Why it Pays to be Picky in Sales

Why Goals + Clarity = Success

Having absolute clarity around targets and goals in life is a must if you want to achieve anything.

What do you want?

When do you want it?

What are the critical elements of this?

Why is it important to me?

All valid questions whether you’re talking about a new car, new house, new wardrobe, new life…

Having clarity around what your goal is, makes a huge difference to the chance you have of achieving it.

And that applies to the clarity of vision you have around what your perfect prospect looks like.

Yet why do so many sales people chase after every lead as if it was their perfect prospect?

Be a Picky Sales Person

Chasing every single sales lead is a fast track to busy fool via a number of unsavory places called broke, exhausted, stressed, rejected and marginally psychotic.

The truth is the more clarity you have around who you want to do business with, the easier it will be to find that prospect.

The more clearly you’ve defined the perfect prospect attributes, the easier it will be to spot them in a crowd.

You might say you only want to do business with prospects who wear red hats, just imagine, how easy is it now to spot your sales prospects from a multitude of sales prospects in an entire rainbow of coloured hats.

Without a doubt your brain will go look for, and find, what you tell it to look for and find.

But you have to be specific.

Woolly instructions get second rate search results…

Being Specific Helps Your Brain Deliver

So you only want to date blondes? Your brain won’t even see brunettes.

Looking for a black car? See how easily your eyes slide around the showroom, ignoring all the other pretty colours?

Only want a hotel by the sea? That’s exactly what you’d put into Expedia or your travel site, because that’s all you want to look at.

Maybe Google Search Criteria Could Help Brain Searches be More Effective and Efficient?

I would wager that we spend more time formulating our Google searches and search criteria than we spend formulating our prospect searches in our own brain…

What do you think?

Maybe if we started using our brain’s search function like we use Google on our browser to search out exactly what we wanted in our sales pipeline we’d have lots of time, money and business.

Think about the last time you used Google to search something specific, here’s mine…

Walking holiday + uk + group + lakes + summer + 2018 + guided

And I got a very specific list, scanned the first 6, looked at their websites and called/emailed 3 for more information – took 15 minutes tops.

So, how often do you do the same when you’re searching for your perfect sales prospect?

Are you that focused, or is it that your profile criteria is a little woollier and less defined?

Maybe that lack of clarity is causing you to waste your precious and finite effort and time on prospects you really should ditch?

Prospects, that if you really knew who you wanted to do business with, wouldn’t even get on your call list…

Getting Picky with Prospects

What are your idea search criteria?

Many sales people will already automatically screen for geography and sector, but real clarity comes at a much deeper level than that…

Some of you might even go as far as turnover, company size, years trading, legal status…and this goes some way

But, what else could you use to profile your prospects?

Remember you’re thinking about your perfect prospect here, think about who would make it on to the list and who would get an auto reject from that list (because it’s often easier to articulate what we don’t want as opposed to what we do want)

Obviously many of the criteria will depend on your sector…but consider this list a starting point…

Potential Perfect Prospect Profiling Criteria

  • Credit score rating
  • Job title/specific job function exists ( no point selling to the Head of Marketing if your current firm don’t have a marketing function!)
  • Number of customers
  • Number of offices
  • Domestic/International
  • Owner/ Manager/Board run
  • Number of employees
  • Product/service provider
  • Niches they operate within
  • Profile of employees
  • Growth path
  • Turnover and profit trends
  • Age of business
  • Current competitive users of your type of service / kit type
  • New recruit in place for your key decision maker / recent personnel changes
  • PR, Marketing, Social activity, blogs, adverts, expos attended
  • Deadline driven industry
  • Pending legislative changes
  • Culture in the business
  • Position within their competitive sectors
  • Membership of trade bodies, associations
  • Level of ambition
  • Supply chain / distribution model
  • Awareness level / ready
  • Tech savvy

There are many questions you can ask yourself…

You’ll most typically have two or 3 perfect prospect profiles depending on your business, your products /services

You Should Also Consider:

What’s the value balance?

For a potential prospect to be deemed as being perfect or near perfect there should be some balance in the exchange of value…

Your perfect profile should get value from using your products services at an agreed multiplier…else why else would they engage your solution, and why would they use you over and above your competitors…?

But on the other hand, you should also get value, not just profit, but value from having them as your customers…for example, consider this, could your perfect prospect be:

  • A raving fan?
  • A great provider of referrals?
  • A gateway account into a bigger network of potential easy to convert business opportunities?
  • A super case study?
  • A test case for moving into another sector or niche?
  • A testimonial to use?
  • Nice to do business with?
  • A potential partner organisation?
  • A learning opportunity?

