Monthly Archives: February 2016
Sales Prospecting is rarely anyone’s favorite activity
In my first post — Four Tips for Better Sales Prospecting — I shared some initial thoughts on how to make sales prospecting an integral part of the job as a sales professional. It’s not that sales prospecting is a new concept; it’s clearly at the heart of what everyone in sales should be doing continually. The issue is that it’s rarely anyone’s favorite activity and, as such, tends to fall off the to-do list when other priorities arise. That’s why I’m focusing this post on sharing more sales prospecting tips for even better demand generation.
Expect rejection. This is probably the number one reason to avoid prospecting. Rejection is a frequent outcome, as prospects decline your calls, don’t answer e-mails, or don’t give you a decisive no. Still, prospecting is a numbers game. The more you do it, the higher your chances of getting a hit. The trick is to develop a thick skin, expect attrition, and be prepared for rejection. If prospecting was easy, everyone would do it with no qualms. It’s not easy, as many prospects are resistant to changing their incumbent vendor or trying a new solution. But, if you’re prepared for rejection, it makes less of an impact when it does happen. Practice, practice, practice. Golfing legend Gary Player once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” Think of Tiger Woods in his » Continue Reading.
Sales Prospecting Requires the Will and Skill
Sales Prospecting is at the heart of what every sales professional should be doing continually. It doesn’t matter who you are, your level of experience, or your position within an organization. While it’s great to have leads provided to you by the Marketing organization and to work with existing clients, if you don’t engage in sales prospecting on a regular basis, you will struggle when the need to find new clients arises — as it always does.
Simply put, sales prospecting is a fundamental part of being in sales. Most sales professionals will admit that, yes, it has to be done, but they would probably also admit that prospecting is not their favorite activity. In recognizing its importance to selling success and the tendency to put it off or avoid it altogether, I’ve developed a list of sales prospecting tips and techniques to help make prospecting a more regular and successful part of the job.
Schedule time on your calendar. Put your commitment in writing by blocking out time on your Outlook calendar or whatever other scheduling system that you use. Set aside time each week just for prospecting, and tell yourself you’re not going to do anything else for that period. This will give you a target to aim for, with time set aside to focus on this activity. When you write something down in your calendar, you » Continue Reading.
Social Selling? Negotiating price concessions? Growing existing accounts? What are some of the biggest challenges facing sales professionals in our uncertain business environment? Richardson has the answers!
We are very excited to release The 2016 Richardson Selling Challenges Research Study. We surveyed over 400 field sales reps, senior sales professionals, and sales leaders and asked them to identify some of the major hurdles they are, and will be facing, in the year ahead that will impede them from achieving their goals and objectives.
The report will provide you with insight into some of the challenges sales professionals are trying to manage around prospecting into new accounts, identifying client needs, negotiating deals, managing accounts, and expanding relationships. This report will also provide you with some helpful tips on how to navigate these rough waters.
Richardson will also be developing additional articles from this this data based on a number of responder characteristics such as role, tenure, and industry. If you would like an industry specific version, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your potential options.
Please click here to download this complimentary report.
The talent pool for sales leadership comes from successful sales professionals. Organizations often reward excellence in selling by promotion into leadership roles. But, what’s missing is the realization that different skill sets are required for selling vs. managing those who sell.
Sale leaders need to build on their understanding of the sales process by adding skills in developmental sales coaching. At Richardson, we define this as an effective and time-efficient incremental coaching process that achieves results and helps make sales professionals responsible for their own development. At its foundation, this involves a shift from being a boss who evaluates performance to becoming a coach who develops team members by empowering their own growth.
What I see most often in new sales leaders is a tendency to be driven solely by metrics. They focus on deliverables from their team: the number of sales calls made, reports filed on time, and sales forecasts. These new leaders have been successful in the field, and they want to continue that success. What they don’t realize is their ability to achieve greater success rests with their capability to effectively manage their team. They need to develop their observation skills to assess how their people are doing and where they might need help. They need to recognize what’s going well, coach to verifiable outcomes, and give constructive feedback to drive success for the individual, the team, and the organization.
Moving from individual contributor to sales » Continue Reading.
Selling is a human activity. So, it makes sense for sales leadership to take a human approach to motivating their sales professionals.
On a business level, this means insuring your people have all the resources that they need to be successful and mitigating any obstacles that stand in the way.
On a personal level, it means taking the time to get inside the head of each member of your sales team to understand what is important to them and why. Do they value challenges? Do they look for recognition? Is being a part of a team important to them?
We are all different, with different strengths, and motivated by different things. The more you, as a sales leader, get to know the individuals on your sales team, the more effective you can be in articulating and driving desired behaviors. Performance for the individual and the team should improve, with your organization — and the customer — benefiting in the process.
Consider this typical leadership scenario: the ride along. Ideally, the ride along presents a mutual learning opportunity in which sales leaders see first-hand how their team members pursue a prospect or interact with a client, and sales professionals gain constructive coaching and feedback from their leaders.
What happens too often, however, is the sales leader reacts instead of responding appropriately: “I can’t believe you said that in the meeting. What were you thinking?” Or, sales leaders will jump straight to » Continue Reading.