I am pulling my hair out. Banging my head against the wall. Writing… erasing… writing again. I just can’t seem to get it right. What’s causing me such distress? Words. My value proposition. How I entice people to do business with me. I’m in the process of changing my website to emphasize my speaking. When my targeted prospects pop onto those pages, I want them to say, “Wow. She totally gets the challenges we’re facing. That’s exactly what we want our salespeople to do. We need to bring her in to our next meeting.”
An honest self-review of your last 12 months’ sales history will likely include a few reflections on where your efforts did not produce the outcome you had wanted. Even if you’re performing in the upper percentile and faring better than others in your firm – or in your industry as a whole – you’ll still likely admit there were some opportunities that you just didn’t win. In other words, you could have (and should have) achieved more.
Where a sales person invests their time is directed by the compensation plan put in place. While many look at sales compensation as a one-dimensional issue, there are actually three core components to consider when developing the plan.
When I ask sales people what their biggest challenge is in getting to speak directly with decision makers they are targeting, and voice mail or gatekeepers are at the top of the list, (while call reluctance should be right there with the other two, they don’t usually volunteer that fact). We have dealt with voice mailin the past, so today we’ll look at “gatekeepers”.
Hiring sales people from the competition always seems like a no-brainer, but there are many pitfalls with this hiring strategy.
Life would be grand if we could sprinkle a few seeds in the ground, fertilize, add water…and a great sales person would sprout. This is truly a pipedream, but one often pursued by small business owners and sales management executives in their quest to find great sales talent. Rather than grow their own, they attempt to steal the crops from their competitors. Why not, their competitor is much better at growing a sales organization than they are. They will grab some magic from their competitor’s land and they too can enjoy great success.
Want to win more sales? Then you need to do everything you can to give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors.
Research shows that one of the best ways to do this is by being an early bird:
For years, we’ve been told that sales is a numbers game. To be successful, all you needed to do was to fill your pipeline with an endless supply of suspects. And then, a certain percentage of them would miraculously turn into prospects, and ultimately customers – if you were persistent enough.
Said the Cold Call To The Socialite
Recent headlines about AC/DC’s drummer’s brush with the law got me thinking – why would someone want to kill someone? Such a passionate act must be a result of some big or egregious cause, or at the very least a means of avoiding harm. Then I remembered that in sales we see this all the time, over and over, people are trying to kill cold calling.