Intelligence

Monday, June 24, 2013

In the same way sales intelligence tools develop predictive analytics to targeted leads, sales reps need to constantly improve their intelligence on a daily basis. Top sales producers are always hunting down methods that can increase their sales performance. They work hard in addition to working smarter than others. Increased intelligence is conducive to improved awareness and perception. They can readily recognize signs like reading body language and mannerisms of their prospects. They don’t proceed blindly, but keep their eyes open and notice the most subtle changes when things deviate off plan. Intelligence is what gives some species significant advantage over others. Intelligence is what gives countries a valuable advantage over others in times of battle. Intelligence is a determinant factor when evaluating sales performance. The ability to get better at manipulating information decreases the likelihood of repeating mistakes. Mistakes should be opportunities to gather information and learn for future reference or recognition when the same patterns occur.

How does intelligence factor in your game plan?

Mental Strength

Monday, April 29, 2013

The most widely accepted way to measure sales performance is usually the monthly quota revenue target, however that doesn’t tell the whole story neither does the sales funnel. In addition to monthly targets, there should be activity targets especially in regards to prospecting. When sales reps struggle to hit their numbers, they lose their confidence allowing anxiety and negative vibes to permeate their bodies taking away their potency. The disappointment of not hitting their monthly quota increases their desperation as they try and struggle to close business by any means necessary whereby neglecting their prospecting duties thinking that it’s too far away in the future to help their situation. Sales reps need to be disciplined and increase their mental fortitude to weather the storm. It presents an opportunity for sales management to help the reps get back on track by reassuring them to continue with their prospecting. Prospecting activities should be part of sales performance analysis in addition to enhanced sales funnel management to discourage reps from padding their pipelines with unqualified prospects just to seem busy.

What do you need the mental strength to overcome most?

Applying pressure

Monday, March 25, 2013

Increased powers of mental fortitude and application encourage sales reps to do what they must to execute on a daily basis. Sales reps have to take action continuously towards their desired objectives. Reps hurt themselves when they only show urgency towards the last week of the month when they should have been consistently building towards it. Some reps attempt to put undue pressure on their prospects in an attempt to hit their monthly numbers and the prospects are all too aware of this. Perhaps because so many sales reps do it without even knowing it. Some rush through the whole selling cycle and ruin the work they have done up to that point when more planning and foresight would have made all the difference. Reps have to ally their selling cycle to the prospect’s buying process. They mustn’t lose sight of the big picture and forget they are supposed to service the client and not the other way around.

Do you pressure your prospects to buy at the end of the month constantly?

Improv

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sales reps should use their scripts as a guideline or a foundation which they need to make their own. They should add their own personality, character and substance to the company’s requirements. There can be no absolute scripts in a sales world otherwise you can just hire robots to do the selling. Reps should use their own unique background and life experience to tell their story and seek to connect with the prospect. Decision makers like to work with real people with their own different perspective, not organizational clones just delivering scripted presentations. Reps should take the initiative to think differently and plan to do something completely different in their presentations that involves on-the-spot thinking. The power of improvisation draws people to you like a magnet, it energizes them and entertains them fueling them with positive energy vibes making them more conducive to your message. Improvisation will also set you apart from other reps in your industry.

Take some steps to add some improvisation to your next appointments.

The practice of practice

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sales reps should practice, then practice some more. The value of practicing the correct principles programs their brains for peak performance. We all know that some sales reps are masters of practicing the wrong principles of complaining and finding excuses. Unfortunately they have found a way to imprint that thinking process in their minds so it just stays there and exacerbates the original issues. Before long all their minds focuses on is the complaints and the issues and challenges that they face rather than putting their minds on developing solutions. Whenever sales reps catch themselves focusing on challenges, they should be proactive and act quickly. They should find a productive partner to practice with and just focus on something positive they can add to their arsenal. They should identify the weak area that affects their performance the most and increase their confidence through effective practice. There’s a reason that practice makes perfect, in a sales rep’s case, practice just needs to bring results not perfection.

Find a good partner to practice with and also seek the services of an experienced mentor.

