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5 Keys to Successful Sales Coaching & Growth

Posted by Tony Cole on Tue, Feb 18, 2020

In this blog post, we dive into the 5 Keys to Successful Sales Coaching & Growth and the idea that data can help you discover real-time information about your salespeople.  This data allows everyone in your organization to make real-time decisions and real-time and intentional coaching decisions.

If you're looking to increase sales in 2020 and beyond, utilize these 5 keys starting today!

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The article might disappoint you if you are looking for the latest and greatest in financial technology, sales technology, or any kind of technology for that matter.  Data is part of this article but not super BIG Data that you read about in the recent issue of Big Data Quarterly. 

The 5 Keys to Successful Sales Coaching & Growth have more to do with consistency in execution then any specific kind of sales enablement or CRM tool that you use. 

Successful sales executives and managers rely on data because they realize that it can, and will, provide you with real-time information.  The real-time data allows everyone in the organization to make real-time decisions and real-time and intentional (Thank you Bill Eckstrom) coaching decisions.

That being said, the technology and the data is useless unless you have these 5 keys on your sales management "key ring":

  1. Performance Management
  2. Coaching for Success
  3. Motivation That Works
  4. Sales Talent Acquisition Routine
  5. An Effective Selling System 

1.) Performance Management – In our Sales Management Certification and Quick Start Programs, we start with Performance Management.  Performance management should not occupy a lot of time, but must the be the base of everything else that you do. 

Performance management is a process of making sure that you: 

  • Establish consistent metrics to determine success
  • Conduct 1-on-1 meetings where people self-determine what success and failure is
  • Agree to a coaching process and methodology
  • Gather real-time information via Huddles
  • Report the findings of the data
  • Catch people early when they are not performing to the level they committed to

2.) Coaching for Success – Based on the extraordinary discussion and the subsequent Success Formula built for each person you collect via Huddles, you should:

  • Compare actual against the model
  • Identify choke points
  • Determine if outcomes are a result of effort or execution
  • Conduct 1-on-1 coaching sessions to help change behavior or improve skill.

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3.) Motivation that Works – As you see in the graphic below, salespeople are motivated in various ways.  How could you possibly motivate someone if you don’t know what motivates them or how they are motivated to be successful? 

The Sales Improvement and Effectiveness Analysis (Thanks Dave Kurlan and Objective Management Group) not only identifies the level of motivation for each salesperson on your team, but also tells you what motivates them. 

4.) Recruiting Talent that Will Succeed – There is a big difference between talent that can succeed and talent that will succeed in selling.  If your organizational growth is dependent on organic growth, then you need to have data that will tell you a couple of things:

  1. Is my current team wired and do they have what it takes to grow to the next level?
  2. Assuming you need more horsepower under the hood, then you have to make sure that your new hires have the:
    1. Will to sell
    2. Sales DNA
    3. Appropriate Sales Competencies

5.) An Effective Selling System – Must be staged with milestones to determine your salespeople's progress with their prospects. Too often, companies use a CRM system to get a numeric value of the pipeline and perhaps even values within stages of the pipeline.  However, if your data doesn’t include a numerical component that validates that steps are covered within each stage, then your pipeline forecasts are more subjective then objective. 

Additionally, it is THIS data that provides you insight into the effectiveness of the individuals on the sales team.  

Sales growth must become a priority and not just a problem that you continue to kick down the road.  Continuing to ignore the Grey Rhino will sooner or later cost you.

Are you evaluating sales training programs?  Can we help you find the right approach for your company?  Sign up for a personalized Demo of one of our programs below!

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Topics: increase sales, hire better salespeople, sales performance management, consultative selling, banking sales training, professional sales training, consultative sales coaching, sales force performance management, sales training courses, online sales training, hire better people, insurance sales training, driving sales growth 2020, 5 keys to sales coaching, online sales management training, sales training workshops, sales training seminars, sales training programs

I Would Sell More and Increase Sales If Only I Would....

