Tips for Sales Managers
Your job as a Sales Manager is not to sell but to get it sold.
As smart as you are, you are severely limited in terms of what you can sell when you are doing the selling.
Your job is not to sell
Your job is to recruit, train and motivate a strong sales team to do the selling for you
Your job is to hit or exceed target with the available resources
So the first thing to do is to work with your team to agree your Sales Targets.
This can be a top down target made of what the company needs to achieve and a bottom up target made of what the Sales people are forecasting.
You now need to work out the Success Formula. By that I mean what needs to happen for you to hit your agreed Sales target.
These will be Key result areas. The activities required may include the following
The question now is how many off each do you need to achieve in order to hit target. You will get this figure by analysing your conversation ratios at each step. Once you have the total numbers you now divide this between the Sales people so that each one can do their part.
Remember these 4 things...
- What gets monitored gets done, and inspect what you expect.
- If you donít inspect it, they think you donít respect it and they stop doing it.
- The carrot is bigger than the stick. So catch your people doing things right and praise the procedures you want repeated.
- Recognition is a massive motivator.
Once you have set your targets and your key result areas you need to look at the resources you have. List out everything you have as a resource and score yourself on a scale of 0-10 in terms of how well you use those resources.
List out all the core competences your sales people need in order to achieve your targets. You are not looking for weaknesses you are looking for areas of development. As the market changes the skills that your sales people need will change and it is your job to ensure that they have the new skills.
As Sales Manager will also need new skills in the areas of Leadership, Coaching, Mentoring.
You may need to develop your ability to recruit the very best people.
Here is a question for you.
Who sets your standards?
Well the answer is... You, Your Customers and Your Competitors.
No companyís stand still. You are either growing or dying. If you are standing still and your competitors are growing you are dying by comparison.
As Sales Manager you are in control of the powerhouse of growth and development because you are in charge of sales and without sales the company has no growth and development.
Most of all you need to be the role model.
The question is what kind of team will my team be if everyone in it is just like me?
The difference is youÖ
Why not join us on the next Sales Managersí Masterclass? CLICK HERE For details
Written by Mike Le Put Ė MLP Training
Top Strategies for Account Development.
I define what a Major Account is in terms of Turnover, Location, Product lines, Payment Terms, Profit, & Growth Potential.
So, if you are an Account Manager then you will need to identify a number of factors that will enable you to be more focused and successful in your role.
Letís start with our 4 top strategies for Account Development
1) Define what a Major Account is in terms of Turnover, Location, Product lines, Payment Terms, Profit, Growth & Potential.
2) Look at your existing accounts and see how they stack up.
3) Ask yourself ďWhat Is my Major Accounts Target and will I make target from this list?
4) Do an account audit on each account consisting of at least 20 questions
To get you started you could include questions like these:
- What is the size of this account as a market?
- What is our Market share?
- What are the Customers goals?
- Can we name the Key People in terms of Money Authority & Need?
- Do we have access to the Key People?
- Do we have a Contact Strategy?
- Who are our competitors?
- What is our USP?
- Do we understand the Decision process, Budgets and Financial justification?
- What is our GOSPA. Goals Objectives Strategy Plan and Action?
- What is our ROI goal?
- Who should be the Account Manager?
80% of your business could be coming from 20% of your customers that means your need your best people working on these accounts.
Major accounts are different.... they are based on the supplier having an in-depth understanding of what the customer needs.That means understanding the customersí business the customers company structure and the customersí goals.
It is also about building strong relationships and trust by working together so that the account manager is seen as a partner, an unpaid member of the customer's staff, a person they can trust and a person they can work with to the benefit of both parties.
It is aboutÖ Moving from an outsiderÖ providing a commodity supplied on price and delivery.
To an insiderÖ a supplier of extra value with a long term strategic partnership. A supplier that is work with customer and contributing to organisational & business issues
The Results are: -
- Economies of scale for the seller
- Low risk for the buyer
- And win win for both parties
A great Account Manager can Increase your Sales & Grow your business!
I wish you every Success with your Account development.
Trucks don't Sell Themselves
Did you know Trucks don't Sell Themselves?
