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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

5 Reasons You Should Do Sales Coaching

Posted on Mon, Aug 18, 2014

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Sales coaching by a coach who is an expert at selling, not coaching is the cure to many sales woes, and can make many more people successful. It is worth with the investment with a huge ROI. Imagine a $1,000 - $3,000 investment returning $1,000,000 in revenue and $250,000 profit. I personally have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and it never would have happened without my sales coach.*

I offer my advice and services (if you like) to you.

Most recently, I have been doing a lot of coaching with salespeople who should be better than they are. They usually share these characteristics:

-       they are smart

-       want to learn and get better

-       are attractive as people (men and woman)

-       are motivated to be successful for internal or external reasons

-       are not getting the kind of attention they need because:

* they work alone
* are in too large an organization
* work for a manager who cant give them the time they need
* are thrown into the lion’s cage and told to survive

So why aren’t they doing better:

  1. They can’t see the forest from the trees. They are confused and need some structure. I recently gave a woman I was coaching exact words and flow to use until she didn't need it anymore. She improved dramatically!!
  2. They are thrown into the room with the occasional raw meat, just like I was. And this is much more common. Sink or Swim. They are not alone when being coached
  3. Not given enough time to be successful. Too often I have seen people who could be really good if they were given a little more time but pressures avail. Now one of the traits to be successful is speed, but everyone is not as fast as others. Sales coaching accelerates the process.
  4. Most managers are just bad in this area.  They don't give their people enough attention due to time shortages or they don't know how. They may have no idea of their responsibility in developing people, so they don't. We can teach salespeople and managers.
  5. Wrong Job – even though they have all the attributes described, they just aren’t going to be good salespeople. There are lots of reasons this happens, and lots of way to prevent this but I don't really want to go into them. Think better hiring, use online assessment tools, hire for the job, not in your image, etc., etc. Coaching can help you make a decision if the person is or isnt suited for sales

So can a manager or oganization address all the areas mentioned in this blog. Of course, it is not difficult. But many don't and that is why you need a coach.

*A personal story. I remember my first training at Olivetti when they put me into a room with some manuals and every once in a while opened the door and threw in some raw meat to feed me. It wasn't that bad but it is an appropriate metaphor. My “mentor” would drive me around to client meetings and we would smoke Hawaiian buds (remember it was the 70’s). It wasn't until a person took me under his wing to give me some direction, and along with my immense latent talent J did I become a successful sales person and sales coach. 

Tell me what you think or reach out to me at JLondon@ipgtraining.com

 

Tags: Sales Effectiveness, Coaching, Coaching, Sales Productivity, sales management, sales management

Salespeople, 19 Tips to Close Larger Deals

Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012


19 Tips To Close Larger Deals
1.    Assign an executive sponsor as early as possible.
2.    Increase Face to Face time.
3.    If the deal crosses territories or oceans, salespeople must share in the wealth and work with others.
4.    Get contracts done and issues resolved ahead of time. Use contract as part of close.
5.    Know their decision process and the people involved so you don't have to chase or guess.
6.    If you must, use discounting wisely. Keep something in your back pocket.
7.    Use your management and pre/post sales support team early and often.
8.    Know your negotiation strategy so the deal doesn't get delayed.
9.    Start where you are stronger. Go to your strengths to win more.
10.  Don't chase bad business just because it is big.
11.  Bigger deals take longer. Don’t get distracted with the little stuff.
12.  Discuss and strategize your deals with another person or persons.
       They might be sitting right next to you, be experiencing the same thing and have great insights.
13.  Check LinkedIn, Facebook, Phinkit or any source for connections.
       These connections might be able to coach you or influence the buyer.
14.   Develop a coach ASAP if it is a big deal.
15.   If you are smaller than your competitors, show your depth by having more people involved in the deal.
16.   Create a no lose policy for certain strategic key accounts.
17.   If you are in a very advantageous position, push the close ASAP.
       The longer the deal goes on, the more bad things can happen.
18.   Resources and frequency on client interaction needs to increase.
19.   If it is very competitive have a tie breaker to help the customer decide in your favor.

