Over the past few months, I've talked to many sales leaders and business owners about compensation for their sales teams and one main finding has emerged: the pandemic has revealed the gaps and flaws in the compensation structure for salespeople in B2B.
The drastic changes in market conditions have shown that many SMBs base part of their sales force compensation on factors that are not related to performance, but rather to activities. These activities often have no correlation with performance and results.
One of the biggest criticisms directed at sales reps is their lack of listening and understanding. Knowing that only 13% of customers believe that a seller can really understand their needs, there is a lot of work to be done to address this problem. If you can't identify the problems and compelling reasons for your customers to buy, how can you hope to sell them a solution that will interest them?
Since I've integrated what I call "mindful selling" into my job, I find that the quality of my conversations with my customers has improved and my relationships are stronger. Today, I am revealing my secret to help you become a better B2B salesperson, one who listens!
Selling products and services in markets that are stagnating or highly influenced by seasonal cycles may lead us to believe that there are no more growth opportunities. However, it is essential to "think outside the box" to allow expansion into new markets that you had not initially considered, especially if those in which you are established are saturated.
Here are some tips to help you identify and succeed in new markets.
Have you ever wondered what an airplane pilot does before flying their passengers from point A to point B? No matter how many years of experience they have, their routine will almost always remain the same. Before a flight, the pilot will always go through a complete and accurate checklist to make sure that everything they need is functional and available.
The usefulness of a CRM for sales people is very similar to the checklist that the pilot uses before departing. This is why it is important to have a good implementation of your CRM and to fill it out adequately with quality data. Do you think that a pilot could venture into the air with an incomplete and imprecise checklist to check before departure?
Is it easier to change a company's sales culture when sales are going well, or on the contrary, when they are going badly? Actually, this is not the right question, because working on the sales culture will never be easy, whatever the conditions of the company and the market.
The real question to ask is whether there is a more appropriate time to make a sales transformation, so that the company can gain the maximum benefit from it, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
We often talk about how to set good sales targets, when we should do it, how we can achieve them, etc. While this is an essential exercise for companies and sales teams who want to be successful, what about the personal goals of each individual within that larger whole?
In my opinion, we need to set personal goals beforehand in order to give meaning to our work and to be more motivated and perform better on a daily basis. In sales, this is especially true, because experience of the job is mainly acquired in the field. You must therefore give your 100% every day to continue to evolve. You may also have a large portion of variable salary, so your remuneration depends on your ability to give the best of yourself. Your motivation is therefore essential to your success.
By giving a reason for the money you earn or the activities you accomplish, I believe that the efforts you put in will seem a little easier to you in your work and in your personal life.
As we have often discussed, sales managers have 4 main roles in the day-to-day management of their sales team. This involves coaching, which should represent 50% of their work, holding their reps accountable, motivating them and ensuring the recruitment of the best talent.
Among these essential responsibilities, accountabilty is generally the one that causes the greatest discomfort for many managers who fear resistance or even their sales representatives quiting. However, a lack of control over your team can have significant consequences on the achievement of sales goals and on the performance of the organization as a whole.
Since the notion of accountability is still poorly perceived today, I share with you 3 common management errors and how to ensure better control over the discipline and performance of your best players.
As a sales manager, you have a key role to play in the success of sales training initiatives for your team. Indeed, you must make sure that your team puts into practice what they have learned from their sales training. In general, I have noticed that sales managers don't usually seem to know what to do after the training and have difficulty applying the various learnings.
Only 13% of the information is retained by the participant during a training session. To ensure that you are properly equipped to increase retention, you must commit to participating in the multiple sales trainings that your team attends. Now that all trainings are given virtually, the challenges of knowledge retention are even greater.
With the Covid-19 crisis, training has become more critical than ever before, because skill gaps are more visible and have a broader impact on business.
These 5 elements will help you reinforce your team's learning so that maximum information can be applied following a training session. This will help you get a return on your investment.
Since I started working at Prima Resource, I have had the opportunity to greatly improve my knowledge and skills in sales management. This has helped me discover certain aspects that I wish I knew when I was a sales manager and that would have completely changed the way I made some decisions in this role.
Among all that I learned, there is one fundamental element that really caught my attention and that definitely would have made all the difference: the importance of using specific evaluation tools for sales, such as Objective Management Group's evaluations. These tools make a huge difference in coaching salespeople and they would have made me a much better sales manager than I was.
Let me start by asking you a question: Are you just another sales rep?
Most salespeople today have a presentation-based approach. It's not necessarily their fault. Traditionally, companies tend to train salespeople on the products and/or services to be sold. The features, advantages, benefits, enhancements, etc. A salesperson can recite all of these by heart.
Sales representatives then develop bad reflexes, because they see that the added value they offer is inevitably linked to the product, when actually this is not true. The value you bring to the customer is a solution to their problems.