Loading...

Follow Fileboard Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
Or

Valid


Thriving sales reps are mostly concerned about meeting their sales quotas. However, without following a proper protocol laid out by strategic planners in the company, a sales development rep might go astray and tend to end up considering every prospect a qualified lead. For beginners in this profession, everything feels and look the same. To make your campaign successful, you need to differentiate between your prospects, your tasks, and the way you qualify leads.
Let’s define a sales qualified lead first. A prospect that has been contacted, researched upon, finds your product to be a good fit and engages with you is the ideal definition of a sales qualified lead. Whatever the way your B2B lead generation program is designed, once a prospect fulfills this criterion, he is ready to be passed to the next phase of trials, a possible sale and onboarding. But things are not that smooth and easy. Sales development reps mostly fail to comply with these quotas. There are three reasons for it.

Reasons for not meeting the qualified leads quota

1) Bad Data
This is the most common cause of not hitting the weekly or monthly quota of qualified sales leads. There can be many example of bad data here. Either the prospect is targeting the wrong profiles within the wrong company, or the right profiles but within a wrong company where the product isn’t a good fit. Similarly, the target industry might be related to your product but the size of the companies that you’re targeting may not comply with your average deal cycle. The responsibility here falls on both SDRs and management itself. The ideal situation is to target the right profiles of decision makers in right companies where your product is a good fit. With practice and proper fine-tuning, this will ultimately lead to much more fruitful sales conversations.

2) Wrong Message
Even if there is no problem with the data that’s targeted, sending plain marketing emails and delivering a vague message is also one of the main reasons not enough sales qualified leads are created. Another major disaster this can cause is destroying your unique value proposition by presenting an incorrect or unhelpful pitch that’s detrimental to your product’s image.

3) Less Effort
In some cases, the data might not be the only reason. SDRs who do not strive hard to reach out might dismiss prospects with a potential to become leads. According to a Laurie Beasley, it takes from 7 to 13 touches to deliver a qualified sales lead. So, don’t lose hope and put some extra effort in there.

Minute problems in your outbound sales process can create major hiccups in your road to sales success

4) Wrong Estimates
Miscalculating the targets for that quarter is a strong reason you might fall short of your sales qualified leads target. As they say, there is a “method to madness”, the decision makers should understand their product’s potential, the right fit, realistic prices and achievable timely milestones.

The post Sales Success: Are you happy with your current number of (qualified) leads? appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’ve seen them plastered all over office walls, pasted all over the internet, and repeatedly recited by sales coaches…but motivational sales quotes aren’t enough. Here’s why:

The largest marketing investment for most B2B companies is…

Sales reps.

According to the Harvard Business Review, U.S. companies alone spend more than $800 billion on sales force compensation each year – three times more than they spend on advertising.

And when it comes to motivating those costly sales reps, relying solely on sales quotes and a “you can do it” attitude is a recipe for disaster.

Why You Should Ditch The Sales Quotes And Aim To Soar Rep Motivation

Besides boosting ROI from reps, there’s another equally important reason you should focus on fanning their motivation:

Replacing sales reps is extremely expensive, and can bruise your business.

The average cost of recruiting, hiring, and training an employee is typically 200% of an employee’s annual salary. To put this into perspective, let’s say you lose an average of 3 reps each year. By enhancing sales rep motivation, your employee churn number goes down to 1 per year.

Which means, not only do you get a better ROI and a stronger performing team – you prevent a 400% employee salary from going down the drain, by simply motivating your sales team.

However, motivating your sales team to perform better has always been a tricky endeavour.

Squeezing more selling power out of sales reps isn’t as simple as throwing in one-off prizes, beefing up commissions, hosting sales contests, or stapling sales quotes on foreheads (I’d staple one on my own if it were that easy).

That’s why today’s post will explore sales motivation. We’ll dive into the truth behind motivating salespeople, helping you motivate your sales team to climb the ranks, close more deals, and perform better.

Harnessing The Power Of Intrinsic Motivation

Ever heard of the candle problem?

It’s an insightful study that exposes that harms of using money as a primary motivator. In the study, people are seated at a table against a wall, given a candle, some matches, and a box of tacks – and are told to work out a way to burn the candle without getting wax on the table.

One group was offered money for figuring the puzzle out,  the other wasn’t. We’d intuitively think subjects who had something to gain would perform better, right?

But the study proves the opposite; subjects who were not promised a reward performed significantly better.

Naturally, we’re inclined to think higher pay will produce better results, but science proves that the link between compensation, motivation, and performance is more complex than that.

Yes, pay – up to a certain level – does affect motivation. But returns in performance from higher pay plateau rapidly.

A meta-analysis by Tim Judge and colleagues studied the link between pay, satisfaction, and motivation. The authors reviewed 120 years of research to synthesize the findings from 92 quantitative studies. The results?

The relationship between pay and job satisfaction and motivation is weak.

Research shows there is less than a 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels. Also, the correlation between pay and pay satisfaction was only slightly higher, summarizing that people’s satisfaction with their salary is mostly independent of their actual salary.

Rewards like commission and salary are extrinsic motivators, making them unreliable indicators of performance. Intrinsic motivation however, has proven to be the stronger predictor of job performance and satisfaction.

