Sales Coaching: Address a Hidden Weakness to Increase Sales
Alan, CEO of engineering firm, says, “Danita, I’m feeling very frustrated! The pipeline looks great, but the sales cycles are so incredibly long. I need to see business this year, not in three years! Is there any way of shortening the process to get the business sooner, rather than later?”
Alan is one of the business CEO’s and sales leaders I work with who want to increase the capabilities of their sales teams so that they can consistently meet and exceed their strategic growth objectives.
Many salespeople don’t even realize why deals are languishing in the pipeline and they have such difficulty cracking new accounts. Why? They keep doing the same old thing year after year.
What do they need to do differently to shorten the sales cycle?
Get the right message to the right decision maker at the right time.
That’s many “rights” – but without these, your salespeople will be ineffective. It’s especially important to coach our up-and coming sales hunters to grasp this concept as you’re managing Millennials in your sales force.
In Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building your Next-Gen Leader, due in Nov., I talk about the negative impact of a hidden weakness, Need for Approval, on both leadership and sales results. Research done by Objective Management Group shows that only 22% of the top 1% salespeople have this hidden weakness, as opposed to 94% of the bottom 5% of salespeople.
When salespeople need approval from their prospects they find it difficult to ask tough questions because they fear prospects won’t like them. This causes them to be very non-confrontational. It’s often a root cause of not cracking new accounts, because the salesperson talks to the people they feel comfortable with vs. getting out of their comfort zone and talking to the decision maker who can make the yes/no decision.
Someone with a need for approval will be about 35% less effective than someone without this major weakness.
Here’s what it sounds like when you’re coaching them:
Rudi: “I’m not getting call-backs to my phone calls, so I don’t get appointments with key strategic accounts.”
Sandy: “It feels like I’m striking out all the time while trying to find worthwhile prospects. They all have the same excuses – we’re not interested to add new vendors because of our current contractual obligations.”
Richard: “I’ve tried everything – voice mails, phone calls, email, but I struggle to get the right combination (right person/right message.)
In building the sales capacity of your key sales people, you’ll find that the sales cycle is shorter, because they are:
- Getting to the right decision maker who can say “yes” to your solutions,
- Gaining a correct and deep understanding of the real issue to be solved, and
- Rising to the top as a trusted valued partner vs. a vendor.
So, who on your team has this hidden weakness? And, if they do, are they trainable and coachable, motivated to improve their performance results? What if they aren’t coachable and trainable? As part of our Sales Audit process, we provide an individual coaching report for each person. You can request a sample report here: http://bit.ly/OMGAssessmentSample
Leadership Question: What hidden weakness might be slowing your entire sales process and business growth?
Leadership Lesson: As you grow the sales and leadership capacity of your people, you grow your business results.
© Copyright 2017 Danita Bye