16. February 2011 23:01
Are my salespeople the best they can be? Are they doing all they can do? These are questions I often hear from CEO’s and Executives in the business world. When I ask them what they’re doing now, they refer to their revenue. Beautiful, but how do you know that they are long term, A-players? Are they executing the correct behaviors to grow your business in the long term, or are they just collecting “low hanging fruit” for today?
Complete this simple exercise and calculate how much profit improvement potential exists within your sales force. Ask yourself these four questions:
- a) On average, how many new prospect contacts does my average seller make a month? b) How many would the ideal, “A-Player” sales person make?
- a) On average, what is the closing ratio (%) of my average seller? b) What would it be for an “A-Player?”
- a) On average, what’s the dollar value of an average sale for my average seller? b) What would it be for an “A-Player?”
- a) What is the total number of people in your sales force? b) How many “A-Players” do you have now in your sales force?
Now complete the following simple math to examine existing sales force:
- Subtract (4a)-(4b). This represents your “talent-gap.”
- Multiply (1a) x (2a) x (3a). This represents the “old-you.”
- Multiply (1b) x (2b) x (3b) x (4b) x (12 months). This is how much incremental revenue you could book in 2005, simply by raising your expectations. Staggering isn’t it?
So how do you get these results? Raising your performance expectations demands improvement from your sales team in three areas, and from you in one:
For your team:
Your sellers must be more effective at prospecting. That means creating a prospecting plan and holding them to it. That means ‘calling high’ in your prospect’s organizations. That means creating and delivering a compelling message about the problems you can solve for your prospects. That means planting their feet and getting appointments instead of just sending literature.
- Your sellers must also understand the process and skill of true networking. I don?t mean going through the motions of showing up at an event, with drink in hand, while only speaking to friends and colleagues that you already know. That means having a plan and a goal before you walk in and not leaving without it being completed.
- Your sellers must improve their closing ratios. That means learning how to listen to a prospect’s real problems. That means getting your prospects to discover your company is worth a premium. That means getting prospects to make and keep commitments. That means delivering powerful, moving presentations that hit your prospects’ real needs, every time. That also means your sellers stop wasting time with people who are not going to do business with them.
- Your sellers must raise the amount of money they ask for. That means calling on larger prospects. That means eliminating discounting. That means giving your price, at your terms, and having your customers delighted to give it to you.
The commitment that you, as CEO, must make is this: You must do whatever it takes to eliminate the status quo in your sales force. If you don’t have the best, develop those that aren’t, or replace them with those that are.
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