There is so much power in proper planning and strategic thinking. Too often I speak with sales people who do not have a plan, and many times it’s because the company they represent do not have a plan themselves. When we try and simplify a complex process like selling, we set ourselves up for failure.
So what will it take to be a successful sales person? If I could sum that up in a single word, I would be a genius. But I do have 10 tools that I believe are necessary to make any sales person successful. Take a look below and see how each of these fits into your business. They can be customized to fit your needs, but each should be used.
- A Documented Sales Process
- Some companies work within a sales process that is so outdated it’s better not using it at all. Other companies never had a process to begin with. A successful sales process must articulate your vision, your internal sales process, and must be understood and diligently followed by every member of your sales team.
- Ideal Client Identification
- By identifying ideal clients and target markets, you can develop customized sales strategies for each. This will help you to spend your time, effort, and energy on prospects with which you have the best opportunity to close.
- Unique Value Proposition
- You must (yes, MUST) have a clearly defined unique value proposition which communicates to each of your prospects and clients who you are, what you do, and how you help to financially improve companies like theirs, supported by credible statements.
- Elevator Pitch
- An elevator pitch is a simple but effective way to communicate to a stranger who you are and what you do. The key is not to feature dump for 30 seconds. This is why it can be helpful to have multiple elevator pitches and you use them based upon the audience you are speaking to. Keep it simple and relevant.
- Objection Deflection Skills
- Sales is a profession of rejection. How you handle that rejection will determine how you succeed. You need to know why they said no and how you can give an appropriate response which will continue that conversation.
- Competitive Information
- How can you create a winning plan without knowing who you are playing? Knowing as much as you can about every competitor, bot pros and cons, will help you to develop a plan which completely eliminates your competition from the marketplace.
- Needs Analysis Questions
- Every client is making sacrifices or experiencing pain. By asking the right questions, you can begin to understand their pain, the root of that pain, and how you can provide a solution to make the pain go away.
- A CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- A CRM is a necessity in effectively managing your prospect pipeline and existing client engagement. You must be willing to invest in the system, train each employee on it, and insure it is used daily. I personally recommend Zoho or Salesforce.
- Pre-planning for Meetings
- In order to provide the best experience for our prospects and clients (us too), we must create a plan ahead of time for each of our meetings. This includes establishing goals, a clear next step, and assignment of roles during the meeting. I would also suggest you send your prospects and clients some sort of agenda ahead of time if the meeting involves multiple layers or an in-depth presentation.
- Steps to the Close
- From the onset of the sales process, you should map out a clearly defined set of steps necessary to close the sale. Too often, deals get stuck somewhere in the middle and it is us that kills our own deals. Don’t let a single deal get away.
If you are missing any one or all of these steps (or at least the documentation of each), let’s talk. I would be more than happy to provide a plan and include the necessary steps to get each of your sales people succeeding.
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