How can we make our sales team more effective?

Because an organization’s sales team is a critical piece of its business, organizations are always looking for ways to help their sale teams become more effective. In order to help your sales team become more effective, you will need to continue doing what you do well, but you will also need to do some things differently because the marketplace has changed and is continuing to change rapidly. It begins with your target market. Target markets are defined as the best group of people who are likely to become customers. Does your organization have a well-defined target market?

The next step is to develop an effective marketing plan. Marketing plans identify the activities utilized to get in front of decision makers in a target market. Your specific marketing activities will come directly from the marketing plan and should focus on how the organization will add suspects to your sales funnel. Does your sales team have an effective marketing plan? And if the answer is yes, do you have the right measurements in place to manage the plan’s success?

Based on today’s marketplace, sales teams now deal with a much more knowledgeable prospect. Many prospects research prior to ever reaching out to an organization … in other words, they’ve done their homework. 70% of all purchasing decision are made prior to the buyer ever stepping foot into a show room or talking with a salesperson. So even though you are marketing out to your prospects, they are still doing their homework prior to making any decision. Today’s prospect has access to instant information, and a lot of it. Therefore, it’s imperative for sales teams to develop relationships with prospects whether they deal with the prospect via the phone, online, or in person. Does your sales force focus on developing relationships or closing sales, and how do you know?

Prospects don’t want to be sold, but they love to buy. If you want your sales team to be more effective, they will need to take this statement to heart. Prospects no longer want to hear all about the bells and whistles your product or service provides. Prospects want to know why they should buy from you, what your product or service will do for them, and how it helps them meet their identified want or need. Most successful organizations and sales teams have a defined buying/selling process appropriate for their product or service. In our experience taking time to define a process and create measurements is critical to success.

An effective buying/selling process takes into account both prospect and salesperson. The prospect is evaluating you, your company, your product/service, your price/pricing, and the time/timing. Successful salespeople take the time to gain favorable attention, uncover their prospect’s wants and needs, share meaningful the benefits of doing business with them, gain the prospect’s commitment, and then provide exceptional follow up.

In addition to an effective buying/selling process, successful sales professionals and teams sales need to have the right mental attitude. Attitudes determine what an individual thinks and attitudes have a direct impact on an individual’s behavior. If your sales team is thinking about what will go wrong during an interaction, they have already set themselves up for defeat. However, if your sales team is thinking about what will go right, then they are setting themselves up for victory. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." Does your sales team have a defined buying/selling process and an attitude of victory? If not, what will it take to make it happen?


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