With an increased pressure of filling quotas and achieving numbers, the process of ‘selling’ has become an uphill task for most. As a salesperson, it doesn’t matter where you came from and what school you went to.
With thousands of sales reps stepping into the ring every day, the majority of them are unable to understand even the basics of their job. This is a cold hard fact!
It’s painful to see new age companies using below-average procedures and absurd emails to sell their products and services. That’s precisely the reason why businesses today are tired of dealing with lousy salespeople.
In a recent webinar, A Sales Guy CEO, Jim Keenan, shares his experience working with some of the world’s best and most successful sales reps and leaders.
In an illuminating discussion with our very own Jack Kosakowski, Keenan brings out the struggles of building and maintaining a strong sales force. The attempt is to figure out why most salespeople suck at selling and how to improve fast. Check out the game-changing takeaways that’ll transform your sales process by leaps and bound…
#1 – Is sales as a profession getting worse by the day?
The answer is a straightforward NO. The industry is not going bad. Fact is, with the advent of the new sales tools and methodologies, the salespeople are not being taught the basics and the right way to leverage the modern gear.
That’s why the perception of ‘sales’ is getting worse. Sales reps are in a hurry and forget to talk about the basic problems their target market is actually going through.
“Salespeople have no clue what business problems are they trying to solve? – Jim Keenan”
As a sales rep, you have to care about someone else’s business problems (…and not your own quotas!)
#2 – How does a new sales rep understand the daily problems of a client?
Most sales reps are trained to ‘sell a product’. This leads to an early conversation wherein the sales reps start talking about the product first before even discussing the problem. According to Keenan, your first few questions should be about the problems your prospects are experiencing and not about anything else.
“The salespeople are too focused on what they have to sell and not focused on how they’re going to find a problem and solve the problem for a business owner or a buyer – Jim Keenan”
The real trouble arises when your natural style is not about ‘giving & offering’ and it is only about ‘taking or receiving’. Then the concept of ‘thinking about other people’ is foreign to you. To begin with, understand and identify the problems your product was designed to fix.
#3 – How to prepare a salesperson for the conversation training?
Most salespeople don’t know the correct way to have the right conversations. That’s precisely the reason why all sales reps sound the same. To avoid this, the sales reps need to take responsibility.
First off, make your prospects feel comfortable. Figure out the real problem that prospect is facing. Then lead them, move them, and provoke them, to sell them ‘the need’.
“The number one job of the salespeople is to get the customer to let you help them – Jim Keenan”
For example, a millennial sales rep should first try to gain respect from older professionals. That’s where being updated with new knowledge comes in handy. Stay informed about the latest industry news.
You see, wisdom is always the number one competitive advantage. Personality plays an important part in a healthy conversation as well. For instance, it helps if you know how to use humor or any other personal trait.
# 4 – As a sales rep how should I get my prospects excited?
To begin with, you have to understand their business and solve an irritating dilemma for them. In the first few discussions, you should share a story or an anecdote where your prospects feel they are the main character. The conversation should be enjoyable and interesting leading to a great experience.
For instance, you could share what the common problems your industry is facing. This will create a relevant connection between you as a sales rep and your prospect.
#5 – As a sales rep, how should I assess and improve my performance?
The minute you see a real opportunity through the CRM, open it up. Maintain your numbers and keep them clean. Don’t make something up and put it in the pipeline, being dishonest never helps. Once you’ve tracked those numbers, know them, believe them and only then analyze your performance over time.
Salespeople should treat themselves like baseball cards and from day one, they should know their close rate, their average deal size, and the average time to close.
#6 – How should you find resources and training that relates to sales?
As a sales guy, you enter the grown-up world when you accept accountability for your own actions. You need to be self-aware and have the ability to take your own inventory. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to improve.
Also, start reading about the industry. Chart out what you should learn and what will help you. Being well-informed prepares you for future success.
At the end of the day, you’ll have to put in the work which helps you not suck at sales. The only way to long-term success is – practice, practice and more practice.
…and we’ve barely dented the surface here!
If you want to explore some real game-changing lessons that’ll transform your sales techniques for the better, watch our free on-demand training.