Why Don’t My Sales Team Care If We Hit Sales Targets?

If a sales team is consistently failing to perform then there is something fundamentally wrong.

No-one want to miss a single sales target and some months will always be tougher than others, but consistent failure is not normal, not sustainable and is a clear indicator that something radically needs to change in the business.

Directors Perspective

Your sales team may not care if they hit the sales targets because it’s highly likely that their manager may not care either!

Or it could be that there are no positive or negative consequences or actions taken if the target is hit, or not, whatever the case may be.

From a Director or Business Owner Perspective – Check out the Sales Management team and their skills, intent, motivation style, reward mechanisms, general demeanour around the office and use of management information before you fire the sales team. The culture of success (or failure) comes from the top…always.

You may also want to look at how closely the goals and ambitions of your sales management team are aligned with the goals of the board. Do you think that you are all working to the same goals and agendas or do you know this for a fact…what do their actions tell you?

What’s the ‘them and us’ culture in the firm? One big happy family or layers of management?

You may also want to think about what you are asking the sales team to do, the market they are in, associated pricing and market conditions. competitor performance and the specific challenges the sales team can’t seem to overcome in the market.

Sales Manager Perspective

As Sales Manager you may want to ask your self these questions then think what you should do about it:

  • Are all of your team failing to hit target/care or just a few of them?
  • Are there consistent performers and consistent non-performers?
  • What are the consequences of performance in your team?
  • What are the consequences of non-performance in your team?
  • How are your sales team rewarded for their hard work and success?
  • How many of your team are on formal performance management programs?
  • How much time per week do you spend sat side by side with your sales people in observing, monitoring, coaching, mentoring?
  • How much time do you spend training your sales team?
  • What daily performance information do you give to your sales team?
  • What happens in your daily management meetings?
  • How often do you ask for updates in sales forecasts?
  • What is the daily sales contact times target for your team (sales talk time)?
  • What is the best and worse sales conversion rate in the team and why?
  • What is the best and worst margin in the team and why?
  • What sort of data are you giving your team to sell to?
  • How robust is the prospect qualification process used by the sales team?

Sometimes, an under performing sales team has reached the point of no return and turn around would be costly and a big drain on time.

Sometimes to start again is, unfortunately, the only option.

Before you do – think about what you would do differently in how you manage them…whether you are the Business Owner or the Sales Manager

For more information or a confidential chat about Sales Turn Around, Sales Improvement and Practical Sales Training then call Carol at Morton Kyle Limited on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

We run a number of open and bespoke Sales Training Courses – all with a full money back guarantee, contact us for details or use the links below:

Sales and Business Development Boot Camp for Business Owner Managers

The Sales Improvement Workshop

Happy Selling

Carol

www.mortonkyle.com

Are You a Sales Stalker…Do You Call to ‘Just Touch Base’?

Are You A Sales Stalker?

Sales Statistics – How Many Times Should a Sales Person Chase a Prospect?

I saw this image posted on the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Facebook page last week – and although I’ve seen these figures before, they never cease to amaze me.

However, I don’t doubt they are true.

So how are you going to make these stats work for you?

Rule number 1:  make sure that every single one of your chase calls or follow up calls does not consist of the old chestnut ‘are you any nearer to signing the contract yes?’. Yes, tough to believe, but you would be surprised how many people are guilty of this. Even worse, ‘just touching base’

We all know that nothing is guaranteed to get the sales person on the ‘blocked call’ list faster than that sort of dogged and unimaginative pursuit.

So – what do you do?

Let’s imagine that you have to take your sales prospect through 12 contacts – how might you structure those contacts? Here are random examples of how you can easily achieve your 12 contacts without too much efforts.

BUT before you go galloping off to get all of these activities scheduled with your outstanding prospects – let me throw a few warnings your way:

  • Not all prospects are worth chasing!
  • Not all prospects have sufficient value or margin to allow you to chase in a highly sophisticated or time consuming way – use your time cautiously.
  • Not all prospects are worth chasing equally.
  • No prospect that wants to do business with you will be waiting for you to call them – they will call you.

If your calls aren’t returned, emails not responded to, it doesn’t always mean the prospect doesn’t want to do business with you. It may well mean that they don’t want to do business with you NOW. Sometimes it means you have been binned, so, continuing to make contact (or trying to) will waste your time but can’t harm the relationship any further…and you never know.