Value has to work both ways, especially with perfect prospects and it’s worth bearing in mind when you’re thinking about profiling your ideal customer types and buyer personas.

Getting Started

Always the toughest bit but that need not be the case, perhaps the easiest way to start is to take your top 10 perfect or near perfect clients and brainstorm or the reasons you think these clients are so good…

You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover – from they give great feedback, to they’re very flexible to work with, or it feels like a real partnership, they’ve had huge success since working with you to they always pay their invoice ahead of time…

You’ll get the most from this exercise if you involve people who work with these clients across the business from help desk, finance, logistics, sales etc…everyone will have a different perspective on the client…

Don’t forget to ask your clients to…maybe a telephone research or a survey monkey questionnaire – simply asking why they selected you, what they like about working with you and would they recommend you, can give you insights and pathways you’d never thought to consider in terms of profiling your perfect prospect and building your ideal customer profile.

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail – call or email 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com

You can also sign up for our weekly Advanced Business Achiever – free weekly sales and business development tips to help you boost sales performance in your business. Ideas for weekly mini sales training sessions or daily sales huddles. Just hit the link to get your copy.

Happy Selling

Carol

www.mortonkyle.com

p.s. we also cover how to build the ideal customer profile on The Sales Improvement Workshop, join us.

p.p.s. if you’re looking for a B2B sales program to embed in your own business, a sales development program that supports continuous sales improvement and covers how to build your perfect prospect profile and capitalise on your ideal customer profile – check our TurboCharged Sales

 

B2B Sales Qualification

Why You Shouldn’t Wear a Wedding Dress on a First Date…

And I Now Pronounce You Seller and Buyer!

You’d be surprised how many sales people do the business equivalent of just this….and they wonder why the sales prospect flies away at the first possible chance…

You see, it’s easy to get into the habit of treating sales prospects as sales prospects.

What?

Yep, sales people treat sales prospects as prospects….prospects to be closed.

Closed super fast.

Closed at a decent margin.

These same sales people go into the sales conversations all guns blazing, looking to pre-screen, qualify, BANT, shove in the sales funnel, chase through the pipeline, corner to get a decision, file the paper work and gone.

Wow…whirlwind.

It’s the business equivalent of showing up for a first date wearing a wedding dress…who does that? (anymore!!)

But this is business you might say…

Sure, it’s business, but your prospect is a person first and a prospect second.

There is a relationship building phase before there is a selling phase.

Knowing, liking, trusting still matters.

Rapport still matters.

Expert advisor, person of value, respected partner all take time.

How to Avoid THAT Feeling!

You know THAT feeling…all going well and then the prospect falls off the face of the earth, emails ignored, phone calls straight to voice mail, always in meetings…

Makes you wonder what you did wrong…

Maybe it’s not them, it’s you…or whatever

Maybe they actually want to speak to you, they’re just tooooooo busy…

They you realise, to coin a phrase, they’re just not into you anymore.

So, What Did You Learn?

Maybe qualification is important, but identifying the value of the prospect in such a tick box manner is not such a good start if you’re wanting to foster a good working relationship…

Understanding the person and what they need is critical, firstly so you can assess how much you can help them, but secondly so you can sign post them to another solution if you can’t provide what they need…

That, perhaps, all qualigication actually IS important, but rarely in a ‘screen in’ and ‘screen out’ way but more in an information gathering scenario…

That even a no to a BANT question is not a killer, consider this…

B – So they have no budget – could you work with them on a strong business case, could you demonstrate so much quantifiable ROI that they couldn’t secure budget for such a no brainer sales proposition?

A – so they are not the final decision maker – could they introduce you to that decision maker? Are they and influencer, a referrer, a user, the budget holder, the compliance lead?

N – so they have no need – this can be a tough one, and relies on you building an first class relationship because they need to trust you before you can undergo any form of educational problem solving or challenger sales presentation…but having no need is not a barrier to making a sale, as long as you know your solution can provide overwhelming value and a great ROI.

T – so they don’t want to buy now, the time is not right. This is probably the easiest to influence an is certainty not a show stopper. It relies on you being a good sales person and creating some urgency via a no-brainer sales discussion and showing the prospect the cost of doing nothing.

Summary

So you see – qualify out too fast – are you really a sales person or just a chancer sitting in a bar in a wedding dress?

