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Learn How to Lose Your Whole Sales Force With These 5 Tips

  
  
  

learn how to lose your whole sales force in these 5 stepsIf you're a skilled, thoughtful manager, or have been throwing quite a lot of money at your sales force to compensate, it can be a difficult task to be rid of them. It can be frustrating, knowing that everyone else suffers from a high turnover rate in his or her sales force but not being able to achieve that same situation in your own organization. Fortunately, it's rather easy-you just have to do what comes naturally to the short-sighted and intemperate. With these five tips, you'll be well on your way to sending your entire sales force running for the doors and starting over with a new crop of underachieving, undertrained amateurs in their place.

Set unrealistic goals.

Every sales force needs goals to work towards. Setting yours at some unrealistically lofty, unreachable height can do wonders for ridding you of your sales force. Nothing encourages high turnover quite as efficiently as the constant stress of unending failure to complete the goals set by unreasonable management. If your team can put in a little effort and meet goals consistently, that's the absolute worst place to be-it'll build their confidence and improve the bottom line. You'll never be rid of a sales force with that under their belts!

Ignore data.

Ignoring the facts in front of your eyes can quickly rid you of your sales force. If you like data too much to ignore all of it, then ignore half of it-either the soft data, things that you'd pick up from reports and direct observation of your employees, or the hard data, the numbers your metrics software spits out after crunching the numbers for you. If you ignore one or the other, that should be sufficient and creating an obfuscated, inefficient workplace. Perfect for driving your sales team away.

Make public examples.

Berating failures in public may lead to short-term gains in efficiency, but despite that in the long term, you'll see morale tank and turnover skyrocket. Even if you're bullying someone the rest of the team doesn't really like, the hostility of the work environment will work its magic on everyone over time. You'll likely see infighting, distrust of management, and a host of other turnover-increasing changes in your company culture. 

Threaten jobs.

Another simple way to get rid of your sales force. Using the threat of unemployment can get your best and brightest moving quickly on to greener pastures. Anyone with the skills to find a better job will do so as soon as possible, if you keep threatening to fire them over mistakes or 'low' productivity. They'll be eager to find somewhere stable to work, where they won't have to fear the whims of disgruntled management. Bonus points if your threats are public or predicated on unrealistic expectations. If you're eager to lose your sales force, aim for the hat trick.

Offer shoddy compensation.

This may seem obvious, but you can get rid of your sales force without being a cheapskate. Good pay isn't enough to keep turnover down. Cash bonuses won't affect productivity OR turnover much at all, so don't worry. Just be certain to keep compensation impersonal, base rewards on inscrutable systems and uncontrollable factors, and never publicly recognize or award success. Yes, a 'Good job' here and a 'Excellent service award' there can have a disastrous impact on turnover, increasing sales force satisfaction and keeping skilled workers around long after they should have fled to better paying competitors. Vacation time, personalized awards, and good benefits are all big red flags. 

Hopefully these five tips can rid you of your sales force quickly. Even if you don't get rid of every single member of your team, you'll definitely manage to drive off all your top performers. With your best and brightest gone, you'll likely see bankruptcy sooner rather than later--and that'll rid you of your sales force faster than anything!

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Questions Your Sales Team Has About Your Website

  
  
  

3 questions your sales team has about your websiteYour website can be an invaluable tool for your sales team--if they understand its value and if it has been optimized for sales. To this end, your sales team probably has some good questions about your website. It's worth spending some time training your team on the ins and outs of your website as well as different ways they can use it in prospecting, pitching, and even closing sales. 

The following are three questions your sales team probably has about your website. Use this information in your next sales meeting to help your sales reps use one of your best resources.

1. How can our website help me make sales?

This is the first question a good sales person will ask when given a new resource for selling. The Internet is constantly evolving, so it's important to think creatively about the ways your site can help sales reps to be more productive. Your sales reps may discover new ways they can use your website to make sales, but the following ideas are already tested and true:

  • It can provide reference materials. Instead of having to explain detailed information about your products or services, you can refer prospects to your website where they can peruse your materials when they're not crunched for time.
  • It can attract new customers. If your website is search engine optimized, prospects will find you instead of your sales reps having to find them, thus saving time and effort prospecting.
  • It can address concerns. If you keep hearing the same concerns from prospects and customers, you can publish blog posts addressing those concerns. When you hear these concerns, you can say, "Yes, we recently published information about that very topic. I'll send you the URL." This shows that you're proactive and aware of customer concerns.

