Top 6 Tests to Determine if Your Sales Process Supports Sales Competencies

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 06, 2009 @ 18:04 PM

I was at the Deli counter yesterday and I couldn't help but notice a few things.

There was the veteran Deli guy - short fast strokes on the machine and quick results to go with them.

There was the stoic lady - she didn't really use her arms as much as she just rocked her entire body back and forth to slice the meat. It took her longer, she repeatedly put her meats on the scale and continued to be under weight and she had the most waste. However, it seemed like very moving experience for her.

There was the new girl - she fumbled everything she touched and it was clear she hadn't developed her own way yet.  She was able to wrap and unwrap, place the meat in the slicer with direction, but her slicing was inconsistent.

And there was the older lady - she was all arms and had to stop periodically to rest them. Despite her experience, her long arm strokes were not efficient, she took a long time but she got the best physical workout.

So, of course, here's the question that relates to the sales force.

Do your salespeople sound like these folks working the deli counter? Three of the four had some kind of process, but are the processes effective?

  • Do they consistently get the desired results? (desired weight to the customer in as little time as possible)
  • Are they efficient? (delays from selecting the wrong meat for slicing?)
  • Are they all doing it the same way? (transferrable and repeatable?)
  • Do they know where they are in the process? (how close to the desired weight are they?)
  • Does the process allow them to upsell? (premium cut for just 20 cents more?)
  • Are they able to cross-sell? (would you like cheese with your turkey?)

You get the picture. If an efficiency expert was there when I was there he would have been horrified in much the same way I am when I uncover how ineffectively a sales force is using a process for selling.

It should come as no surprise that I use the Baseline Selling process with my clients and combine it with their steps, to-do's and milestones.   This integrated process is then used in the sales cycle, Workstyle Management or CRM, in the staged, Visual Pipeline, and as a timeline and as an opportunity confidence rater.  An effective, formal, structured sales process is designed to achieve consistent, predictable results while providing salespeople with feedback relative to where they are in the process and what they must do next to succeed.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales training, Salesforce, Sales Force, sales cycle, Selling System

Three Ways I Can Help You Feel Better about the Economy

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 @ 10:01 AM

  1. Start with this.  Thanks to my friend and best-selling author Dan Millman, of Peaceful Warrior fame, for turning me on to this light-hearted take on last year.
  2. Then read this week's Baseline Selling Tips article on how your salespeople can have more success making appointments by phone.  You'll get to hear me too.  While you're there, you may even want to subscribe if you don't already get these selling tips...
  3. Register for this Business Experts Webinar where I will discuss how your salespeople can Close More Sales by Shortening Your Sell Cycle.

Feel better?  I sure do!

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, booking appointments, selling tips, Closing Sales, sales tips, sales cycle, business experts webinars, uncle jay, economy is good

Sales Force Motivation - Learn From the Red Sox Miraculous Comeback

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Oct 17, 2008 @ 17:10 PM

By now most of you probably know that the Boston Red Sox pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Post Season Baseball history, coming back from a 7-0 deficit in the 7th inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7.  But as exciting as that was, the story is about the fans.

If you observed the Tampa Bay fans during game 1 in St. Petersburg and game five in Boston, you would have observed some very tense, anxious people.  Yet if you paid any mind to the Red Sox fans in the three games they lost and prior to their comeback in game 5, they didn't seem very upset at all.

Those worried, upset Tampa Bay fans looked just like the Red Sox fans did in 2003 and 2004, when the Red Sox hadn't won a world series in 86 years.  But now that they have won two world series in the past four years, the fans were calm, they've been there.

When salespeople have plenty of opportunities and have experienced plenty of difficult sales cycles, it's not such a big deal when an important opportunity dies.  But if it's a salesperson that has very few quality opportunities or one who hasn't experienced very many deals that went sour, they react - badly - by getting quite emotional, discouraged, and upset.

The cure? Have your salespeople stuff the pipeline.  Prospect like hell. Work those opportunities.  The weak opportunities may die away but there will always be good ones on which to focus.  And don't discount the possibility that even the deadest of opportunities could miraculously come back from the dead.  Especially in big companies where the decision makers leave for greener pastures and get replaced with executives who do want to do business with you!

This can be a discouraging time.  It's important to keep your salespeople motivated and the best way to do that is to keep them busy.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales, selling, discouragement, Pipeline, sales cycle, frustration, winning sales, losing sales

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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