And you’re burning through sales leads, opportunities that could convert at a decent rate if you are able to demonstrate huge value, big ROI and a compelling reason to source budget with urgency…i.e. working sales leads that could convert if you only did your job! (as opposed to cherry picking the low hanging fruit and calling yourself a sales pro)

Instead qualify and treat the prospect as an equal sourcing the best solution for himself and his business with the least risk and the highest value proposition, where all information is simply a guide to the next stage in the escalating relationship where you both seek the best outcome…both!

If you’d like to discuss this in more detail – call or email 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com

You can also sign up for our weekly Advanced Business Achiever – free weekly sales and business development tips to help you boost sales performance in your business. Ideas for weekly mini sales training sessions or daily sales huddles. Just hit the link to get your copy.

Happy Selling

Carol

www.mortonkyle.com

p.s. We cover every stage of the qualification process and how to conduct in so as not to alienate the prospect, as well as looking at how to build trusted expert advisor status with prospects in on The Sales Improvement Workshop, join us.

p.p.s. if you’re looking for a B2B sales program to embed in your own business, a sales development program that supports continuous sales improvement and covers how to build your perfect prospect profile and capitalise on your ideal customer profile – check our TurboCharged Sales

 

 

 

Sales Training – Telesales, Field Sales, Direct Sales, Lead Generation, Appointment Setters

NEW SHEFFIELD DATE RELEASED

The fastest, most efficient and effective way to refocus the minds, activities and intentions of the sales team.

The Sales Improvement Workshop – Sheffield Sales Training

Discover:

  • How to fill your sales pipeline with high quality, fully qualified sales prospects
  • How to get more positive results from your sales efforts
  • How to ensure your prospect is receptive to your pitch BEFORE you pick up the telephone
  • How to create clear blue sky between you and your competitors
  • How to shorten the sales cycle
  • How to have an objection free sales pitch – zero resistance sales pitch
  • How to work out your sales recipe – the key to getting more positive sales results!!
  • How to boost motivation and sales focus

50 MAKE OR BREAK CRITICAL SALES FACTORS

All good sales stuff – which means you get a REAL sales upgrade because the whole purpose of the day is to look at over 50 MAKE OR BREAK elements of the sales process, THAT YOU CONTROL, BUT PROBABLY DON’T USE TO THE MAX!

If you are aware of THESE CRUCIAL MAKE OR BREAK SALES SUCCESS FACTORS, you’ll know how they make selling and closing so much easier…but if they’re ignored, those same CRITICAL SALES SUCCESS FACTORS can trap you in a cycle of sales hell…meaning you’re closing NOTHING.

avoid the common sales pitfalls of

  • Extended sales cycles
  • A sales pipeline full of questionable potential prospects
  • Unstructured sales pitches
  • Objection laden sales pitches
  • Competitors crawling all over your deals
  • Dropping your prices to secure the deal
  • Offering more than everyone else and still losing business to lesser competitors

Just join us – details here  – and you can enter a draw for 6 weeks sales coaching

Improved sales results are waiting for you – The Sales Improvement Workshop – Sheffield 

Any questions – of if you want to book an in-house course – 0779 002 1885 or carol@mortonkyle.com

The Sales Improvement Workshop – Sheffield

Sheffield Sales Training Skills Course - Lead Generation, Telesales, Direct Sales, Field Sales, Appointment Setters

Sales Training for Telesales, Direct Sales, Lead Generators and Field Sales

Bet You Don’t Read This….

How to earn a higher sales bonus

You’ll skim past this link because:

You’re so successful, you don’t need any more clients…

You don’t want or need to earn any more bonus right now…

You don’t think this program will make you any better at selling than you already are…

You don’t think it will make you any richer…

Or any more successful

Or maybe, you know you don’t have the discipline to consistently work at something for 21 days, no matter what the financial and professional rewards are…

That’s ok.

Today’s not the day for you.

Not yet.

If, on the other hand, you skimmed past it because:

You think it’s just another sales training course

You’d like to upgrade your skill sets yet you’re too busy to sit in a room for 8 hrs

You know that you know what you know, but you can’t work out what it is that you don’t know…and what difference it makes

Then simply hit the link here…TurboCharged Sales and start the next step in your sales career.

TurboCharged Sales is the ultimate rinse and repeat sales improvement program, designed for busy, ambitious B2B sales professionals who want to realise their full sales potential, and enjoy the financial rewards of their focussed sales efforts.

 

 

 

It’s the Anti-Coach!

