Yesterday's article discussed the possibility for salespeople to develop weaknesses AFTER being assessed and during the period of comprehensive sales training, coaching and development. Today, we'll discuss some of the areas where you should see fairly early improvement, as well as the areas where you need to see it but may not.
The first problem that you must take care of is the elimination of Excuse Making so we should see Excuse Making as one of the first weaknesses to become a strength. That should be followed by issues like being Too Trusting of Prospects, Not Being Goal Oriented, Not Asking Enough Questions, Ineffective Listening, Assuming and Failure to Uncover Real Budgets.
Some of the issues that take longer to resolve are Consistently Following the Sales Process, overcoming Need for Approval and changing the way your salespeople buy things (Non Supportive Buy Cycle). Unfortunately, these three issues are perhaps the most important of all. So how do we handle the challenge of knowing that these three take longer, yet needing these three to resolve more quickly than normal?
The key is Sales Process. You must talk about Sales Process and, assuming it's been formally developed, structured, optimized and introduced, include it in every daily coaching and development call so that the backdrop for your conversations is "Where in the process are you?" In Baseline Selling, that would sound like "Which Base are you on?"
By making the Sales Process the backdrop for each conversation, it won't take as long to get your salespeople consistently following the process. The next challenge is for them to effectively execute each of the steps in the process. These conversations will expose the sales challenges that develop as a result of their Need for Approval and Non Supportive Buy Cycle. The more chances you have to demonstrate how those weaknesses sabotage their efforts and lead to undesirable results, the more attention those weaknesses will get from your salespeople and awareness and attention leads to overcoming those weaknesses.