If you have more tips you have used from deals you have closed or your team has closed, please do share your thoughts.


 

 

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Coaching, Sales Productivity, Negotiations, Sales Process, sales management, Presenting

Technology For Every Stage of the Sales Process

Posted on Wed, May 02, 2012

Technology for Every Stage of the Sales Process

Every profession goes through transitions and technological improvements. The equipment that Tiger Woods uses today (no pun intended) is better than Jack Nicklaus'. The tennis racquets that Roger Federer uses is far superior to John McEnroe. Baseballs and gloves are far more sophisticated today than in the days of The Original Bronx Bombers of Ruth and Gehrig (that's for all my Red Sox fans). And I am glad my dentist uses the equipment she does and I don’t have to be in pain when she works on me.

Sales technology has also made quantum leaps. There is amazing technology for every stage of the sales process (be on the lookout in July for my newest book "Technology and Selling") but salespeople or sales organizations don't take as much advantage as they should. I think most organizations pick and choose one or two technologies to help salespeople. CRM is a favorite although most salespeople would beg to differ. E-mail doesn’t count any more.  It is plumbing. Maybe some companies are using some conferencing technology or great slide share technology, the next generation of PowerPoint, but little else.

There are amazing technologies for every stage of the sales process beginning with prospecting through the negotiation stage.

Imagine if you had technology that:
• made your prospecting more effective to get more appointments
• guided, tutored and supported you during your initial meeting
• allowed you to create the sexiest proposals, presentations and demonstrations
• build better teams and strategies to win bigger deals
• show you how to have a better negotiation and advantage so you didn’t give away so much and negotiated better
• gave you back one or two more hours a day to work or live.

Well they are all available, many don't cost much or anything at all and can standalone or integrate with your CRM.

So why don't sales people take advantage of this?  Several potential reasons:
1. they don't know about them
2. they are too dependent on having things done for them
3. they don't want to be bothered
4. they are doing well without

And why don't companies take advantage:
1. they don’t know about them
2. they don’t want to spend the money
3. it takes people to choose and support and that costs money which they don’t want to spend
4. they can’t get people to use what they have already invested in, like CRM or web conferencing

Tell me what you think? And if you want a free chapter of my new book.

Click me

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, Prospecting, b2b lead generation, Sales Productivity, Sales Process, Social Media, technology enabled selling, sales management, Presentations, sales technology

5 Clear, Easy, Logical Selling Strategies to Sell More

Posted on Thu, Apr 12, 2012

 

5 Clear, Easy, Logical Steps to Selling More

 

...Or On The Way to the Men’s Room at a Client.

As often happens (but not often enough), I had a realization about the way a person or business can have the success they want in selling their product or offering with these selling strategies. 

This might seem obvious, or this may be taught somewhere, but for me, it is my experience and message in a very simple way. Here you go:

1. What's your target market?
2. What needs are you addressing?
3. Do you have any unique advantages?
4. Who by title and responsibility needs these unique advantages the most?
5. What approach or channel is the best way to get to these people and organizations that need you?

Now as Nike says, “Just Do It” and as I say, “If not you, who? If not now, when?”

If you want to know more, you can:

1.  Click me

2.  call me at 201-788-8922

3.  email me at JLondon@ipgtraining.com

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Sales Productivity, sales management, Presentations

The Problem with Today's Economy is Today's Salespeople

Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

Bad Salepeople 

 

According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are over 5,000,000 B2B salespeople in the US and over 10,000,000 in total. If each of these salespeople could only be 10% better, they could significantly improve the gross output of the companies they represent. That could be worth multiple billions of dollars to our economy. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad salespeople selling good products. I have the opportunity to be in front of a lot of salespeople in different industries and there are far too many salespeople and managers that are not up to par. Some are OK, some are good, very few are exceptional and most are bad.

Managers are not much better. By and large, because of the pressures on them, and the lack of training they receive, they add no value to the sales process, or in developing their people. They have been relegated to be problem solvers, panic control, e-mail responders, forecasters and administrators.