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Feb 07, 2020

In this blog post, we present a question that may force you to look yourself in the mirror and ask, "What can I do better as a salesperson to increase my sales in 2020 and beyond?" 

This question, although difficult to admit and analyze, is necessary in your evolution as a salesperson.  

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I've got a fill-in-the blank for you.  Are you ready?

"I Would Sell More If Only I Would __________"

What comes after would? We had the chance to ask that question around the country with a variety of companies both large and small, and it's interesting to hear how salespeople respond when you ask them to fill in this particular blank.

Sometimes, you'll hear excuses.

Sometimes, you'll hear valid reasons for why they're not selling as much as they would like or their manager would like. When we hear these valid reasons, we immediately think about the core steps in the sales process.  

First, you have to call on your prospects.  Then, you have to go see them.  You must set meetings, you must qualify prospects, deliver presentations, and of course, you have to win your fair share. 

If you're not where you want to be in 2020, ask yourself,

  1. Why are you there?
  2. How long have you been there?
  3. Are you fully committed to getting back on track?
  4. What's going to be required to get back on track?
  5. Do you have to get there?
  6. What happens if you don't?
  7. What is the problem costing you?
  8. Do you have to fix it?

If you know anything about our organization, you know that is how we encourage the unveiling of the sales process. 

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Asking your prospects questions like:

  • What is going on?
  • What do you have to fix this problem?
  • How long has it been a problem?
  • What have you done to try and fix it?
  • Do you have to fix it?
  • What happens if you don't fix it?
  • What's this problem costing you? 

All of that fits into one of two categories: Excuses or reasons

Just remember as you answer the question, "I could sell more if only I could ____."  If your answer is an excuse...

"Excuses are the nails used to build houses of failure."

Now go out there and get it done!

To learn more about our organization and services, click the link below: 

Sell Better. Coach Better. Hire Better.

Topics: Sales Training, increase sales, hire better salespeople, consultative selling, consultative sales coaching, sales training courses, online sales training, hire better people, insurance sales training, train the trainer, driving sales growth 2020, sales training workshops, sales training seminars

Increase Sales in 2020| What Makes an Elite Salesperson "Elite"?

Posted by Tony Cole on Tue, Feb 04, 2020

In our second blog post focusing on increasing sales in 2020 and beyond, we discuss the differentiating factors between "elite" salespeople and the rest of the pack.  

What do elite salespeople do that makes them elite?  

In this post, we help answer this question, while providing advice for sales managers to help guide their salespeople into greatness.

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What do 11% of elite salespeople do that differentiates them from the remaining 89%, when they are faced with difficult questions, stalls and objections? 

According to Dave Kurlan at Objective Management Group (out of every 100 salespeople):

  • 70 rush back to the office to begin work on a proposal to tell their bosses that their large opportunity is very promising, because all 3 prospects in the meeting were "very interested"
  • 19 leave the call and make 2 entries in their journals - "propose" and "follow-up" - and they'll do both eventually
  • 11 are still at the meeting, asking more questions

Going back into our archives of the Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis, we find that those 11 salespeople that are still at the meeting have a pipeline that looks like the chart you see to the right. 

Those 89 that rush back to the office and/or make entries to propose and follow up with their prospect have a pipeline that is represented by the chart you see below:

The difference is that the elite salespeople do a great job of meeting people and qualifying them to a point where the prospect can be defined as qualified and closeable, based on specific criteria, or they can be identified as not qualified, or not closeable.

Weak salespeople on the other hand, when asked to score the same "closeable prospect", criteria questions fall considerably short of having a robust, and closeable pipeline. 

Normally, we find out that these salespeople:

·       Have not met with decision makers

·       Failed to uncover compelling issues to make a change or purchase

·       Do not have a timeline

·       Did not create urgency

·       Did not get an agreement on budget to be spent

So, the question becomes; “How accurate is your pipeline – really?” 