Sales Training Sheffield - Sales Coaching

Sales Training Sheffield – Business Development Sheffield

It’s Not Who You Think…

Here’s how you’ll know if someone else has more influence over your sales team than you do…

How many times have you heard the following from someone in your sales team?

”We can have this order but we have to beat their existing supplier….can we do anything?”

”The competitor has just dropped their prices on this, the customer says we need to do the same if we want their business…can we match it?”

”They want a discount on their first order with us, just a trial rate, just to try us out…can we do it?”

Just how many times, and how often, have you heard this from your sales team?

Sales Coaching Rocks!

It totally does.

Want to see a spike in sales – get away from the desk and spend time with the team.

Productivity and efficiency spikes? Get your sales leaders sat next to the mid-term players and see them move up the ranks.

20% uplift straight away.

20% ++ in some instances, and even better, it costs nothing.

So why am I even bothering to write about this?

Sales Coaching = Influence.

When we coach, you and I, we’re building up influence.

We’re transferring strong sales mental software that you and I have configured, with no bugs.

The more you and I coach our team, the more we influence.

The more we influence, the strong the mental software we install.

Stop coaching and all sorts of bugs creep in.

Because here’s what happens when we don’t coach our sales team…

Someone else does…and those people don’t have YOUR business best interests at heart.

Who?

Your Customers…

Your sales team spends a lot of time with your customers.

Your sales team may spend more time with your customers than they do with you.

They want to please your customers.

Your sales team, because of how they are wired, will derive great pleasure from doing this.

They’ll even take flak from you, the business leader, if the customer is happy.

Your customers have a huge sway and influence over your sales team.

Your customers will let your sales team know what pleases them and how to get their business and leave it for the sales person to battle with the business.

Your customers might even suggest strategies the sales person could use to get the sales manager to say yes…..

After all, haven’t we all had the sales person walk into our office with a deal that’s far better for the customer than it is for the business?

That just means your customer has been a better coach to your sales person than you and I have….

This way danger lurks….

Your Competitors…

Yes….your competitors are coaching your sales team every single day…

Not one single business card has been exchanged, nor telephone call, email or Skype….nothing.

Your customers are the fastest and most intelligent conduit for your competitors to coach your sales team…

How often have you heard the phrase…

‘Competitor X has just slashed their prices by 10%, so customer B wants to know if we can do the same or should he place his order with Competitor X’

What do you do?

Yet again, your customer and your competitor are coaching your sales team….back door coaching.

Robbing you of sales and margin that are rightly yours.

Again, if that’s a stronger coaching force than you or I then we can hang swinging…and deserve to.

Your Prospects…

Your prospects are great negotiators.

After all, your sales team are probably sat in front of the prospect because they want to kick and incumbent out?

What’s that tell the prospect?

Well, a savvy prospect knows there is a deal to be done.

A savvy prospect will test how much the sales person wants the business.

Typically they’ll test how much they want the business by claiming (and this is a rookie hole to fall into) that they love their current supplier and would only move if the price was much less…it’s all about the cheapest after all.

So, your sales person walks through the door to the sales office with a signed order that costs you.

Your savvy prospect has coached and sold your sales person their prospect reality…

Savvy prospect!

We’ve all had sales people do this to us.

You and I know the drill.

But instead of wondering what the hell’s going on with the sales team…I’ll tell you.

We’re not spending enough time with them.

We’re not telling them the business reality.

We’re not installing great sales software.

We’re letting the bugs in.

You and I are letting other people coach our sales team…

And that’s a really easy fix.

Sales coaching is about influence.

If you’re not influencing your sales team there will be a void and they’ll look for something/someone else to fill that void.

That something or someone could be the rest of the sales team, that can be good and bad, but usually bad.

It could be anyone of the three dark forces above…and that’s really bad.

It could be their friends and family who don’t really understand what they do… that’s usually bad too…you’ll know if you’ve ever had a meeting with a sales rep who wants a salary hike because their partner thinks they’re worth more than you’re paying them…very bad.

Or you…and that’s usually good.

Get coaching!

If you’re looking for fresh sales and business development insights to help you drive your sales team and improve sales performance – check this out – totally free and NO SPAM – The Advanced Business Achiever 

Also – take a look at this

www.mortonkyle.com

Got Your Battle Rattle?

Sales Training Sheffield and Business Development Training Sheffield

Sales and Business Development Training Sheffield

In army slang ‘Battle Rattle’ means wearing full battle kit…FULL.

