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April 2017

17Apr 2017

Does your Sales Team need a ‘PEP-UP”

Does your Sales Team need a ‘PEP-UP”

sales meeting

Then, it’s time to get thinking into action.

Are you finding it difficult to get your sales team back on track? Tried every possible ways, but still have not achieved the desired results. It’s a problem that’s vexed multi-national corporations and start-ups; assistant managers and presidents of boards. Forget the pep-talk. Experts suggest using sales management and training techniques which also involve bringing in specialized software to boost sales performance.
It becomes difficult to find out under-performing team members, when it could be that the staff just needs guidance, encouragement and training to get back on track. A little professional nudge in the right direction, is a more economical choice over the time-consuming and expensive process of hiring a replacement sales representative.

Appoint Great Sales Manager

Many companies make the mistake of promoting their top salespeople to managerial positions. Often, even the most skilled salespeople don’t have the coaching dexterity needed to effectively guide a whole team. You need to employ a manager who is not only willing to engage the team, but to also identify weaknesses, and work directly with sales staff to overcome their challenges.”At the end of the day, people don’t leave bad companies. They leave bad managers.”

Implement One-on-One Coaching

Walk that extra mile. Take initiative and talk to the team. Find out what are the hurdles they are facing? What makes their jobs difficult? What could they do better? What could be done to provide them to do better? Have a brainstorming session. That itself is an energy booster and the outcome is positive.
Pick one problem at a time to work on to get better results. Which also means providing technical assistance and giving additional management support. Work closely with the individual sales representatives to understand the context of the problems. Pairing low-performing sales representatives with successful ones will do wonders. Limiting the coaching to specific groups of employees is often more effective than spreading it around the company as a whole. Have an action plan. Keep track of things. Appreciate relevant sales persons or the team when there is some growth, or some success.”

Focus – and Generate Interest

Losing sight of their primary objectives is a normal behavior with sales people. Train them to introspect on their performance. Simple questions like, “Why am I here?” “What is my value- add?” “How have I performed in the last quarter?”, will help them to regain focus. Help them monitor their goals and objectives as part of a daily routine. In fact, there are efficient software in the market that can capture end-to-end sales functions. Correct implementation of these software, will help improve their success rate since they become free of many administrative and recurring operations.

Empathize

Defined as the ability to be in the other person’s shoes and understand his problems from their point of view. Sales Managers must take the time to identify with each team member’s concerns and address them accordingly. This creates a platform for transparency in communication and builds trust. Also, communicate your company’s expectations to the sales person so he knows what he has to do and goes about doing it in the right manner. Negotiable and non-negotiable expectations have to be stated assertively to enable results.

Stay ahead of the competition

Change is the only constant. Managers must make this their mantra to success. Adopt latest strategies, techniques and technology to create a super-efficient sales team. Just remember, sitting on the bench makes you stagnant, being out on the field, brings in triumph.

13Apr 2017

Sales Obstacles

Hello Sales Manager, Don’t let Obstacles obstruct your sales success.
Managing sales is not a cake walk, isn’t it? You have to go through so many things at a time. Sales profession requires continuous training and refining of skills. Sales personnel have to face various issues and hassles in their daily schedule, which, if not attended to, could escalate and cause serious worry for businesses in the form of financial loss, attrition, loss of goodwill and more. Most businesses share at least few of these common issues, some of which are enumerated below. Knowing how to cope with them is an important part of being a good sales manager. And if you’re considering changing jobs from salesperson to sales manager, you should be familiar with these potential stumbling blocks.
sales obstacles
Let us have a close view look at major issues or obstacles faced by sales management.

Lack of training
Training and development forms a crucial part of enhancing employee’s performance. Many a times, sales managers are not provided with efficient training programs. They, therefore, lack ability to perform well. At times employees have to invest in various courses, to enhance their skill set. It is therefore suggested that, managers must ask for training sessions.

Responsibilities that are not part of your job
Sales managers are always burdened with various tasks. Being a sales person you have to perform various jobs at the same time. Multi-tasking as one may call it. You have to act as sales manager, marketing manager, administrative manager, and so on. These are not part of your job responsibilities. Instead keep track of how much time you spend on various tasks and present that log to your boss. Explain to him, the need to refocus on sales management responsibilities. Suggest hiring an assistant and bringing in some specialized software which would help with sales coordination, which would also reduce time spent on unnecessary paperwork, coordinating campaigns with other departments, making presentations to executives and writing reports. Bringing in this software specialization would allow you time to focus on your actual responsibility, which is to manage your sales team and sales process, efficiently.

