Trash Talking Your Competitor? Why That Could Be Killing Your Sale

While running through your product’s features, it is only natural that your potential customer will have objections. They might ask whether you have a competitor and how your product or service compares. Regardless of how experienced you are, it’s super easy to fall into the trash talking trap. After all, your marketing team has made certain you not only understand the details of your own offering, but also the limitations of those offered by your competitors.

For those of you who are fairly new to the profession, don’t fall into the trap! Trash talking can be as much of a CLE (Career Limiting Event) as too many cocktails at the company holiday party. Why?

Speaking Negatively About Your Competitor Moves Your Customer to a Negative Mindset

As you are working to build rapport and establish yourself as a trusted advisor to your potential customer, the last thing you want to do is go from helpful to hurtful. By focusing on all the positive ways your product can be their solution, you are helping them visualize a fruitful partnership that will also benefit your customer’s position within their company. They aren’t just buying your product, they are also buying you. Business is always personal.

If you are trash talking someone else’s company and/or offering, your customer could assume that this behavior is your modus operandi and that you speak about everything in a gossipy manner. Additionally, if you’re talking about a solution that your prospect already has invested in, you run the risk of insulting your prospect’s procurement IQ.

Criticizing Other Products Puts You In the Position of Defending Your Product

By throwing out negative aspects of a rival product, you may actually be inviting criticism that’s directed at your offering – and creating sales objections that could limit you from closing a sale. It’s very likely you know the competitive landscape better than your customer.

For instance, if you have a groundbreaking offering that forges a whole new direction and you point out that no competitor’s offering works the way yours does, the customer will likely question if your approach is really necessary at all.

Also, when you start bringing up product and services issues and limitations they haven’t considered, you could be undermining their confidence in selecting any offering – including yours. Which will send your deal back to the early consideration phase, rather than closer to a close.

Blowback Can Unnecessarily Create Negative Social Capital Within Your Industry.

In these times of short employment stints and unexpected mergers, your social capital is essential to your long-term sales success. If a potential customer shares your trash talk with a competitor, that competitor may develop a negative perception of you and might assume you are not to be trusted.

Today’s competitor could be tomorrow’s customer, co-worker, maybe even the unthinkable – your boss. Jobs may not last, but relationships do. Starting relationships on a positive note can help you not only close your current deal, but deals for years to come.

Need help developing new positive strategies for overcoming objections? Maybe it is time to have your selling effectiveness analyzed by Selleration’s UPtick system and get free strategies to help you close more sales!

 

 

3 Essential Sales Technology Tools for Managing a Remote Sales Team

It used to be that all a sales manager had to do to manage and coach a rep was to swing by their cube, listen to them make a few sales calls, and take them to lunch. Times have changed.

In 2017 43% of workers spent at least part of their time working remotely which can present a sales management challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of sales technology tools which can make life easier for everyone in a sales organization.

Slack

There’s a reason the internet had an absolute meltdown when Slack was down for a few hours earlier this year. It’s instant messaging and file sharing combined. When a team works remotely, the tough things to maintain are: communication and camaraderie. Slack makes it easy to do both.

Not every question or thought deserves an email. Slack allows team members to chat without having to become Facebook friends, mix business and personal via texting, or relying on Skype. It also centralizes all work-related conversations and is searchable. Plus, it has security features like 2-factor authentication by default and is controlled by a single company administrator.

UPtick™ Sales Management Platform

One of the toughest things to do remotely is know the strengths and weaknesses of a rep. When your team is bi-coastal you can’t exactly swing by a rep’s cube for some one-on-one time. The UPtick™ Sales Management Platform gives you an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of every rep on your team, and offers personalized virtual coaching and sales training.

So you can not only set sales goals, but you can set goals for sales improvement based on each of your reps individual needs. Reps enter challenging virtual selling environments, and pitch virtual customers. Reps and their managers get to see their  Selling Intelligence™ score – an at-a-glance rating of their overall selling ability similar to an IQ score – and track it over time.

