CEO Advisor Newsletter January 2015
12 Ways to Increase Sales
in the New Year
Below are 12 pitfalls plus ways to address sales performance and increase sales in 2015:
Sales GoalsYou, the CEO, are the only one that truly understands your Sales Goals and Sales Compensation Plan. Review your Sales Goals at least monthly at your weekly sales meetings, and motivate your sales team at least quarterly by highlighting the upside of your Sales Comp Plan as a key factor in improving sales performance. Sales TrainingIf your sales training is haphazard, inconsistent or seldom, find out how many salespeople can describe the steps in your sales process or perform a discovery meeting effectively on a consistent basis. Sales process and closing skills must be at the center of your sales team's culture and training. Document and review your sales process in sales meetings and role play to improve your sales techniques. Post MortemYou don't take the time to learn how to improve sales when you lose out on a sales prospect. Also, you don't take time to learn something when you win a sale. That knowledge is power. You need that information if you expect to improve your sales performance. Input this information into your CRM and take five minutes at sales meetings to recap lost and won sales opportunities. Sales PipelineYou wanted higher sales activity and now your sales pipeline is packed with unqualified prospects that will never buy. Train your sales team to seek out qualified prospects with a need, urgency and a budget. By focusing on qualified prospects only, you will increase sales substantially. Sales vs. ServiceDue to cuts in customer service or administrative support, salespeople spend too much time on customer service issues and not enough time selling new accounts. Sales will increase when your salespeople focus their time on doing what they do best...selling. Sales MetricsYou are focused on the weekly number of sales calls when you need to focus on all the metrics: daily sales calls, weekly appointments, monthly proposal presentations and sales goals vs. actual sales. Holding your salespeople accountable is a critical driver of sales. Focus on the above and you'll increase sales performance substantially. Sales PresentationsNo one can recite the Elevator Pitch or fluidly present your sale Power Point you spent months developing. And inconsistencies in each salesperson's discovery meeting process, sales presentations, proposal presentations and closings are costing you big. Role play at sales meetings on a regular basis to perfect the sales process, sales presentations and closing techniques. Overcoming ObjectionsIn your on-going training at sales meetings, the sales team was never supplied with sharp answers to the most common sales objections they face every day. Overcoming objections can be the crown jewel of closing sales, so cover these in your sales meetings and closing meetings with prospects. Professional TrainerYou never hired an outside sales trainer/consultant. Since there isn't any new material, you now only train "new hires" and even new hires don't have the training or sales goals to optimize results. Improve sales by providing professional sales training to all sales reps on-going. ReferralsIt's been too long since a salesperson asked for a referral from a client or prospect and your lack of tracking referrals has left you in the dark. Referrals improve sales and reduce the sales cycle so set goals for referrals and emphasize them in all sales meetings. Sales ToolsYou don't have a list of customers with references or testimonials. Make sure your sales team has all the necessary tools to maximize sales, including brochures, sales presentations, customer lists, testimonials and other sales materials. Effective Use of CRMSalespeople improperly or inconsistently use your CRM prospecting database and sales opportunities are slipping through the cracks with reduced tracking, reporting and accountability. Train your sales team to properly use your CRM consistently to improve sales dramatically. Sales success always goes to the team with the best training and sales skills. CEO Advisor provides professional sales training, CRM training, goal setting and optimizes sales results.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. today for a free consultation at (949) 629-2520 or by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.comor visit www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
The Importance of Business and Sales Strategy
- A sound business and sales strategy is key to success and growth. Former U.S. President and military commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, stated that "A finished plan is generally worthless, but carefully crafted planning is absolutely essential." Unless you have a carefully crafted business strategy, you are essentially flying blind.
- In other words, while a given plan may change based on what happens with your business, taking the time to thoroughly examine where your business is now and where it is headed gives you the information to make course changes intelligently, against the backdrop of a clear business strategy.
- Why Work on Your Business and Sales Strategy?
- The answer to this question is focus and goals. Strategy creates context for operating decisions. It establishes the playing field and provides guidance for decision-making. Your strategy leverages experience and skills of employees, positioning of marketing and advertising, the priority of initiatives, a clear path to a productive sales team, less wasted time and money, increased sales and profits, and a greatly enhanced value of your business.
- A plan is necessary to guide decision-making, channel resources, set goals and define direction. Because of that, formulating a strategy is well worth the time it will take to develop it.
- Strategy enables you to focus on your highest priorities and largest opportunities to achieve success, and is the way in which a company meets its on-going challenges and opportunities.
- Strategy is a set of choices that defines the nature, direction and value system of any company. It is a mindset which should be understood by every person in the company and used to guide all decision-making within the organization.
- In developing strategy, leaders make conscious and informed choices about who they are and what they stand for:
- What are our core values and beliefs?
- What target markets will we specialize in and serve?
- What products and services will we offer and how profitable is each one?
- What competitive advantages will cause us to succeed?
- What core competencies must we have to fuel our growth?
- How will we sell our products and services?
- How will we market our products and services?
- What infrastructure, core processes and resources must we have to succeed?
- What financial results will we achieve?
- Poorly Understood Strategy
- Most companies have a strategy but, according to one study, fewer than 5% of their employees know what the strategy is.
- Weak Strategy Execution Studies show that up to 90% of strategies fail due to poor execution.
- Inability to Adapt to Change
- Once a business makes plans, the challenges of everything changing around it may gradually erode those plans unless the organization can adapt and stay focused.
- Lack of a Systematic Approach
- Discipline is needed in all size companies.
- People are Not Engaged An engaged worker is one who is personally committed to the goals of the company. Unfortunately, 90% of the time what passes for commitment is actually compliance. If you cannot get people engaged, no improvement will last.
- A Gap Between Knowing What To Do, and Doing It Many things can get in the way including substituting talk for action, employee fear or mistrust of management, using the company's history instead of sound judgment to dictate action, and badly designed or complex measures.
Contact Mark Hartsell, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520,by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation today.