No Freedom to Act
Sales managers are usually belong to the middle management criteria. They are responsible for managing their sales teams, but they have to report to higher-level managers themselves. An unfortunate side effect of middle management structure is that, a sales manager is required to get permission from higher management, before they can act or resolve problems. Drawing up some ‘action plans’ and getting them approved ahead of time can help to speed up resolution in these circumstances.

Lack of Information
Sales managers are actively involved in lead generation. They need to keep a track of the closures, especially since many sales managers compensation plans are tied to how well their teams perform. However, what goes on in between lead acquisition and closing the sale, can be a mystery to the manager. Without a clear understanding of the sales process, sales managers will have a difficult time figuring out what went wrong, if these aspects are not recorded properly. To overcome this problem, CRM programs can be integrated into company systems, to ensure update of and track record of each closure.

Choosing your path as a sales manager was a great choice, but along with it comes a whole lot of problems and responsibilities. To overcome the hurdles faced by sales management, these best possible solutions will give your sales team a boost and they will get inspired to perform better ensuring success for you as a professional thus enabling organisational success. After all as well said by Mark Hunter, “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.”

10Apr 2017

HOW TO IMPROVE SALES PERFORMANCE

April is here……Get Sales Ready

How was your last financial year? I’m sure there have been quite a few learning which you would like to implement this new financial year! I would like to share some of the ways in which you can structure your thoughts.

Sales play a vital role in the success and survival of your business. In the blink of an eye, new competitors emerge, similar products are released and even before you know, you are already part of a competition.

No matter what industry you are in, what worked well a few years ago, isn’t good enough today. The time for trial and error is already over, now it is time to sharpen your axe. It is quite essential to know the basic nuances of sales.


Let’s glance through some of the ways to improve your sales performance.

1. Understand your Mission.
Before venturing to sell your products or services, it is crucial to identify your target. What is the AIM or MISSION? It may be target decided by your company and giving to you or maybe you have decided your own mission, like how soon you are planning to complete your target? And how much money you are willing to earn during this particular year? To achieve your mission you need to make some short term and realistic goals.

2. Set Realistic Goals.
Now that you have a clear understanding of your mission. Get ready to achieve realistic goals. Set the activity goals (calls per day, proposals per month, referrals per call, and so on) that you can control. Ensure that you set realistic goals to measure your progress, and track them closely. This will help you to accomplish your goals. What is best is that, you can employ software, to aid this process. There are specialized software in the market, that are specially created to assist end to end sales process efficiency.

3. Get Attention.
Getting attention isn’t that easy. Effective marketing, referrals, strong sales skills, and strategic questions are the keys to creating favorable attention. Rigorous follow-ups through-above-and-beyond customer services are the keys to maintaining it.

4. Ask, Listen, and Act.
Whenever you go with the sole purpose of selling remember that, the above three words summarize success in sales. Make sure you ask relevant questions. Ramp up your listening skills. This proves that you are a great listener and you respond to customer queries in the most efficient manner.

5. Take the responsibility but not the credit.
Act like a leader, take responsibility on your shoulders. Be the person behind a strong team willing to go the extra mile, when you need it. Give your team the credit for everything that goes right, and take the blame when it goes wrong.

6. Develop your Attitude.
Attitude is what matters the most. The way you portray yourself makes a lot of difference. There will be times when you are not performing well. During such times keep calm, conquer your fears and balance your temper. Change the beliefs that limit your success. Your attitude controls your commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, resilience and confidence. With time you can have a good control over yourself and your attitude.

7. Optimize your Time.
Utilize most of your time, focusing on your goals. Test every activity for its importance and urgency. Create an ideal schedule and execute it well. Remember, just one hour a day used more productively adds up to six extra weeks of productive time a year.

8. Get Technology Savvy.
Distances have become closer with the technological advancements in every field. Become aware of the need of the hour. Adopt technology, mostly in the form of sales efficiency software to help your team perform better. More can be achieved when processes are streamlined.
Everything said and done, it’s time to perform, give your best and increase your organization’s sales graph and take your organization to the next level.