Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sales Tips for Managers

Why am I doing sales training in Atlanta on 9/30? Because the only way to grow your business is by, ready? Selling. Many business owners want to hire salespeople but don't want the hassle. What hassle? The hiring process, the training, the managing, the paying for little performance, and the firing. Rinse and Repeat.

The biggest problem with sales people is that they are Order Takers not salespeople. During the good times, they were "closing deals", when actually they were just taking orders. If they sell on price, they are taking orders.

Cold Calling sucks and most people do NOT want to do it (me included). It's the lowest denominator for sales. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, as long as by work you mean that it will exhaust and depress your sales drones. For Cold Calling to produce results, you need to be realistic. Your sales drones need a mission, tools, a system in place, management and a goal. Without that it's like you dropped them in the ocean from a helicopter. Which way do they swim?

It's time to re-examine your marketing and your sales process (if you have one). Marketing doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be targeted and creative. If you don't know your target audience to market to, who do you point your sales drones at?

And if you aren't managing your sales force, do you think your Sales Force is listening to you? Probably not. They probably feel resentful and abandoned.

This was an ad from Sandler:

  • Are you tired of accepting excuses for your sales team's poor production and results?
  • Concerned about the "underachievers" on your team who could sell during good times but are struggling now?
  • Frustrated about wasting time and money hiring salespeople who never seem to work out?
  • Angry that your salespeople aren't accountable for their own behavior?

You can relate to all this, I'm sure. It really means that you don't have a system in place and aren't managing the team well. (And your hiring process needs some work).

One quick point about Hiring: Make them sell you on them. If they don't come out and say, "I really want this job. I can do it." Pass. And make them interview with more than one person, preferably on different days, so you can get feedback and give the hiring process a little more friction.

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