Unfortunately – unless you’re a superhuman manager with mind controlling powers – you can’t install intrinsic motivation in reps. But, you can ignite an ember of intrinsic motivation into a warming flame by:

Having a company mission that unites reps. Humans have always endeavoured to contribute to something more grand than us. Deep down, we all yearn to fulfill a greater purpose. If you want more self-determined reps, you should embrace this. Does this mean reps have be selling products that cancer or save endangered rhinos? No. The point here is to stress how your team’s actions contribute to a greater good.  For example, let’s say you sell B2B products and services; you can inform reps on how their efforts are making waves for businesses across the globe.

Create a Teamwork Atmosphere.  Anyone who’s ever tried an exercise routine knows: motivation to exercise can dwindle rapidly. Which is why people like to buddy up and train with a partner. Multiple studies confirm that working out with a partner – even a virtual one – boosts performance, so cultivate an atmosphere of teamwork to heighten the intrinsic motivation of your reps.

Research shows there is less than a 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels.
Click To Tweet

Create competitive contests. Sometimes a good ol’e challenge is needed to fire up our motivational furnaces. Take for example Fitbits, the wearable fitness trackers designed to motivate couch potatoes. It’s not the technology that make them so effective, that’s simple and straightford. Rather, it’s the competitive circle it creates…

Fitbit’s app allows you to create a circle of friends that you can watch to see how your last 7 days compare to theirs; they can keep track of you too. If someone wants to encourage you, they can “Cheer” you…or if they want to be cheeky, “Taunt” you.

In the upcoming Fileboard release, many of these competitive and gamified elements will be implemented by:

  • Providing a sales leaderboard
  • Giving the ability for reps to start competitions
  • Using daily goals and tracking progress
  • Displaying self-performance analysis and where reps can improve
  • Giving positive reinforcement with tools like medals, badges and award etc.
Clarity Of The Sales Task

When talking about motivating salespeople, most of us fall into the trap of thinking of compensation or extrinsic incentives. Prizes, bonuses, competitions, and contests typically spring to mind.

But there’s an overlooked element that is rarely mentioned: task clarity.  A study by Harvard shows that one of the most powerful sales motivation elements is task clarity. Task clarity can be defined as:

“The degree to which there is a clear and positive relationship between exerting effort and attaining results.”

Now, the clarity of a task is heavily depends two things:

  1. How long it takes to receive performance feedback
  2. How accurately the results of individual salespeople can be identified

Researchers found a strong relation between clarity of the sales task and the performance and effort of salespeople.

Sales reps in a business products company reported how easy it was to describe their job and its impact. They happily told researchers that they all went by the numbers, got feedback every week, and easily see performance results.

However, sales reps in a transportation services company revealed the opposite. They reported that it takes months for them to get feedback. And even when they do, their sales reports are only 50% accurate. “I guess you could say no one really knows how well his or her territory is doing at any given time.”

The study found that motivation and effort were significantly higher in companies with clearer sales tasks. Mainly because the reps could identify the results of their efforts. (The other companies they analyzed revealed the same results.)

You prevent a 400% employee salary from going down the drain, by simply motivating your sales team.
Click To Tweet

So, we know task-related ambiguity can kill a rep’s motivation, so how can managers boost the clarity of sales tasks and responsibilities?

  1. Limit responsibilities. Usually salespeople are given a certain location and told to “go get em”. But not only does this lead to overwhelm and confusion, it makes reps feel like they’re lacking priorities and have no control. Limit the number of accounts each rep is responsible for and give them specific goals for each account. This will allow reps to actually sell to those targeted accounts, not just pitch to hundreds.
  1. Give controllable goals. Reps must be given clear goals which they are able to control. This can include total sales goals or specific activity goals. It’s important to note that control is essential here. For example, making reps responsible for product shipping schedules or delivery isn’t wise. They have no control over those things. However, charging them with the responsibility of making x number of pitches or getting x product promotions is a stronger goal.
  1. Feedback Loops. Feedback is essential to clarifying a sales task. To stay motivated, reps need see the fruits of their labour. A lack of feedback can cripple even the most resilient of reps. Think about it, who wants to pour their time and energy into something that might not even be working?

  1. Reduce mental load. Having a quota or target to complete can be stressful. And stress –  as we know, can dampen motivation. You want your reps to worry as less as possible. Because for them to perform their best, they need to be focused on the task at hand. And that’s not easy when their brain is boiling with thoughts of how good/bad their last few pitches went. With Fileboard, reps get to view how their prospects react with their presentations and collateral, and prioritize their days based on the hottest leads. This leads to higher motivation and a reduced mental load, because they can view how they’re performing.
  1. Use an efficient sales process. An efficient sales process leads to clear sales tasks. Most reps don’t have an efficient sales process, which leads to mental stress as they don’t know what to do next.
Gamification and Progressive Wins

Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer asked hundreds of employees to maintain a diary recording their peaks and valleys in motivation at work. Amabile and Kramer analyzed 12,000 diary entries in total and what they discovered was totally contrary to conventional managerial wisdom.

In fact, Amabile and Kramer talked with 600 managers about what they thought was the single-most important motivator for employees at work. And guess what? A startling 95% of them answered wrong.

It’s wasn’t money, safety, security, or pressure that pushed employees at work.