Have you ever heard a Sales Person say. ďI lost an order to Toyota, Linde or CrownĒ?
These are all good lift trucks but I have never seen a Toyota Linde or Crown Truck that can take itís self out of the show room go down to a customer, do a site survey, put a quote together deliver a presentation overcome objections and close a deal in order to sell itself.
The truth is that you did not lose the order to a Toyota, Linde or Crown. You lost it to a Toyota, Linde or Crown Truck Sales person.
Have you ever heard a Sales Person say. ď I lost an order to Toyota, Linde or CrownĒ? These are all good lift trucks but I have never seen a Toyota Linde or Crown Truck that can take itís self out of the show room go down to a customer, do a site survey, put a quote together deliver a presentation overcome objections and close a deal in order to sell itself.
The truth is that you did not lose the order to a Toyota, Linde or Crown. You lost it to a Toyota, Linde or Crown Truck Sales person.
You got out sold. That Sales person is getting the Sales that you should be getting.
- customers only ever bought the cheapest truck you would only have one truck supplier
- customers only bought the highest quality truck you only have one truck supplier
So, IF you are looking for the difference itís in the Sales Person.
The difference is not the truck itís your ability to sell it.
The difference is YOU....
Mike Le Put... MLP Training CLICK HERE Sales Training details.
The Purpose of a Business
What is the purpose of a Business?
Doctor David McClelland of Harvard was quoted as saying the purpose of a business is to Get a Keep Customers.
True profit in any business comes from repeat business. Your job is to keep customers once you have them on board. This means the first sale is the most important. Customers will not want to return if they have not been happy with the first purchase. So do what you say you are going to do. And donít make promises you canít keep.
It is better to under promise and over deliver than the reverse.
Once you have the first sale you treat every sale as if it was your first sale.
- Dot the Iís and cross the tís.
- Pay attention to detail.
- Treat every customer as if they are your only customer because as far as they are concerned THEY ARE.
What is the difference between sales and business development?
Find out what is the difference between sales and business development here?
Selling is identifying or creating a need for your product or service and building a desire in the prospect to want use or own that product or service by focusing on benefits.
The function of Selling is to Sell.
Function of Business Development is to improve an organizationís market position and achieve financial growth by identifying the opportunities to sell.
This requires long-term organizational strategic goals. To find new markets and to Grow existing Accounts.
The course is not about Selling Skills i.e. Questioning, Listening, Presenting, Objection Handling, Closing these things are a given at this level.
Account Development is about long-term organizational strategic goals. It is about Business Development. It is about looking at a major account as a Market and increasing Market share of that Market and strengthening customer relationships by in-depth understanding of the customersí business.
How to handle the ď Too Expensive ObjectionĒ
42 Negotiation and Objection Handling Tips and Questions
First of all remember the golden rule ď Donít Negotiate until soldĒ Do a worth analysis to find out what it is worth before you tell the customer how much it cost and donít talk about cost only talk about saving.
Simple example would be: you know your product is £20.000
You ask the customer questions to establish the fact that the problem is costing them £25,000. You then say we may have a solution and if it is acceptable to you it could save you £5000.
Would you like to see the solution?
You only talk in terms of solutions and saving. Never cost and Price.
Focus on what itís worth not what it costs. Remember so long as it is worth more than it costs then it cost them nothing to do it.
The worth analysis is THE BEST WAY to handle the price objection.
Selling against competition
Sell the difference. If you are £10 and the competition is £9 you donít have to justify £10 all you need to do is sell the difference and that is just £1
Below are so Questions and responses you may find useful.
Mike Le Put
As compared to?
H ow do you mean?
In relation to?
Tell me why do you say that?
I have had a better offer
Tell me about it
How do you feel about that offer?
What exactly have you been offered?
What is included in that offer?
What model is that?
What are the performance figures?
What are the running costs?
Out of interest ,why didnít you accept that offer?
What concerns you about that offer?
Given that you know we canít get down to that price, what are you looking for in terms of quality, service and reliability?
If we were both the same price what would be the advantage to you in going with us.
Tell me whatís more important to your business, the price of the machine or its ability to do the job for the next ten years?
Why donít you take it?
