Tag Archives: Sales

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

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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

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8 Trends in Sales and Sales Coaching for 2013

The rise of the “expert” seller

It’s been coming for a few years and 2013 will see their recognition in the field of sales. The “expert” seller also known as the accidental salesperson.

Customers need expertise from salespeople; they need something of value compared to the old days. Adding value to the sales relationship has been sought otherwise the product or service that you’re selling will be commoditised and bought on the internet or via procurement software packages.

2013 will see the expert salesperson gaining in credibility and effectiveness as sales teams realise they need expertise as well as the ability to communicate, run a sales process and help the customer solve their problems, pains and challenges.

Salespeople will fuse into experts who sell.

Cloud based CRM

Cloud based CRM is not a new idea. CRM or Customer Relationship Management software has gradually migrated from desktops to the cloud. Once there, it changes everything.

Put simply, successful sales people and their managers run their business lives through their CRM software and they do it on the move. Using mobile devices – phones, tablets – salespeople can log their calls and visits, update the customer profiles, communicate, forecast their pipeline, chat to each other and keep focussed on their sales goals and activity. Meanwhile the sales managers and support teams can work alongside the salesperson to benefit the customer.

2013 will at last witness salespeople seeing the benefit. As a result, they’ll update the CRM more regularly than the past and reap the benefits.

Online video

The vast majority of websites are stationary, still, lifeless. Online video will see a considerable growth in 2013 in the field of sales and sales coaching. Online video is being increasingly consumed using mobile devices such as your phone or tablet, which makes it easier to view. Video can be put out on YouTube, websites, Facebook, Tweets and companies will want to seriously consider putting out more video in 2013. Not the stale corporate stuff but videos of the people, the humans behind the product and service.

More of us will be creating short snippets of video and letting their customer watch the video rather than read an email or written note. Proposals can be accompanied with a video of you talking through the key points or if a customer has asked for more information, send them a video showing how the product works or can help them. Not from the shelf but created fresh.

SoLoMo

A new buzz word for 2013. Social, Local, Mobile. It means that customers want to consume from you in a social manner, using social media, locally, so bespoked to their personal needs and mobile, so they can use their mobile device to communicate with you.

This is a seriously scary trend brought about by mobile device popularity and their ability to locate wherever you are to a metre. Consumers want advertising to be local to them, delivered via their phone and done socially. So a parking ticket bought by your phone, ensures a pizza special deal is made available to you and your tribe. Coffee at the building society branch is available to you and a chance to chat through your loans, but only if you want to pop in, after all you’re only 10 metres away as you pass.

Bulk advertising, expensive TV commercials, mass mailings, eShots… all maybe a thing of the past!

Google Live Hangouts

This is a serious game changer for salespeople and sales managers. 2013 will see the move towards proper video conferences where people can look each other in the eye as they talk to one another; watch some body language and plenty of facial language to help communicate with each other.

Google hangouts works with their social media site – Google Plus – not as popular as Facebook but the same concept. You can start a hangout with anyone in your circles, up to 10 people and have a meeting, a conversation, a hangout with each other on screen. The videos of each person will be shown to everyone on the hangout. Everyone can talk, listen and enjoy.

You can also opt to have the whole thing live screened to YouTube. Suddenly the game changes. You can have as many people as you want view the hangout on your YouTube Channel and once it’s over, a recording will be automatically posted to your channel.

For sales managers I can see this technology being used to run sales meetings, run client meetings just like Webex is being used today. The main difference is video and the use of mobile devices, after all, Google + and YouTube needs no additional software. As salespeople merge into experts who sell, the live video can be used to demonstrate expertise, teach, educate and promote on a local level.

Watch this one; it’ll impact you in 2013.

The decline of email

Email use is declining and 2013 will see this trend accelerating. Viruses, Spam deluged folders haven’t helped but the greatest impact is on the younger generation’s use of email. They just don’t dig email.

It’s not going to disappear overnight and will remain hugely important but the message for 2013 is… discover another way to communicate online with your customers. This may be via social media or Socmed as it’s known, texing ironically works well, Skype, YouTube, phone.

Total selling

I first heard the term in the 1970’s with the Dutch national soccer team. Total football it was known as, then total rugby came in the 1990’s. It means that everyone can play any position and helps the game to be quicker, more fluid and exciting to watch.

