How to Get New Salespeople to Ramp Up Quickly

Finding sales people that have the potentially exceed quota is easier than successfully on boarding them. And they won’t exceed quotas if they are not thoroughly on boarded. We are able to find people who pass a very complete and stringent sales assessment, interview them on the phone and in person-with more than one manager, validate their resume, verify they fit our culture, and that they aren’t drug addicts, etc. But if they aren’t managed they will fail. It seems that some leaders don’t understand…

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Reasons for Poor Sales Performance

When working with sales people and organizations on questioning skills I always teach a technique developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used within the Toyota car company. As Wikipedia defines it, “5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationship underlying a particular problem.” I teach this to help people understand the root cause of an issue. If one understand the root cause, or real issue, they can question deeper and more effectively to find the right solution. Of course this works…

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Failing to Understand the Reasons for Poor Sales Performance

When working with sales people and organizations on questioning skills I always teach a technique developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used within the Toyota car company. As Wikipedia defines it, “5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationship underlying a particular problem.” I teach this to help people understand the root cause of an issue. If one understand the root cause, or real issue, they can question deeper and more effectively to find the right solution. Of course this works…

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The Latest Data on Sales Motivation

“I have salespeople on my team that are complacent.” Have you heard someone say that; or worse, heard yourself say that? It isn’t an unusual comment from business leaders. And I typically hear it linked with something like, “How can I motivate my people?” There are at least 3 variables to understand; Desire: Their passion for success IN SALES; how badly they want to be successful. Commitment: Their willingness to do what it takes (ethically) to be successful (yes, even cold calls!) Motivation: What is…

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Win Every RFP

I recently worked with a client team with some staff changes since I last worked with them. One new member was a specialist in the construction area, well experienced in the field but not in sales. He was a little resistant to learning sales process, saying that it didn’t matter in construction, where only low bid mattered. He was visibly taken aback when other team members provided examples of profitable construction projects my client had earned from certain companies, consistently, without a bid or RFP.…

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Understanding This Sales Competency is More Important Than Ever

Most of the company leaders I work with did not come from a sales background. Like me, most had developed a different skill or skills and learned to sell because they started a business. And many of these leaders don’t really understand salespeople. They have certain perceptions of what sales people are or should be, and many of those perceptions are incorrect. I often hear about complacency. “My sales people manage their accounts well enough, but they don’t seem interested in driving new business. How…

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Are Closing Skills Over Rated?

A client is frustrated with their company’s flat revenue growth. They seem to be in front of enough new prospects but can’t close the business. They ask, “How can we improve our closing skills?” The question they should be asking is, “How can we close more business?” I often use the physician analogy with regard to sales: the salesperson is (or should be) a skilled diagnostician. When they engage a prospect, who may believe they have a closing problem, they ask enough questions to uncover…

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Top 20 Reasons Are Key to Boosting Sales

Many of the company leaders I work with had recognized sales was the constraint – or roadblock – in their business. They didn’t know why that was, or what to do about it. They were looking for answers and a clear, defined plan. The Dave Kurlan article I’m featuring this month is about the current popularity of data analytics, and his “Top 20 Reasons Why Data May Not be the Key to Boosting Sales” is directly related to the company leaders I work with. I…

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Why Salespeople Struggle to Become Great Sales Managers

In our evaluations of sales organizations, we assess sales people, their managers and the company systems and process that support sales. We find answers to questions like: How Does Sales Leadership Impact Your Sales Force? Can You Improve Your Sales Culture? Are You Being Consistent with Your Sales Process? Why Aren’t You Generating More New Business? Is Your Ramp-Up of New Salespeople Fast Enough? Can You Improve Your Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy? Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles? These particular questions reflect on…

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7 Reasons Why Salespeople Underperform and How Sales Leaders Can Coach Them Up

The business owners I speak with often want to know why their people aren’t hitting their numbers. My over simplified response is that salespeople don’t reach quota for two reasons: they don’t know what to do (they need training), or they know what to do but can’t or won’t do it (they need coaching). While those two areas are key, and have to do with the salesperson involved, there are 5 other reasons that should be considered: Initial Selection On Boarding Messaging Sales DNA Sales…

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