efficiency of your sales team make sure you spend 1 on 1 time with the and time during sales meetings to practice perfecting sales skills.


Additional resources:

On-Line Library Demo - On Demand Sales Training Content

Talent AssessmentOn-Line Sales Evaluation

Sales Management ResourcesSales Management Environment Certification

Call / Text Tony – 513 226 3913

Does Your Sales Team Have "Swagger"?

Tags: sales success, building successful sales teams, highly successful sales people

 Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" – Theodore Roosevelt, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910   
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

What does it take for a salesperson/sales team to live that life?

1. Goals – Not just any goal(s), but goals that, as Walt Disney stated, drive you from the inside: “Dream the big dream, there is nothing in small dreams that stir the blood.”

2. Passion – A passion that emanates from you whenever you are doing what you love to do or talking about what you love to do. When others are in your presence they are compelled to stop and listen and watch/listen while you “burn”.

3. Commitment – The kind of commitment that is best described as “willing to do everything possible to succeed.”

4. Integrity – The determination to do what should be done even if no one is watching and no one will give you credit as a result of doing the right thing simply because it was the right thing to do.

5. Skills – Maybe not all the technical skills required to perfectly execute a behavior, but they have skills like intuition, high “figure it out” ability, stick-to-it-tiveness (not sure that’s a word) persistence, and determination.

6. Willingness to Take Risks – Some people just take shots and decide to aim as they go knowing that they may not at first hit the target but, eventually, they will get sighted-in and hit the objective.

7. Lack of Fear of Failure or Success – Truly, the ability to move on regardless of an outcome is required if you are going to keep going even after you’ve been marred by blood, sweat and blood.

8. Discernment – Those that keep going understand the difference between failing to accomplish an object and being a failure. They understand that a failure is something that occurs in one of their “roles” in life, but who they are on the inside stays intact.

9. Discernment, Part II – They know what shots to take, when to hold them and when to fold them. They estimate the chances of winning and know what they are willing to risk. They stack the deck as best they can and take action knowing full-well they cannot account for every incident that might keep them from success.

10. Ownership – They give credit to others for success and own the outcomes of failure. They don’t blame other people or things; they simply think and or say, “I failed to…”

Imagine just these 10 characteristics, traits or skills all wrapped up in a human being. And that, even with all of these strengths, they continue to grow through risk, success and failure. As a result, they have confidence. They have a sense of invulnerability when it comes to doing the tough stuff. When they walk into a room and start to speak, they own the room. They command attention and they say and do things that others admire and wish they could say and do.

They are people that you want to have on your team and would rather not have to compete against because you know they will do everything they need to do to win. They will be relentless in pursuit of an objective and, while they occasionally lose, most often it is a loss they were willing to suffer in order to do the right things, the right way, for the right reasons.

These people have earned the right to have swagger, to be courageous, assertive and brave because they have fought the fight, they have actually been in the arena, and have had their face marred by dust and sweat and blood; they strove valiantly, made errors, came up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who actually strove to do the deeds; knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; spends himself in a worthy cause; and at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement

Do you have these people?

Additional Resources:

How to Build a Motivated Sales Team