Sales Pursuits with No Fruit for the Labor

By Bob Beck CEO Sales Builders
How many sales pursuits do you or your sales team engage in each year with no fruit for your labor? What do you think the average is across all Business to Business industries?
As you ponder those two questions, let’s define what a sales pursuit is: a perceived opportunity that a sales person invests time, money, and resources in trying to sell. These sales pursuits have met some qualification criteria, are typically new opportunities (not existing clients) and the rep has engaged the prospect at some level via on the phone or in person. What we are not referring to is a cold call with a single conversation, a reply to a marketing campaign, trade show follow-up or a blind inquiry.
So now, what do you think the percentage of sales pursuits that are invested in annually with no results are? Some of these sales pursuits can go on for months and sometimes years. We actually had a client that had been pursuing an account for 5 years and had spent over $250,000 in expenses. After a 60-minute review of all the activity, it became very clear to everyone involved they had less than a 1% chance of winning the deal. They were dealing with the wrong person, had no reason to change, had no budget, and were partners with their main competitor!
The percent across all industries we have found ranges from 70% at the very lowest to a high of 90%. That is staggering. There are some sales executives that aren’t sure what the percentage is, which is a bit shocking.
Let’s break down what this is costing you as a rep or as an organization. As a rep, your most valuable asset is your time. If we just focus on the low end of this percentage (70%), think about how much more you would sell, how much bigger your bank account would be if you invested that wasted 70% into prospecting and aligning yourself with prospects that were actually going to do something, like buy your offering! Stop and think where you would be in life if you wasted 70% of your money, or 70% of your time sleeping, or wasting 70% of anything!
From an organizational standpoint it costs you:
· Profits- because money is being wasted on T&E with opportunities that don’t happen
· Misuse of company resources that drain morale and productivity
· Sales turnover because they get frustrated and move onto the next company
· Revenue because sales don’t close
· Forecasting accuracy, which can effort your stock price or at least your credibility
· Time- as one of a million examples, how often are you investing time, money and resources to respond to RFP’s that never bear fruit?
· Efficiency throughout the organization
The overall costs from unrealized revenue from sales pursuits is tremendous. If you aren’t looking at this, measuring this percentage and the costs, you might have a blind spot in your business. You can change this percentage and recoup the money that is wasted year after year on this huge issue by investing more into your sales force. An effective sales approach in 2018/2019 is not the same as it might have been in 2007!
We are often asked: Why is the percentage of sales pursuits that end up with no fruit for the labor so high? There are many reasons for this, some include:
· Little control of the sales pursuit itself
· Sales people are putting themselves in a subservient position with the prospect
· There is not enough or no real collaboration between sales and the prospect
· Sales doesn’t engage the decision maker early enough in the sales cycle
· The qualification process being followed has too many gaps in it
· Sales is not relating to the people they are selling to
· Sales reps are mostly mimicking the marketing materials
· There is more of a “make it up as you go” sales approach rather than a results orientated process that is followed and measured
· The culture of the organization condones that a 70-90% failure rate is acceptable
· Sales team is not valued nor acting like trusted advisors to prospects
The full list of reasons is very long, but these are some of the typical issues we change for organizations to impact that troubling percentage. It only makes logical sense and is prudent for your business to address these issues head on. It’s time to change the percentage of sales pursuits that net positive results to your advantage. Regardless what your market is, or your products are, investing in your sales team to address the above issues will show you an immediate ROI.
If you would like to learn more about how for 17 years, in 10 countries, we have effectively impacted these and many other issues that hamper individual and organizational growth, please contact us at: http://www.salesbuilders.com 404 822 9082
Sales Builders is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, coaching and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand. We’re architects of change and builders of consistency. We’re pioneers of innovation and masters in sales transformation.
Bob Beck https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_edit_profile

