I’m half way through an interesting book by Daniel Pink – DRIVE! It’s very interesting and worth a read.
Daniel says the model of incentivizing people with money is outmoded and “rooted more in folklore than in science”.
My initial reaction to this (and I stress this is solely my personal opinion, it’s not based upon research) is “that’s just not right”. It just doesn’t align with what I’ve observed over many years in, and running sales teams. Money talks. (IMHO) – especially for the good reps.
Is my reaction biased because I’m a very coin operated person? Maybe yes. Maybe I’m an outlier to his research.
But then I realized that Daniel’s research wasn’t for salespeople, it was for the population as a “whole” (my speech marks).
Ok, so that may make more sense – I think sales people are different to the general population. That’s what often makes them sales people.
And maybe I should qualify this position even more –maybe my position is even better suited to hunters – the Bus Dev people! The “outside” team. And not so much (still is , just not so much) to “farmers”.
So, what am I saying?
So your sales team is not performing as well as you’d like them to. What can you do? If you’re like most sales managers, you will know that training is one of your biggest tools (beyond changing out people – but who says you’ll recruit better this time!) to drive better performance, which is so often the key to how to improve sales. But how do you make sales skills training effective?
Sourcing and recruiting sales staff who are superstars is just half of the puzzle. If you don’t have a robust and effective onboarding process for your sales staff, you might never get them to perform to their full potential. Worse still, you might not retain them for the long term. We’re going to share five tips with you today that will see you ramp up your new sales staff, and get them performing to the best of their ability, faster and more effectively.
We all know the different sales skills and attributes of hunters and farmers.
Hunters are your sales people who love the thrill of the chase, they have to get up every morning and decide where, who and which technique to use for the hunt. Farmers on the other hand are your account managers who love building fruitful (and profitable), long-term relationships. They know where their fields are – they just need to go and get the most from them.
How many times have you heard:
“We got the deal but had to give away a bit to close it”.
Actually, if it was just ‘a bit’, that’s probably okay – but when it’s more than a ‘bit’ it starts to affect the all-important business margins.
Just about every single time I have seen a company’s sales slump or slow down I can go back to the sales cycle duration, and see a corresponding slump in leads or prospects.
Easy - the sales manager’s job is to drive their team to make sales. It’s that simple, right? Wrong. It’s big and it’s complex.
How many times in a sales process do you hear this?
I was emailing a guy the other day promoting a sales course I’m running and his response on the first email was “What’s the price?” My response was; Lesson number one in sales - never talk price too early. In fact, never talk price until you (the seller) are ready.
Hardie Fasteners was founded in 1997 by Joseph Hardie and supplies the marine, manufacturing, engineering and construction industry with quality fasteners.
This is an interesting question as the answer is everything and nothing. Everything - because we are all, always, trying to sell more, find new customers or channels ; Nothing - in that the CEO needs the confidence to rely on their sales team to generate revenue, drive quarterly growth and replace lost or churning customers, but overall, grow the business with profitable revenue.
However, most CEOs don't have a lot of sales knowledge - or ability. Sales in many organisations can be looked upon as the sleazy, pushy, used car salesman type role in the company (for more on this read Daniel Pink's book, To Sell is Human), and most CEOs don't come from this background.
Why is this? The answer is relatively sensible. Traditionally, people without tertiary education, but maybe with “the gift of the gab”, have tended to get into sales. People don’t necessarily need formal training or skills for a sales role, and while this has made the path easier, the lack of education can be a disadvantage for progress to a general management role - especially in a corporate or bigger company.
Anyway, back to the story.