I’ve trained tens of thousands of sales reps and sales managers internationally. Most teams achieve fair results, at best. Here are 3 simple, common-sense steps you can implement to kick-start your team’s sales NOW!
1) Run Effective Pipeline Reviews
The pipeline review is among the most powerful tools in a Manager’s arsenal to help reps close business.
Your salespeople must keep their pipeline report updated (this is non-negotiable) in whatever Pipeline Management System you’re using. If they won’t keep the data current, it’s useless. (At JG&A we have a simple system that works like a charm!)
Sales leaders must run an effective pipeline review.
An up-to-date and regularly reviewed pipeline report is crucial to a sales rep’s success.
When reviewing a rep’s pipeline, managers must be willing to ask hard questions and demand answers. This can be uncomfortable, especially if the manager doesn’t know the right questions to ask. I teach Sales Managers to, “Always have more questions than your salespeople have answers to.” This makes salespeople uncomfortable, but that’s good. If they’re uncomfortable admitting they don’t have the answers to their manager’s questions, the next time they’re on a sales call they’ll ask more, and better questions. Even if it’s only so that they can get their manager off their back, this is good news.
When your people ask better questions, and more of them, they become better salespeople and close more business!
“Since Jeff has trained us we’ve seen
upwards of a 20% growth in sales
…I love it”
Rick Jung/CEO – Clinicient
2) ALWAYS get a Best Next Action Step
Typical salesperson waste a lot of time chasing low-probability sales. We want them to focus on the opposite. How do you know if a prospect is high-probability? If they’ll agree to meet with you again, after already giving you some of their valuable time, they’re much higher-probability than a prospect who says, “Yes, give me a call next week and we’ll set something up.” Let’s be honest…if they were interested, they’d agree to another meeting.
The Best Next Action Step philosophy is simple:
NEVER leave a meeting or phone call without setting up the next meeting or phone call, with a specific date and time.
By always asking for a Best Next Action Step, reps can determine who’s interested and who’s not and they’ll shorten their sales cycle. Instead of chasing the prospect via phone and email for a week, or two, or three (or longer) you’ve already got a commitment to more of their time.
“If someone were to ask me 3 words
that would describe what Jeff does,
I would have to respond he Makes It Happen!
John Caracciolo/CEO & Founder
3) Use Conversational Selling
Most salespeople believe that success in sales comes from being a great presenter, and a strong closer. Not true. The best always have 3 characteristics. They’re:
The best question askers
The best listeners, and
The best storytellers.