The software hasn’t got much of a learning curve, and can help sales managers discover hidden abilities and deficits in their sales team – even if the team is scattered all over the world.

Asana

While project management tools like Basecamp and others have been around for quite some time, many of them duplicate functionality in (and are as pricey as) Salesforce.  Asana is designed for all those tasks essential to keeping a remote sales organization working smoothly- that aren’t pipeline related.

It’s essentially a way for managers to keep tabs on tasks without pestering reps. With it reps can not only create their own to-do lists, they can collaboratively manage tasks with people near and far.

What tools do you use to help manage your remote sales team and keep communication flowing? Let us know in the comments!

 

Is It Time to Throw Your Onboarding Process Overboard?

Staffing decisions are THE most important decisions sales managers make. As every sales manager knows, a few bad hires can drag down your team’s overall sales performance, morale and affect their reputation as a manager to higher ups in the company. If your onboarding process isn’t working, take this  very valuable lesson from HR departments at tech companies: test first, interview later.

Don’t Settle for Less Than Competency

We have all been in meetings discussing a new hire and heard a decision maker say, “I just have a good feeling about him.”, or “I know she isn’t the most qualified, but I just really like her.” Those works have probably even come out of your mouth. While it’s important to have a good rapport with colleagues, friendships aren’t a factor in reaching quota. So what do other industries do to make smarter hires?

HR departments within tech companies and technical staffing organizations use “talent competency models” to measure potential hires. These models measure the applicants skillset and weigh it against the requirements of the open position. The goal of this approach to hiring is to never settle for less than competent employees.

By removing all the gut feelings and approaching hiring from a more analytical perspective, it takes the emotion out of the equation and makes it easy to never settle for less than competency.

Talent competency models are used heavily for jobs that require technical expertise, like engineering. But, hiring salespeople is hard, right? It’s soft skills that can’t be measured! Sales reps just need to be outgoing, and friendly people – right?!?! Wrong. Imagine if a tech company hired that way.

If You Think Selling Competency Can’t Be Measured, You’re Wrong.

Sales effectiveness and selling skills CAN be measured, and there are tools available for companies to easily create their own talent competency models based on profiles of their top performing sales reps. Creating your own sales talent competency model not only makes it easier to hire people, it could save you from the headache of choosing a bad hire from the deluge of resumes in your inbox.

More than 50% of applicants for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job (Wall Street Journal)

The UPtick™ sales management platform is the sales technology tool you need to develop your own sales talent competency model. Here’s how it works: prospective hires enter sales simulations and demonstrate their selling skills (or lack thereof) inside a simulated sales environment. Their performance generates a Selling Intelligence™ score across core sales skills areas. Sales management can then measure their score against that of top performers within the company.

Instead of making hires based on gut instinct, or performance within a sales team which may be quite different than the company’s, sales management can make an informed hiring decision. Test it out for yourself and discover your Selling Intelligence™ score:

 

How to Avoid Hiring Your Next Fire (Hint: Google Does It This Way)…

Recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking to heads of sales and sales development about the needs of their organizations. Eventually the topic turns to their hiring practices. In most cases they describe a very rigorous process with having multiple people in their organization conduct interviews, checking references, and verifying W-2s. Many say they only hire experienced salespeople with more than 10 years in the industry.

Continue reading “How to Avoid Hiring Your Next Fire (Hint: Google Does It This Way)…”

Sales Profile- Aggressive vs Assertive Sales Reps, Who’s on Your Team?

Almost without exception, I speak with sales executives who understand that improving the performance of their sales force is a sure way of increasing revenue. One thing we hear often is that sales execs wish their reps would be “more aggressive”. Whether it’s driving new leads, upselling, closing, – whatever stage of the sales process management would like to see improved – they often believe aggressive sales reps will get them to their goal.

Continue reading “Sales Profile- Aggressive vs Assertive Sales Reps, Who’s on Your Team?”