The number one issue on the minds of CEOs, presidents and business owners today as we continue to experience an uncertain economy is: sales. Business people are asking how they can increase sales productivity. Are you asking the same question? If so, here are three ways:
1) Hire right: Sales success begins with the hiring process. If you hire the right people that fit with your company culture; if they are salespeople and not order takers, if they have the “attitude” necessary to sell; if they are sales closers with the drive to make money, your sales will increase.
As I always say: Salespeople sell. No excuses.
There is something to be said for hiring people with a track record. But some companies find it best to hire people outside of the industry because they have no preconceived notions and may be easier to train to a particular style of selling and customer service.
There are two things you can do to get an instant picture of a potential hire’s sales success and attitude.
The first is to ask the potential new hire how they prospect for sales. If they tell you they expect the company to give them leads they are certainly not your person. The second is to ask the candidate right on the spot to sell you the last product they sold and to then close you.
By exploring both of these points during the interview process you’ll be able to see how they work and if they fit into your organization. You can also ask them how they envision their sales week. For example: how many prospecting calls; how many appointments; what goals will they have for the week.
2) Prospect right: Prospecting is where it all starts in the sales process. If you aren’t talking to the right people you are wasting your time. If you aren’t talking to the decision makers you are wasting your time. If you don’t do enough prospecting your sales will reflect the results. You can never have enough business. Nor can you expect business to just walk in the door at the most opportune moment. Never stop prospecting no matter how busy your company may be. This is perhaps the biggest mistake I see business people make. Don’t allow yourself to be under the false illusion that everything will take care of itself.
3) Close right: If you prospect correctly, if you present your product or service correctly, and if you have conversation with your prospect that is engaging, asking the right questions as to what their needs are and the outcome they are looking for, closing becomes a non-issue.
You actually start to close the sale from the time you say “hello” and on through the close when you ask for the commitment to do business together. What do prospects really want from you? They want products and services that are going to help improve their business, serve their customers and help them become more successful. Price is a consideration but it is certainly not on the top of the list.
By following these three steps, your company’s path to consistent sales success and increased sales productivity will be much clearer.
This week on Talk Business With Howard radio, which airs live every Wednesday at 11 AM/ET on Blog Talk Radio, the topic will be, How To Increase Sales Productivity In Your Business. Listen in for more sales and business tips. The show replay will also be posted here for your listening convenience.