The most important motivator for employees at work is what Amabile and Kramer call “the power of small wins“: employees are highly productive and driven to do their best work when they feel as if they’re making progress every day toward a goal that matters.

Selling successfully requires various committed actions. Reps have to approach cold leads, warm them up, nurture them: it’s a complicated procedure sometimes, and  requires multiple steps. This makes small wins even more important for reps, because they’re constantly brushing shoulders with rejection – which can extinguish motivation.  And a great way to incorporate small wins is to gamify the sales process.

Research shows that:

  • 31% more first year-reps achieve quota when supported with game mechanics
  • 9 out of 10 companies report that their gamification initiatives were a success
  • 71% of companies that used gamification saw 11-50% boost in sales performance

In this case study from the Fantasy Sales Team, implementing a gamified sales measuring and rewarding system significantly boosted sales rep motivation and performance.

“No longer was it a single carrot that was put out there for a sales executive to chase with a single goal. We could now put several metrics in place and the prize is more than monetary; because of the style of the game – winning amongst your peer group in a teaming design is also a motivator.”

Have you tried making small wins more measurable with gamification? If not, give it a shot.

What motivates you to win more sales and push through dull days? Tell us in the comments below

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Fileboard Blog in June of 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

The post The Truth About Motivating Salespeople! appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Closing a deal might happen 4 minutes after the first pitch or 4 months later. It’s up to you to convince the lead that they’ve made the right choice. The following is a compilation of 20 different ways to close a sale. Go ahead and use a few of these techniques to suit your own personality, brand, and customers.

1. Practice, practice, practice your elevator pitch.

You want to get your use case and key benefits to address the problem out in the time it would take to ride an elevator with a lead for several floors. The elevator pitch is a critical technique when your prospect’s attention span is short and you want to get more time to discuss your product. This is your first impression; and that’s why it’s the #1 closing technique. The difference between the customer walking away or staying to hear more comes down to this brief moment, more than any other part of your pitch.

2. Get a promise up front.

You want confirmation from them that they will make a decision at the end of your pitch/meeting. This sets the prospect up mentally to make a decision instead of saying, “I’ll think about it.” This is a good choice for already interested clients when you feel confident in the sale and want to speed up the close.

3. Apply your offering.

Turn your pitch into an applied use-case with your client’s brand, and work out some real numbers with them  to show how your offering would actually affect your prospect. This gets your client invested in the sales process. When they can literally see success happening to their own business, it’s very hard to say no!

4. Stress the key benefit.

There’s a saying in sales that 80 percent of the buying decision is made based on 20 percent of the product information. There is generally a key feature of your brand that really appeals to your prospect – not necessarily the entire offering. During your presentation, if you notice that your lead is interested in a particular benefit—if they ask questions or keep coming back to one idea—make sure you keep hitting on that point. Sell what the prospect is interested in – you don’t have to pitch the whole product! You can save that for onboarding and training when they have more time to go over the best practices with your product.

5. Check your progress.

As you proceed through your presentation, keep checking in with your prospect to see how you are doing. Ask questions such as Do you like this feature? or Would you use this? Stay away from rhetorical questions like Isn’t this amazing?  You want your prospect to actually make personal choices and decisions, not just repeating your pitch back to you. By getting them to say ‘yes’ early and often, you’re assured of a ‘yes’ at the end.

6. Start small and build to the final “yes”.

This works well for situations where you can offer free samples or materials up front. Instead of simply plunking your freebie down, ask your prospect first if they would like to receive them. Get them to say yes for each little thing. Ask if the client finds it useful or enjoyable. Get them to say yes again. Ask them if they would like to know more … another yes. Build up to bigger asks and bigger decisions each time.

7. Invite the prospect to try it out.

The invitational close is traditional and classic. Who can refuse? Whether it’s driving a new car or walking through a dream home, people rarely say no to trying something new.

8. Turn price into value.

There’s always a natural resistance to pricing and many salespeople make the mistake of postponing talking about price until the end. Instead, work the value of your product into the presentation all along. Talk about what it would cost the client if they looked elsewhere, and show them what they’re getting as value-added or practically-for-free in your deal.

9. “If we … will you?”

When you feel you’re so close to getting a yes, but the client is throwing up one last objection, try to work with the client and be a little flexible. For instance, if price or monthly payments are an obstacle, get a yes by asking, “If we lower the price or extend the monthly payments, will you be more comfortable with that?” If you can get the client to say yes to that, then it’s time to quickly put a contract and pen on the table.

10. Exactly, precisely, absolutely.

Use affirmative words like these even when the prospect has strong objections. I don’t have the budget for that, they say. That’s precisely why I’m calling, you say. It makes them curious and they can’t help asking what you’re talking about. These affirmative words convey that you totally agree that the customer has a problem and that you have absolutely, exactly, precisely the perfect solution.

11. Talk past the close.

A little different than the this-or-that approach, this technique also assumes the person has decided to buy, and you help them think past the actual purchase by asking questions like, how soon do you need it? Where would you like it delivered? How would you like to make payment?

12. Tantalize with limited availability.

Just look at the success of Prada handbags and 100 point wines. This type of close works well with luxury items and a wealthy clientele. Make it seem rare and desirable, and people will be lining up for it no matter what the price. But it can also work for anything from paint colors to stationery. Sometimes just hinting that an item might not be available suddenly makes it imperative in the customer’s mind.