So 14 Contact Points to adopt with your sales prospects that avoid the ‘have you signed the contract yet’ chaser.

  1. Be Social – Invite them to lunch – everyone needs to eat.
  2. Be of Value – Find out who they would like introductions to, their ideal referrers, their ideal prospects, ideal clients – and make the introduction. You can make the introduction via email or face to face.
  3. Flag – Send then a white paper/article/news story that will be of interest to them.
  4. Educate – Share your insights – as with any conversation – your thinking will evolve as the relationship progresses and you get more information. You might start your conversation off with something along the lines of ‘ I’ve been thinking about your plan to use our system/product to achieve a higher ROI, I’ve just seen it used in X company and they have an interesting take that you could use in your business to really accelerate results….can we have a chat about that, is now good or shall we slot a time in the diary?’
  5. Re-enforce your message – Send them a testimonial from a current client who has used your product/service – with a very brief overview of how they benefited – make it relevant
  6. Group Social – invite them to one of your business events, football, concert, races, early bar somewhere nice.
  7. Inclusion – Include them on the circulation list for the company newsletter
  8. Build Links with their network – Call then to ask for referrals, once they have referred you to colleagues and contacts, it will be tough for them to go and buy elsewhere
  9. Part of the family – Ask them to speak with some of your existing customers/clients
  10. Build Links with your network – take your MD, Head of Ops, Implementation, Customer Service Manager in to see them, just on a get to know basis, over a coffee, sandwich at lunch
  11. Inclusion – Invite them to one of your user/buyer focus groups
  12. Corporate Gift – USB/Pen/mouse pad/desk pad – all very cheap and they keep your name in front of them
  13. Hobbies – what hobbies do you share, find out and/share sites, newsletters
  14. And finally…don’t forget to call just to ‘Just to Touch Base’…if you really really have to!

If you want to be accelerate your sales performance, build a solid and stable sales pipeline, increase conversion rate, increase sales turnover and margins – call me

Alternatively – join us on our next Sales Improvement Workshop 

So confident am I that I can turn your sales performance on its head – you get a full money back guarantee – come on, join us and see what you can really achieve.

Carol – carol@mortonkyle.com – 0779 002 1885

Are You Worth More than Your Salary?

Sales is one of the few careers where there is a fairly direct relationship between correctly applied effort and results.

If you’re not earning what you are worth, then it’s fair to say you are not bringing value to your clients or the company. This is a sad state of affairs for lots of reasons, but primarily because:

  • You have the same time in a day as everyone else, yet you’re not creating results and value worth paying for
  • You probably feel that this is not your fault

If you want to stay in sales and command the salary you want – wise up.

  • Invest in yourself
  • Make a promise to yourself about what you are prepared to do to become successful
  • Get on with it

It’s relatively easy to turn a mediocre sales career into a stellar sales career – if you want it enough. Do you?

If so, read on. 4 quick pointers

  1. Get learning – most sales people are in sales by default. Become a professional sales person, study your trade. Get some books, articles Youtube broadcasts from people who can sell – Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins – yes, these guys have been around for years. I still love how they sell, professionally, with grace and good humour and with great intelligence while they put the prospect at the centre of the process and work around him/her. Get these guys work on mp3 or audio cd, play it in the gym, the car, before a meeting, before sleep, while you shower – listen and then listen again, then apply it to your sales process.
  2. Get a mentor or build a relationship with a great sales person you know – preferably in your organisation, do what they do, do everything that they do. Do it so much better than they do it. Every single day, work harder than they do. Get feedback and then work harder still. Easy, short cuts rarely work in sales, and if they do, then they just don’t last very long. Carve your own skill set and successful ways or working – they can never be stolen from you and you know you can have confidence in your own sales skills.
  3. Put in the hours – build extra time into your day to generate a pot of leads to contact the next day, be very selective about the types of clients you approach, Make sure you are not just ‘doing the numbers’ instead identify high quality and realistic prospects that would change your sales career if you converted them. Don’t waste a minute – if what you are doing isn’t taking you closer to where you need to be – bin it. Guess what – wasting time is harming no-one – just you! Creating time is easy – get to the office 30 mins early, leave 30 mins later – saves sitting in traffic doesn’t it? Take 30 mins for lunch instead of an hr. That’s an extra 90 mins per day easily sorted. And if all else fails, you could turn the TV off?
  4. Once your own learning and mentoring as got you as far as you think you can go with it, then start attending some good quality training courses. A training program, however good, will not give you half as many answer as you want, the real value is when you attend the training with a curious and committed mind. Then it’s worth taking a good quality sales training course – ideally one where you mix with sales people from other industries and you can see how other companies, sectors, people sell. Just remember, attending the sales training course is the easy bit. You have to do something with your new-found knowledge. Go out there and make this new information and these new skills work for you.

