Is your team struggling with sales? If so, you’ve probably talked about sales systems and training, read books and may have engaged an outside source to “fire up” your team and get the cash flowing. Although this approach can be productive, I find that there are two things often overlooked in developing sales strategy and sales teams. They are, in order, 1) company hiring, and 2) salesperson responsibility.
Company hiring includes at minimum a responsibility to hire great players that meet your company core values and are willing to take personal responsibility for their outcomes. Let’s set aside hiring and core values (think Topgrading) and focus on the foundation of becoming a sales professional. I inquired of sales guru and best-selling author Jack Daly what he had found most important for a salesperson to move from the ranks of mediocrity to stardom. He shared ten points:
Relationship selling means different things to different people. However, we should all be able to agree on one thing: successful career development depends upon how well we strengthen continuing business relationships with our customers.
Some sales people have built numerous valuable business relationships over five years. Others have been in the business for one year, five times; they do deals, but don't establish strong professional relationships with their referral sources. A very insightful measure into your success as a sales rep is how many "clients" you have developed. I define a client as someone who gives you, on a regular basis, 50 percent or more, if not all, of his or her business. In essence, you are the partner of that business source.
Superstar sales people tell us that 80 percent of their business regularly comes from only a few accounts. Others may envy their steady stream of referrals but aren't willing to discipline themselves to build strong business relationships.
In my bestselling book, Hyper Sales Growth, and in my many sales presentations and workshops, I talk about the rules of selling. These are the standards against which you should measure your activities and adjust your work efforts to build a more satisfying and profitable career. Follow these ten rules to begin strengthening your business relationships and become a true sales professional.
The 10 Rules of Selling
1. Self-Renewal. Self-renewal describes the constant search for ways to improve your productivity. Productivity means becoming better, smarter, and faster –- a true professional. What are you doing to sharpen your axe?
2. Personal and Professional Vision. To become a superstar, and to reach the success level of your dreams, you must define your personal and professional vision of your future.
3. Total Quality Management. Quality management for any company starts with the sales force. Our company can only work with the business which that we, as sales reps, provide it. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to seek quality business from quality sources.
4. Invest in Yourself. As a sales rep, we are the CEO of our own business. The more our income comes from commissions, the more we should invest in our business (ourselves).
5. See Fewer People. Most sellers call on too many prospects. I believe you should target a limited number of top-quality account prospects and then focus all call activity on this target list. The goal of every sales rep should be to build a limited clientele of high-producing business sources.
6. Transfer of Trust. Selling is the transfer of trust. If we analyze why prospects do business with a sales person, the bottom line is trust. A trusting relationship has first been built between them.
7. Value-Added Partnerships. A value-added partnership is a business relationship in which each partner receives more than expected. To achieve this relationship, each partner must think like the other and strive to find ways to assist his or her partner in being more successful.
8. Recognize Support Staff. No discussion of value-added partnerships would be complete without consideration of our partnership with our inside support staff. Frequently they are the unsung, unrecognized heroes of the day-to-day sales process.
9. Be Your Own Sales Leader. Success is achieved one step at a time. Success is evaluating past performance. Success is accepting personal responsibility. Success is remembering that - "If it's meant to be, it's up to me." We should be our own sales leader, as well as CEO of our own business. And then, we should act on our own advice.
10. Career Growth. Maximizing career growth starts with what we believe. Belief is the guiding factor, principle, passion, and faith that provides direction in our lives.
I, Barry, have found that Jack is quick to correctly assess sales problems and map pathways to overcome. It’s what has made him so successful in building companies with thousands of sales people. As an entrepreneur or leader, make sure that you're hiring right and then, consider measuring your sales people against Jack’s top 10. This approach could be the one solution you need to start doubling your business.
Jack Daly is a serial entrepreneur, international sales expert, and author of Hyper Sales Growth with ForbesBooks, the exclusive book publishing imprint of Forbes Media. Learn more at jackdaly.net.
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