13. Send it home.

Also called the puppy dog close, this is the process of putting your product in the customer’s hands for a few days. Get them to take it home and use it for awhile, with a return envelope and date. If the object isn’t returned by the agreed upon date, the customer is charged for it. Clothing company StitchFix has built a great sales model on this concept. Personal stylists assemble customized monthly collections of clothing and accessories which they send out to their subscribers, who get to try them on at home and choose to return or keep the items.

14. Summarize clearly.

At the end of the presentation, summarize all the key points and benefits. Here’s where you can repeat the elevator pitch from #1 again, so if your prospect is going to tell their coworkers about your product, they’ll use your simple pitch. This is an important technique for all long and involved presentations—anything from giving a real estate tour to pitching a new software to investors. You want to hit all the top bullet points and leave them fresh in your lead’s mind.

15. Ask for the key objection.

This is a closing technique for situations where you are pretty sure the client wants to buy, but you just can’t quite figure out why he’s resisting. Maybe you’ve already been through a whole slew objections and solutions and he’s still not purchasing. Even after you’ve given up and shaken hands, take one last stab at it by saying, may I ask why you have decided not to buy? Once you’ve concluded the meeting and seem to be out the door, the client is more likely to simply tell you the truth about why he’s reluctant to buy. At that moment, set your briefcase down and say, aha. I forgot to tell you about that. Take advantage of that moment to blast away the client’s final defenses and win the deal.

16. Get 2-3 referrals.

An important part of any close, whether you get the deal or not, is to ask for personal referrals. If you have pre-qualified your client, and we’re assuming you have, your client’s friends and contacts are very likely in the same demographic, which will save you time and effort. Plus, getting that personal referral also helps get your foot in the door, saving you several steps and a lot of time spent getting the next appointment and sale. And plus-plus, when you ask a client to think of others who might benefit from your product or service, he’s going to start thinking that maybe he should take advantage of it as well. Alex Pirouz, founder of Linkfluencer, suggests making a video of customer testimonials and posting it on your website.

17. Sell to their companion.

A great closing technique for real estate and retail, this technique focuses not on the person with the buying power, but their companion. If you can convince the companion that he or she wants and needs the house, perfume, car or whatever, then you’ve created a surrogate salesperson, and now there are two of you campaigning for the sale.

18. The bracket close.

In the bracket close, you create three pricing and package offers, with the target deal in the middle. This gives the client a wide-angle view of what your company offers, and creates a value proposition where the client can see that they’re getting a fair price and an excellent deal.

19. Make them work for the deal.

Save any offers of discounts, bonuses, concessions and value-adds for the very end. If your prospect is still wavering, offer them ways to “earn” a package price or discount. Get them to step up by offering bonuses for an immediate decision to buy. They’ll come away feeling as though they’ve gotten the upper hand and a great deal.

20. Make the deal physically easy to close.

Once you’ve convinced hearts and minds, you want to make the actual ordering as hassle-free as possible. Keep the paperwork to a minimum, and have any orders and contracts pre-filled and ready to go. If you need to bring along an assistant just to take notes and pre-fill forms, so you can be free to pitch the client and read their reactions, it may well be worth it to make the final closing as seamless as possible.

Remember, when it comes to closing, it’s all about helping the client feel comfortable with their decision. You want to validate your customer’s decision and leave them feeling confident in your brand and your customer service.

Want more sales tactics? Check out this article here!

Editor’s Note: This post original appeared in June 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy

The post 20 Closing Techniques to Maximize Odds of Making a Sale appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We get it. You’ve been around the block a few times. You’re hot stuff. You’re the MVP on your sales team. But you want to do better.

Master salesperson and perhaps one of sales’ biggest advocates for continual learning, Zig Ziglar, said, “Life is a classroom—only those who are willing to be lifelong learners will move to the head of the class.”

In the spirit of lifelong training and forging ahead on your path to taking over the sales world (or whatever your goals are), we’ve compiled a list of some of the best kept secrets of master sellers. And to complete the list, we collected some of the biggest “don’ts” in sales, to help you correct bad habits or keep from forming them in the first place.

1. Listen and consult, don’t sell.

People know when they’re being sold, and they don’t like it. Fight your instincts and keep from turning prospects off by learning to consult, instead of sell them.

Do this by asking a lot of questions and getting to know the prospect’s business. Listen, learn, and then advise. Believe it or not, when a prospect feels like you care and knows you’re knowledgeable about your industry, they’ll want to work with you, regardless of your product.

2. Be disciplined with activity goals.

Track the number of cold calls you make, number of prospects you contact every day, and other daily activities to measure your success. Having goals in place will keep you motivated and also help you track your progress as you hone your sales pitch and process.

3. Take your time with buyer qualification.

High-quality prospects become long-term buyers and give strong referrals. Those are two things a stellar salesperson simply can’t live without.

Don’t skip over the research process with prospects and understand who the decision maker is going in. It’s not worth chasing a sale that will never come to fruition because you can’t get a meeting with the head honcho.

(Tip: Fileboard helps you track engagement so you can organize prospects by how interested they actually are in your product. This allows you to focus on selling warm leads and nurturing cold ones, all with a few clicks of the mouse.)

