All posts by Husnal Kaur

Sales Coaching – 5 Reasons You Can’t Close

When you struggle to close the sale you think closing is the problem. But when you struggle to close the sale closing is a symptom of the problem not the problem itself. When you try to fix a symptom as though it were the problem the problem remains because you’re trying to put a band-aid on a wound that isn’t ready to heal.

Here are 5 reasons you may be struggling to close the sale:

  1. You lack confidence in yourself and/or your supporting products.
  2. You fear rejection and avoid it by avoiding asking for the sale.
  3. You didn’t help the buyer to uncover a motivating reason for buying and buying now.
  4. You didn’t understand the clients most important wants and needs and went down the wrong path offering a solution for problems that aren’t all that important to the prospect.
  5. You didn’t do a good job of connecting with and starting a relationship with the prospect so asking for the close feels awkward, and isn’t likely to result in a “yes” decision.

 

When you struggle with closing you think you just need a perfect pitch, or the right closing lines and the problem will go away; but that simply isn’t the case. You can have a “perfect” pitch and “perfect” closing statements, and still blow the sale. Why, because a pitch and closing statements treat the symptom not the underlying real problem.

Review the 5 reasons you can’t close and identify where your struggles may be stemming from. This list isn’t comprehensive there could be other problems too that are keeping you from getting sales, but it will give you a good start. The first step to making closing a natural event is identifying the cause of the problem.

The next step is developing a plan for removing or overcoming the problem. Don’t think of your plan in terms of concepts think in terms of actions. When you know what the problem is, the actions you’ll take to overcome the problem, the only thing preventing you from closing is implementation of your plan.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/969061

The Sales Coaching Dilemma

In common with training and management, coaching is unregulated, and therefore anyone can call himself/ herself a coach, and they do.

There are four distinct levels of coach and as you move from one level to the other, the need for skill and experience increases commensurate with the complexity of the coaching process.

LEVEL 1 (L1) – CAREER COACH AND LIFE SKILLS COACH

Level 1 coaching is typified by the coaching process being in the hands of the person being coached, which means that they drive the agenda rather than the coach. This is where most of the coaches in existence (up to 80% of the coaching population) operate. The focus of the coaching effort tends to be on life skills and career coaching. There is a significant gap in experience, knowledge and skills between coaches operating at this and the other levels.

LIFE SKILLS COACHES

Life Skills Coaches will have arrived in the coaching role from a variety of routes; some from training; some from a period of redundancy; in fact – just about anyone, from just about anywhere. They do not need any specialist knowledge, or experience. Some will have been trained; a few will hold a qualification; most will have picked up their coaching knowledge and skills from books or from attending a short course.

Some are very dangerous. They will be self-taught psychoanalysts and can often be found exploring people’s deep routed emotional problems without the ability or experience to know when to stop. They seek to advise people how to be healthy, wealthy, and happy. Most will certainly not be wealthy. Others might be healthy. Significant numbers are blissfully happy to have anyone to listen to them.

Some will have bought an expensive franchise offering untold wealth; most will be earning below average incomes. Some will be advertising themselves as Executive Coaches (Level 4); most will never actually engage in anything close to Executive Coaching.

They represent 90% of the coaching population at Level 1. You will encounter them at each and every networking event, in increasing numbers.

The coaching process is open-ended, meaning that providing the person being coached is able to pay the fees involved, it will go on indefinitely. There is rarely a definable, measurable goal.

CAREER COACHES

Career Coaches are usually to be found in-company; sometimes employed from external sources; often they are in the HR Department. In the same way as the Personnel Department became the HR Department, ‘Jack and Jill from personnel’ – became ‘Jack and Jill, the Career Coaches’.

Career Coaches will be probably be annoyed that I have placed them at Level 1, implying that they don’t need specialist knowledge or experience. Nevertheless, it is true. That said, many internal Career Coaches will have undergone various levels of formal training; some via the CIPD route; some will use career preference inventories to help them add a pseudo form of credibility to their efforts.

