By John Chapin
The “how-to” behind building a highly-effective, competition-dominating, sales juggernaut is actually fairly simple. What isn’t simple is executing the steps and sticking to the plan. The dedication and resolve necessary to start and complete the process is where the majority of people fail. That said, those who are ready to skyrocket sales in their organizations can follow these steps to get it done:
Step 1: Offer super-intense sales training.
The most important tool a salesperson can have in his or her arsenal is great sales skills. Yet, while most organizations spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new producer, send them to product training, and load them up on technical skills, most balk at investing a fraction of that on the most important training: sales training. Poor sales skills is a key reason why most salespeople end up with mediocre or bad sales results.
Step 2: Require massive activity.
Step two is all about massive activity and tracking that activity. While the most important tool a salesperson can have is great sales skills, the most important attributes a salesperson can have are: hard-working, persistent, and an ability to persevere. This is all about making a ton of calls and staying after it no matter how badly they get beat up.
Step 3: Continuous practice and reinforcement of sales skills.
Salespeople have to constantly be reading the scripts, listening to sales lectures in the car, role-playing, and otherwise practicing, drilling, and rehearsing everything they’ve learned. Leaders should test salespeople by throwing objections and different situations at them along with going on some calls. It’s also important to work on sales skills in sales meetings—and resend salespeople to training. Each time they learn something they missed the first time and the ideas they do remember get further reinforced and improved. Every time they come back there is an instant bump in sales.
Step 4: Continue to improve and innovate.
Continue to look for ways to improve and get better. Look for better ways to compete, better answers to objections, better ways to communicate and build relationships, and in short, more effective and efficient ways to operate.
Step 5: Remove obstacles from the sales process.
Obstacles come in several forms. It can be support people not doing their jobs; inefficient systems; or processes, tedious, unnecessary, extra items that salespeople are being asked to do. Keep an eye out for anything that seems to be taking salespeople away from “new business” activities.
Step 6: Remove negativity and slackers from the environment.
The key to all of the above is to develop and follow a proven system that trains and reinforces sales skills and ensures salespeople are doing tons of the right activities the right way.
Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. He has more than 29 years of sales experience as a No. 1 sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: “Sales Encyclopedia.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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