Here’s the challenge – do this for 3 months. 3 solid months – commit to being the best sales person you can be, working as hard as you can, building the best sales forecast you can, delivering the best sales margin you can. That way at the end of three months you will be flying so high you will have totally forgotten about this blog, or you will have realised you’re not strong enough for a career in sales, you can get another job and stop thinking you’re something you’re not.

Good Fortune!

Carol Griffiths – 0779 002 1885 carol@mortonkyle.com

http://www.mortonkyle.com

Only 4 Places Left – Don’t Miss This Chance to Build Your Business.

Success brings its own momentum.

This is never truer than in a sales environment – you start seeing  some great results as you make small changes in your business. and after a few days you can’t wait to see what else can happen.

We all know that it’s easier to find 100 things that will each give a 1% improvement in the business than it is to find 1 thing that makes 100% difference, but my aim in working with you is to find those  3 or 4 things that if you do them consistently will give you a major launch pad to help you propel your business into high level growth.

The Sales and Business Development Boot Camp for Business Owner Managers is not a pedestrian stroll through ‘how to increase your sales’.

Not at all. It’s a launch pad, rocket-propelled to get you into the frame of mind to change how you sell, how you position, how you propose and how you price your product or service to your ideal prospect base.

Combining 121 coaching, agreeing outcomes and milestones, accompanied sales presentations, practical strategy, pricing, creating compelling sales propositions and building solid sales pipelines – all contacted in the Sales and Business Development Boot Camp for Business Owner Managers

And you are help accountable for some pretty tough targets.

Think you are up to it?

Want to change your business fortunes in the next three months?

If you need some more details just click here to find out how you can get one of the 3 remaining spaces.

Call for a confidential chat, not all businesses or business owner managers will benefit from this program, so we need to find out if you and your business can gain benefit from joining…and remember – a full money back guarantee if you don’t get the results you deserve.

Contact me on 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com before 3 pm on Friday 28th February 2014.

Here’s what some of my past clients have had to say about working with us:

Director – National Recruitment Company

We hired Carol to effectively remove an impasse to growth in The Interim Register. The business had reached a ceiling in terms of sales and we needed an expert third-party opinion to help us look at the business from a new angle to regain momentum. Carol’s core ideas formed the basis of subsequent restructuring which has been a great success. I would definitely recommend Carol!

CEO – BPO

Carol is the most dynamic and energetic Consultant I have ever worked with.
She has helped me re-shape our entire sales process which resulted in a 50% leap in profits!
Carol has the flair and imagination to add measurable value to any business.
I look forward to working with her until the day she retires!

Director – Consultancy Firm

Before I met Carol, my business was doing well but it was based on referrals from my network. My business is quite specialist in approach and offering, and some of the referrals I was receiving were not really the ideal size of clients I wanted to work with.

I have some great clients, but I wanted to work with some larger and specific organisations. I spent a day with Carol, and then benefitted from some crucial follow-up coaching from her and now I am confident directly approaching the businesses I want to help, and it is working!

Director – BPO

I’ve worked with Carol in three different areas – I’ve been a client, worked with her as a colleague and been delivered training from her. As a client I bought what she was selling; as a colleague I enjoyed her professionalism; as a trainee I learnt some good stuff from her. She is committed, focussed, tenacious and driven to succeed. She is also very straightforward and doesn’t waste words – you will know where you stand with her and her with you – important if time is money!

Director – Print Company

Carol has worked alongside me for six months and is still ongoing. If you want to increase your company sales, move processes forward and bring a new lease of life into your company, you need to employ Carol at Morton Kyle.