4. Keep up on competitors.

You should live and breathe your industry. Understanding the landscape of the market helps you impress prospects and fine tune your sales process according to the latest trends.

Keep in mind that knowing your competitors is about more than memorizing their products. You should understand how your product and customer experience differs from others’ so you’re prepared to answer any question a prospect throws at you.

5. Welcome critical feedback.

It’s not always easy to hear critical feedback, but sales pros know how to take that information and use it to strengthen business relationships.

Directly address complaints from clients and demonstrate how you’ll improve. Additionally, train yourself to accept criticism gracefully, instead of getting defensive. Keep in mind that the customer is always right, even if he’s wrong. Learn to use that fire in your belly as fuel to improve, not implode.

Also, don’t just wait for feedback. Proactively ask for critical insights when your offer is rejected so you know where to improve next time.

6. Act on facts, not feelings.

Conversely from prospects, you want to train yourself to react to facts, not emotions. Maintain an emotional distance from clients to avoid conflict or feelings of rejection. When it comes down to it, it is just business.

You also want to manage your pipeline efficiently, not emotionally. Don’t chase after unqualified prospects because you really like a brand or want to prove a point. Spend your time on prospects that make sense for your company.

7. Get eight hours of sleep a night.

Believe it or not, this is one of the most important secrets to becoming a superstar salesperson. Successful people know how important sleep is. Arianna Huffington, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos have all publically spoken out about the importance of being well-rested.

Sales is a high energy job and relying on caffeine is ineffective and unhealthy. In order to fight off brain fog, afternoon crashes, and a negative attitude, make six to eight hours of quality sleep a night one of your top priorities.

8. Have a backup plan.

Not for your career, but for your sales pitches. Always have two asks ready at the end of every pitch: a primary closing strategy and a fall back position. Rarely is a sale an easy slam dunk, even when you think the stars have aligned for you and the prospect.

Don’t get caught off guard by coming prepared with a fall back plan in case the prospect doesn’t go for your initial offer.

Sales Don’ts to Unlearn

When you’ve been in sales for a while, there are some bad habits that become a part of your daily routine. Sometimes lifelong learning has a little unlearning involved.

Whether you need to cut these practices from your repertoire or stop them in their tracks before they become habits, it’s essential you know what mistakes to avoid.

1. Don’t let the client take over calls.

Although you don’t want to monopolize the conversation, you do want to be in charge of where it goes. As you start to understand your own sales process, break down call agendas into talking points with time allotments so you know when it’s time to move on to the next item of business.

2. Don’t ignore the emotional connection.

Facts aren’t all you need to close the deal. Focus on building an emotional connection by finding ways to relate to the client in a genuine way.

3. Don’t let your ideas be forgettable.

Become a storyteller, not a salesman. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of “Made to Stick,” found that after a presentation, 63 percent of attendees remember stories, but only 5 percent remember statistics.

Tell a story with humor and vivid imagery to get your ideas to stick in the prospect’s mind.

4. Don’t misuse technology.

Technology shouldn’t be your crutch (like a wordy powerpoint), but should support you while existing in the background.

Instead of relying on technology as a prop, use it as a tool to better serve your prospects. For example, Fileboard has a unique tool that helps you track a prospects engagement while you host digital presentations. If a participant clicks away from your show, you’ll know, so you can alter your pitch to re-engage the prospect.

5. Don’t entrap prospects with hard-sell hypotheticals.

Hard-selling prospects is the quickest way to destroy trust. Don’t ask leading questions and propose “If X, would you buy now?” scenarios. Stay in reality to keep from turning off potential clients.

6. Don’t be a beggar.

Examine a prospect thoroughly before pitching your services, like a doctor would, instead of begging for the opportunity to show them what you can do.

7. Don’t feel the need to fill the silence.

Silence is a powerful tool when used correctly. Pause during presentations to give clients the chance to process information and take your time responding to “nos.” Clients may follow up with the solution you need to present to them.

8. Don’t beat around what you want.

When you nurture a prospect, it’s easy to feel like you’re walking on eggshells, but you can’t court them forever. When it’s time to close the deal, have a clear objective and use clear language with the client, even if that results in a “no.”

9. Don’t close through a third party.

You need to close the person you’re talking to, not a person on behalf of someone else. Get a definitive answer from the decision maker, not the middleman.

10. Don’t be naive about competitors.

Address your prospect’s needs, first and foremost. If they would have to be shoehorned into using your product and a competitor is simply a better fit, recommend them to build trust with that customer for the future.

11. Don’t blame others for mistakes.

Clients can forgive an individual they have a relationship with better than a stranger or an entity. Maintain trust by not using your company as a scapegoat or blaming the process for mistakes.

You can turn this negative situation into a positive one by taking responsibility and working with the client to solve the issue so it doesn’t happen again.

Conclusion

All of these tips and tricks aside, the best way to become a master salesperson is to dedicate to lifelong learning and loving the sales industry. Having a passion for what you do is one of the biggest secrets any master can share.

If you’re still thirsty for more learning, check out our intro article about 7 Secrets Master Salespeople Use Daily (and 9 Newbie Mistakes to Avoid!) for budding salespeople.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

The post 8 More Master Sales Tips and 11 Mistakes to Avoid! appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Who are the superstar salespeople you admire?

Is it David Ogilvy, who literally wrote the manual on selling, or Dale Carnegie who convinced you it was possible to win friends and influence people?

