Turn Your Sales Managers into Zen Masters
Sometimes sales managers can get bogged down in the details of constantly teaching their sales teams new sales techniques.
Your sales managers probably have their reps working on effective initial approaches, practicing their elevator pitches, learning to close, and figuring out how to respond to every conceivable objection that a potential customer might come up with. And that's great! All those skills are vital to learn.
However, the sheer volume of skills to learn and improve can seem overwhelming to sales reps. Sometimes what's needed is for the sales manager to help everyone take a step back and remember what really matters. After all, while it’s true that all of those specific skills are important, you don’t have to be perfect to be successful at sales. In the end, sales is a numbers game. Even if you goof up sometimes, odds are that if you keep on knocking, keep on talking, and keep on believing in yourself, you’ll find success.
Besides all the specifics, here are a few basic reminders that can help your sales reps cope with the pressure of sales.
It’s OK to Make Mistakes
It’s a common human tendency to be afraid to do something because we know we might mess up. Unfortunately, in sales this tendency can really work against you.
Maybe you’re dragging your feet about closing that awesome prospect because you’re afraid you haven’t done a good enough job building the relationship. Or perhaps you want to just sit in the car and practice your pitch for another ten minutes to make sure you don’t mess up.
Practice is great, and preparation has its place. But it’s important to jump in with both feet. Chances of getting a sale if you practice in front of the mirror: zero. Chances of getting a sale if you practice in front of a prospect: better than zero. So why not practice in front of a prospect? Yes, you WILL make some mistakes; everyone does. But every mistake will teach you something and get you closer to perfection—and sales.
Look at all Stages of the Sale
Sales is a numbers game, so make your numbers work for you. If you are not making sales at the level that you want, work to analyze your personal numbers and figure out where your sales are breaking down. If your numbers in any area are unusually low, you know where to focus.
Are you contacting enough potential clients each week? Speaking to the right number of decision makers? Making a good number of sales presentations? Closing an appropriate percentage of prospects? Knowing where your weaknesses are can help you to focus on doing more of whatever you don’t have enough of, rather than just stressing about how many sales you don’t have.
Manage Your Time Properly
Time management is huge. It’s so easy to take an extra long lunch or make one more stop for a power drink at 7-11, and then wonder where all the time in your day has gone. You might find it useful to journal a day or a week in your sales life. Note down every activity you do, and how long it takes you. Pinpoint which parts of your day you're using effectively and where you might be able to improve.
One simple way to increase your sales productivity is to increase the amount of time you actually spend doing sales activities. Spend the time in the morning to plan your day for maximum efficiency. If you’re prone to starting late, ending early, taking too many breaks, or dawdling along the way, make a goal to have a week where you really effectively work every single hour you’re supposed to.
Determination Trumps Talent
A genius I.Q. or a celebrity personality are not requirements for succeeding in sales. Perseverance and determination are far more important than any special talent.
A rep who keeps plugging away and working hard while making mistakes and learning along the way has a much better chance at sales success than one who relies on raw talent and doesn’t put in the work.
The Odds Are Ever in Your Favor
Relax, take a deep breath, and let go of the need to do everything perfectly the first time. Try to remember that as long as you are focused on your goal and putting in the hours and activities that will lead to it, the odds ARE ever in your favor.
Keep doing what you know you should be doing, and you will eventually connect with the business owners and decision makers who want your product and will be receptive to what you have to tell them.
As Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Keep your enthusiasm, forge ahead, fill your time with statistically productive activities, and success will come to you.
Need more help with motivating your sales team? Contact Netpique sales outsourcing for a free consultation!