2. How can our website help with social media selling?

Social media, with its potential for viral posts, retweets, and shares, can be an excellent tool for selling. Without a website, however, you can only post other people's content or write short, personal posts without links attached.

Therefore, having a company website gives your sales reps a chance to use social media to their best advantage. The key to providing your sales reps with tools for using social media is to include interesting, frequently posted content that they can share on their LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook accounts. If you don't have anyone on staff who can write weekly or bi-weekly blog posts for your website, you can hire the work out for a reasonable cost.

As your sales reps share your website's exciting new content, they will find more opportunities to start conversations with prospects and to spread their influence.

3. How will interested parties contact us?

If you go to the trouble of developing a website that attracts traffic, you need a good way for prospects to contact you. Assure your sales reps that you'll provide accurate contact information on each web page on your site. Make it easy for customers to reach you. Don't make them hunt for your information. Put your phone number on every single page, and include a contact form or email address for those would like to contact you online.

Develop a system within your sales team to parcel out web contacts among them. You could divide web contacts evenly, or you could use these leads as incentives for those who are performing the best.

By answering these questions for your sales team, you will offer them new ways to prospect, teach customers, and ultimately close sales. Your website can be a great tool for improve your sales and helping your sales team to reach their personal goals.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

How to Break Out of Your Selling Slump

  
  
  

how to break out of your selling slumpBreaking out of a nasty selling slump isn't always an easy task, especially if you're not sure what precipitated the drop in performance. Have you lost your edge to stress or lost morale, has the industry moved out from underneath you, are your leads getting worse? No matter where the problem lay, even if the root problem lay in other people, there's going to be a path forward, a way to break your selling slump. In this article, we'll discuss four simple steps for crawling out of the hole and back to the top of the mountain-because no selling slump is insurmountable, with the right mindset.

Establish your situation.

Before you can work your way out of your selling slump, you need to take a hard, long, keen-eyed look at your situation. We discussed a few of the ways your slump may have started-start there. But there are as many ways for a slump to start as there are stars in the sky, and many will be unique to your position, so it's up to you to develop the attention to detail and resources for analysis that you need here.

That might mean implementing metrics software, taking notes during phone calls, putting your typical sales process on paper, and crunching a lot of numbers. It may mean asking coworkers, superiors, and gurus for insight. The important thing, however, is developing your ability to look at yourself and your environment and recognize important factors.

Plot a goal forward.

Once you know where you are, it's time to figure out where to go. There are many paths out of a selling slump, and not all of them are as simple as reversing whatever caused the initial selling slump. For example, if your sales are down because your best product fell behind the competition in features, then you're dealing with a problem that's beyond you. Your path out of the slump may be a change in product focus, working to develop stronger relationships and encourage brand loyalty, establishing a reputation with certain niches as a superior product for specific uses, etc. 

Or, maybe your morale has dropped, and you need to work on ways to improve your mood as you work. Or you've seen a drop in sales to a particular demographic-has that demographic changed beneath you, or has your approach changed? If you've analyzed yourself thoroughly in the first step, you have a good idea of where to go. You just need to set a firm goal and work for it.

Analyze constantly.

Analysis isn't a one-time thing. Every change you make, every shift in method or lead source or contact medium, even every anecdote used or unused, needs to be logged and analyzed later.  When you collect enough data, and look at it critically, you'll quickly see what's working to bring you out of the selling slump and what's sending you back into the hole. When you stop seeing gains, it's time to change goals and look for more ways to climb, more ways to improve, more ways to profit. You won't know where you stand if you don't keep up the analysis-and wasted effort will only lead to another selling slump.

Keep learning.