Sales Pursuits with NO Fruit for the Labor

Sales Pursuits with NO Fruit for the Labor
By Bob Beck CEO Sales Builders
How many sales pursuits do you or your sales team engage in each year with no fruit for your labor? What do you think the average is across all Business to Business industries?
As you ponder those two questions, let’s define what a sales pursuit is: a perceived opportunity that a sales person invests time, money, and resources in trying to sell. These sales pursuits have met some qualification criteria, are typically new opportunities (not existing clients) and the rep has engaged the prospect at some level via on the phone or in person. What we are not referring to is a cold call with a single conversation, a reply to a marketing campaign, trade show follow-up or a blind inquiry.
So now, what do you think the percentage of sales pursuits that are invested in annually with no results are? Some of these sales pursuits can go on for months and sometimes years. We actually had a client that had been pursuing an account for 5 years and had spent over $250,000 in expenses. After a 60-minute review of all the activity, it became very clear to everyone involved they had less than a 1% chance of winning the deal. They were dealing with the wrong person, had no reason to change, had no budget, and were partners with their main competitor!
The percent across all industries we have found ranges from 70% at the very lowest to a high of 90%. That is staggering. There are some sales executives that aren’t sure what the percentage is, which is a bit shocking.
Let’s break down what this is costing you as a rep or as an organization. As a rep, your most valuable asset is your time. If we just focus on the low end of this percentage (70%), think about how much more you would sell, how much bigger your bank account would be if you invested that wasted 70% into prospecting and aligning yourself with prospects that were actually going to do something, like buy your offering! Stop and think where you would be in life if you wasted 70% of your money, or 70% of your time sleeping, or wasting 70% of anything!
From an organizational standpoint it costs you:
· Profits- because money is being wasted on T&E with opportunities that don’t happen
· Misuse of company resources that drain morale and productivity
· Sales turnover because they get frustrated and move onto the next company
· Revenue because sales don’t close
· Forecasting accuracy, which can effort your stock price or at least your credibility
· Time- as one of a million examples, how often are you investing time, money and resources to respond to RFP’s that never bear fruit?
· Efficiency throughout the organization
The overall costs from unrealized revenue from sales pursuits is tremendous. If you aren’t looking at this, measuring this percentage and the costs, you might have a blind spot in your business. You can change this percentage and recoup the money that is wasted year after year on this huge issue by investing more into your sales force. An effective sales approach in 2018/2019 is not the same as it might have been in 2007!
We are often asked: Why is the percentage of sales pursuits that end up with no fruit for the labor so high? There are many reasons for this, some include:
· Little control of the sales pursuit itself
· Sales people are putting themselves in a subservient position with the prospect
· There is not enough or no real collaboration between sales and the prospect
· Sales doesn’t engage the decision maker early enough in the sales cycle
· The qualification process being followed has too many gaps in it
· Sales is not relating to the people they are selling to
· Sales reps are mostly mimicking the marketing materials
· There is more of a “make it up as you go” sales approach rather than a results orientated process that is followed and measured
· The culture of the organization condones that a 70-90% failure rate is acceptable
· Sales team is not valued nor acting like trusted advisors to prospects
The full list of reasons is very long, but these are some of the typical issues we change for organizations to impact that troubling percentage. It only makes logical sense and is prudent for your business to address these issues head on. It’s time to change the percentage of sales pursuits that net positive results to your advantage. Regardless what your market is, or your products are, investing in your sales team to address the above issues will show you an immediate ROI.
If you would like to learn more about how for 17 years, in 10 countries, we have effectively impacted these and many other issues that hamper individual and organizational growth, please contact us at: http://www.salesbuilders.com 404 822 9082
Sales Builders is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, coaching and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand. We’re architects of change and builders of consistency. We’re pioneers of innovation and masters in sales transformation.
Bob Beck https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_edit_profile

Selling Abundance “Time to Come Alive”

By Bob Beck
Two simple questions: Are you consistently exceeding your sales numbers? If not, Why not?
A recent Gallup poll survey found that 71 percent of American workers were “not fully engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their jobs. Think about what this means; 2/3 of people don’t like what they do most of the time. What do you think these percentages would look like if just applied to B to B sales people?
Most sales people might feel they are fully engaged and must be to have any kind of success. If you are one of the ones that fall into this category, think about how many times you are calling “the” decision maker early in your sales pursuit. Are you fully qualifying all aspects of an opportunity by asking direct questions before fully engaging in a sales pursuit or are you just going along with the prospect’s “make it as they go” evaluation process? Are you stepping outside of your comfort zone and doing things you don’t like to do?
Prospects and clients ask for things from sales people all the time. That might include their time, travel to meeting, provide demos, fill out RFPs, proposals, etc. Most sales people dutifully reply and provide what is asked for with the hopes that if they are responsive enough the prospect will buy from them. From our many workshops around the world we find 70-90 percent of the time, sales pursuits end up with no fruit for the labor. The biggest competitor by far is status quo.
Even if we take the bottom end of that number, that is discouraging, creates unhappiness, confidence issues and stress. CNN recently reported: A decade of research in the business world proves happiness raises sales outcomes by 37 percent.
Time to come Alive:
Where is it written that clients and prospects get whatever they ask for, when they ask for it, and your job in sales is to be subservient and comply? I don’t know anyone that is happy in a subservient position. You deserve more than just a yes or no at the end of a long stressful sales cycle.
Sales should be a collaborative engagement between people trying to solve a business issue. The relationship should be based on mutual respect that has a big dose of give and take as part of it. I’m guessing you don’t have too many personal relationships that are one sided, that have you in some dysfunctional subservient position. If you do, I’m sure it doesn’t make you happy. It’s time to come alive, and learn to be professionally assertive, ask for what you need and want. Aren’t you happiest when you are collaborating with people trying to help them? Think about what your percentage of wins were last year when you had a collaborative relationship based on mutual respect, vs. the sales pursuits you didn’t. If you are happy, feel good about what you are doing, not only are you 37 percent more productive, you will receive more recognition and income. What a tremendous difference it makes for you and your organization.
Everyone wants more happiness. Most sales people want to sell more, be more productive and more satisfaction in their roles. If you don’t know how to consistently create collaborative relationships based on mutual respect let us help. Sales Builders offers a tactical results-oriented process, that has shown unsurpassed results around the world. It’s time to come alive, be happy and more productive.
http://www.SalesBuilders.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/salesbuilders/

