24/01/2019 - 15:02

Manage your own sales success

24/01/2019 - 15:02


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Opinion: Does your C-suite management really understand what’s needed to win at sales?

CEOs and sales executives often fail to appreciate the skills and attributes required by sales staff

Opinion: Does your C-suite management really understand what’s needed to win at sales?

A survey undertaken by a major management and human resource consulting firm asked 365 CEOs and sales management executives the following question: ‘What are the three key factors that separate high-performing sales professionals from moderate to low-performing sales professionals?’

Both CEOs and C-suite sales executives (all people who don’t sell, but rely on their salespeople to produce sales so that they can get paid), ranked ‘self discipline/motivation’ as the most important.

Next in line were ‘customer knowledge’, ‘innate talent/personality’, and ‘product knowledge’.

Further down the list were ‘experience’ and ‘teamwork skills’.

Totally bogus – these are qualities of corporate greed. Value, service, and help are the real three things that customers require to give their business and maintain their loyalty.

When survey companies ask questions of people, why don’t they ask the people actually doing the work?

I’m a writer, but I’m also a salesman. I make sales calls and sales every day.

If you’re interested in the most important factors of a high-performing salesperson, let me give you a realistic list of success characteristics.

Consistent, positive attitude and enthusiasm

This is the first rule of facing the customer, facing the obstacles, facing the competition, facing the economy, and facing yourself – especially the people who answer the phone.

Quadruple self-belief

Unwavering belief in your company, unwavering belief in your product, and unwavering belief in yourself are the first three rules. But fourth is the most critical of the self-beliefs. You must believe that the customer is better off having purchased from you.

Use of creativity

You’ll need creativity to present ideas in favour of the customer, and creativity to differentiate you from the competition.

Ability to give and prove value

To prove the value of your product or service, and your ability to give value beyond the sale to the prospect so you can earn the order, the reorder, and the loyalty.

Ability to promote and position

Personal use of the internet to blog, demonstrate credibility on the web, offer a weekly e-zine, utilise social media, and achieve Google top ranking, so your customers and prospects will perceive you as a value provider and a leader in your field.

Exciting, compelling presentation skills

Not just solid communication skills, but superior questioning skills, listening skills and a sense of humour. The innate ability to engage and capture the imagination (and the wallet) of customers and prospects.

Ability to connect face-to-face

Finding common ground in order to relax the conversation and use rapport to get to truth.

Ability to prove your value

Testimonials sell where salespeople can’t. The best salespeople use video testimonials on YouTube to support, affirm, and prove their claims. You don’t get testimonials, you earn them.  

Ability to create a buying atmosphere

This is done by engaging, and asking. Not presenting and telling.

Ability to build a relationship, not hunt or farm

I wonder if the executives talking about the factors of great salespeople are the same ones dividing their salespeople into ‘hunters’ and ‘farmers’. Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win. These are the same head-in-the-sand executives who can’t open their laptops, and forbid Facebook at work, individual websites, and blogs from their people.

A personal social media platform

One that promotes your social selling and builds your reputation. The minimums are 1,000 business Facebook likes, 501 LinkedIn connections, 500 Twitter followers, 25 YouTube videos, and a blog where you post weekly.

Unyielding personal values and ethics

Great people have great values and great ethics. Interesting that 365 CEO's and executives don't deem them in the top ten.

The personal desire to excel and be their best

This is a desired quality of every salesperson, but the best salespeople have mastered the other elements. They must be mastered in order for this quality to manifest itself.

There is no prize in sales for second place. It’s win or nothing. The masters know this, and strive for, fight for, that slight edge.

And as for the next poll taken, here’s a great idea – the easy way for CEOs and sales executives to learn the most important factors and qualities of great salespeople is for them to make some sales calls.



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