Director – Consultancy Firm

She is a pleasure to work with as she is always direct, focused and has the ability to see the big picture, whilst still delivering at the tactical level which is a significant benefit when achieving complex business goals. She is a recognised problem solver and respected by peers, management and board members alike. I would strongly recommend her as an asset to any organization.

Director – Insolvency Practitioners

Carol has worked with our company for a number of years, assisting us in our company growth.

Her role has covered many aspects of our business and sales development, and she consistently delivers more than is asked of her.
She is:
An exceptional listener – she has guided my thinking through the challenges I and my business face on an ongoing basis
Proactive in opening doors and spotting commercial opportunities on our behalf
Direct and to the point when delivering what needs to be done
Great sales focus – 1 days work led to three business opportunities, one of which allowed us to expand our business considerably
Helps us to distinguish between the urgent and the important
Valuable sounding board on sales, marketing, staff targeting, presentations and general business approaches
Achieves a great deal in a very short space of time
Always looks for the easy wins

Director – Civil Engineering Firm

“The sales training with Morton Kyle has been one of the most useful courses we have done. Having no experience of sales previously, we left the training with the confidence as well as the tools with which to become effective sales people. Our success rate improved after the training and enabled the company to move forward in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.”

Carol Griffiths – Director and Lead Consultant.

Morton Kyle Limited 

Sales Forecast, Sales Funnel, Sales Piepline

There are three specific tools in sales management. They are all crucial and take a high degree of discipline to adhere to, however they will provide a vital insight into sales performance snap shot, short and long-term basis.

The specific tools are the sales forecast, sales funnel and the sales pipeline.

Sales Forecast – a document detailing the prospects that have stated their intention to buy a specific product or service for an agreed price at an agreed time. The bold criteria are very important, if you don’t have one of these criteria then I would question making it an inclusion on your sales forecast.

A sales forecast should be able to forecast sales in advance with some certainty, with the degree of certainty increasing as the time frame shortens.

A sales forecast is not cash in the bank – it should be regarded as a document of record and vital to business planning and cash flow. Lack of accuracy in your sales forecast is dangerous

Sales Funnel – a lead to prospect to sales forecast sales ‘container’ that feeds unqualified leads in to the wide mouth of the funnel, and through a very careful qualification process the leads are either carried through and converted into prospects for inclusion in the sales forecast  at the sharp end of the funnel, or are rejected at any point in the funnel due to their lack of suitability.

Sales Pipeline – is a stepped, criteria driven sales qualification process that sits inside the sales funnel. The sales pipeline is standard within an organisation so that all sales people understand what it means if a prospect is at a certain point in the sales funnel.

The Sales Funnel houses a sales pipeline process that feeds into the sales forecast.

Clean Data and Dirty Data

We also need to make the distinction between clean data and dirty data.

Dirty Data is an unqualified lead/enquiry – you will have 100’s or maybe 1000’s of these floating around, maybe from exhibitions, opened eshots, directory listings etc

Clean Data is Dirty Data that has gone through some form of qualification, Clean Data should be in your Sales Funnel as it goes through your Sales Pipeline activity until it lands on your Sales Forecast or it is rejected. Unqualified Dirty Data should be held in a separate file.

Key Considerations

A Sales Forecast that is consistently inaccurate needs investigating immediately – an inaccurate sales forecast is a key indicator of other issues that will be definitely costing your business money in lost business opportunities.

A Sales Forecast has to be complete. A Sales Forecast that appears without specifics – client name, price agreed, order date, quantity, delivery date, terms is not a sales forecast. A sales forecast should have a very high degree of certainty. If it doesn’t then this is a likely indicator that the sales process lacks that same degree of certainty.

A Sales Funnel should have a high degree of movement – prospects added and taken out on a very frequent basis (frequency will depend to a degree on the industry, product/service sold, order value etc).

The Sales Funnel is a proactive way of managing prospects, by using the universal criteria laid down in the Sales Pipeline – managers should be keen to look at the age of prospects in the funnel, last contact dates, etc.

