Sales Management | Sales Techniques

Sales Performance Sweet Spots

Many accomplished sales leaders struggle to know how to develop their sales team. It’s not because of a lack of leadership skills or a shortage of training options; far from it. It’s possible to keep sales people locked up in learning and development for weeks and there are numerous good programs to choose from. The question is, to what end, and which interventions will best suit your people?

It’s not until a sales leader has a sense of where the gaps exist between best practice and the current talents of their team that anything close to development should or could be attempted. Even then, what’s to say that personality profiling or objection handling or one of a number of other interesting programs is going to cause additional sales? And let’s face it; the only reason you have a sales team to produce sales. I encourage any sales leader thinking about sales development to expect additional sales success from every sales program they implement.

During my years of sales training with many sales teams across lots of industries and using several of the world’s leading best practice programs, I have noticed a dozen sales sweet spots. These are skills and techniques which produce results quickly; well in excess of the investment required to teach them. For example one of the sweet spots is a model for objectively determining sales call outcomes. You’d think assessing a call outcome was intuitive, but not so in complex selling where there are often long sales cycles and multiple stake holders. This particular sweet spot can be taught in a few hours, it improves the quality of sales encounters and produces better sales results almost immediately.

So the answer to professional development for a sales team is not simply selecting from a respectable menu of learning and development options. It starts a few steps before that, through a set of fresh eyes; the eyes of someone who can revisit the existing strengths of the team and match them to the most efficient intervention designed to achieve the best incremental improvement.   This approach makes commercial sense. It leads to cost effective skills and process interventions, minimises the expectations placed on the team, demands the least amount of change and links to measurable results.

I’ve had excellent results with another sweet spot which involves teaching sales people how to more effectively uncover the personal drivers of the buyer and how to translate the product or service benefits into the “currency” of that driver.  This one takes a little longer to teach but significantly reduces the likelihood of objections and price concerns.

Another similar sweet spot takes me less than half an hour to coach and addresses a part of the process of opening the sales call. As a bonus it gives the sales manager a leading indicator of success and it is a good surrogate measure of the effort the sales person has put into call planning.

My favourite intervention is one which helped me turn one team into the best in its industry.  It addresses how to draw the customer into a partnership relationship and accept some of the responsibility for the success of the sale; it’s a notion which is quite foreign to most sales people.

If you would like me to assist you with the initial strengths audit of your team or a particular intervention, by all means give me a call.



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