TOPIC: Craft a hive of selling support
The Sandler Sales Team - Success in Sales
(Originally published in the August 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal)
A formula for success is comprised of many different elements. Developing a support group is one of these — but not the kind where you sit around moaning about the prospect that screwed you over or where conversations blame the market, the company, or the boss. A selling support group needs to concentrate on how we do a better job at developing proven skills, maintaining a positive attitude, and implementing productive behaviours.
The people in a support group can come from a few places. You can turn to your boss and the leadership of your organization when you’ve got questions or concerns. Your sales manager is there to provide the coaching, training, and mentoring needed for you to succeed. Your solution could involve some pre-call planning to strategically develop the series of questions you need to ask for qualifying the prospect so the company benefits from the effort you make. It may be that this collaboration results in a shorter selling cycle or higher margin return. Help can also come in the form of a post-call debrief of the meeting. As you each work to review the elements of the call, there are several opportunities to build the skills and reinforce the selling system.
A professional coach may be an option for you if you’re looking to take your professional skills to another level. When a sales call does not go as planned, a coach can help uncover what happened, asking questions that will lead to self discovery. The coach interaction should be a learning process that advances your selling system. For the coach, if something wasn’t executed to its full extent, the key is find out if the salesperson knew what to do and didn’t do it or if it was a lack of knowledge that led to the salesperson’s lack of implementation. The former situation calls for coaching while the latter situation usually calls for training. The two are completely different managerial skills.
There are people all around you who have skills and abilities that you can tap into as well as books and websites that will take you beyond where you are today. In a highly competitive world, we need to move past the basics. The mediocre finish last.
By Eldon MacKeigan, Sandler Training
©2012 Sandler Training Inc. (www.atlantic.sandler.com) is an international sales and management training/consulting firm. For a free copy of Why Salespeople Fail And What To Do About It, call the Sandler Training at (902) 481-0773 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org