As with life skills coaching, career coaching is often disguised as executive coaching although it bears little resemblance to the executive coaching process described at Level 4 here. Career coaching offered to senior managers is usually a precursor to sending them on an expensive study programme in a European Business School which for many has no outcome other than an attendance certificate. No one fails. The only time career coaching is offered to lower levels of employees is when redundancy follows and the expense of providing career coaching is seen as an unavoidable cost in order to mitigate industrial disruption and employment appeals.

LEVEL 2 (L2) – SALES COACHING

Level 2 coaching is where Sales Coaches operate – in theory.

The coaching process at Level 2 is focussed on business outcomes and is driven by the coach. This is why a significant number of coaching initiatives in companies have failed, and continue to fail. The reason being that the people involved in being a Level 2 Coach are either only being trained at Level 1 – which is not a lot; or not trained at all.

A lot of companies who they say their managers have been trained as coaches, have invested at best two days, and at worst half a day in training their managers as coaches. In addition, the coaching models being used begin with the employee’s agenda, not the manager’s, and not the organisation. A classic example would be the use of the GROW model, which begins with either

– What is the Goal?

– What are you trying to achieve?

– What is your Goal?

– What are we trying to do?

The last type of question is meant to show inclusivity – i.e. we are all in this together.

Beginning with the salesperson’s agenda is an abdication of the Sales Coach’s role in ensuring that the organisation’s aims are placed firmly at the front of the queue.

Sales Coaches should have some experience of sales. Not from the perspective of specific knowledge of the product and/ or service being sold, but of the emotional pressures associated with being in a sales role. Salespeople are very sceptical of coaches who do not have sales experience. Whether this is right or wrong is immaterial. The reality is that you will tend to get on better with the target audience if you understand about selling from experience. And getting on with the salesperson is important. Sales coaching in this form works because the coaching relationship is built on trust. Trust from the salesperson of the coach; that performance short-falls and experimentation to improve will not be criticised, even though any lack of effort might. Trust from the coach of the salesperson that the latter is trying to improve and not just pretending.

The Sales Coach does not need a significant amount of knowledge about the product and/ or service the salesperson is selling, but it could reduce the amount of time needed to help the salesperson focus on improvement solutions. On the other hand, often, prior in-depth knowledge of the product and significant experience of the actual sales role can often be a barrier to effective sales coaching. Quite often, the less you know, the better the coaching questions are.

In sales coaching there has to be a clearly defined sales process – the Game Plan. Without a clearly defined game plan, the Coach will be working at Level 1. A game plan focuses both the Sales Coach and the salesperson on what has to be done, and how it to be done, in order to elicit an outcome – the performance. If performance is low, then either the game plan doesn’t work and needs to be changed or the salesperson is not following the game plan – and might have to be changed. Once you have a game plan, it can be enhanced in order to enhance performance but not in one day and not all at once. This brings me to the last point in Level 2 Sales Coaching – timescale.

Many people, when asked the question, is sales coaching short-term or long-term, will opt for long-term. The correct answer is short-term. By this I mean that the focus of each coaching session is on a short-term activity. In football, you often hear the cliché – ‘we take it one game at a time’; and so it is with sales coaching. The football coach may have a long-term goal to win the league, but slavish focus on winning the league is fraught with failure, without the focussed activity of working out what it will take to win the next game. In this way Sales Coaches work on one thing at a time. Taking one piece out of the total sales process and working with it until it is improved. It is called whole-part-whole. By taking a small part of the whole process and improving it, the knock-on effect is to improve the whole.

The Sales Coach should be the line manager.

LEVEL 3 (L3) – METACOACH

The MetaCoach is the Coach of the Coach. In a sales or a business environment this should be the line manager but it can also work by using either internal trainers as the MetaCoach or external MetaCoaches provided there is a significant level of interaction between the MetaCoach and senior management. If the MetaCoach is not the line manager, then the MetaCoach needs to have direct and regular access to the senior line manager, and preferably to the manager above them.

