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Thought For The Day

Become Effective in the Consistent Execution of Selling

© The Gulas Group 2010

It is tough enough in good economic times for sales people to maximize their selling potential. It is a downright crap shot to maximize sales potential in a down economy. Let us start by reviewing some facts. The Objective Management Group has assessed over 450,000 sales people and 8,400 or more sales forces. A startling fact is that less than 15% of those assessed have a sales process. The CSO insights reported only 45% of companies  have a formal sales process, and of that group less than half actually monitor the process to make sure it is being followed.

So the first learned response to being consistently effective at selling is to have a sales process. Provided you do have a sales process make certain it is being followed.

The next learning point is to make sure you focus on doing the right things, for the right reason at the right time so your execution of that sales process is effective not efficient. An efficient sales processconcentrates on allowing sales people to present, demo, tell the company story, provide capabilities, give references, do proposals, give quotes and over use company resources. When your salespeople do what they are most comfortable with and most adept at, and they do it early in the sales cycle, they fail to develop any urgency for action and the result is an opportunity that doesn't gain traction, move, or close. To summarize an efficient sales process is all about traditional sales activity and not consistently executing the sales process.

If you want to create an effective sales process these are the ingredients

  • slow down to speed up
  • pose more questions than all others
  • raise better questions than all others
  • ask tougher questions than all others
  • employ active listening tactics
  • come from a servants heart
  • recognize problems they can solve
  • quickly establish bonding rapport and trust
  • use questions to ascertain your expertise and to differentiate yourself
  • remember breathing it helps you slow down some more
  • understand what focus on the process not the result means\
  • play the part of the curious child by asking even more questions

After contrasting efficient and effective selling you may be thinking," that is okay in theory, until I get asked about my price." Or maybe, "effective selling is okay until I get a call asking for my company to quote a deal." We are well aware of this kind of thinking which prevents implementation of an effective selling process. What happens is we all get caught up in a comfort zone that is difficult to remove. The majority of sales people and sales managers are comfortable being in the spotlight, quoting and presenting. They are not so comfortable asking tough questions and slowing down enough to fully qualify an opportunity. As the saying goes, if sales forces keep doing what they are doing they will get the same results (they fail to develop any urgency for action and the result is an opportunity that doesn't gain traction, move, or close.) The issue is the world is changing so fast that if you don't break out of your comfort zone and implement an effective selling process you will not get the same results, you will get left behind. To make this even more complex, consider a slowing economy where you have to fight for a bigger piece of a smaller pie. If you remain in your comfort zone there will be no pie to carve up. The best place to begin to break out of your comfort zone is by evaluating your sales force. You need to consider an instrument that will identify sales processes that are not working. An instrument that can outline systems, tools, strategies and tactics that can make your sales force effective. This sales force evaluation instrument needs to bring to light sales strengths, hidden sales weaknesses, unconscious negative sales believes and plot the sales potential of each of your sales force members. Remember to really become effective at the execution of an effective sales process start at ground zero which is conducting a competent, proven and tested sales force evaluation .

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