The Good, the Bad, and the Not-So-Ugly truths about sales! Below is a round up of 10 bitesize truths about sales. How many of these are you aware of in your organisation?
#1 Sales people can be made.
Some of the best sales people around are the ones that just work really hard; they are not necessarily natural born talkers. With this in mind it is as much about the process as it is the character of the individual. So be mindful of this when hiring sales people, and invest in their development.
#2 Positive attitude is essential.
Great sales people hit targets and become successful by seeing past the ‘no’ and turning it into a ‘yes’. Having that all-important positive attitude will enable them to see it through and have the ability see how something could work out.
#3 You have to learn to live & die by your forecast.
As a business owner or sales person you need to get good at sales forecasting because this is directly connected to your cash flow. Salespeople often ‘over-egg’ their sales forecasts to look better than the reality. This then backfires when a £100K forecast only delivers £10K. Get real about what you’re going to close and if it’s not enough, do something about it!
#4 There is never nothing to do.
You can always be doing something in sales. If you have closed down all your deals for the day and you have progressed things as far as you can, you can then always be searching, hunting, prospecting, reaching out and making new connections.
#5 You should always prioritise your leads from hot to cold.
This sounds like an obvious one but you’d be surprised how many people we meet that don’t do this! As a priority each day, work out which leads you can be closing right away. After this, work backwards: what proposals need following up? What proposals need writing? Which meeting needs a follow up and which meeting needs booking?
#6 Rejection is part of the game.
‘No’ is a always going to be part of sales. For every ‘yes’, you have to expect that you are going to hear nine ‘no’s’. Instead of being discouraged by the ‘no’s’ be encouraged that each ‘no’ is getting you close to the next ‘yes’.
#7 There are no short cuts, it takes time.
You just have to do the numbers, put in the hours, pick up the phone and talk to people. If you put the effort in and do the hard work, you will see how it pays off. The average sales person makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set 1 appointment. [Source: Ovation Sales Group]
#8 Good sales people need good sales managers.
If you are thinking of hiring a sales person and expecting all your sales problems to magically disappear and that you will never have to look at sales within your business again, then good luck!
Someone needs to be creating structure, processes, targets and expectations and all of the boundaries around which a successful sales function will operate. Sales is a mission-driven role and someone has to be creating the environment within which that progression can happen. If you are expecting your sales person to do this for themselves, you may need to up your budget and think about recruiting a salesperson from the most senior end of the scale.
#9 Focus on putting together a really strong ROI statement.
When influencing someone to make a decision, the reward has to be a lot bigger than the risk. For more information on this topic you might like to read Why aren’t people buying from me?
#10 Be specific about who your prospects should be.
Being specific about who you should be targeting is such a crucial part of the process. If you know what you do brilliantly you can focus on the people who are going to really benefit from your services.
If you’ve read this far, you deserve a reward so here’s one more...
#11 Have a really clear finish line.
The ‘close’ is a tangible point of commitment. A contract. A service agreement. Payment terms. If you don't know where the finish line is, how do you know when you've won the race? Take a look at how to Close More in Less Time here.
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