Managing the sales pipeline should be the key driver for the sales person and the sales manager as there is a high cost to getting the prospect even half way through the Sales Funnel…too many unqualified prospects in the sales funnel and the worthwhile prospects do not get the attention they deserve, too few prospects in the sales funnel going through the sales pipeline process indicate that the sales person needs to increase their time spend in lead generation and lead nurturing.

Universal Standards set down by the Sales Pipeline Criteria – Sales Teams definitely benefit from having a universal understanding of what a Sales Funnel should do and what the criteria are for moving from one stage in the Sales Funnel to the next.

The danger is to have a very full Sales Funnel. This is extremely dangerous. Too large a Sales Funnel means that some great prospects will be ignored whilst poorer quality prospects may get attention they don’t deserve. The aim of the Sales Funnel is to bring focus to the sales process and the progression of quality prospects and sales opportunities.

Qualification is a key skill in managing the Sales Funnel effectively – using good solid sales questions with the prospects is vital to gain knowledge and information that can be relied upon to present to the rest of the business in the Sales Forecast….ensuring a high level of accuracy, certainty, transparency and accountability.

Sales Managers would find it time well spend to concentrate on all three of these sales tools as they provide a great and solid indicator regarding sales activity levels, sales capability, and skill.

Major caveat here…don’t be fooled by thinking high numbers in the sales funnel mean a bumper time ahead….often means quite the reverse

For more information about how you can get the most out of your Sales Funnel and deliver certainty and accuracy to your Sales Forecast call Carol Griffiths – Lead Consultant and Director at Morton Kyle Limited on 0779 002 1885, or email carol@mortonkyle.com

 

How Much Money Have You Lost Today by Prospecting Poor Quality Leads?

Too much!!!!

  • Plus – how much money could you have made if you had dumped all the rubbish records in your sales database – got rid of all the time wasters?
  • How would you feel about replacing all the bad prospect records, and instead, feeding your sales team with red hot, qualified prospects?
  • And having those prospect pools updated daily?

Too good to be true? Not at all.

Too expensive? No!

No-one in business will have escaped hearing the line – ‘50% of my advertising works, I just don’t know which 50%’.

Well the same could be said of sales.

An unknown percentage of your sales database contains all the sales revenues you need to make this year a huge success. The remainder will just drain your budget, waste your time and act as red herrings in your pursuit of sales success.

So – if you want to find out what records in your sales database are worth pursing and what records need to be ditched – call me now.

Just in case you were wondering – you can find out this information in about 2 hrs. Conclusively – who to delete and who to sell to.

What would that information mean to your sales team and how you do business? What impact would that have on your bottom line?

Speak soon

Carol Griffiths – 0779 002 1885

carol@mortonkyle.com

Morton Kyle Limited

http://www.mortonkyle.com

Fastest Way to Increase Close Rates – Increase Prices

A brief case study :  My client company had a sales team selling a product X, their only product. Massively undersold in terms of business proposition, sectors, ability to demonstrate value and benefit, plus no use of ROI comparisons during the presentations.

Having addressed all of the above – the average order value is now 4 x what it was for identical product X. Plus the close rate is double what it was.

And the price and the rates are increasing steadily, and will continue to do so.

Pure Luck? Not a chance.

Biggest influences in bringing about the positive change:

  • Changing market direction – decision maker level, sector, sales criteria
  • Creating and demonstrating value at all stages of the sales process – heavy ROI biased
  • Reporting – revising and updating the reporting for meaningful management information

The challenges for this organisation were huge. But, if they can do it – so can you.

Key Lessons:

  • The price charged has to be commensurate with the value delivered
  • Too low a price cheapens the product/service
  • Too low a price ruins any chance of creating urgency
  • Pricing it to close on the day is stupid (harsh but true)
  • Thinking that a delay in response from the buyer is a reason to start a price negotiation prematurely is also wrong
  • The higher up the company organisational chart your decision maker is – the more valuable their time is, the more valuable any solution that saves them time is – your charging should reflect this
  • The price should be a hot button to the buyer – and that’s fine because you will have already demonstrated value
  • Your price should be a differentiator – a positive differentiator
  • Your price should allow you another opportunity to demonstrate value.

To find out more about how you can get results like this in your organisation, call us for a chat

Carol Griffiths (Director and Lead Consultant) 0779 002 1885, carol@mortonkyle.com

Morton Kyle Limited