Is it any worse than it has always been?  I think so, significantly. Let’s make some comparisons:

Area VP: should be very involved in setting a S.M.A.R.T. sales structure so all people (sales, service, support, HQ, OPs, etc.) are aligned, have clarity in their responsibilities and are more efficient. A sales structure should prevent as little waste of time as possible, focus on the most important things to make sales and not waste time otherwise. This was an absolutely integral part of a sales culture.

Sales Managers:  Sales managers were part of the above process, were responsible for fostering it and developing it so salespeople were as productive as possible.

SE or Technical Managers: were also brought into alignment so they knew who the top prospects and accounts were. They were responsible for attending to and supporting salespeople and accounts based upon their size and value. They were heavily involved in forecasting because they kept the sales people straight. They were responsible for developing their people's technical and selling skills.

Sales OPs: was very good, very efficient. In part because of the importance of them processing orders properly, and also because they understood their function, which was to keep the integrity of the process and support salespeople to be selling more.

The sales team was very strong. There was always the 80/20 rule but it was closer to 70/30 There were more B players than A's, and C's churned quickly. It certainly vacillated between the three but those are fair numbers.

Let’s compare that with today's environment:

VP of Sales: The VP’s I work with are very bright sales and business people. For the same reasons as their managers and the pressures they are under to make their number, they do not spend as much time establishing the proper sales structure and processes as they should. Most sales cultures I work with are monthly, or sometimes weekly driven. It is impossible to do things more strategic because of such short term focus.

Sales Management: is in general, weak. There is very little development or structure for them. They tend to be put into the position without understanding its import and value. Sales managers are way too focused on the day-day or month-month business. There is very little longer term strategy at all. From the outside, it seems even less time is spent on developing people, teams and processes.

Technical Support, Account Management and Admin Teams: current teams tend to be strong, perhaps to offset the weakness in management and processes. The problem is turnover is too high because of the pressure put on people.

The sales people: are not strong. I would say it is 15% A, 30-40% B and the rest are bad and that is being kind.

It is a sad state of affairs that our salespeople are so poorly prepared. Perhaps that is why marketing has taken the lead role in generating revenue, or because of this, sales is being short changed in developing their people. In either case, they need to slow down, be better prepared, skilled and more strategic. If that can be done, our economy will recover more quickly.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Effectiveness, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, sales management, Management

Salespeople: You May Have Less Time Than You Think

Posted on Tue, Mar 06, 2012

 

 Less Time Than You Think

Depending upon your “average sales” cycle, and assuming your fiscal year end in 12/31/12, then you may have less time than you think.

Many of my clients have a 3 - 6 month average sales cycle, which means they have to have all of their opportunities started by either June 30 or Sept 30 (if you are selling to the US government, and you have a 6 month sales cycle you have to have all your opportunities started by  the end of this month).

You should also consider that July and August tend to be difficult months because so many people take vacations and December becomes awkward because of holidays (in the US it may even start as early as Thanksgiving).

So, the question is: are you frontloading your prospecting activity so you don't have problems at the end of year?

Here are some ideas to help you make your number:
1. dedicate time for everyone to spend dedicated time prospecting
2. add one hour a day that is mandatory to do this
3. give everyone who touches your customers (service and support) a quota of leads to give to sales, and give them a bonus
4. make executives responsible to leverage their connections and find deals
5. front load your marketing activities (lead gen, trade shows, etc.) to meet your sales cycle
6. create packages or incentives for people to buy earlier than later
7. identify a “hit-list” of top tier accounts that you can make big sales to. This will either help you exceed your number or make up for any shortfall
8. incent all employees to give leads

Ideas not directly related to prospecting but can help you make your number include:
9. create a special to close the biggest deals
10. add a measurement to upsell an average of x% for every deal
11. start looking out 90 days to see how you are trending

From a pure management perspective, the most important thing you can do is raise the standard. Whatever they are doing, raise the expectation a bit more. Don't be afraid of alienating people. Great managers know when to lead, and if you are short on your pipeline, there is no better time.

Any thoughts, let me know.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Effectiveness, Closing, Prospecting, b2b lead generation, sales management