Developing Salespeople While Coaching on the Run

One of the biggest casualties in the battle to “do more with less” is developing salespeople. With fiercer competition, shorter deadlines, and the urgent replac­ing the important, sales managers are starting to view developing salespeople as a luxury they just can’t developing peopleafford.

Although common, this approach to manage­ment is short-sighted and can lead to long-term disaster. Even with more demands on your time you must realize that developing salespeople isn’t something you do instead of your job. It is your job!

This means finding opportunities to make a difference as they present themselves.

The key to coaching on the run is the “hand in the bucket” test. When you put your hand in a bucket of water, the water level rises.  This is the case when a you spend time with a sales­person. While you are present, the sales­person’s level of perfor­mance is elevated.  The real test for developing salespeople occurs when you are no longer present. Does the salesperson’s performance return to the previous level, or does it stay elevat­ed?  In other words, did you leave something with the salesperson to make a real and lasting difference?

Before we discuss some of the specific aspects and techniques for coaching on the run, let’s review what it takes for salespeople to perform at their optimal level. Use the checklist below to determine if you’re giving your salespeople what they need to win.

Coaching Checklist for Developing Salespeople

  • Do your people have a clear understanding of what they are expected to do?
  • Do your people have clear standards for ac­ceptable performance?
  • Do your people have the authority and re­sourc­es to perform effectively?
  • Do your people encounter little task interfer­ence (e.g., conflicting goals, objectives, procedures,   etc?)
  • Do your people receive timely and accurate feedback on their performance?
  • Do your people receive positive conse­quences and reinforcement for performing the job as it’s supposed to be done?
  • Do your people experience negative conse­quences when they fail to perform?

These guidelines apply to performance in general, as well as specifics tasks and assignments. Use the questions to assess your coaching abilities and to analyze performance problems.

Each “no” represents a potential performance problem for developing salespeople. Taking action to convert your “no” respons­es to “yes” will go a long way toward improving your people’s performance.

Is Your Company Positioned to Increase Sales, Profits and Customer Loyalty in the New Economy?

Let’s face it; we’re experiencing an economy that is different than anyone has seen in the past.  This means there are new rules of engagement. Being good enough just doesn’t cut it anymore. Companies either lead or get left behind!

What most companies have learned is that the new economy is very unforgiving. Every sales and marketing flaw, mistake and missed opportunity results in companies paying dearly in lost sales, profits and customers. How is your company doing?

What can your company do to ensure success? Companies who are thriving now share many things in common including: having a clear sense of who they are, knowing who their customer is (and isn’t), understanding the market they compete in, and then aligning their sales and marketing efforts to uniquely communicate and deliver their solution. Simply put they have “Right Sized” their organization to deliver the right solution, to the right customer, at the right time and at the right price… and they do it in a way that ensures bottom line results and grows customer loyalty.

Here are nine factors you must have in place to “Right Size” your company for success.

  1. Right Mission, Vision and Values-Are your company’s Mission, Vision and Values aligned so that everybody in the organization understands and acts congruently with them? Every misalignment dissipates your company’s ITEAM (Information, Time, Energy, Attention and Motivation) and drains your profits.
  2. Right Customers-Do you know who your Ideal Customers are as well as how, when and why they are motivated to purchase your solution? Do you know why they continue to purchase and why they leave?
  3. Right Solution-Can you deliver a Solution that uniquely meets your Ideal Customer’s buying criteria and emotional needs? Is your solution positioned to maintain its competitive advantage now and in the future?
  4. Right Message and Timing-Does your Sales and Marketing Message help your Ideal Customers clearly understand how your solution uniquely satisfies their buying criteria and emotional needs? Is your sales message delivered when it will influence the buying decision in your favor?
  5. Right Strategy-Do your Sales and Marketing Strategies pre-empt your competition by establishing your solution as “the” market standard? Do your Sales and Marketing Strategies educate your market so that you dominate it?
  6. Right Price-Does the Value delivered by your solution far exceed what your customers pay so that “price” is never the primary factor in the buying decision?
  7. Right Sales Process-Does your Sales Process make sure the you deploy the right selling effort supported by the right resources to make sure that sales are made in the shortest time with the fewest resources needed to optimize sales, profits and customer loyalty?
  8. Right Customer Experience-Does your Customer Experience make sure that every Customer Touch reinforces your unique selling proposition and endears customers to your organization while transforming prospects to customers, customers into loyal customers and loyal customers into raving fans?
  9. Right People– Do you have the Right People in place so that their talents and motivation are fully utilized while executing your sales and marketing strategies.

Each one of these factors is interrelated to the others. If your employees aren’t aligned with your Mission, Vision and Values you’ll be hard pressed to have them deliver customer touches that are consistent with your unique selling proposition. If you have the right message but it’s delivered too early or too late it won’t influence the sale in your favor. If you spend selling effort and resources pursuing customers who don’t need, can’t or won’t buy your solution your sales and profits will suffer. The key to success is to have all nine factors in place and constantly monitor them to make sure they optimally contribute to growing sales, profits and customer loyalty.

For more information on how to Right Size your company contact me at philatphilfarisdotcom  (philatphilfarisdotcom)   or call my personal cell 224-829-2156.

Work Smarter Not Harder

work smarter Work smarter not harder to get better results. This concept is easy to say yet difficult to do.   When the demands of your job and request from your customers increase how do you respond?  If your natural response is to just put in more time and effort you need to read on.

The Problem

Customers are becoming more demanding and management is always asking you to give 110% . You put out the effort but the results don’t reflect it and your job never seems to be done. If this how you feel then you could be caught in the activity trap.

Many times sales people get caught in the activity trap.  They find themselves running from sales call to sales call without showing much in return.  It seems like the harder they work the less effective they become. Emails, texts and calls from impatient customers never seems to end.

The Solution

If you are or think you are in the activity trap, then you need to step back and ask yourself these 6 questions.  Your answers should provide the focus you need to get back on the Right Track.

  1. Are you calling on the right customers? The one’s who have the ability and interest to buy now.
  2. Are your talking to the right person? The person who can say “yes” and “no”.
  3. Are you presenting the right solution? Your solution is unique in solving the customer’s problem or addressing a need.
  4. Are you presenting the right price? There is clear value established.
  5. Are you presenting the right reasons to buy? You’ve uncovered the customer’s emotional and stated needs.
  6. Is this the right time for your solution? Internal and external barriers have been identified and removed.

Your honest answers should provide you with the focus needed to get you back on the Right Track. By periodically asking yourself these questions you ensure that you work smarter and not harder.