If the pipeline volume for your entire team reads $4,000,000 over the next 90 days, but only 11% of that actually has a chance to close, then you shouldn’t be surprised that only $440,000.00 shows up in sales. (when compared to the $4,000,000).

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The solution to the problem isn’t “run faster”; also known as “see more prospects”.  The solution is to get your people to schedule qualified appointments and then make sure they are capable of discerning between a suspectsomeone that is thinking about buying – and a qualified prospectsomeone that has made the decision to solve a problem.

To more effectively help your salespeople as a sales manager you must:

1.     Understand WHY they won’t qualify

2.     Get a complete understanding of their skills set for consultative skills, asking questions, creating trust and confidence and presentation skills

3.     Put less emphasis on closing skills and more emphasis on qualifying skills

4.     See how comfortable they are with having fierce and direct conversations

5.     Observe their commitment and willingness to do everything possible to succeed

6.     Understand their motivation to succeed and attain personal goals

7.     Gather data about their execution of the milestone centric sales process so that you can provide intentional coaching based on choke points.

The challenge(s), should you accept them are:

·       Find out exactly what the capabilities of your sales team are

·       Build and implement a milestone centric sales process and imbed that process in your CRM

·       Make sure that your sales managed environment includes the following elements:

  • Performance Management
  • Coaching for Success
  • Hiring Better Salesperson
  • Motivation that Works
  • Coaching an Effective Sales System

Sell Better. Coach Better. Hire Better.

 

Topics: Sales Coaching, increase sales, sales performance management, consultative selling, consultative sales coaching

Top Habits of Highly Successful Sales Managers

Posted by Jack Kasel on Tue, Jan 28, 2020

The sales management activities that we perform today create the results that we achieve today.  What activities are you doing now that are creating your current unsatisfactory results?  How can you change them? 

It is up to us as sales leaders to set higher standards for sales behaviors and hold our salespeople accountable so that we can increase sales, improve company culture, and hire better salespeople.

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It is a given that successful sales management requires contributions on many levels:  skill, time, effort, effective execution and systems and processes to support coaching, performance management and recruiting.

To help understand what makes a successful sales manager, it is helpful to review the Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople.  I recently asked the participants of a workshop to identify and share those habits that they believed contributed to the success of their best salespeople.  Here are some of the common habits identified below:

  • Develops great relationships
  • Networks regularly
  • Good time management
  • Gets to decision makers
  • Is selective in prospecting
  • Provides exceptional customer service

Then I asked these participants to talk about the flip side of the list, or those habits that inhibited or hurt a salesperson’s ability to close more business.  Here are some of the habits they identified below:

  • Sells on price
  • Inconsistent prospecting
  • Procrastinates
  • Presents to the wrong people
  • Sells to anyone that fogs a mirror
  • Poor prioritization
  • Is too comfortable

How about you and your habits?  What are those habits that you can point to that you know have a positive impact on your team’s sales behaviors and results?  Here are some that I observe and hear about:

  • Coaches in-the-moment to get a deal closed
  • Reports sales results
  • Makes joint calls
  • Sets goals
  • Conducts regular sales meetings
  • Reviews and reports pipeline

This is a good list and with some additions, it can become a great list. To examine what else you might want to consider, take a look at the following list of elements necessary for successful coaching:

  • Debriefs sales calls effectively
  • Asks quality questions
  • Controls emotions
  • Allows salespeople to fail
  • Implements and manages the execution of a consistent sales process
  • Motivates when coaching based on individual/personal goals
  • Coaches to improve skill and change behavior
  • Gets sales people to follow through on commitments

It’s not enough to just have the skill.  In order for managers to be successful at having a sales team built for growth, the manager must be in the habit of using those skills.

Sell Better. Coach Better. Hire Better.

Being an extraordinary sales manager is grueling and time-consuming.  It requires attention to detail, the ability to have tough conversations with those who are not meeting their numbers, the desire and commitment to grow yourself and your salespeople, consistent activity and patience, and so much more.

