Friday, August 31, 2012

Boost Self-Confidence to Motivate a Sales Team

As a sales manager, it can be challenging to find ways to motivate a sales team. Although it can take time and a little more effort, your motivation techniques will pay-off because a motivated sales team is more likely to perform better and make more sales-which means everyone benefits. Not uncommonly, many salespeople tend to hit a plateau and settle for mediocrity, rather than pushing themselves to do better. This is where you, as a sales manager, need to take the initiative and make the effort to motivate your sales team and increase performance expectations.

Motivate a Sales Team to Increase Expectations

Increasing expectations helps both the company and the salesperson grow. The company benefits from the additional effort put forth and the salesperson benefits from the increased recognition and sales as well. Without the proper tools, however, it is difficult to meet these higher expectations. Here are some factors to consider if you want to motivate a sales team:

• Self-Confidence: Having self-confidence and high-self esteem will help your salespeople perform better. But how do you increase their self confidence? In many instances, one-on-one mentoring and coaching can be extremely effective. As a sales manager, you benefit when your salespeople achieve their goals, so it is in your best interest to take the time to help them improve their skills. Since many people that are new to the world of sales are insecure in their selling capabilities, developing mentoring and motivation strategies will help you overcome this roadblock and will have them, not to mention you, on the way to success in no time.

• Achievements: One of the best ways to motivate a sales team is to track and celebrate achievements. Most people want to be recognized for their efforts to help the company succeed. Something as simple as thanking them for their hard work-both publicly and privately-can be a great booster for self-confidence and will make your employees feel appreciated. And, when employees feel appreciated, they are more motivated and more likely to increase their productivity to achieve even greater success. Recognizing accomplishments does not have to be an expensive endeavor, although paying cash bonuses is often very effective since money is a great motivator as well. However, a simple recognition certificate or even taking them out to lunch will go a long way in boosting morale.

• Self-Knowledge: Self-knowledge is a significant factor that should be taken into consideration when attempting to motivate a sales team. Not everyone has the potential to be a great salesperson. Specific types of personalities-which can be assessed with a personality profile-are more apt to succeed in sales than others. Identify these employees and find out what truly motivates them. With some targeted coaching, a keen understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and a nurturing environment, effective salespeople can increase their self-knowledge. A person who is more self-aware will also have more confidence and be able to meet and exceed sales expectations.

Self-confidence is one of the key driving factors in the sales field. If a person is insecure or suffers from low self-esteem, he will have difficulty even breaking the ice with sales prospects, let alone closing the deal. Self-confidence allows your salespeople to exude personality, and that is often the not-so-secret ingredient in selling a product or service. If you can motivate a sales team, boost their self-confidence, and improve their self-knowledge, you will be well on your way to achieving your sales goals.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Would You Rate Your Sales Process?

If you are in business you will understand that sales are the lifeblood of any business. And more importantly, profitable sales. You will also be aware that securing profitable sales can be challenging to say the least. If your business has grown to a level where you have a sales team, you will be acutely aware that managing this team to deliver consistently is critical to the success of the business. Yet very few people try to understand and improve the sales process. And the result of this can often be poor sales, frustration and driving your business without clear focus.

When we work with business owners, we like to establish or clarify their sales process. You  see, like any other function in the business, sales is a process. For the most part, there is no fame or glory in the process but without a process it can be very difficult to measure results, analyse whats working or whats not working, implement improvements, focus in on specific areas for improvement, give one to one coaching to a team member or general training to the entire team.

You many need a process for new business and repeat business. For the purpose of this article we will focus on new business sales where the prospect or customer does not already have a relationship with your business. In this instance, quite an element of the process may be about generating leads, fostering interest, building awareness of your organisation, establishing a need, identifying a problem in the business that you can solve, identifying the key people you need to influence, building or raising your own profile with them and eventually meeting them.

Once this meeting is arranged, we then have a process for the meeting, where, if followed properly will lead to sales being concluded properly with each party being clear on where they stand and if a benefit for both has been established as part of the meeting, the next stage can be agreed.

Too many sales people take the easy approach - no planning, hope for the best, rely solely on their sales patter and personality. In many cases, this will work, but this is very difficult to manage and even more difficult to replicate.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lead Management - How to Turn Cold Calls Into Hot Customers

This method is a forerunner to sales management and customer relationship management. This forerunner assists in increasing the company's ROI by acquiring new customers, nurturing existing customers and creating a brand name. In other words this is customer acquisition management.

The Lead Management process

The process starts from lead generation, acquiring intelligent ones, narrowing them and forwarding the qualified ones to the marketing team for nurturing. The highly qualified ones are given to the sales team for conversions. Thus an effective lead management system aims at tracking and managing the complete lead life-cycle thereby increasing sales.

Techniques used
  • Education - This includes extensive use of webinars, whitepapers and ebooks
  • Scoring - Once the buyers start showing interest, the sales team gets into lead scoring. It means using a formula to assign a rating to sales prospects based on the buyer's area of interest
  • Qualifying - These interested buyers are hooked up with the sales team and the sales lead management starts getting shape. Thus a qualified lead is acquired
  • Follow up - The sales team follows up with this prospective client and converts it into a profitable one or sends it back to marketing labeling it as 'to be nurtured'
A Lead manager requires a special skill set whereby he can show the buyer a solution and convince him that this solution will work and is correct for his/her business. In addition, the marketer identifies the proper content required by different buyers at different levels in the buying process.

Thus the B2B model is able to generate more qualified sales leads and more revenue for their businesses. Companies also prefer using an automated software as it allows campaign automation and tracking.

The process in brief
  • Tracking
  • Capture via email
  • Nurturing
  • Distribution
  • Scoring
  • Aging
  • Analytics
Avoid the pitfalls in this process

There is always a possibility of leads falling through the cracks simply because the sales team did not follow them through.

Thus money and effort is down the drain. It is very important to complete this cycle which ends with converting qualifying leads into a potential customer thereby generating revenue and better credit standing.