Sales Coaching, Sales Productivity, Sales Techniques

The difference between missing and crushing your quota

Over my years in sales, I can attribute my success to my diligence and level of activity. I knew I was always outperforming our competitors because my level of activity and contact points were 5 times higher than everyone else’s.

People are busy and as a sales professional, you are very rarely at the top of anyone’s list. So to be really successful you need to engineer a position where you keep connected to your prospect so that you stay at the front of their mind.  This applies when you are hunting an inbound or outbound lead, or connecting with an existing account or opportunity.

The problem

I have seen this in all countries I have worked in and across multiple sales and account management teams. It goes something like this…

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Sales Productivity, Sales Techniques

5 ways you can get your signed contract back quicker, and speed up your sales cycle

Over the last 10 years, we have seen great advancement in sales tech, especially around sales efficiency. One of the crowning glories of this, in the SaaS world, is EchoSign which has made it possible to get a Contract, SOW or NDA signed electronically very quickly. An amazing tool that I personally love using.

As the way of the world, we too often end up relying on technology as the crutch. I still see no increase in the time it takes sales teams to get the signed contract back from a client after first engaging them. It is only when the contract is actually ready to be signed by both parties that a tool like EchoSign speeds things up and saves the time of printing, scanning, and more.

As a sales professional, you still need to reverse engineer the process, thinking through all the steps your contact will go through. Here are some simple steps to speed up this part of the sales cycle to get your contract back quicker.

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Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Productivity, Sales Training

Why your sales training needs to be like your exercise routine

A classic mistake with sales training is to do it every so often like once a month or quarter. You’re too busy trying to hit your  numbers and firefighting that training often gets pushed down the list of priorities until we have an urgent issue.  Most sales training, when conducted this way, is often in the format of a whole day or half day of internal training, consultants or an external trainer. Problem is, training will not have an impact in isolation. Done this way it’s such a small part of your team’s work week, month or year.

Think about training like you would exercise

If you don’t work out regularly you get unfit, fat and out of shape. The same goes for sales training.  You can’t just go do a 10k run or play a match without doing anything for weeks. Sales training needs to be like a successful exercise routine: have a good frequency, be varied and be the right length based on your goals.

To get fit you create a plan to do it.  To train your team  for peak performance, you need to do the same. Here are some simple tips you can use to introduce your new approach to sales training.

Create a training plan.  Start somewhere and commit to it

You cannot wing it each week or it will not happen. Your plan should include scheduled group training as well as individual self-paced training. Create a plan so everyone knows where they stand for the week and the month.  This way your team won’t book calls and other meetings in the slots you create for group training.  You need to nail them down to the time and everyone needs to know it’s Monday at 10 am or Friday at 3 pm, that’s when we do this…or both.  This may sound simple but just having it added to everyone’s calendars will make a huge difference.

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Sales Productivity

How to make procurement your best friend in the sales process

You spend a huge amount of time building a strong relationship with key sales contacts in the enterprise sales process. Then when it comes down to crunch time and a buying decision you have to then also start dealing procurement as well.

Over the years,  I have been on the end of huge wins and just as big losses. What has always been vital is the strength of the relationship and the trust that you build with procurement. Most people ignore this opportunity and just follow a process. Here are some simple ways to help make procurement your best friend in the sales process.

Understand their main objectives and how they measure success

Remember they have a manager and are part of a team just like you.  They have objectives and a targets to achieve as well. You do not need to stop selling just because you are dealing with procurement.  Ask them what their main objectives are. You need to very quickly find out what they are most focused on and how they will be measuring their success. Is it finding a vendor with the best service? Lowest price? Biggest return on investment?  When you know this you can really work on  showing them the value in that area first.

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Sales Management, Sales Productivity, Sales Techniques

5 ways to give your sales prospect a kickass trial of your product

So many software companies happily demo me their product but never offer me access to it so I can use it myself.  I find the biggest concern sales leaders have about offering a free product trial is the assumption it would devalue the high price that was trying to be charged. I don’t understand that way of thinking and believe if you’re obsessed about the price you can charge you’re not thinking about how best to help your customer with their decision to buy. My obsession is to always do everything I can to show my prospects the value of our product and service and I’m always excited to let them get their hands on our product.

Here are 5 things you should consider doing when implementing a free trial of your product.

Set a time period for the trial

Once you’ve understood the timeframe your prospect is working towards for a decision, then I’d suggest offering the free trial in line with it. So if they’re looking to have sign off in 6 weeks then say “I’m going to give you access to your trial site for the next 6 weeks to support you and your team in your decision and it will expire on the 30th April” This is much better than offering ’30 day access’ as a blanket offer for everyone, the trial period needs to benefit your customer and their buying process. Setting the trial period to end on the ‘decision date’ is a nice way of keeping you and your sales prospect focused on it.

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Sales Productivity

How you’re wasting valuable sales leads

50% of sales go to the company that just happened to get there first. It’s hard to ignore this statistic.  There are some very simple things you can do to make sure you are the first person to make contact with a new sales lead.

Call your sales lead within 5 minutes of receiving the web enquiry

Studies show that if you call your sales lead within 5 mins of enquiry, your chances of making contact are 100 times higher than if you wait for 30 mins, so call straight away. Salesman myth. Countless times I’ve heard. I’ll wait a bit of time, they’ll think I’m stalking them or something”. This is not true, your sales lead has requested information, they are waiting to hear from you, make the most of the opportunity whilst your organization is still fresh in their mind. Just pick up the phone.

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Sales Productivity, Sales Techniques

The most underused question in sales

How many of your sales prospects are you waiting to hear back from right now? How many are stuck in your sales pipeline and you’re not sure what’s happening to the deal?

I have seen hundreds of sales pitches over the years. As the sales person is doing their best to remember every question from the needs analysis training or detail every feature of their product, they all miss this simple question

“What’s the best way to contact you?”

Right now I have 20 unanswered voicemails on my phone, the chances of me listening to them are slim.  I’m in and out of meetings all day, so the best way to reach me is by text message, I’ll respond quickly.

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Sales Productivity

Working in sales? 5 ways to make the most of your downtime

Downtime we’ve all got it. That half hour between meetings, that 3-hour train journey, that time you’re delayed at an airport. Over the years, I learnt to maximise that downtime to my advantage so I was always learning or growing my sales number. Here are my 5 useful tips that will help.

On your way to the office 

It’s easy to zone out on your way to and from work, your Facebook account can be distracting. Even if you just use 50% of your commute time to learn, it will make a difference.

My top tips are…

  • Find a podcast you enjoy, there are many great ones out there. One of my favourites is The Growth Show by Hubspot.
  • Audio books are great on the go. A great audio book is To Sell is Human by Dan Pink. It takes a fresh look at the arts and science of selling.
  • YouTube, there are some amazing videos for sales if you look. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a master salesman with some great insight on all things social.

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