To not only break out of a selling slump, but also avoid later ones, it's important to become a sales person who keeps abreast of the latest developments in strategy, tactics, industry, market trends, demographics, etc. By always learning, you'll never be taken by surprise. If a competitor launches a new product based on a new principal, it shouldn't be a surprise-it should be something you knew about even before the competitor did. If you're that prepared, you shouldn't have much trouble staying on top of your game and avoiding the dreaded selling slump. You'll have your answers to client questions, your criticisms of the competition, and your adjustments for different prospect qualification ready. So keep learning!

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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How to be a Smarter Seller

  
  
  

how to be a smarter sellerSo you want to be a smarter seller, but you're not sure where to start? Good news, you're already making the right decisions to reach your goal. Every sales person should continuously educate themselves and look for new ways to advance, but few wish to deal with the trouble and put in the extra time that becoming a smarter seller entails. There's really no big secret beyond the will to become a smarter seller-those with that will, will, and those without that will, won't. That doesn't mean that there aren't places you should focus your attention, special things to be aware of, and ways to truly optimize your journey, of course. So that's what we'll discuss: Just what you want to learn as you endeavor to be a smarter seller.

Data and Metrics. 

Part one of becoming a smarter seller is learning to value the many, many forms of information you already have available to you. It's pointless to go learning about new sales mediums and changes in your industry when you don't even take the time to look at the sales statistics your ERP of choice spits or, or research prospects before you call them. You should be learning immediately relevant facts and figures before anything else. This isn't so much a 'thing to learn' as a 'habit to develop' to be a smarter seller. So pay attention to what you have available and use it to its fullest.

Strategies and Tactics. 

These are the big ideas, things like 'focus on relationships over immediate sales'. These, you'll want to learn as early as possible, because they're going to change the way you sell at a very basic level; they're not often something you can just toss in to how you're already doing things and expect everything to come up aces. Learn them too late, and you may end up being a smarter seller without necessarily being a more effective one, unused knowledge being useless knowledge. Until you have a grasp of the popular 'big ideas' of sales, general and specific to your own industry, stay away from the little things.

Techniques and Tools. 

Techniques and tools can greatly change the outcomes of your strategies and tactics without greatly changing how you do your job, so they're good to learn later. Things like phrases that result in more sales, or software for tracking relationships with customers, can be slotted in anywhere and give you their benefits. Furthermore, you'll be applying these specific ideas with a broad understanding of the underlying sales principals, which means you'll be better positioned to avoid the inevitable pitfalls and traps inherent to the tricks of the sales trade.

If you can't understand where an idea might mess up your strategy, you might not understand enough to be learning these yet. A smarter seller is one that understands what he's learned, not one that copy+pastes random ideas into his sales process.

News and Trends. 

Once you've built a strong knowledge base, enough that you're already a smarter seller than ever before, you can start pushing yourself to the limits of your profession. That means keeping up with the latest trends in your industry, noticing tangential news that might impact how you sell down the line, noticing that one social media site has started becoming popular with your prospects.

When you can do that, you stop being someone who learns from the sales gurus and jumps where they jump, and start becoming someone that others should watch and learn from. When you've reached this point, you'll know you're not just a smarter seller than you were, but a smarter seller than the vast majority of sales people in your field. And when you're there, success naturally follows; the early bird gets the worm, as long as he knows enough to make his head start take him in the right direction.

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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Sales Prospecting Do's and Don’ts

  
  
  

sales prospecting do s and dontsSales prospecting may not be the most glamorous part of the sales profession, but don't let that fool you. Absolutely nothing in your process matters as much to your long-term success as your sales prospecting methodology-leads determine everything that follows, shaping the entire process. Bad leads lead to no sales, or bad sales. Good leads lead to good sales. It's that simple. That means it's crucially important that every sales person and team lead take the time to review their sales prospecting methods, and make sure they're doing all the right things and none of the wrong ones. In this article, we'll cover three complementary Do's and three Don'ts of sales prospecting, and hopefully give you the insight you need to optimize your process.

Don't:  Make Ice-Cold Contact.

Even when you're just sales prospecting, building your pool of qualified leads, you don't want to make the 'everyone in the phone book' approach. No contact between a sales person and a prospect should EVER be cold on both sides. If they're a stranger to you, don't contact them until you figure out a way to learn about them.

Do: Research Prospects.