The agenda is driven by the organisation. The MetaCoach should have management experience. As with the Sales Coach, there should be clearly defined sales management process, but there rarely is. One of the main reasons why MetaCoaching fails to materialise in most companies is the lack of a detailed management process. Just as it’s vital to have a game plan for the sales process the same should apply to the management process. We already know that the greatest influence on sales success is management. In the same way, the greatest influence on the success of sales managers is the senior manager they report to.

The MetaCoach does not need either product knowledge of the products and services being sold, or specific experience of the sales or sales management role, and the lack of these is often an advantage. Some management experience however is desirable in order to have empathy with the difficulties of line and senior management.

The timescales involved in MetaCoaching is medium to long-term improvement in management performance and behaviour.

MetaCoaching should be provided by senior management, but rarely is, and therefore external coaches are often used, when the budget allows, to provide coaching to line sales managers. The difficulty is that external coaches have little or no authority and surprisingly (given the cost) minimal interaction with senior management. MetaCoaching by external coaches tends only to work effectively if it is combined with Executive Coaching for the senior manager.

LEVEL 4 (L4) – EXECUTIVE COACHING

Executive Coaching is almost exclusively provided by external coaches to senior management as either a development tool, a career advancement process, or sometimes simply as a way of spending an allocated budget without any particular end game in mind. It should lead to the provision of an opportunity to engender some blue-sky thinking on the part of the senior manager being coached and in some environments it does work. It depends on how experienced the Executive Coach is, why they were engaged in the first place, and where the outcomes of the coaching sessions are reported.

Executive Coaches should have some senior management experience and should be able to use this experience to be upfront in declaring whether the coaching provided is having any effect or not. True Executive Coaches should be charging enough not to be concerned about telling the truth when it is needed, whether palatable or not. Unfortunately there are a number of people who call themselves Executive Coaches who should really be working at Level 1, not Level 4.

Executive Coaches work with senior managers helping them develop leadership skills and behaviours. The instance of executive coaching being provided by internal coaches is rare. In any event, the best coaches are often frustrated by the manner in which coaching is viewed by the organisation and the constant introduction of the latest training fad; and they leave to set up their own coaching consultancies.

THE DILEMMA

The most effective type of coaching in business is sales coaching. However, the budget for developing line sales managers as true Sales Coaches has to be agreed by senior managers, and senior managers have to become involved in regularly supporting their Sales Coaches by the provision of MetaCoaching. Unfortunately because of the proliferation of Life Skills Coaches operating at Level 1, many budget holders believe that coaching exists at only two ends of the spectrum – Level 1 which is generally ineffective as a business tool, and Level 4 which is expensive and reserved for senior management. Regrettably that belief means that many sales organisations miss out on the significant positive impact that sales coaching can have on revenue improvement.

[http://thesalisburypartnership.com/index.html]

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Frank_Salisbury/4756

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9230363

An Insight Into the Five Best Qualities That Defines a Successful Sales Coach

A bullet cannot hit the target bull’s eye if the trainer has not aimed it properly. A student will not be able to fare well in his exams if he was not trained well. Though one may possess the talent to do a job perfectly all by themselves, a guiding force is always necessary to keep them on the right track. A coach or a trainer is that beacon who will steer the ship to the shore amidst all the unrest prevailing in the sea. A sports coach, a gym trainer, dance teacher, music instructor, teacher at the school etc. are the pillars who have been the support for aspiring learners to learn and perform.

A sales coach! Who is he?

Among the enthusiastic trainers, a sales coach is the one who trains interested candidates to become lead generators, how to handle target pressures, how to attract customers, how to retain them and most importantly how to take business forward by closing quick deals. These coaches have the capacity to become the master of change. There are some qualities that define a successful sales coach. Here are some of them:

Calmness

Are sales coaches hypersensitive? No they are not at all. One quality that defines a perfect sales coach is calmness. This gives them the ability to assess the market and take decisions favorable for their business and achieve their target with no tension around. Cool mind and clear thoughts assist them in taking the most perfect and profitable move or decision.

