Carrying on from my post of last week, I have learned a lot of things throughout my years as a trainer. As technology advanced along, these surprises continued.
6. Many people hoped that the internet and email would fix their “sales problem” – it didn’t!
7. Then along came social media and they hoped this too would fix their “sales problem” – it didn’t!
The internet and social media are hugely important for lead generation. Writing blogs, having a website and a LinkedIn profile – are essential tools – they “get you into the game” but they can’t help you close the deal.
8. Marketing frequently has no idea how to help sales people be more effective
- When I did my MBA eons ago – I remember asking the dean of the faculty – if the four year part-time program had a sales and marketing component. His somewhat dismissive response was that if I wanted that I should go and look at Dale Carnegie! Point being smart people often don’t “get marketing” or the critical function that sales plays as part of the marketing mix.
- Too often I see an inconsistency between the messaging on a company’s website and their marketing collateral and the messaging given to sales people.
- Marketing and sales are too often poorly integrated and aligned leading to sub-optimization for both the company and the sales people.
9. Only 1% of the people I see in sales training, planned to be in sales – the other 99% got there by default
- This unfortunately speaks to the poor perception that many people unfortunately and often unfairly have of sales people. Very few people therefore start out in life planning to get into sales.
- It’s critical therefore that sales people know how to build trust as they start with a big disadvantage in any new relationship in being somewhat or significantly mistrusted by new prospects.
10. Behaviour drives attitude and not the other way round
- Waiting to get your attitude right means procrastinating forever.
As the Nike ads say “Just do it!”
11. “You cannot fail at prospecting unless you fail to prospect”
- This is a build on item 10 and is perhaps my favourite sales mantra.
- Most sales people looking for new customers suffer an enormous amount of rejection which is painful. This is especially true if you are not thick skinned and are considered to be empathetic.
- This rejection means most sales people tend to not spend enough time prospecting.
- The most powerful antidote to rejection – which is real - is to remind yourself – anytime you prospect you are winning- because they are only four outcomes you can have and they are all good:
* A “Yes” – that’s obvious!
* A “No” – move on & find someone else to sell!
* A Clear “Next Step” agreed to between you and the prospect you
Are in the process of qualifying.
* “A lesson-learned” – you may have “screwed-up” – but you perhaps won’t do it again the next time.
12. On-Going incremental improvement is by far the best way to build a strong sales team and a true sales culture
- There are many moving parts to success in a complex sale and it takes time, and regular, constant incremental improvement to build a sustainable sales culture.
- One and two day sales boot camps can be useful – to get things rolling, but they typically on have short term results unless there is continuous reinforcement.