Research every prospect as thoroughly as time and circumstance permits. Even the coldest contact can be a bit warm on one side. If nothing else, make sure you know your demographics as well as possible-you'll still be flying blind on an individual level, but you'll have something to work with. Without research, it's very easy to either ruin a great lead before you realize it, or never realize the lead is great in the first place. Research, research, research.

Don't: Make Yourself Obnoxious.

Sales prospecting shouldn't feel like harassment to the prospects that aren't interested. You don't want to burn bridges with lame tactics that only open a few doors. A prospect that's not interested today may be interested tomorrow-but if you've managed to offend them or annoy them, it's the competition they'll be calling. 

Do: Focus on Connection First, Sale Second.

Those same prospects that are burnt bridges under more obnoxious sales prospecting methodologies can be planted seeds with a more relationship-based approach. With this mindset, you treat every contact and attempt to generate a lead as a networking opportunity. Even if the prospect has zero interest in your product, you want them thinking of you in a positive light if they need your services-or if they know someone who might. This approach is slower on the front end but generates far better leads more consistently than sales prospecting focused on immediate closers.

Don't: Target the Wrong Person.

Make sure that you're building a list of leads that aren't far removed from the people who make the decisions. That means that you don't target C-level executives when middle management makes the call, and you don't target middle management when C-level executives make the call. Know whom you're after and make sure they're the target of your sales prospecting. Just another reason to research, research, research.

Do: Look at 'Tangential' Prospects.

Aiming at the wrong person is a big don't, but aiming at people other than the decision-maker as part of a longer game is a great idea. If you can't make immediate contact with a decision-maker, or you don't think you can close with a direct approach, planting the seeds of interest in their advisors and peers can be a great strategy. It's just important to make sure that you're doing this on purpose when sales prospecting and not because you didn't know who made the decisions in the first place. 

The most important thing to keep in mind with all sales prospecting tactics is this: Knowledge is power. You'll know good leads because you'll know the prospect. You'll approach the prospect with the right moves because you know the prospect. You'll close the sale because you know the prospect. Anything else is secondary to knowledge--so learn what you can early.

Top 5 Traits of Successful Sales People Download

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

3 Reasons Why Your Sales Team Needs Twitter to Sell More

  
  
  

3 reasons why your sales team needs twitter to sell moreThe following three ways Twitter helps your sales team sell more tie together into one consistent theme: Knowledge is power, and Twitter's become a place where you can find fresh, untapped, unfiltered knowledge. The more you know, the more you sell. It's that simple. 

Image.

Like all social media, Twitter plays a vital role in portraying the image of a modern company, as important to image today as a website became yesterday. Companies function and perform well enough without social media campaigns or presence, but like the dinosaurs of yesteryear with no website to be found, a company not applying itself to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media venues is missing out on half of the conversation.

An active, well-managed Twitter campaign goes one step beyond 'this company pays basic attention to modern life', it becomes a powerful tool for controlling image in all fields. Prospects may not be Twitter users, may not subscribe to your account or read your messages first hand, but if you maintain the right tone and offer strong content, choice bits WILL filter through and saturate the larger body of potential customers, as will a positive reputation.

Prospecting. 

Twitter also provides a more direct avenue for your sales team to sell more, as a tool for prospecting. The value of strong sales prospecting can't be overstated, and Twitter provides an excellent base for the process. Learn the hashtags relevant to your industry and you have a ready-made list of people that may be interested in what you have to offer. Look a bit closer, and you can gather all sorts of information that might be useful in making cold contact.

You can also make very casual, very effective first contact with prospects via Twitter. A tweet takes seconds to read, so it's not the imposition that a call or even an email might seem to a cold contact. Firing off a quick message in response to something a potential customer has said can lay excellent groundwork, especially if you can get a response back. You don't have to move straight into selling from Twitter, but your sales team will easily sell more in the long term if they get the hang of this warming up process.

Insight. 

The expert level application of Twitter, where the clever make fortunes-and the less clever don't even understand how. Twitter, and other forms of social media, can be thought of like this: If one individual saying to another in-person is the 'zero beat' of a trend starting, social media is the first beat, followed by smaller publications at two, then big ones at three. Your sales team probably won't be there for the zero beat, but if you're using Twitter right you'll be there at one-well ahead of less savvy competitors.