Presence of Mind

The second most important quality that defines a sales coach is presence of mind. Yes, he is one of the few most intelligent personalities who have the capacity to turn any situation in his favor without spending extra money or effort. Presence of mind and ability to give quick response help them to master all situations.

Build Credibility

When does a customer start to believe in a sales executive? Probably after a few meetings and calls, an unknown bond of creditableness and trust worthiness creeps within the customer which makes them believe what the sales expert there by materializing the deal. The sales coach who is an expert in building trust teaches techniques that are legit and easy to follow in this exercise.

Radiate positivity

Looking at sales & marketing coach, one always feels a spurt of positive energy radiating from all directions. This is also the reason why they have turned into coaches from just being sales executives. The positive energy that they translate into every student improves the confidence and enthusiasm in the aspiring sales executives to achieve something big in their life.

Efficient Networking

The last but the most important quality that marks the best Sales training coach is his ability to network with people belonging to every age group. They can easily strike a chord with anyone who can be a prospective lead for them and they capitalize their socializing skills to the fullest and can network with the opponents. The same technique they teach their students as well.

With these awesome qualities, sales coaches impress their audience with their flamboyant self and charismatic personality.

One such awesome sales coach is Phil Jones who is an expert motivational speaker as well. He has many best sellers to his credit that talk about how to improve sales pitch, how to make more appointments, how to convert them into leads etc. one can visit philmjones.com to know more about this magnetic personality and check his trainings and seminars schedule.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9219524

When to Hire a Sales Coach

When would be a better time to visit a doctor: after you are sick or before you get sick? Though many choose to see their doctor only after symptoms create enough of a demand for them to seek help, a more logical approach is to see your doctor for preventive care to ward off illness.

The same is true for your career. Why wait until your career is in jeopardy, your income falling and your stress level climbing before hiring a tenured, skilled and professional sales coach?

Day One or Day 1,000

While some coaches, eager to build their business will suggest that everyone in sales should hire them on the first day of their career, it may make more sense to delay even beginning to select a coach.

Why wait?

Actually, there are a couple of reasons why a rookie sales professional should consider waiting a while before hiring a coach. The first is the fact that many are in a sales position only because they are unable to find a job in a career or industry that really interests them. Sales has been called the “default occupation” for this very reason.

Hiring a sales coach on day 1 of your sales career may be money ill spent. A good coach will be focused on helping your increase your sales and may not be driven to help you decide if sales is really right for you.

Another reason to hold off hiring a professional coach is that your company will (should) have plenty of sales training for you to go through and master. Adding sales models and techniques on top of the training you are already receiving may be overwhelming. Beyond being potentially overwhelmed, you may not devote the time and attention to fully learning the training your company is giving you which probably wouldn’t impress your sales manager.

When the Student is Ready…

There’s an old expression that says when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. As long as your search for a coach begins before “crisis mode,” the time you begin searching for a coach is the right time for you.

Very few sales professionals who hire a sales coach would say that they were 100% certain of their decision to hire a coach. In fact, if you wait until you are absolutely certain that hiring a sales coach is the perfect way to advance your career, you’ll probably not hire a coach until it’s either too late or when your sales are so bad that you feel you have to do something.

T Patrick Phelps is the President of T Patrick Phelps Writing Services, Inc. He has worked with across many different vertical markets and specializes in writing for the sales, IT and personal development industries. Phelps is a Certified Life and Sales Coach and the founder of the Essential Needs Sales Paradigm. Visit [http://www.tpatrickphelps.com] for contact information

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8338995

Getting Sales Coaching to Happen – Target Trigger Events

People who are knowledgeable and experienced in sales excellence know sales coaching is worthwhile; it can make a difference; and it needs to be a priority. Sales pros agree coaching is a necessity if you want a world-class sales team.