Whoever your sales icons are, they weren’t born overnight. It took years of finely tuning their skills to become the amazing salespeople they are.

While there’s no shortcut for hard work, we do want to help you streamline the process to achieving sales success. That’s why we gathered the most secret secrets from the best salespeople to share with you as you start on your path to becoming a master salesperson.

But, as any good seller knows, what you should do is as important as what you shouldn’t do, which is why we’ve also compiled some of the most common, yet easiest mistakes to avoid.

If you’re ready to start to become like your sales heros (or even surpass them), nailing down these skills is the first step. Ready, set, go!

1. Sell benefits, not features.

Research by Impact Communications found 70 percent of people make purchasing decisions to solve problems, while only 30 percent make decisions to gain something.

Although your product may have a lot of features that will add to a business, they are more likely to buy something that solves an existing problem. That’s why you want to present them with benefits that reduce the problems the company faces.

2. Set and stick to your ideal buyer personas.

Efforts spread too thin are inefficient and ineffective. Use ideal buyer personas to help you understand the “why” of your ideal customer.

Your buyer personas, which are detailed descriptions of different types of ideal customers for your product, should outline more than basic demographic information, and get to the heart of why a customer needs your product.

By setting clear ideal buyer personas and sticking to them, you’ll stop wasting time with supremely unqualified prospects that suck your energy away from people who could really benefit from your product.

3. Spend time wisely.

Time is money in the sales world, and beyond knowing your ideal buyer personas, you need to have a plan of action each day to maximize your productivity. In fact, the 2014 Sales Execution Trends by Qvidian found that 59 percent of a salesperson’s time is not spent selling, but is wasted with hunting for sales resources.

Start each day by understanding your goals, and have a clear plan for how you’ll accomplish them. Find a sales or project management platform that can help you keep a strict schedule to maximize productivity.

Another way to increase productivity is to limit multitasking. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it takes you twice as long to get a single task done when your brain is pulled in a million different directions. Give yourself a time limit to finish one task at a time; you’ll be more efficient and have a better understanding of what actions are time sucks and when you can get the most accomplished.

4. Personalize your message

The best salespeople know that developing a personal connection with your clients is the key to success. Start relationships off on the right foot by sending personalized messages to prospects and avoiding “one size fits all” scripts.

Identify the prospect’s unique pain points and tailor your message to address how you can solve those needs. When a prospect feels like you care, you’ve already made the greatest first impression possible, without even stepping inside the room.

5. Make your process measurable.

In order to learn and grow, your process should be measurable, which means you should have a process for collecting quantitative (useable numerical data) and qualitative (details that help you gain an understanding of underlying motivations) information about your process.

To gather both types of information, practice being obsessive about your process. Keep track of each move you make from initial contact to closing the deal and use that information to pinpoint weak spots. You should also keep track of how many cold calls, follow ups, and meetings you do each day. The goal is to document everything so you can optimize your process.

When you do find weaknesses, make improvement actionable, instead of just telling yourself to “do better.” This will give you specific direction on how to improve, and also help you monitor your success.

6. Take notes.

As smart as you are, you don’t have perfect memory (and if you do, we want to hire you). It’s important that you record the promises you make to clients so you can deliver. You also want to take down feedback and important information about their business; clients should never have to repeat themselves, so pay attention.

Additionally, taking notes does more than give you a hard copy of the conversation—it shows clients you care. Take notes using a pen and paper. This gives clients the impression that you’re more attentive and involved in them than if you simply used a laptop or your phone.

7. Tap into the buyer’s emotions.

Use emotion-centric language to address a buyer’s concerns, since our brains rank feelings above logic when making a decision.

Answer objections with the words “feel,” “felt,” and “found,” and work phrases like “I know how you feel…” and “When this customer used the product they felt…” into your presentation.

Sales Don’ts to Keep You From Acting Like a Newbie

Feel like you’ve got a lot to practice tomorrow? Well we aren’t done yet! Instantly jump from sounding like a beginner to a seasoned pro by avoiding these mistakes most new salespeople make.

1. Don’t overlook defining a goal for meetings.

Every interaction with a prospect or client should have an end goal. Make sure you outline the purpose of every meeting and have a metric to measure your success at the end.

2. Don’t be your only advocate.

There’s a limit to how many bold claims you can make about you and your company to a client. Collect endorsements from objective advocates to back you up.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from other clients. According to the Dale Carnegie Group, 91 percent of customers say they’d give referrals, but only 11 percent of salespeople ask.

3. Don’t make too many follow-up calls to unqualified buyers.

If a buyer is unqualified or clearly not engaging with you, drop it. Don’t waste time on impossible sells.

Master salespeople take the guesswork out of this step. Use Fileboard to help you track when emails are opened, which attachments are viewed, and how long the prospect spent going through your files. You can use this information to follow up with the prospect with a targeted pitch, now that you know what about your product is interesting to them.

4. Don’t forget to listen.

If you listen to the prospect’s needs instead of overselling them you can directly answer how your product can soothe their pain points. Master salespeople believe you need to see, hear, and process that information before speaking.

5. Don’t leave a meeting open ended.

Remember to set clear next steps that outline expectations and prompt action from both parties. If you leave a meeting unsure of what the next step should be, send a simple and straight-forward follow up email asking for clarification.