Knowing the trends, and rumors, and scandals, and other big news early in the news cycle gives you room for fast maneuvering. It doesn't matter whether news and trends move quickly in your industry or not, just that you're ahead of the competition and adapting faster and more effectively than they can. A sales team that sees the wave coming because they engage with customers, industry figures, and prospects on Twitter can absolutely dominate that wave and ride it to sell more and more.

On the other side, there's self-analytical insight to be had from Twitter as well. Maybe you're seeing an uptick in returns, unsatisfied customers, and a drop in return customers-if you're paying attention to Twitter and engaging with your customers and potential customers, it will be very easy to figure out what's causing that trend. That's organic insight, untainted by format or polling style. Going back to image, Twitter also lets you engage and defuse complaints with minimal merit before they go viral and taint your image with the population at large.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

5 Steps to Landing a Better Sales Job

  
  
  

5 steps to landing a better sales jobWhen you set out to land a better sales job, your first objective is to sell yourself to a new employer. In a way, sales people have an advantage when it comes to finding a new job. The skills that you perfect day in and day out are the very skills needed to find a new job. 

The first thing you've got to realize about finding a better sales job is that you don't need to follow the typical resume-application-wait-for-an-interview routine that so many people find themselves wrapped up in. If you view your job search as a normal sales process, with you as the product you're selling, you'll achieve better results: a better sales job.

Let's take a look at the five steps to landing a better sales job:

1. Know Yourself

Not all sales people are the same, and not all jobs are the same either. To find the best job for you, you've got to do some self-analysis. What are your interests? What are your skills and strengths? By being honest with yourself about these questions, you can significantly narrow down your field of interest, which helps when you're looking for a better sales job.

2. Research Your Possibilities

Now that you know what kind of job you're looking for and have narrowed your search down to just a few industries, it's time to do some research. 

The first place to start is online. You can learn a lot about a company from a cursory web search. Start with their company website, and see if you can learn about its current sales people, pay structure, market, and competition. Take a look at LinkedIn to find out who's already working there. If you have contacts there, you'll be able to learn even more.

If you like what you see online, get on the phone and call the sales department. Talk to current sales reps and be straightforward about your intentions. Ask them questions about training, challenges, their services and products, and what it's like to work there. Such a conversation can have great benefits in the long run.

3. Ask Probing Questions

During your interview, be thorough and honest in your answers, but focus on asking really good questions. This is a classic sales technique, and it will show your prospective employer that you've got skills, but even more important, your questions will give you deeper insights that will help you evaluate whether or not this is a better sales job. 

Listen carefully to the answers to your questions, and use the answers to further the conversation. For example, if you ask the interviewer what the biggest challenges are to the sales department right now, you can know which of your skills could be helpful in solving the department's problems. This gives you a great advantage in getting a better sales job.

4. Explain Why You're the Solution

Can you explain in a few sentences why you are the best sales person for this job? If not, you might need to ask a few more good questions. Your goal in an interview should be to articulate your value proposition. Give the interviewer specifics: how much money you made for your last employer, how you closed deals, and how you found new prospects. Nothing comforts an employer like numbers they can count on. Give the interviewer specifics.

5. Follow Up for a Better Sales Job

Again, your initial contact with a potential employer should mirror your best sales skills, and following up is a skill that should never be neglected. Send a handwritten thank you note after the interview. During the wait, consider putting together a plan showing how you would approach the job based on information you gleaned during the interview.

These five steps can help you to land a better sales job. With a better sales job, you will be closer to reaching your career goals.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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How to Increase Sales Using Your Website

  
  
  

how to increase sales using your websiteIn the modern era of sales, your ability to maximize the efficiency of your web presence can be considered one of the defining traits of a superior sales force. Email, social media presence, and websites serve much the same purposes today as phone calls, in-person networking, pamphlets, and storefronts, adding an entire new dimension to any multimedia sales campaign. In this article, we'll be focusing our attention on ways to increase sales with your website-your digital storefront, informative brochure, and yellow pages ad, all rolled in to one vital presence. So read on, and discover four simple ways a well-designed website can increase sales.  