While most sales leaders agree about the importance of sales coaching, most also admit “the job isn’t getting done.” Many great companies start coaching initiatives with tremendous energy and commitment. Far fewer exit the other end of the tunnel.

Two developments increase the urgency for a renewed dialogue about getting coaching to happen:

· Sales force performance is a bigger piece of the competitive advantage puzzle. Presently, it is extremely difficult to sustain a competitive advantage by product alone. Even if you have a winning product, the competition is likely to get a product to market that is just as good, at half the price… in half the time it took several years ago. Although a superior sales force is extremely difficult to assemble and train, once you have one, it is of the few sustainable advantages left.

· Sales excellence is more difficult to achieve. Not only is superior sales performance more important than ever; it’s harder to get there. Today, sales people must develop their knowledge and skills to an unprecedented level. Now top performers have to know more and know it at a higher level of competency than ever before. In many companies, a substantial number of the top performers 15 years ago would not make the first cut for this year’s President’s Club.

One step for making it happen is addressing a critical stumbling block for achieving sales excellence – why more companies don’t get serious about sustaining a coaching effort? In that regard it’s not that folks don’t think it’s important; they do – also is not primarily a lack of skill. Sure some front-line sales managers need to improve their coaching but even when they do, coaching often still does not occur.

We would submit the fundamental culprit is lack of commitment and discipline. Consequently another high priority coaching initiative or a new coaching training program, by themselves, are unlikely to fix the problem.

Enter Trigger Event Coaching. In organizations certain events occur that create an enormous amount of organic energy and focus. This is due to the strategic importance of these events and the time, effort, and financial resources the organization has committed to making them happen. Let’s call these occurrences – Trigger Events.

Launching an important new product, initiating a rebranding effort, implementing a merger/acquisition, and instituting a strategic sales shift like moving from selling individual products to selling an integrated solution are all examples of Trigger Events.

When it comes to coaching, Trigger Events are important because if you initiate a targeted coaching effort to making them successful, the importance of the Trigger Event will provide the focus and commitment necessary to make sure the coaching happens. All Trigger Events represent some type of strategic shift so the sales team will indeed need to adjust and adapt their selling skills to the new reality. So coaching is clearly needed and warranted.

Example – New Product Launches. Let’s take the example of a new product launch. In this case let’s assume the new product is a potential game changer. In such a case the company would have committed substantial R&D and Marketing dollars and lots of people would be interested in creating a success story.

In is also true if the product is a game changer, then the sales team will likely face new sales challenges and a need to upgrade their selling skills. So it will be easier than normal to get everyone behind the idea of implementing a six-month targeted coaching effort for helping the sales team get smart about selling the new product. And if needed, it will also be easier to get the budget to implement manager coaching training or purchase a coaching software package customized for the new product.

Summary

When it comes to sales coaching our observation is the problem is not so much about bad sales coaching but the fact that sales coaching does not systematically occur. When it does occur, it works.

So one answer to the dilemma is connecting the sales coaching effort to a high priority organizational Trigger Event that has everyone’s attention and focus. Our bet is under these conditions the right people will actually get serious about coaching, its merits will be demonstrated, and perhaps coaching will become institutionalized. And if the latter thing happens – that’s a good thing.

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer – the founders of Sales Momentum and Sales Horizons – have worked with the Fortune 1000 to design and develop sales training programs that make a difference. By working with market leaders – such as UPS, Smith & Nephew, Robbins & Minor, Textron, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor – we have learned that today’s standard for a great sales force significantly differs from yesterday’s picture.

Sales Momentum offers companies a new generation of proven sales training programs designed with Fortune 1000 companies… that you can deliver, modify, and brand to your organization. Sales Horizons offers these programs to companies with a one-time license fee that is compatible with today’s economic realities.

To learn more about how Sales Momentum helps companies achieve sales success, visit our web site at http://www.salesmomentum.com or visit our blog at http://www.salestrainingconnection.com/.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Richard_Ruff/907121

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8017636