You know, I am often asked by sales leaders, anxious to recruit the best salespeople they can afford, just what is it that makes a consistently top performer - what are their characteristics, where are their strengths, and what differentiates them?
I consider myself very fortunate, in as much as I have, in a very long career, filled every position within the company hierarchy including: Frontline salesman, sales manager, VP Sales, Sales Director, Managing Director, CEO, President and Chairman.
Further, over the past twenty years, I have trained and developed thousands of sales professionals, from foundation right up to "master craftsman" level. This unique experience has given me the opportunity to formulate an accurate profile of the very best achievers, and believe me, the choice of software tools, CRM packages, and adoption of Sales 2.0 principles, is just a small - important, but nevertheless small - element in the equation.
So What Is It That Top Performers Do?
• Position themselves with the real decision-makers and avoid those without 'approval power'. They are able to first identify and then access the formal decision making unit.
• Not only get the order, but a satisfied customer, repeat sales, enthusiastic reference sites and constantly increase sales penetration within their accounts.
• Know how to minimise the uncertainties of a cold call on a new account, by careful planning and rigorous opportunity assessment.
• Recognize when to treat an old account as a new prospect and keep the relationship fresh, alive and maintain profitability.
• Never entertain business they do not want, because they recognize that it takes just as long to work an unprofitable opportunity through the sales funnel, only to lose it at the death, as it does a profitable one. They trust their own judgement, but also rely heavily on objective assessment.
• Readily identify and know how to deal with the four different buying influences present in every sale - i.e. Economic Buyer, Technical Buyer, User Buyer and Ally.
• Understand how to prevent sales from being sabotaged by an internal enemy - they insulate themselves by developing strong allies within.
• Are able to recognise fail-safe signals that indicate when a sale is in jeopardy. This comes from experience, but also information supplied by their allies.
• Are rigorous in tracking account progress and are able to accurately forecast future sales, because they use proven methodology which allows them to weight every opportunity in the pipeline.
• Avoid 'dry-months' by allocating time wisely to their critical selling tasks - i.e. Prospecting for new business, covering the bases with existing opportunities and finally closing the best few.
In summary, the very best sales performers do not achieve that status overnight. They work tirelessly to develop and hone their skills-sets, insist on regular top-up coaching, and seek out those who are outperforming them so that they may learn and improve still further. They have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of their industry and sector.
Finally, they concentrate on eliminating any weaknesses and are anxious to be assessed and receive feedback on a regular basis.
PS: They do not spend hours and hours on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media sites, if their clients and prospects are not there - which in most cases they will not be, if they are selling into high-end B2B markets.
News: Thinking about CRM Solutions - here's a message from Dan Waldschmidt ...
So. What's the deal with that sales software you are using?
That little solution your boss calls "CRM"...
Or Customer Relationship Management. Which is strangely ironic because the word "solution" usually comes next.
Somehow trying to passively coerce me into believing that a piece of software has magically arrived with the answer to my need to close more deals. Make it easier. Make it faster. Maybe even pick my groceries from the store in the process.
Heck. Why not? If you read all the features listed on the website you might actually assume this much.
And yet, you can't find a sales person who actually likes their CRM.
Am I wrong? What other industry is like this - where the craftsman is completely unhappy with all the tools at his disposal?
Like a landscaper who can't find a rake-maker who makes a useful tool. Or a chef who has to bake all her meals in a toaster oven.
Makes you wonder.
Who is inventing these things?
Maybe I can help you.
Join me for this highly interactive 45 minute Masterclass, and I'll try to give you some of the answers."
When? - Tuesday October 26th 2010 1PM EASTERN
Where? - On your PC
How Much? - FREE - Register here
Why? - You need to know!