Image. 

Above all else, your website serves to increase sales by improving the image of your company and your brand. This works on almost countless levels, starting with the simple fact that 'good companies have good websites' in the minds of most prospects. A shoddy, low-effort website with a dearth of useful information or poor navigation will leave an impression that sales people engaging those prospects later will have to work hard to overcome, assuming the prospect ever even makes contact.

You website can also control your image in other ways-you don't want the top mention of your company or product online to be something from a competitor or disgruntled reviewer. You want to control the narrative with your own content, as much as possible. First impressions count for a lot, so building a strong website that leaves a strong first impression can make a break a company.

Seeds. 

A website can be utilized as a way to plant seeds for later purchases and thus increase sales in the long term. If, for example, you maintain a website with excellent tangential content that sees a lot of traffic, your product will be the solution first to mind if any of your visitors finds themselves needing such a thing. You're not necessarily trying to sell with any of your content-rather, you're establishing yourself as a paramount authority in an area that will likely generate sales down the line.

Pipeline.

In a more direct approach, your website should serve as a viable line into your sales pipeline. Collecting information for opt-in email, contact forms for simple questions, phone numbers, and every way you can think of to pull a prospect into your sales pipeline can be utilized on your website to increase sales. Presumably, anyone visiting your website is prime for being pulled into your pipeline-make sure you have as many unobtrusive avenues into your system as possible.

Direct sales. 

Some customers visit your website because they want to buy from you. It's in your best interest, if you wish to increase sales that you allow them to do so. Whatever your product, whatever the complexities involved in a sale of your services or materials, there's almost certainly a viable way to sell it over the internet. It's a maxim in every other form of sales, and it applies just as well to your website as it does to phone calls, emails, flyers, and sales meetings: If a customer wants to buy, let them buy. You gain nothing from obfuscating and delaying. If a prospect wants to buy here and now, they should be able to-or they'll go to a competitor and buy THERE and now.

These are just a few of the myriad ways a website can be used to increase sales. The baseline secret behind all of these is this: think broader and think like a customer. Any tactic you can use in other areas of sales can be utilized with your website, with enough creativity. It's a flexible, powerful platform for sales, so use it to its fullest potential.

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

5 Sales Training Techniques to Help Get the Ball Rolling

  
  
  

5 sales training techniques to help get the ball rollingWhen you have a new group of sales reps, or when your current group needs a jump start, sales training techniques can help you to get the ball rolling. Sales training techniques can help you to assess your current selling skills, discover areas for improvement, and help you to practice new skills. 

There are lots of sales training techniques out there, and it's helpful to know and use multiple sales training techniques with your sales team. What works well for one sales rep may not be as useful to another. By introducing your team to several different sales training techniques, you're sure to find a few that work for everyone. 

Identify the Red Flags

One of the biggest problems for sales reps is spending too much time on leads that will never go anywhere. If your sales reps can learn to identify red flags during their initial qualifying calls or visits, they'll improve their sales records simply by being more efficient with their time.

You can help your sales reps to identify red flags and follow up with helpful responses. For example, if someone says they usually buy from one of your competitors but would like to see some information about your products or services, say, "Why would you switch vendors?" Such a question can help your sales reps to determine whether or not a prospect is worth their time.

Avoid Getting Brushed Off

It's very common for sales people to get brushed off during an initial contact. People are busy and often don't know how to say they're not really interested. 

Train your sales reps what to do when they sense they're getting brushed off. For example, when a prospect says something like, "Go ahead and send me a quote so I can take a look," a well-trained sales rep will reply with a response like the following:

"Before I send you that quote, I want to make sure you would be ready to move forward. Let me ask you..." and then the sales rep would beginning asking qualifying questions about budget, the company's budget making process, and other helpful information. Instead of walking away with an assignment to create a useless quote, your sales rep has moved forward through the sales process.

