Those of us in a professional selling career - especially a B2B (business-to-business) sales career tend to over think much of what we do.
If we keep things simple, we sell more. This has been proven time and time again.
Just think for a minute - remember the last time you were a consumer and were trying to buy something with lots of versions or options or styles? If you are anything like most people, it was difficult to decide because you really needed just 2 or 3 options. We offer our buyers too many options quite often and they stall - they can't decide so they "decide not to decide".
I gave a talk at Dreamforce last week for InsideSales.com and Ken Krogue on ways to keep it simple so that you can sell more. It is recorded and once I find the link I'll link it to this post. For now, you can review my six ideas on how to keep new rep on-boarding, sales messaging, and sales management SIMPLER so that we can all accomplish a lot MORE.
Planning: Have a 5,000 foot overview of your intentions and your plan. Set 3 annual goals. Write them down and post them where you can see them. Use images if you are visual. Track monthly plans and break them down into weeklies. Walk in to work every day with three goals for the day, and a number of tasks that need to be done. Review and repeat.
Get Baselines: How do you know you are headed in the right direction? If you are a new sales rep at an existing company, how long has it taken sales reps to ramp up? How long on average for them to get their first meeting set up? Or their first deal closed? You won't know if you are improving unless you have something to measure against.
Gain Skills: What do you need to learn to do your job better or to close more business? If you are a sales leader, do you know everything there is to know about inspiring others, communicating well, leading, and coaching? Set a plan to learn a specific skill or skill set by a certain date. Make it fun to learn by setting deadlines and then finding a way to hit them.
Be Buyer Focused: We confuse buyers when we speak all about us and when we spew information about our wonderful products and services. Step back, and learn about your buyers. Start conversations about them - and I don't mean by asking them about the weather. Find ways to add insight rather than information. We all have way too much information - it is the seller who can show a potential buyer how the information will work for them - that is insight. Stop showing up and throwing up about features and benefits! Learn from your buyer first.
Learn Stories: I shared a story about a sales manager I once had who used the phrase "quite frankly" SO many times that it became the focus of what we (the sales reps) heard when he talked. We kept a tally at each meeting, and even nicknamed him "Frank". He lost his audience - and our respect - by distracting us with his crutch phrase, and diluted anything he could have said to us.
Could you see sales reps with a tally sheet at a sales meeting? Using a vivid story helps you paint a picture that your buyers can see and relate to. What stories do you have about satisfied clients that you can share with prospective buyers?
Utilize Systems: Great systems help you sell too. This includes the sales process for your company, the sales methodology, the technology (CRM, data tools, and other sales tools) plus the system you use to keep all prospective and current customer information. Are the right systems in place?
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.