If you cut back on the quality of this raw material then you cut back on the quality of the service you give to your customers. And thatís where the real profit is in your business isnít it?
Why donít you take it?
You know Mr Smith youíre only going to replace this once in the next five years. You want it to be the most reliable component you can get donít you? Why donít you take it
What weíre talking about here is an investment in your business. And your business deserves the best doesn't it? Why donít you take it?
But you wouldnít let that stop you having the most reliable components on the market would you? Why donít you take it?
You have worked hard to but this project together and you want to support it with the very best, up to date electronics you can get donít you? Why donít you take it?
You know that Quality is remembered long after price has been forgotten. And quality and reliability is going to be vital in this operation. Why donít you take it?
You can always buy cheaper, but you canít buy better. And you do want the best you can get donít you? Why donít you take it?
I understand you want value for money Mr Smith. Letís look at where the value and the savings are for Smith & Co.
Itís an investment in the quality of your business and the quality of service you give your customers. And thatís Priceless isnít it? Why donít you take it?
If you cut back on the quality of your components you cut back on the quality of service you give your customers and thatís where the real profit is in your business Why donít you take it?
You know Mr Smith, looking at your building, your offices your car. Youíre not a man that buys on price. You want Quality and reliability. And this is the best there is. Why donít you take it?
I understand the design engineers preferred us because we support them from conception to completion, and see us as unpaid members of their team.
I understand the Manufacturing Managers prefer us because of continuity of supply donít they?
I understand that because of or availability you have been able to reduce your stock holding, and free up cash for other projects havenít you?
I understand your failures in production, reworks and warranty claims have been reduced £XXX because of the quality of our components. That saves you both Time and Money doesnít it?.
I understand you have some issues getting your products on time from China. Donít you?
I understand you have had some quality issues with Chinese components recently.
I understand our technical people were a great help to your design team on the xxxx project. I guess thatís why they want to stay with us.
I understand you have to place minimum order quantities AND pay up front from China donít you.
Whatís more important to you saving 1p on the component or not having to carry stock?
Whatís worth more to you 1p on the component or reducing failed in process?
Whatís worth more to you 1p on the component or its ability to work at that temperature for the life of the product?
Whatís worth more to you 1p on the component or not having to place minimum order quantities.
Whatís worth more to you 1p on the component or not having to pay up front from China?
CLICK For list of Great Sales Training and Negotiating courses
Are Your Best People Too Good for Your Training Budget?
Whether your company recruits school leavers, graduates, or only those with relevant workplace experience, the chances are that most of your training budget is focused on ensuring those on the lower rungs of the career ladder have the skills they need to climb it.
A clear development path has become an important part of attracting and retaining the best candidates, which makes it an important part of any companyís HR strategy. But what about the talented people that have already proved their value to your organisation? Shouldnít you be investing in ensuring that you maximise their value with courses that focus on leadership, time management and mentoring?
Many companies have a policy of promoting from within, which can have significant commercial advantages. However, promotion from a Ďdoingí role to a managerial role is often awarded without any investment in management training Ė which means that the individual may not have the skills they need to adjust to their new responsibilities and the company may not benefit from their full potential.
Even the most talented and experienced people in an organisation sometimes need to take a step back and examine how they can do things better. Just one behaviour change as a result of training can have a significant impact on productivity and the ability to add value.
There may be barriers to this, not least in a reluctance from busy senior people to take time out of their schedule to spend on training. However, by selecting an outcomes-based training model with clear goals and a defined follow up process, any objections can be overcome and any time invested will be more than recouped in greater efficiency and productivity day-to-day.
Many of MLPís training courses have been designed with these goals in mind, including our Leadership Skills, Effective Meeting and Coaching & Mentoring one-day programmes.
A culture of continuous improvement can only thrive in any organisation if there is a commitment to developing the skills of those who run it. If UK companies are serious about building on their success in post-recession Britain, training needs to be high on the agenda at the highest levels of the career ladder.
Setting Customer Service Standards
Who sets your Customer Service Standards?
Your Customers Do
And Your Competitors Do
You cannot set your Customer service standards in isolation.
The good news is that people will pay for great service. Why? Because given the choice between low price and low risk most people would choose low risk. High service = low risk.
