Part two of the Sales Success Formula transcript explaining the last four steps. Use these powerful business to business sales strategies to increase sales performance.
Welcome back. I am delighted that you have decided to complete your study of the Sales Success Formula.
Whether you are an individual looking for ways to get better results, or a manager seeking ways to increase the performance of a sales team, the formula provides a proven and reliable platform for developing a best in class sales capability.
Taking the decision to apply the formula to your sales process is a definite step towards greater success and higher levels of sales performance.
Here is a quick recap:
In part 1, I explained how to develop more effective responses to the top six customer questions; why you should quantify the business value of what you sell; how to build compelling proof that diminishes the need for selling skills; and how to find more prospects who need what you offer.
In this part of the presentation, I’ll explain how to avoid wasting time and effort on prospecting activities; how to get a proper hearing more often; how to have more prospects engage; how to deal with the most difficult hurdles in the sales process; why you should use a sales process framework; and how to leverage the three secrets of effective training.
Following on from the analogy about selling bread to hungry people and the story about three apprentice archers . . .
Repeatable and Proven Approach Method
Once you have done the work to characterise your bread and found some hungry people, you need a way to get their attention. If you were really selling bread, making sure that the smell of freshly baked bread wafted down the street, might be enough.
These days there are probably a lot of other people selling your kind of bread. Your prospects are assailed by enticements and calls from bread sellers. You need a way to stand out. You need a way to keep putting your messages in front of likely buyers without them seeming stale.
If you have completely identified your proof, it should be easy to create a series of messages, some for voicemail, some for email, some to be transmitted by fax, and some to be sent as letters.
If you invest sufficient forethought, planning, and preparation you can create a dozen or more fresh messages. With this treasure chest of interesting tidbits and compelling justifications, it becomes easy to mount a sales campaign over a period of months.
Sooner or later, the hungry prospects you have selected are bound to succumb to your persistence.
Reliable Objection Responses
Objections become mere steps when subjected to forethought, planning, and preparation. All of the obstacles thrown up during the sales process can be dealt with this way. As Voltaire put it, “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”.
When a prospect’s appointed evaluator refuses access to the decision makers by saying, “It’s against our policy” or any other justification, you need to come up with a 'turnaround' that keeps this person on side. She may be influential in her own right and could block you from further participation. Equally, you must find a way to speak with the other key people involved in the decision or else proceed without having any idea of what they think.
What would you say?
Here is a thought out solution:
“Policy is important. In our organisation, it usually helps us get a better result. That’s why we ask to discuss the issues with stakeholders directly. We have found that it leads to a better solution – one that exactly meets the needs of everyone; could we work together to make this happen?”
To use this ‘turn around’ solution you will need to put it in your own words; give it your own voice, and practice it to make it sound natural. Then use it when the occasion arises - or use the principal to develop your own ‘turnaround’ solutions. The important thing is to agree with the objector and then use the reason for the objection as the reason for doing as you propose.
Some of the best ‘turnaround’ solutions may still fail, yet many will succeed, many more than the solutions that remain untried.
Reasons for having a Sales Process Framework
Your sales process may be quite different and not fit the representation in the video at all. In addition, it is likely to include much more detail, even if you have never defined its execution.
Having a sales process framework has many benefits. The most significant is in how it aids anticipation of customer thinking and facilitates planning and preparation.
Without a plan, actions are random and may be ineffective.
With a plan, action are focused and results can be measured.
Having a sales process helps increase collaboration between buyer and seller and shortens the sales cycle. It helps sales people increase their control over the sales process and recognise opportunities to move a sale forward.
A sales process is a framework rather than a constraint. Defining it and examining each step allows obstacles to be subjected to sustained thought instead of randomly clubbed through the uncoordinated efforts of individual salespeople.
Efficient and Effective Training
All the planning, forethought, and preparation is a waste of time if those who must put it into action are not given the opportunity to study the plan and learn their part in it.
Successful training depends on the commitment and participation of 3 parties, the participants, the coach or trainer, and the managers. All three must be fully invested.
Having good material and an inspiring trainer is not enough.
Participants must begin by understanding what they are required to do differently as a result of the training. They must be committed to the agreed outcome.
Managers must take the time to become familiar with training content as well as the objectives so that they can support downstream change.
Throughout this narrative I have set about passing on as much of the good stuff as I could fit within the time available.
This training session and the Sales Success Formula is yours to use. Please pass it on to your colleagues, team members, suppliers, business partners, and friends.
If you would like to proactively use the formula but don’t have the resources to do the necessary work, please keep reading.
Using the Sales Success Formula is a challenge. If it were easy, world class sales teams would be the norm.
It requires a great deal of effort and time to gather the evidence and develop the necessary materials. Sales people need to adapt and practise using the messages before they will feel confident delivering them in front of a prospect.
Most businesses and their sales people are too busy with day to day pressing priorities to find time for the work.
There are few shortcuts.
Sales managers could hire talented individuals who have some of the right skills, habits and behaviours.
Occasionally, a superstar who has it all becomes available, however, even if you can afford the necessary benefits package, hiring a top performer won’t help transfer best practice knowledge and behaviour to the other 70% to 80% of a sales team who could do with some expert help.
Yet the spoils of best in class performance are there for the taking.
Instead of struggling to create a Sales Oracle yourself while coping with all of your other duties, you could have us provide you with the necessary temporary resources.
Develop convincing answers to the top six customer questions on your behalf
Gather the proof that your stuff does what you claim
Characterise and even identify the right prospects
Write six months worth of compelling prospecting messages
Craft effective turnaround solutions
Define your sales process framework
Train your salespeople to use the material and messages effectively
We would compile it all into a unique sales oracle that staff can use to support presentations, overcome sales obstacles, and increase sales performance.
With this document as a foundation, new sales people can be equipped with a jet ski instead of being tossed in the deep end. Your sales oracle would be worth more to new sales people than their car allowance.
You would have a comprehensive set of standards to test and measure against. Everyone needs to exercise and practice to maintain peak performance.
Once a full set of effective messages have been assembled, individual messages can benefit from continual development and improvement.
Sales people with normal talents will have a set of benchmarks that will help them develop best in class skills and acquire the habits and practices of top performers.
We have templates and examples for all the elements of the Sales Success Formula and have built sales oracles before, for individuals and teams so we can do it for others much more efficiently than they could do it for themselves.
If you lack the time or resources to make use of the Sales Success Formula or if you are looking for business to business sales strategies that increase sales performance, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to learn about your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.