Stop Pitching When Enough is Enough

Teach sales reps to stop talking past the close. It's all too easy to deliver a great presentation and then just keep on pitching your products long past the time to stop. Teach your sales reps the following sales training techniques that will help them to stop pitching when enough is enough:

  • Record them so they can catch themselves doing it.
  • Advise them to use a script until they've learned to stop at the right time.
  • Ask for the deal five times.
  • Welcome the no's; they get you closer to the yeses.
  • Be quiet and listen.

Use Umbrella Questions

It's helpful to have sales training techniques at your disposal for times when you have a few extra minutes and would like to do something productive. This technique is perfect for such times.

Umbrella questions are general questions that get a prospect talking, and they can be used in every sales call. Challenge your sales reps to use at least five umbrella questions at each call. Here are a couple:

  • Why? Tell me more.
  • Can you share with me another example?

Brainstorming umbrella questions can be one of the most valuable of the sales training techniques.

Create a Prospecting Timeline

Most sales reps have little idea how long it takes to turn a prospect into a profitable customer. Help your sales reps to create a prospecting timeline so they have a benchmark. This will help them to streamline future timelines and plan their time better.

These sales training techniques can be used in meetings, conferences, and coaching sessions. With new sales training techniques at their disposal, they'll enjoy increased sales success.

Sales Management Worksheet

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

Words You Should Never Use in a Sales Email

  
  
  

words you should never use in a sales emailSales email can be a great, efficient tool. You can send email messages when it's convenient for you, and your recipients can read your messages when it's convenient for them. You can take your time composing your messages, and your recipients can stew over what you had to say without feeling like they have to respond immediately like they'd have to in a face-to-face or phone conversation. 

Clearly, email works well in sales, but it works much better for sales reps who learn to be truly proficient at writing sales email than for sales reps who just dash off a quick note and hit send.

You can improve your sales email by avoiding the following five words:

World-Class

What exactly does "world-class" mean? We're not sure either. It probably has something to do with holding a world record, but that doesn't usually apply to sales.

The problem with using a phrase like "world-class" is that it sounds too good to be true. The last thing you want to do is to sound like you're trying hard to make your products and services sound acceptable to customers. Let your products and services speak for themselves. Cut the exaggeration and use hard-and-fast specifics.

There are other words in the same category as "world-class" you should avoid in your sales email:

  • Cutting-edge
  • State-of-the-art
  • Breakthrough
  • Groundbreaking
  • Market-leading

Value-Added

This is a buzzword that has been increasingly seen in sales email and online, but it's just a filler word and doesn't add to your sales pitch. In fact, if anything, it adds ambiguity to your sales email when you want to be offering depth, specifics, and credibility.

Instead of telling your prospects that your services and products add value, just tell them specifically what you're offering. If you're offering temporary employment services, explain your services in a straightforward way. This will give them the information they need in order to make a decision. Straightforward information will also help them to think of good questions about how your products and services would fit into their plans, and these questions are the beginning of a fruitful conversation.

Partner

Generally speaking, partners are different from businesses a company hires to provide products or services. The word "partner" implies both equality and a joint goal. While your products and services might be able to help a company achieve their goal, you do not inherently have the same goal. Your goal is to sell your products and services, and your customers have different goals that pertain to their own goals.

Therefore, when you use the word "partner" in a sales email, you come off as false, and that's the last thing you want to do. Instead of using the word "partner," consider emphasizing how you can help your customers reach their own goals.

Passion

In sales, you're always trying to differentiate yourself from your competitors, but don't differentiate yourself by saying you're more passionate than the other guy. Yes, it's good to love what you do, and showing a little enthusiasm for the products you're offering is appropriate, but business decisions ought to be made by logic, not by passion or emotion.

How would you feel if you were interviewing orthopedic surgeons for your knee operation, and one of the surgeons just gushed about how passionate he is about knee surgery? You might feel a little nervous about this guy and want to entrust your leg to someone who comes across as a little more analytical. It's the same for your customers.

Full-Service

A good sales email is short but full of essential information. To keep your sales email on the short side, avoid using words like "full-service."

Instead, explain what full-service means, beginning with the signing of the contract and ending with delivery or maintenance. Embellishing does nothing but breed skepticism.

By avoiding these words, your sales email will improve, you'll enjoy a more positive response from your prospects.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.

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