As a sales leader whose responsibility is generating revenue, you would most likely answer that you are a Sales Promoter. But are you? Has an obstacle course actually been created that prevents your sales people from selling? Sales Prevention sounds like an oxymoron, but it exists in many sales cultures.
Sales Prevention exists when there is a misalignment between the sales manager and salespeople's challenges and priorities. Jim Hopes, Managing Partner of The Center for Sales Strategy, conducted a study based on the responses of 400 sales professionals. The results showed that of the top four responses regarding challenges, only one intersected between the sales manager and salespeople.
The Sales Manager’s Top Four:
- Recruiting top talent
- Salespeople didn’t have enough qualified prospects in their funnel
- Too many products and services to sell
- The need to increase digital revenue
The Salesperson’s Top Four:
- Difficulty in getting the first appointment
- Finding enough ideal, qualified prospects
- Selling is more difficult because clients are more savvy about metrics
- Hard to nail down a specific assignment from a prospect
The intersection between managers and sellers was not having enough qualified prospects. There is clearly a disconnect. It seems obvious that sales managers are isolated from their sales departments; they attend a multitude of sales manager meetings, sit behind closed doors staring at Excel spreadsheets, and write reports explaining how they will make budget for the month. They have lost touch with what their teams need to be successful: coaching, being present, and spending more time on the street than off the street.
Use Sales Meeting to Address Salespeople's Top Challenges
Why not use sales meeting time for group training to address the seller’s top four challenges in no more than thirty minutes? This meeting time should not be spent on minutia or any other items that can be communicated in a group email. Instead, have interactive meetings on:
- Developing effective Valid Business Reasons
- Getting the first appointment
- Prospecting tools to identify the ideal prospects
- Writing effective emails
- Generating great needs analysis questions and topics
- How to generate open-ended questions
This list goes on, and there are “Sales Meetings in a Box” readily available to address these topics. How about changing it up and having "Lunch and Learn" meetings? Now, that would be a happy meal!
Are you still having a “Dialing for Dollars Day” on a weekly basis to sell the multitude of “packages” you NEED to sell? Don’t! This is another form of prevention, unless the salespeople have qualified prospects and a compelling Valid Business Reason.
What kind of one-on-ones are you having? Are they punitive or productive? Are you coaching sellers on how to overcome obstacles, or are you creating them?
Think about the kind of high-tech tools you are providing for your salespeople. The bottom line is that you won’t add to your bottom line if you are not enabling your salespeople to function effectively and efficiently in today’s sales environment. Gone are the days of knocking on storefronts or thumbing through the dearly departed Yellow Pages.
Don’t be a preventer. Be a promoter. You can do it!