I’ve yet to find a suitably equivalent term to apply to the sales arena…

Maybe you could suggest one…

In truth…I like Battle Rattle.

You see, in my mind, it’s not just about the external kit and the benefits and challenges it brings, it’s not about doing combat (because good sales people just don’t) with those encountered, it’s not even about the protection and security of being part of a tribe when it matters most.

But it does speak to my mind about the sense of endeavour, the effort, the focus, the commitment.

Because, after all, in the army arena, any ambivalent indifference to success is critical, and may be fatal…

Thankfully, the stakes on the sales field are never so high.

Does that mean the commitment, focus and intent should be any less?

That’s a personal question and a very personal choice.

You might say the two worlds can’t be compared…I’d agree.

You might say they have more in common than we suspect…I’d agree with that too.

Whatever your view, you and I can agree that mindset is everything.

Think about this

Two sales people, same training, same skill level, same support, same product, same back up, same sector, same everything.

Yet one flies, smashing sales targets for fun and the other is a constant ball of stress expecting to be fired at any moment.

I see this all the time.

In fact, when meeting a new sales team, the game I play with myself is to spot the sales winners before I see their stats.

I win most times.

For no other reason that success shines and failure lurks like a dark secret.

Ok, the example above is a representation of the extremes, but those extremes and the resting places between those extremes are easy to spot.

Too easy.

But the real bad news is, if I can see it…so can the prospects.

According to research by CSO Insights, 54% of sales people won’t hit their sales target.

Next time you’re wondering about why you’ve got some super stars and some not so super stars on your sales team, just consider one thing.

All the training, skill and product knowledge in the world will only get them so far.

All the revised reward and bonus schemes may get them a tad further.

Short term performance improvement programs might also help.

But before you check out and invest in all that…check out their Battle Rattle too…

State of mind is everything.

 

If you’d like to beat the national average and make sure your team’s not part of the 54% Club, take a look here…

Bespoke Sales and Business Development Courses

Sales Training in Sheffield – The Sales Improvement Workshop

You can also pick up this – TOTALLY FREE

www.mortonkyle.com

 

It’s the End of the Month…Not the World…

How to feed the sales funnel and do sales forecasts, sales training Sheffield

How to Sell – Sales Training Sheffield, Business Development Training Sheffield

Ok, so the sales target was a tad elusive this month. It’s not ideal, so before it’s too late and you get into major panic mode, here’s a few things you’ll want to do.

When you get the urge to do these things I want you to stop….

Stop in the name of all that’s holy, and just have a firm word with yourself.

Here we go:

You’ll want to offer a discount to sales prospects further along in your sales pipeline to get them to bring their order forward.

STOP – you may be able to do this on a rare few prospects, but think carefully. You’re effectively robbing yourself of good profit…which should be reason enough.

EVEN WORSE – you’re educating your prospects to buy from you at month end because you will discount if you need to hit target.

IF THAT WERE NOT ENOUGH – you’ve just pillaged next months sales pipeline so you’re going to hell….

You’ve just committed the first step in the three-step sales program called ‘Race to the Bottom’

The other two stages?

Well you did ask:

You’ll start to tell yourself lies.

Such lies.

Lies about how it was the market, the competition, the economy, your industry, your car, the moon, your birth sign, your first primary school teacher…

You’ll blame everything and everybody other than the person who puts your socks on in the morning.

Yes, you!

No flagellation required here…but as in any stepped program, it’s a stage you’ll go though, and get over.

But you must have a cold hard look at the reality of the situation and examine exactly why you missed target.

Next? If you insist…

You’ll start to make grand plans ….or maybe not….

And whether you do or not depends on how well you’ve been able to get over telling yourself lies…

So these grand plans…such grand plans.

The same size of plans you make when you think about getting to Everest base camp, cycling Lands End to John O’Groats or getting up before the alarm goes off to go to the gym…

Yes, those kind of plans.

You’ll get happy and glowy on the euphoria…you have a plan, how can you fail?

It looks great on paper…chest out, confident stride, I know you’re telling yourself you can do this. Go You!

Hello, hate to pitter patter on your parade and all that, but how different is this to the plan you had last month?

Or, you could fall into the other camp…

You’ll suck it up, all the grief from the sales manager, the sales team and anyone else that’s subsidised your existence this month and you’ll have faith and believe that you were just unlucky.

It was just luck, and it’ll all be different next month.

So make plans or don’t make plans…you can’t control this stuff can you?

So the The Race to the Bottom in three quick stages…

Or you could so this 

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885