6. Don’t distract clients with irritating crutch words.

Practice pitches beforehand so you can cut out “umms,” “hmms,” “ers,” and “ahs.” These distracting non-words weaken your argument and lose the client’s attention.

7. Don’t bail on commitments.

Don’t develop a reputation as a salesperson who lacks follow-through. Build trust by keeping your word, or stop making promises you can’t keep.

8. Don’t ignore the budget question.

You can easily waste time pitching a service that’s way beyond your prospect’s budget. Ask questions about their budget upfront so you can determine how high they prioritize your service and you can better tailor your offer to fit their needs.

9. Don’t use statements instead of questions.

You want your close to be firm, but not ambiguous. After a prospect agrees to work with you, clarify the sale with a pointed question. Don’t assume you know the final deal without confirmation from the decision maker.

In truth, the secret to becoming the ultimate seller is practice, practice, practice. Understand your own process as much as possible and educate yourself constantly.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

The post 7 Secrets of Master Salespeople and 9 Mistakes to Avoid! appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’ve seen them plastered all over office walls, pasted all over the internet, and repeatedly recited by sales coaches…but motivational sales quotes aren’t enough. Here’s why:

The largest marketing investment for most B2B companies is…

Sales reps.

According to the Harvard Business Review, U.S. companies alone spend more than $800 billion on sales force compensation each year – three times more than they spend on advertising.

And when it comes to motivating those costly sales reps, relying solely on sales quotes and a “you can do it” attitude is a recipe for disaster.

Why You Should Ditch The Sales Quotes And Aim To Soar Rep Motivation

Besides boosting ROI from reps, there’s another equally important reason you should focus on fanning their motivation:

Replacing sales reps is extremely expensive, and can bruise your business.

The average cost of recruiting, hiring, and training an employee is typically 200% of an employee’s annual salary. To put this into perspective, let’s say you lose an average of 3 reps each year. By enhancing sales rep motivation, your employee churn number goes down to 1 per year.

Which means, not only do you get a better ROI and a stronger performing team – you prevent a 400% employee salary from going down the drain, by simply motivating your sales team.

However, motivating your sales team to perform better has always been a tricky endeavour.

Squeezing more selling power out of sales reps isn’t as simple as throwing in one-off prizes, beefing up commissions, hosting sales contests, or stapling sales quotes on foreheads (I’d staple one on my own if it were that easy).

That’s why today’s post will explore sales motivation. We’ll dive into the truth behind motivating salespeople, helping you motivate your sales team to climb the ranks, close more deals, and perform better.

Harnessing The Power Of Intrinsic Motivation

Ever heard of the candle problem?

It’s an insightful study that exposes that harms of using money as a primary motivator. In the study, people are seated at a table against a wall, given a candle, some matches, and a box of tacks – and are told to work out a way to burn the candle without getting wax on the table.

One group was offered money for figuring the puzzle out,  the other wasn’t. We’d intuitively think subjects who had something to gain would perform better, right?

But the study proves the opposite; subjects who were not promised a reward performed significantly better.

Naturally, we’re inclined to think higher pay will produce better results, but science proves that the link between compensation, motivation, and performance is more complex than that.

Yes, pay – up to a certain level – does affect motivation. But returns in performance from higher pay plateau rapidly.

A  meta-analysis by Tim Judge and colleagues studied the link between pay, satisfaction, and motivation. The authors reviewed 120 years of research to synthesize the findings from 92 quantitative studies. The results?

The relationship between pay and job satisfaction and motivation is weak.

Research shows there is less than a 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels. Also, the correlation between pay and pay satisfaction was only slightly higher, summarizing that people’s satisfaction with their salary is mostly independent of their actual salary.

Rewards like commission and salary are extrinsic motivators, making them unreliable indicators of performance. Intrinsic motivation however, has proven to be the stronger predictor of job performance and satisfaction.

Unfortunately – unless you’re a superhuman manager with mind controlling powers – you can’t install intrinsic motivation in reps. But, you can ignite an ember of intrinsic motivation into a warming flame by:

Having a company mission that unites reps. Humans have always endeavoured to contribute to something more grand than us. Deep down, we all yearn to fulfill a greater purpose. If you want more self-determined reps, you should embrace this. Does this mean reps have be selling products that cancer or save endangered rhinos? No. The point here is to stress how your team’s actions contribute to a greater good.  For example, let’s say you sell B2B products and services; you can inform reps on how their efforts are making waves for businesses across the globe.

Create a Teamwork Atmosphere.  Anyone who’s ever tried an exercise routine knows: motivation to exercise can dwindle rapidly. Which is why people like to buddy up and train with a partner. Multiple studies confirm that working out with a partner – even a virtual one – boosts performance, so cultivate an atmosphere of teamwork to heighten the intrinsic motivation of your reps.

Research shows there is less than a 2% overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels.
Click To Tweet

Create competitive contests. Sometimes a good ol’e challenge is needed to fire up our motivational furnaces. Take for example Fitbits, the wearable fitness trackers designed to motivate couch potatoes. It’s not the technology that make them so effective, that’s simple and straightford. Rather, it’s the competitive circle it creates…

Fitbit’s app allows you to create a circle of friends that you can watch to see how your last 7 days compare to theirs; they can keep track of you too. If someone wants to encourage you, they can “Cheer” you…or if they want to be cheeky, “Taunt” you.