Like the coach of a winning team or the conductor of an extraordinary symphony, you have the ability to positively affect the success and the lives of your salespeople and company. 

Now, go make it happen!

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Topics: Sales Training, increase sales, hire better salespeople, consultative selling, sales effectiveness training, banking sales training, professional sales training, consultative sales coaching, corporate sales training, sales force performance management, sales training courses, hire better people, driving sales growth 2020, online sales management training, sales training workshops

Implementing Core Sales Values to Help Your Sales Culture | Increase Sales 2020

Posted by Tony Cole on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

In the 2nd post in our "2020: The Year for Sales Growth" blog series, our Founder and CLO Tony Cole, discusses the importance of maintaining core sales values within an organization, how these values relate to organized sports, the erosion of these said core values, and the impact they have (or can have) on your attempt to grow your sales organization and sales numbers in 2020.

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I have been playing tennis for close to seven years now.  If you watched me play, you would describe me as a "football player who plays tennis."  I play hard, I compete, I hate to lose, and I play to win.  But at my age, I recognize my limitations, and I accept them. 

It really doesn’t matter that my chosen sport was football. What matters more here is what it means to have participated in organized sports for many years, and what has happened to the core values and benefits passed down from generation to generation. 

One thing I have noticed is the erosion of those core values and the impact they have (or can have) on your attempt to grow your sales organization.

Last night, when I went to play in my weekly tennis league, I noticed a banner that you may have seen at the beginning of this blog (I'll Never Be Benched, Subbed or Picked Last).  With every movie I see, song I hear, or book I read; I always apply them to sales, selling, sales management or recruiting.  It happened when I saw the banner and it distracted me for the remainder of the evening.  I couldn’t help but think that the rest of the banner might read:

  • I won’t get the grades I need to get into school or a good job
  • I won’t get into the school of my choice
  • I won’t get the promotion
  • I won’t get a raise
  • I won’t win the part in the play
  • I won’t win the heart of a significant other
  • I won’t be able to beat my competitor in a tough sales situation
  • I won’t get the loan I need for a place to live

As you think about what is required of a successful salesperson, what attributes or characteristics are required to be successful? Dave Kurlan at Objective Management Group knows the answer to that question, and by extension of our relationship with him and his organization, we know the answer as well.

Click here to identify what your top performers look like compared to 1.8 million others and top performers in your industry segment.)

Sample Sales Candidate Assessment

What we know is that the top 25% of all salespeople have The Will to Sell which includes: 

  • Desire to succeed in selling
  • Commitment (willing to do everything possible to succeed) in selling
  • Taking responsibility for outcomes – they don’t make excuses
  • A strong outlook
  • Very motivated

Their Sales DNA scores exceed 68%.  This means that they have strengths in the following areas:

  • No need for approval
  • Control emotions
  • Supportive believes
  • Supportive buy cycle
  • Comfortable discussing money
  • Handle rejection

This research, based on close to 2 million sales evaluations, shows that perhaps the most important contributing factor in the DNA score is, "Handles Rejection."  Meaning, that the most significant factor in determining if your next salesperson hire will be a fit, comes down to if they can handle rejection from prospects. 

Simply put, if they can't, then they are probably not a fit for the role!

When evaluating your current talent or looking for new talent, put a check mark next to the attributes you think are important to succeed in your organization.  Then, make sure that in your vetting process, you look for those attributes.

Finally, make sure that your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephew are put in positions where they have to overcome adversity, work hard to succeed, and are recognized for what they actually accomplish, rather than just competing.

Sell Better. Coach Better. Hire Better.

Topics: increase sales, hire better salespeople, consultative selling, creating new sales opportunities, sales and sports, sales productivity tools, professional sales training, consultative sales coaching, social selling, hire better people, driving sales growth 2020, handles rejection

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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