The Sales Success Formula
7 tips to help you increase your performance in each of the sales success factors.
While the formula is the simple part – Opportunities x Closing Ratio x Average Sale = SALES – you should also take note of the following tips for success:
- Building the “Buyer-Seller” Relationship: You need to develop a better understanding of the buying process that customers actually follow – the real decisions they make, and when they are made. Then you need to match your sales process with the customer’s buying process. When this is done, you begin to walk arm-in-arm with the customer as they arrive at the best possible solution.
- Planning the Sales Interaction: Most salespeople lack a well-defined sales process. Very few have documented the sales practices that lead to strong commitments from customers. As a consequence, salespeople don’t plan their interaction properly. For instance, every opportunity should end in some kind of commitment from the customer – an agreement to do something that will move the process forward.
- Asking the Right Questions: Most salespeople do not ask the right types of questions, even when they prepare questions prior to the sales opportunity, which most don’t. The impact of poor questioning skills is enormous. It leads to resistance in the form of stalls and objections, bad presentations that offer improper solutions, failure to differentiate from the competition – AND missed sales opportunities.
- Actively Listening: Salespeople tend to miss important cues and information by talking too much about themselves and about their products. It’s much more important to “shut up” and let the customer talk. Yes, you should guide the conversation, but then listen and digest properly; we can learn so much about what the customer really wants, then you can position your offering appropriately.
- Presenting Meaningful Solutions: Most salespeople claim that this is the skill they are best at. In fact, they tend to simply have “the gift of gab.” In reality, quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to making a presentation. When you zero in on presenting only specific solutions to previously agreed-upon needs, you rarely fail.
- Gaining Commitments: A true salesperson excels at gaining customer commitment. Yet, when asked, most salespeople admit that this is their weakest skill. Research suggests that almost two thirds of salespeople fail to ask for commitment during the sales opportunity process. Any effective sales training program must have a solid solution for this problem.
- Managing Your Emotions: The way you explain to yourself the cause of your successes and failures is vitally important. Developing a style that sees adversity as temporary and isolated builds mental toughness, emotional resilience and patience to bounce back from small setbacks and be proactive when the time is right.
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Dan Holman is a certified Winning@Retail™ consultant with twenty-plus years of success in diverse business development, new ventures, business expansion and strategic sales planning.