Perspectives on sales
When we look at a company’s results, we see a product of the past. Therefore, we believe that it is much more interesting to see what will create our results in the future.
Why sales development?
Our customers often tell us that they experience a strong pressure from the market. Their competitors are just a little bit more on the toes, their customers have just a little bit more requirements and in general it is just a little bit more difficult to succeed in the sales situations. This results, of course, in increased demands to our focus on developing sales and the sales organization.
A common trait for everybody who work with sales is that they are measured on the results they create. This might be increased turnover, improved earnings or more new bizz to the company. The results we are measured on are characterized by being a result of both the external and the internal factors.
The external factors can be market trends, competitors and customers – i.e. areas where we have little or no influence. Conditions that we have to accept and navigate in.
Much more value can be created by focusing on the internal factors where the organization have greater influence. To achieve world class performance it demands a strong focus on the internal factors such as sales strategy, the sales processes and last but not least the sales culture.
Where must our turnover come from? Existing customers or new customers? How should our product mix look? How should our customer mix look? What efforts must we do to ensure the necessary turnover?
The Sales process
How do we manage our pipeline? How do we follow-up on sales efforts? Do we have the right sales systems? Do we know exactly how to manage our sales person’s activity level?
In a strong sales culture, everybody knows exactly what we do for the customers and what difference it makes. It is not only the sales organization, but the entire organization that focuses on creating value for the customer. In e.g. Sanistål (A Danish industrial wholesaler ) it is the sales persons who sell the goods, but if the goods are not delivered at the right place at the right time, the customer will have a negative experience. And worst case the customer will not return!
With a strong sales culture, the sales persons can – with a customer focused organization to back them up – create outstanding results.
How are the results created?
As mentioned earlier, our actual results derive from activities in the past. Therefore, it is more interesting to look at what will create our results in the future.
In this perspective we have 3 focus areas in our tool Tuning Fork.
Activity level – the efforts we do
Will – how dedicated and passionate we are about what we do
Efficiency – How good are we in what we do? How well do we know our selling points, question technique, objection treatment techniques etc.?
Make the heart beat
Many of our customers experience a strong need for also focusing on the will in the sales situation. Many sales persons do not have the necessary will to develop and train – and therefore they do not develop or improve their skills.
Think about a person, who has just run his first marathon. We know that the person is in good shape and is actually capable of running. But what happens if the person stops exercising? His condition will slowly deteriorate and he will not be able to perform on the same level.
The same goes for everybody who works in sales.
Apart from lack of training and a strive to become better every day, we often see lack of focus on creating the necessary will. When we strengthen the will and make the heart beat faster – i.e. create a burning passion for doing something – we see an increased activity level. This produces a wish to do more and the activity level increases steadily. At the same time, the sales persons get better because they have more power when meeting the customer. With an increased activity level and improved efficiency the results – all other things being equal – will improve. And improved results will also improve the will and thereby we have created a positive performance loop.