3 Ideas to Help Inspire Your Team and Improve Sales
Every seller has what they probably consider to be their own style or method of selling. As a manager it’s hard to try and promote some kind of consistency across your team when everyone believes their way of doing things is best.
To some extent it’s probably a lost cause to try and get sellers, especially the seasoned ones, to entirely change their ways, but there are some things you should encourage your team to remember and implement in their sales process.
What 3 ideas should you have your sellers embrace?
1. Be a curious problem solver
Sellers who try to shove their offering down a prospect’s throat routinely fail. They’re quickly regarded as a nuisance and blemish their credibility by being overly aggressive.
Having your team approach their sales as curious problem solvers is essential. Successful salespeople ask questions - they don’t assume anything and listen to what a potential buyer is telling them.
Taking the time to actually hear what a buyer’s pain-points are and then offering value via the solution is key. More trust will be built and the relationship will gain a new dimension. Buyers want to be comfortable and understood, instead of just sold to.
Being curious by asking questions, then taking proactive steps in finding a solution, and finally truly providing value is what buyers need from their salespeople.
2. Think like a data scientist
There are always the sellers who will tell you stories about how they’re sure a deal is about to happen because they have a feeling. They rely on their gut to determine what to do next with whatever they’re working on.
We can’t completely disregard that some kind of intuition is useful in sales, but it isn’t what your sellers should be basing their pipelines on.
By thinking like a data specialist, they will inevitably see patterns in their activities. By actually having a true awareness of what’s happening dependent on their behavior, they’ll evolve their process and make changes that will positively impact sales.
Measuring and keeping track of their sales activities - numbers of prospecting outreaches, first appointments, follow-ups, proposals sent, negotiations - gives sellers power by providing insight into what’s working and what isn’t.
By looking at the data, your team can consciously control their sales behaviors and make improvements where necessary.
If done properly, forecasts will become more definitive and sellers will be managing their time more efficiently.
3. Keep moving forward
Hopefully most of your sellers are following-up and scheduling appropriate next steps with their prospects, but perhaps some aren’t. Maybe some are too aggressive and overbearing in their requests for appointments and follow-ups.
There’s definitely a spectrum to how people handle follow-ups, requests for subsequent meetings, proposal submissions, etc. Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules on what will work every time and what will completely turn a buyer off.
So how can you advise your sellers to act?
Encourage them to keep moving forward.
Rule #1: Follow up no matter what.
Even if a sales call went completely south - your sellers should at the very least send an email thanking the prospect for their time. Maintaining relationships is critical.
If a prospect has shown interest, but hasn’t replied to an email about scheduling a call - your sellers should follow up perhaps by gently inquiring about alternative dates and times.
Encourage each of your salespeople to be proactive in their communication with prospects and don’t allow them to avoid following up regularly.
Rule #2: Know when to let it go.
No one should be chasing something or someone indefinitely. By having routine conversations with your sellers about their pipelines, you can help coach them into realizing when they’re simply wasting their time with follow-ups.
If an assumed prospect has been entirely unresponsive after an initial call despite your seller having left them x voicemails and x follow-up emails - encourage them to pause their activity on this account for some time.
That’s not to say they should completely give up on it, but allow time to pass before initiating contact again. Whether that’s a month or a year is dependent on the situation and your business.
All of your sellers, despite their selling style need to know the distinction between what’s proactive and what’s probably unwelcome badgering or even harassment.
Introducing these ideas to your sellers and having them embrace their essence will help your team morph into truly high-performing salespeople.