Milestone Partners: Managing a Sales ForcePresentation Transcript
How to Build and Manage a Highly Successful Sales Force
For the past 16 years…
My take on the situation: “Selling is Easy… Getting sales people who can do well it is Not.”
The 9 elements of an effective sales force Talent Pipeline Aggressive Interviewing Process Competency Modeling Differentiated Products / Services Intensive Training Accurate Measurement Superb Sales Management Reward Success Lavishly Deal Decisively with Mediocrity
1. Sales Pipeline for Sales People One new high quality sales person Are you using EVERY possible tool at your disposal to find the absolute BEST talent?
2. Aggressive Interviewing Process Challenging Questions Question Script Multiple Interviews Multiple Interviewers Multiple Interviewees Team Interviews Role Plays Scenarios Tests Background Check Call last Employer Call ALL Referrals
3. Competency Modeling
Talk too much Talk about their company way too much Don’t know my business well enough Don’t understand my customers Don’t know their own products & services Don’t tell the truth Don’t deliver on their promises Only worried about their commission Can’t prove their value Don’t ask the right questions Don’t ask the tough questions Are not really there to help ME 93 % WASTE MY TIME!
Competency Model: Trusted Advisor Asks superb questions Listens attentively – takes notes – keeps track of key issues Understands their customer’s business Understand their customer’s customers Is an expert on their products & services Is customer focused – not “closing” focused Tells the 100% truth at ALL times Keeps the client fully informed Sets clear expectations with the customer Keeps their promises Can clearly demonstrate superior value Never wastes a client’s time
4. Differentiated Products / Services
It used to be… Good Fast Cheap
Things have changed… 2008 2010
Now you MUST deliver… The highest quality… At the lowest possible price… Immediately --- or sooner… All while giving consistently superior customer service for an outstanding “Total Buying and Owning Experience.”
5. Intensive Training Product training Sales skills training Advanced questioning Listening Body language Handling objections Sales process training Sales call planning Account planning Business acumen training
A few things you can’t train… Positive attitude Curiosity Passion for the business Passion for serving customers Honesty Integrity Compassion Likeability / EQ
6. Accurate Measurements Be careful what you measure Just because you can measure something… Just because something is hard to measure… Get it down to a few key measures that truly drive the business Position measures as a warning system for help not punishment Tie rewards directly to key success measures Revisit the measures oftento ensure they are the right ones
Remember: What gets measured and rewarded…
Create A Dashboard of Key Indicators Talent Level Service Level MPSMargin Per Sale
7. Superb Sales Management MUST be able to “Walk the Talk” Excellent coach, teacher and motivator Always pushing their team to grow and improve Lifelong learner Creative problem solver Highly organized Connoisseur of talent Rigorous but not ruthless
8. Reward Success Lavishly
But it is NOT all about money…
9. Deal Decisively with Mediocrity 20
From the most successful CEO I know… Big picture I believe small – medium size companies that sell a commodity need manufacturers reps. Wide shotgun distribution. Some, maybe no, direct end user sales and then only if it doesn’t conflict with distributor pricing levels. 100% Commission. They don’t sell --- they don’t eat. Any company regardless of size that sells customized or technical products needs direct sales people - trusted advisors – who can be trained and dedicate their time to the cause. Selective distribution. More of an end user sale. Comp is mostly competitive salary/benefits with opportunity to earn up to 50% of base salary as additional variable pay based on profitable selling performance. Don’t nickel and dime direct employee sales forces. EQUIP them. Blackberry, PC’s, great marketing communication literature, company car, CRM, tons of training… Nothing chases good people away as perception that sales people aren’t valued, listened to, or taken care of. Sales is the loneliest, quantifiable, visible job in the company. And arguably delivers biggest bang for the buck when you hire the right people. Hire people over the first ‘life curve’. Unless you have a lot of money, you need to bring in people in who have a bit more at stake – family/home/desire for career not just a job.
Our company has: Score of 1 - 10 A robust talent pipeline. An aggressive and well- developed interviewing process. A clear competency model of our “ideal” sales person. Highly differentiated and value-added products / services. An intensive training in all the necessary skills for sales success. Very accurate measure of what we know drives our success. Superb sales managers that absolutely set a living example of what we want our sales people to be and do. Developed numerous ways to reward our best people. The disciplines and courage to decisively with mediocrity. A highly successful sales force.
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