We all know the game. Market your products or services (hopefully using the inbound approach), collect the leads and then you get the sales…right? If it isn't turning out this way, maybe something is missing. Could you be sending your sales team down a dark and lonely stairwell to figure out how to handle the steps between a lead and a closed sale?
The actual communication and exchange between the prospect and your representative requires some guidance from you. HubSpot, for example, has great marketing and sales tools to help with the steps, but who knows, trains and monitors to apply the data to the journey in between the ‘Lead stage’ and ‘Closed WON’ stage? Things like; how to effectively setup a meeting or call, how to get the attention of the person identified as a lead and agreement to speak with you, how to question extensively to find the real need or multiple needs, how to handle objections effectively, test with trial closes, etc. Does your staff know how to read personalities and how to present information about your services and products accordingly? My point is, you don’t sell Martha Stewart like you would Jimmy Fallon. To be able to win more sales your team needs to know how to deal with these personality differences as they relate to your business when engaging with your leads.
Here are some things to consider or to question of yourself and your operation:
- Do your sales people know how to use the information and prospect behavior that's being gathered in the HubSpot CRM (or the CRM you are using) to target and tweak their approach?
- Every good sales person knows to ask questions, but are they asking the right questions? Are you giving them material to use to identify the right questions? Are they layering questions for more in-depth discovery? Are all the needs being uncovered and especially the one that is a priority in the prospect’s mind? Using anchoring questions?
- Do you know how to determine the communicative styles and personal drivers of your prospects?
- Do your sales people present your product or service in a way that the prospect can appreciate it? Present a solution from the buyer’s perspective?
- How are you managing objections? Are you using methods that are effective and comfortable for the prospect and sales person that are not “PUSHY”.
- Are you preparing your sales team for how to conduct a trial close and how to proceed to the actual close. Do you provide the sales team with different approaches for closing a sale?
- Is it part of your selling philosophy to include ways to make customers your advocates with referrals and possibly future upsells?
I’ve seen many companies tell their sales people to “keep pushing” with no advice for how to do it. The hardest thing to watch is when a sales person is handed a script to contact all on their territory list. Again, as mentioned above you can’t influence Martha Stewart like you would Jimmy Fallon, so one script can never be completely successful. Training your salespeople not only gets you more sales but it is part of how your company is represented. If you want a competitive edge, invest in training your salespeople.
There is a lot of information out there on sales processes, personality profiles like DISC, closing techniques and more, but how do you pick? My initial recommendation is to make sure the information is from someone who has been in the field for years and has real-time experience. The biggest key to successfully incorporating these ideas for long term impact is the same as it is with a musical instrument or sport, it must be practiced consistently. Investing in your reps to help them grow and devlelop their skills will allow all of you to enjoy the benefits of closing more sales.
Knowledge is power and when you're in sales, it's often reflected in your income.