How traditional is any sales operation today? Every operation has changed a huge amount over the past few decades. That’s not to say that traditional approaches are irrelevant in today’s businesses, more that there are new techniques coming to the fore to account for a changing business landscape, increased competition from overseas and new sales professionals with fresh ideas.
But is it possible to strip sales back to the bare basics in order to develop your most successful selling operation yet? The very foundation of your sales organization can be the difference between a flourishing sales team and a slipping one.
A slipping sales team however doesn’t just come from poor performance, but can simply be down to a lack of the right groundwork. There are three simple things that directly influence your company’s sales culture as a whole.
The key to any successful sales operation is ensuring sufficient preparation. Getting together a complete overview of your prospects, your competition and anything else that could impact a smooth sales process is paramount.
The better you understand your prospects, the more likely you’ll be able to craft a solution that will better suit their current situation. Whether it is saving them money, time or effort, you need to be supporting them to make improvements within their business.
Do your research and prepare a complete overview of your prospects. What are their challenges? How can you solve them? It’s the little things that count and if you can name drop one of their competitors or demonstrate a little inside knowledge (even if you have just done some extensive Googling), you’ll look the part.
Win or lose a deal, every sales professional should take the time to dissect exactly what happened. What went right? Why did you lose or win the deal? It can be tough at times to take ownership of things you should have done differently, but it will set you on the right path for success in the future.
What’s more, in a situation in which a prospect is choosing between you and a competitor, asking them why they opted for you not only helps you to find out what key factors in your approach were most important in their decision making process, but will strengthen their decision in their minds. You can then take the positives and apply them to your next call or meeting.
No sales call will ever be perfect, but you can get pretty close with a little tweaking here and improvement there to your technique.
Any good sales team needs to be disciplined enough to know when to push hard to close a deal and when to leave it be and move on. Far too many sales people today are trying to fit a square into a circle, telling themselves that prospect X is a perfect fit for their offering and determined to close a sale, only to find that, in fact, they’re not a fit at all after devoting endless hours trying to get a ‘yes’.
It takes a disciplined individual to be able to cut ties and move onto the next prospect if this one isn’t going anywhere. There are plenty of prospects out there that will lead you down the garden path for months on end, stringing you along with not even the slightest inclination of a purchase. Sometimes it takes a blunt approach to ask “are you going to buy or not?” to get your answer.
Move on, cut your losses and don’t waste precious selling time on something that’s going nowhere.
What are your top tips for encouraging a successful sales culture within your business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!