Execution

Monday, December 3, 2012

The role of execution cannot be overstated in the sales process. At the end of the day, sales reps have to ask themselves the tough questions. Did they maximize the use of their time most effectively or did they waste time doing things they know have absolutely no consequence to their ultimate success. Reps need to look themselves in the mirror and be totally accountable to what they did. It’s no longer time to point fingers at the competition or the economy or tools they don’t possess, just mental fortitude to execute what needs to be done. It’s incredible how sometimes just taking the initiative to show up for the sale is all you need. It’s the whole idea behind the Nike ‘just do it’ slogan. In some selling situations, it’s not necessarily which sales reps presented the best ideas or strategies, it’s simply which reps actually did what they said they were going to do from a client perspective.

How can you execute better today?

Improvisation

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sales reps should get specific training on improving their improvisation skills. When the unexpected happens as it usually will in an unpredictable universe, then it becomes an opportunity for composure and time to spark the creativity juices as opposed to the usual panic mode situation. Panic invites fear and anxiety to worsen the situation. Whatever it is that occurred has already happened, getting all worked up about it is not going to improve matters. Reps can be prepared mentally to improvise through practice, experience and commitment to excellence. Sales reps no matter their level of expertise and seniority should be life-long learners. Every day, every new appointment presents a wonderful opportunity to expand their knowledge base and learn to adapt to any situation. Sometimes a crucial member of the team, perhaps a technical engineer can’t make the meeting so instead of hitting the panic button, quickly determine which other technical expert can conference in before crying over spilled milk.

Which would you prefer, everything to go perfectly or some mishap that gets the blood going?

Practice to improve

Monday, October 15, 2012

It is a fair statement to say many sales reps hate the idea of role-playing. Reps are not looking at it from the standpoint of important training that can improve their sales effectiveness, they approach it more from a negative angle of being shown up amongst their fellow colleagues. Part of any effective sales training should incorporate some role-playing to a certain degree. However reps need to be tuned in, just like an athlete practices at full speed so his mind can be conditioned to the real game time, the same applies with selling. Sometimes the role-playing tension and anxiety can be worse than any client meeting. Role playing is just part of a sales rep conditioning program. Reps sometimes get in the mode of questioning things that are actually designed to improve their performance, but conveying it to them from a different angle allows them to see that it’s really the best course of action.

Do you practice with your peers for continuous improvement?

Execute

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sales reps need to understand what their best skill sets are and work hard to maximize its effectiveness. They should also work on improving their weaknesses of course, but they shouldn’t dwell on them. Some let their shortcomings invade their mind and cripple them from taking action. They should focus their energy on what they know they are good at and what they do well. Once confident, they can work on executing their strategies. Total confidence in their own abilities is critical, it’s tough to inspire confidence in your prospects to take action if they don’t seem it themselves. Reps need to find their comfort zone where their minds can function most effectively. Reps need to understand the importance of simply executing then evaluating, then factor the experience gained and then execute again. Many reps are master procrastinators and bombard themselves with a list of action steps which they never get to because they are not enthused about doing them, however they could gain momentum executing the strategies that ally with their skills and strengths.

What have you tried to do, but don’t enjoy, how can you make it more enjoyable?

Improvise

Monday, September 17, 2012

The most effective sales reps are not robots just following a company manifesto. They understand the importance of planning well and executing strategies, however they don’t just proceed blindly if things don’t go according to plan, they learn to improvise and make the most of the situation. The ability to improvise takes foresight and creativity, so the reps must have their minds fully engaged in the task at hand. Some sales reps focus so much on their presentation that they fail to read the situation. If the client has experienced some kind of issue beforehand that they are not in the best emotional state of mind to be receptive, most sales reps simply plough ahead. They feel like they have done all the work and preparation and they must just deliver it on that day no matter what, without taking time to evaluate and make sure it’s still good timing for the decision makers. Reps can improvise by seeing the big picture and re-scheduling a new appointment or switch a delivery medium that might accommodate the client better.

How can you enhance creativity to improvise?