In the upcoming Fileboard release, many of these competitive and gamified elements will be implemented by:

  • Providing a sales leaderboard
  • Giving the ability for reps to start competitions
  • Using daily goals and tracking progress
  • Displaying self-performance analysis and where reps can improve
  • Giving positive reinforcement with tools like medals, badges and award etc.
Clarity Of The Sales Task

When talking about motivating salespeople, most of us fall into the trap of thinking of compensation or extrinsic incentives. Prizes, bonuses, competitions, and contests typically spring to mind.

But there’s an overlooked element that is rarely mentioned: task clarity.  A study by Harvard shows that one of the most powerful sales motivation elements is task clarity. Task clarity can be defined as:

“The degree to which there is a clear and positive relationship between exerting effort and attaining results.”

Now, the clarity of a task is heavily depends two things:

  1. How long it takes to receive performance feedback
  2. How accurately the results of individual salespeople can be identified

Researchers found a strong relation between clarity of the sales task and the performance and effort of salespeople.

Sales reps in a business products company reported how easy it was to describe their job and its impact. They happily told researchers that they all went by the numbers, got feedback every week, and easily see performance results.

However, sales reps in a transportation services company revealed the opposite. They reported that it takes months for them to get feedback. And even when they do, their sales reports are only 50% accurate. “I guess you could say no one really knows how well his or her territory is doing at any given time.”

The study found that motivation and effort were significantly higher in companies with clearer sales tasks. Mainly because the reps could identify the results of their efforts. (The other companies they analyzed revealed the same results.)

You prevent a 400% employee salary from going down the drain, by simply motivating your sales team.
Click To Tweet

So, we know task-related ambiguity can kill a rep’s motivation, so how can managers boost the clarity of sales tasks and responsibilities?

  1. Limit responsibilities. Usually salespeople are given a certain location and told to “go get em”. But not only does this lead to overwhelm and confusion, it makes reps feel like they’re lacking priorities and have no control. Limit the number of accounts each rep is responsible for and give them specific goals for each account. This will allow reps to actually sell to those targeted accounts, not just pitch to hundreds.
  1. Give controllable goals. Reps must be given clear goals which they are able to control. This can include total sales goals or specific activity goals. It’s important to note that control is essential here. For example, making reps responsible for product shipping schedules or delivery isn’t wise. They have no control over those things. However, charging them with the responsibility of making x number of pitches or getting x product promotions is a stronger goal.
  1. Feedback Loops. Feedback is essential to clarifying a sales task. To stay motivated, reps need see the fruits of their labour. A lack of feedback can cripple even the most resilient of reps. Think about it, who wants to pour their time and energy into something that might not even be working?

  1. Reduce mental load. Having a quota or target to complete can be stressful. And stress –  as we know, can dampen motivation. You want your reps to worry as less as possible. Because for them to perform their best, they need to be focused on the task at hand. And that’s not easy when their brain is boiling with thoughts of how good/bad their last few pitches went. With Fileboard, reps get to view how their prospects react with their presentations and collateral, and prioritize their days based on the hottest leads. This leads to higher motivation and a reduced mental load, because they can view how they’re performing.
  1. Use an efficient sales process. An efficient sales process leads to clear sales tasks. Most reps don’t have an efficient sales process, which leads to mental stress as they don’t know what to do next.
Gamification and Progressive Wins

Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer asked hundreds of employees to maintain a diary recording their peaks and valleys in motivation at work. Amabile and Kramer analyzed 12,000 diary entries in total and what they discovered was totally contrary to conventional managerial wisdom.

In fact, Amabile and Kramer talked with 600 managers about what they thought was the single-most important motivator for employees at work. And guess what? A startling 95% of them answered wrong.

It’s wasn’t money, safety, security, or pressure that pushed employees at work.

The most important motivator for employees at work is what Amabile and Kramer call “the power of small wins“: employees are highly productive and driven to do their best work when they feel as if they’re making progress every day toward a goal that matters.

Selling successfully requires various committed actions. Reps have to approach cold leads, warm them up, nurture them: it’s a complicated procedure sometimes, and  requires multiple steps. This makes small wins even more important for reps, because they’re constantly brushing shoulders with rejection – which can extinguish motivation.  And a great way to incorporate small wins is to gamify the sales process.

Research shows that:

  • 31% more first year-reps achieve quota when supported with game mechanics
  • 9 out of 10 companies report that their gamification initiatives were a success
  • 71% of companies that used gamification saw 11-50% boost in sales performance

In this case study from the Fantasy Sales Team, implementing a gamified sales measuring and rewarding system significantly boosted sales rep motivation and performance.

“No longer was it a single carrot that was put out there for a sales executive to chase with a single goal. We could now put several metrics in place and the prize is more than monetary; because of the style of the game – winning amongst your peer group in a teaming design is also a motivator.”

Have you tried making small wins more measurable with gamification? If not, give it a shot.

What motivates you to win more sales and push through dull days? Tell us in the comments below.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for comprehensivenss and accuracy.

The post The Truth About Motivating Salespeople in 2017 appeared first on Fileboard - Makes Every Rep a Top Performer.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free year
Free Preview