Look at inner and outer circle issues
Inner circle are the basics. Right price, quality, availability etc.
Outer circle are the unexpected.
At one time if you took your car in for a service they would not clean it. The cleaning would be unexpected and therefore an outer circle issue.
The interesting thing is that the cleaning is now expected and has become an inner circle issue.
To be notified that your online purchase had been dispatched was an outer circle issue that has become expected and moved to the inner circle.
Look at what has moved from outer to inner in your market and make sure your moving with the market.
Then ask how can we get ahead of the market by finding new outer circle issues that our competitors have not thought of.
Customer-focused versus Company focused procedures
Letís look at an example of Company focus procedures.
I went to the Hotel receptionist to ask if she could change my room.
No sorry I canít do that she said.
Can I speak to your Manager?
No she is in a meeting.
Can you interrupt the meeting?
What would your manager do if she was here?
She would change your room.
How do you know?
She always does. Nobody wants to stay in that room.
Why donít you change it.
I canít change it without talking to my Manager.
The strange thing about this is that I am getting bad service from a good employee. She sticking to the procedure. But the procedure is wrong.
Look at your procedures and make them Customer focused.
What about empowerment
The receptionist should have been empowered to change my room. Customers like to talk to one person that can make a decision. How can you empower your people to give great service?
Letís go back to standards
Why not empower your people to set standards.
Here are some standards set by employees.
Service Engineer. First time fix on all call outs.
Hotel Staff. Uniforms will be uncompromising immaculate at all times.
Production Workers. Zero defects leaving our production line.
You may be surprised at the high standards you people WANT TO work to.
Set the standards
Remember what gets monitored gets done.
Praise the procedures you want repeated.
Catch your people doing something right.
Tell people itís OK to tell us if you donít hit the standards. That way we can give you the support you need to deliver the service our customers want.
Remember to celebrate Success.
Everyone knows that repeat business is great business. Happy customers return again and again bringing increased profits and lower cost per sale.
Invest in Great Customer Service and your customers will grow your business for you.
At MLP Training we have spent over 25 years developing powerful Customer Service Excellence workshops.
Setting Customer Service Standards By Mike Le Put
Key Skills for Top Sales People
Top 15 key skills for top sales people
Sales people need a wide range of skills to be effective and successful in their role. Identifying your strengths enables you to develop yourself in areas of weakness. Proactively doing this will build confidence, enable you to achieve greater results.
From our years of experience working in the Sales Industry here are our top 15 key skills for top sales people to focus on.
Understanding Product/Service Benefits
Our powerful MLP Training Programmes are the result of over twenty 25 years of working with outstanding Professionals across a wide range of industries, covering every conceivable product and service.
Now you can tap into this wealth of experience and make these powerful programmes work for you.
Our mission is, quite simply, to help you achieve your goals and become the best that you can be.
By Mike Le Put
Best Problem Solving Techniques
Problem or Solution?
One of the most powerful techniques for problem solving is to focus on the Problem not the solution.
Let me explain.....
The best way to get a good solution is to have lots of solutions to choose from. Unfortunately, many people bring you a single solution disguised as the problem.
They may say ďMy problem is I need a kettle.Ē Only one solution provide a kettle.
If they had said ďMy problem is that I need to boil waterĒ we could have provided many solutions .
A Manager may say ď My problem is I need More PeopleĒ Only one solution get more people.
If the Manager had said ď My problem is the people I have cannot do the work with the Skills, Resources and Procedures we have in placeĒ We now have more options available to solve this problem.
I remember running a problem solving course for a successful company in Hull. The Distribution Director Ďs opening statement was this ďMy problem is I need a new warehouse ď You can see this is not his problem, itís what he believes to be his single solution.
We solved the problem by re-designing his warehouse, installing high lift, narrow-isle trucks and introducing stock rotation systems.
The result was a 42% increase in storage space, a 20% increase in efficiency and a saving of £2 million on the original solution of a new warehouse.
There are many steps to problem solving but the most important is to Clearly Identify the problem.
Next time a person comes to you with a problem, ask yourself has this person given me the problem or have they given me what they believe to be the solution.
By Mike Le Put
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