Why pipeline management? Whether you think you are going to reach your goals or miss your goals, how do you know? Can you identify the path that will, or won’t, lead you to success? To do build and maintain the right pipeline, we have to change. Change the way we prospect, the amount of time we prospect, the way we qualify, present, negotiate and close. One thing is for sure, your sales come from your pipeline. And your current pipeline represents the way you sell. To make your pipeline look better, you will have to change something: your sales tactics, strategies and/or sales habits. Your pipeline will guide you to know how much and how often you need to change.
An alter ego can be viewed as “a second self or different version of oneself” according to Merriam-Webster. In sales, many reps unconsciously craft a sales persona or “alter ego” around familiar tendencies instead of learning how to reinvent themselves to think differently about each new sales opportunity. This results in bad sales habits and misconceptions about the reality of your sales cycle and pipeline. I’ve spent a lot of time asking salespeople why they do what they do. Most sales professionals know what they should be doing and can justify how they spend their time and why they make the choices they do. This is a skill that is extremely valuable in a seller of your product or service, but ironically, it can also have a negative effect if it becomes a habit outside of the sales arena. Take a step back by asking yourself: Am I making exceptions to my own sales rules?
The right sales training for your employees is integral to the success of your business. Before you invest, make sure you have all of the information you need to make a smart decision.
In an ideal world, every sales call would be a winning sales call. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in; however, with the following tips you can increase your number of sales wins without having to drastically change your approach. The key differences between a successful seller and a mediocre one are nuanced in nature. It comes down to who is more prepared, who has gone out of their way to get to know the client, and who is able to sell simply through rhythm of conversation rather than an overly rehearsed and stiff pitch. We've broken down our recommended winning sales approach into four categories (we've even created an infographic you can use as a handy reference). Read through and see if you can incorporate the following strategy into your next sales call!
It’s a weighted question, and the answer depends on who you ask. Far too often, sales managers will give “lip service” to sales training, but never really do what’s required to make it worth the time and effort. Merely “checking the box” and providing a once a year training event is simply not enough. Both sales reps and managers must perceive training as an integral component to the culture of the organization, and not something that’s “optional” or “extra.” For sales training to really make an impact, it needs to be: personalized, ongoing, actionable, and supported by a coach. Because training is about changing behavior. It doesn’t matter whether you’re training for a marathon or learning a new skill, training means you’re changing your habits and activities in order to reach a specific goal. To help you make the most of your training efforts, we’ve outlined 3 tips to help you do just that:
Sales forecasting is about taking the necessary actions and implementing proper sales techniques to understand, predict, and forecast promising sales. Forecasting helps you to put things into perspective. It allows you to see both the possibilities and challenges of pipeline management, and then plan your next steps. Accurate forecasting helps you to maintain full control of your pipeline. However after working with thousands of salespeople and sales managers, we’ve reached a definitive conclusion about most of the sales forecasts salespeople submit…they’re inaccurate and unreliable. In fact, 44% of executives think their organizations are ineffective at managing their sales pipeline according to research conducted by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association. What can you do to increase the reliability and accuracy of sales forecasts?
Every deal has an owner. It’s either the buyer or the seller, one or the other, but not both. While both parties help to shape the final product, only one can truly own it. If the seller doesn’t own the deal, then the buyer does by default. And aggressive buyers will attempt to take control of the deal from the very beginning. Guess what? Whoever owns the deal tends to get the more desirable outcome. “Win/win” is widely promoted as the best outcome of a given deal. A seller can still own a deal and provide a “win” for the buyer at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with one party or the other having the upper hand in a deal as long as you are that party. “Playing for a tie” doesn’t work in sports and it doesn’t work in sales either. And you better be prepared to take the lead whether in person or not, as 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone. Consider the following 4 tips to take control of your sales: