While your top closers gets all the glory and your bottom performer gets all the warnings- the majority of your sales team can be counted on to miss quota. Dwelling within a large bubble between your quota-crushing top salespeople and your hopeless lowest performers, live the 70%ers.
There is a leader on every sales team. Always selling. Always closing. As a sales manager, your job would be so much easier if you could clone this master of the selling arts and unleash an army of them upon your suspect or prospect list.
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.
One of the biggest misconceptions about sales is that successful salespeople are born with a “sales” personality- unicorns who possess the sole skill needed to be successful in sales. Charm.
It is a huge understatement to say that public perception of homosexuality and gay rights has changed rapidly in the last 20 years. The recent Supreme Court decision granting same-sex couples the right to marry is just the latest victory for the gay rights movement, and it is by no means the endgame.
Can you imagine a professional athlete telling his coach he doesn’t need to practice tackling or fielding ground balls because he’s been doing it for more than 10 years?
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.
Having spent several years early on in my career in inside sales call centers, there were a few consistant trends dispite the products, or individual companies. The most common trend was everyday more or less turning into the next, or the day before, or two weeks ago. In most call center “boiler room” type enviornments you have heavily monitored daily requirements, or metrics. Number of dials, talk time, demos scheduled, demos held, etc… These methodologies work well for the company, but more times then not; they don’t work well for the employee. Nobody wants to eat a tuna sandwich on rye everyday for lunch, why would you want the place where you majority of day repeating that same way? You wouldn’t.
A sales call is very much like a scene in a play. There are actors (you and your team) and an audience (your prospect). Your role as actor is to execute properly and consistently. To execute your lines, while at the same time putting the necessary emotion into the “scene” to elicit an equally emotional response in the prospect.
The 212 Degrees is a protypical example of a standard motivational sales video. It speaks to that extra degree where the boiling point is achieved. Personally, in my career, I’ve sat through 3 different sales meetings, at 3 different companies where this video was played. For some this type of attempted motivation works well; for others, well, not so much. As technology evolves, so do the tools available to us. It’s time to put the vast majority of these videos to bed, and start looking at our salespeople individually, and engage them through education, online training, e-learning, and more progressively game based training.