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 Audits - Sales Insights - Sheffield

21 Sales Insights

I’ve been doing a number of sales audits this Autumn, it’s usually the case this time of the year as businesses look at the sales results to date and wonder what more they can do.

Invariably I learn much about the leadership, the culture of successful and not so successful sales functions and sales team structure, so here’s a quick overview of key insights that are worth all sales leaders looking at:

  1. If you’re running a sales team, ask yourself this, how hungry are your sales team? Maybe I could phrase that better…how about this. How big is the difference in rewards between your sales team when they achieve versus when they fail to hit target? Are you running a comfortable sales team where the business is taking all the risk to hit target…?
  2. Daily sales metrics make up weekly sales metrics, make up monthly sales metrics, make up quarterly sales metrics…so you don’t just miss a quarter target…at some point the sales team missed lots of daily targets….that’s your room for improvement…your breathing space, it’s precious so don’t waste it
  3. Unless your sales team are spending 80% of their time in client facing engagement, then you’re probably paying for a very skilled and expensive function to perform very low level tasks
  4. Anyone can be taught to close business…that’s the easy bit. Most sales functions fail because new business development/sales prospecting is not rated as a high enough priority…every firm monitors the revenue coming out of the sales pipeline, few monitor how many quality sales opps are dropping in the top end of the sales funnel…could you measure that?
  5. Performing sales people don’t need managing…they need a peer to peer exchange and an open door…set them free and reward them well
  6. Non-performing sales people are a luxury, can you afford that luxury?
  7. No matter how cute your sales recruitment process, you have to live with the sales person on the team before you know them, that’s why ongoing performance management is a must…get the culture right from day 1
  8. There is no substitute for side by side sales coaching – which is a shame as most sales leaders live behind a screen and manage by email
  9. If you’re sales team can’t sell value, as well as having the skills to unpack value, risk and price with the prospect, then you’ll always struggle to build profit or market share…be prepared to have the tough conversations that way you WIN and you make it tougher for the cionmpetition to engage
  10. Too many sales people are selling, negotiating and trying to build relationship by email…which is truly a stupid waste of time
  11. Your competitors aren’t as smart as your sales team think they are…it probably doesn’t take as much effort as the sales team thinks to out perform competitors
  12. If your sales leader is managing by email – fire them
  13. Disruptive selling is great – 80% of the sales teams claiming to use it are just patronising their prospects – way to go if you want to get an order.
  14. Whatever your sales process looks like, you’d be surprised what really happens…that’s not always a bad thing but understanding why is key
  15. Prospects don’t care for your 12 page sales quote – give them the bones of the offering and make it easy for them to say yes to YOU. Less is more.
  16. Most sales cycles are longer than they need to be, typically because the sales person won’t ask for the deal…fear of rejection wrecks more sales forecasts than lack of skill. The faster you get to no, the faster you can start selling
  17. Look at who is feeding the top end of the sales funnel…and who is not. Step on it, everyone can add something of worth to the funnel – google alerts, industry press, LinkedIn….it’s everyone’s responsibility to fill the sales funnel
  18. While your sales team are finding ways to avoid picking up the phone, your competitors are having a field day…10 new business conversations before 10am…you could do that?
  19. Did you know that however many social media leads you get, in most industries the actual connect rate to speak with a real individually is abysmally low?
  20. No-one uses referral sales lead generation as much as they could…what’s your referral program? Are you measuring it?
  21. Most sales people ask leading questions so they can move to the next part of their sales pitch…that’s a disaster for the sales prospects and as confusing as hell. Follow the prospects thinking, have questions that meet the prospect where he is, and don’t try to drag him to where you are…you’d be surprised the difference it makes in your success rate

Ok…21 common traits of failing/successful sales functions…how many could you review in your business?

To get your own Sales Insights to drive your sales performance call 0779 002 1885 for a confidential chat.

Happy Selling…

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

Sales Training – Sales Coaching – Sales Strategy – Sales Recruitment – Sales Audits

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

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10 WAYS TO INCREASE THE RATE OF NEW PROSPECTS ENTERING YOUR SALES FUNNEL

 

How to build your sales funnel quickly and with quality prospects

  1. Prep your call list outside of core selling time
  2. Research your key targets
  3. Have a VERY specific reason for making contact, and be able to communicate that reason directly, succinctly and without confusion
  4. Name drop mutual contacts
  5. Getting a referral from the mutual contract is even better
  6. Be brief – get straight to the reason for the call
  7. Ask permission to engage – don’t bowl in and hit them over the head with a sales pitch
  8. Have 3 very short questions that let both you and the prospect identify if it’s worth continuing the call
  9. Book in either a time to have a more extended sales conversation or to meet
  10. Add the contact via all their social media feeds and set up a Google alerts for this contact and their company

Firms often forget that telesales – selling, appointment setting, lead generation is about three things:

  1. Being absolutely crystal clear about your target prospect
  2. Being totally committed to the solution you can provide for the prospect
  3. Using the initial contact to qualify, gain credibility and start the sales process

Doing this means the sales team, telesales team, lead generators or appointment setters:

  1. Won’t spend hours chasing prospects who will never convert
  2. Will quickly, efficiently and cleanly separate the viable prospects from the time wasters
  3. Increase their VALUABLE talk time
  4. Increase their speed of introducing new sales prospects to the sales funnel

Now what could be easier than that?

You could do this

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

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

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