Total selling involves everyone in the organisation to be involved in the sales process and each person knowing what the other person is doing. The CRM helps here. More companies will train their staff in all aspects of the sales process and it’s they that will develop the competitive advantage.

Gamification

Another new buzz word for the 2013’s – Gamification – taken from the burgeoning gaming market.

I was reading the Economist this week – the gaming industry is now worth $67 billion rivalling the movie industry. Games offer excitement, entertainment, challenge and the ability to win and it’s this Gamification that will effect selling and sales management in 2013.

How will the trend evolve. Communication with customers, whatever the means, will become more gamified and consumers will want their messages delivered in this way.

How much entertainment, reward and stickiness does you current communication provide to customers and sales teams alike?

In sales teams, sales managers will be considering how to gamify sales meetings, sales trainings, the annual conference, web meetings. In their new book “For the Win”, Werbach and Hunter argued that future communications can be enhanced by gamifying. Games have distinct ingredients and so will our messages.

I talk about WIPEing the message.

 

  • W is for win, can the activity that you create to communicate allow them to win something?
  • I is for instant feedback, how can the group players get instant feedback?
  • P is for points or badges to signify progress and success and
  • E is for excitement, which tells it’s own story

 

Sales people might be considering their sales messages to customers and how sticky these are? Particularly their online messages and communications, can they add an element of WIPE to the way it’s delivered. If they don’t others will and gain a competitive advantage.

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Business Booster Guide

Learn how simple tweaks can bring significant change to the future of your organization.
Is the fact that you don’t have the right knowledge or tools making your business and life difficult or gloomy? Does it seem like you have tried everything you know of to fix it, and yet, despite your best intentions, you’re still plagued with:
• Not knowing about teamwork
• Not understanding motivation
• Not knowing about leadership

A great business leader is a multi-faceted person who has many strengths and capabilities. He may manage budgets, spearhead marketing campaigns, plan products, network with industry experts, and assess contract management software. He’s dedicated, industrious, bright, and creative. However even with all these admonitory qualities, a business leader is really only a leader if he likewise has skills, knowledge and tools. Continue reading

My First Sales Coach

Why would a person become a Sales Trainer? Let’s go back in time to my initial sales experience and to my first sales coach. In my early teens, my first job was selling newspaper subscriptions. It seemed easier that delivering papers so I gave it a try. The idea was to get people to agree to have the paper delivered and for every account, the commission was 1 $. After a week of knocking on doors and not getting one new account, I wanted to quit.

My father took the time to listen to what I was saying to people. Since he worked at the newspaper, Dad was uniquely qualified and he had a deep love for journalism. Dad said that I had all the benefits down, but my message needed a small change: “It’s not about home delivery – it’s about the coupons and how a newspaper can help educate families.” I said “whoa- that wasn’t in the manual!”

  • We pulled all the coupons out of the Sunday paper and put the best ones on cardboard paper.
  • Then, we cut out articles about current events and glued them to the other side of the paper.
  • Dad said to “stress how much money could be saved every week by just taking the coupons to the store.”
  • Then, explain: “how families could help their kids in school by reading and talking about stories in the newspaper!

 

The next day, I was little nervous. It was a Saturday and my Manager would soon be pulling up in the Van. Dad asked me “so you go to each house and knock – right?” I replied “Yes – he takes us to neighborhoods and drops us off.” My father said “that’s takes guts to go door to door.” I swallowed hard. My Dad said I had guts.

As I was leaving, he handed me the coupons and articles and said ‘take it one house at a time.’ I don’t mind telling you that I was not only reluctant, but just plain scared. But with every step, and each new knock, my internal confidence grew. That afternoon, I returned with eight subscriptions! “Dad – it worked!”

I showed Dad my book of business and he said “you seem surprised!” Well, I was surprised and amazed. I did as well or better than the rest of the team. Dad asked “what was different today?” My comments bubbled over about:

  • “how people liked saving money”
  • “the newspaper really is a way to help educate their children.”

 

So what happened here? You can see how fortunate I was to have a Father who cared. He helped me craft a very persuasive message. Dad re-focused me on one house at a time. My efforts were on helping people buy more with less money and to make their children smarter! If no leadership had been provided, I would not have had a good experience and I would have stopped selling. Instead, I fell in love with selling and have dedicated my life to learning every aspect of it. There is no mystery then why I enjoy being a sales coach.

This story is an excerpt from Charlie’s book “Target 10 to Win!”

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