100% Sales Results

By Bob Beck:
100% Sales Results for 2018: Stop Doing What’s Not Working
Suggesting to stop doing what’s not working is as profound as suggesting, if you want change you have to change. Starting a new year is always a great time to assess what is working and what’s not. Too often we see organizations and individuals that just keep doing the same things repeatedly, regardless of the results? Let’s take 3 minutes and just review a 3-step process that might make 2018 your best year ever.
Step 1: Take Inventory of your actions and results.
What’s working?
What didn’t work last year?
How much time, energy, money, and resources were spent on things where no results were realized?
Why weren’t the results you wanted or needed realized?
One example;
What didn’t work? We still see organizations/professional sales reps that are investing lots of time, money, energy, and resources in sales pursuits that are only bearing fruit, IE results, 20% of the time.
How much time…? 80%! Sales people across the globe agree their most valuable asset is time. Organizations we work with tell us the sales reps are some of their most expensive employees. Taking both these at face value, why or even how can we keep investing in sales pursuits that we aren’t getting results from?
Why weren’t the results you wanted or needed realized? There are always multiple reasons for the above issue. Some include:
Weak or inconsistent qualification process
Decision makers are not engaged early enough in the sales cycle
There is little or no control of the sales cycle
Sales reps aren’t viewed as trusted advisors and aren’t relating to the people they are selling to
There is an outdated or ineffective sales process being followed
Pipeline for new prospects is inadequate so reps pursue any opportunity
Reps are not professionally trained on how to create robust pipelines for new business
Step2: Create a defined and detailed action plan.
Defining and identifying issues is a meaningless step if you don’t have a plan to address the issues. Most organizations are changing. The markets you sell in are changing, so it is only logical you might consider doing some things differently if you want your results to change. As in our example: How do you specifically plan to address the seven bullet points?
Step 3: Take Action! What’s the point if you aren’t willing to take specific action? A good action plan, has a start date, measurements established so adjustments can be made, and the details of the expected results from each action you take. At the beginning of every year there are lots of people that make a resolution for losing weight. How many people do you think achieve their goal? How many people do you think have a detailed plan of action, with measurements and then make the proper adjustments to their caloric intake or exercise routes?
The realization and identification process is very simple. Addressing the issues is a bit more challenging. For 18 years Sales Builders http://www.Salesbuilders.com has been helping organizations and individuals transition and transform. In 2017 we had a client credit us with $25,000,000 of revenue they would not have realized without our partnership. Call us and we would be happy to put you in touch with them and several more clients so they can tell you their story themselves. Let’s work together in 2018 to ensure it is your best year ever.

Reframing Perceptions

Reframing Perceptions
By Bob Beck
Every professional salesperson’s dream is that when opportunities occur everyone sees them for what they are. Sales people are offering solutions to business issues with the intent to help organizations and the individuals inside those organizations be more efficient, more productive and make their jobs easier. So why is the scenario of prospects recognizing opportunities that are presented to them or reps even having the chance to offer them opportunities, becoming more difficult?
At the end of the day, it’s all about perception. The most effective sales people today are very aware and understand they need to reframe the perception of their prospects. Prospects have been conditioned over the years and believe when a sales person calls on them their number one objective is to sell them something. Decision makers have no time for quota sales people to call on them just trying to sell them something.
Many sales people don’t help themselves much either. They act, sound, and come across like a quota sales person just trying to sell something. They do this by regurgitating the elevator pitch, the marketing literature or leaning on some ROI formula to sell.
To be consistently effective in this market reframing perceptions of what is and what could be is very important and is an effective approach for selling. Reframing perceptions opens every individual’s mind and enables them to see a circumstance, the opportunity, issues, in a different way. In other words, tackle challenges, leverage the opportunity, with better solutions, which lead to better performance and a more personally rewarding outcomes.
Decision makers need and want to be understood first and foremost. Effective selling demands you reframe the perceptions of the people you are calling on. They are expecting you to give them your “corporate commercial” with the objective of selling them something they may or may not need. A genuine trusted advisor understands this and takes the time to reframe their prospect’s perception before they offer them anything. In today’s world, you must have “prospect knowledge” and realize people buy because they feel understood not because they understand. To be fair to sales people, most companies today spend most of their training budget on product updates, enhancements, and new solution introductions. The objective is for sales people to go out and educate the market about these solutions. The thought is, if the rep does a good enough job of doing this people will buy. That is simply an outdated and not effective approach.
A sales professional’s ability to differentiate themselves and reframe perceptions is the key to success. You cannot feed into the perceptions of what your prospects have of you. We work extensively in our Transformational QPQ Workshops helping reps specifically and tactically learn how to do this effectively. (www.SalesBuilders.com) It is not always easy to break a stereotype and reframe someone’s perceived notions. Some pointers to get you started:
· Know about the role you are calling on, IE “Prospect knowledge”. What keeps them awake at night? What gets them promoted or fired? What are the common issues they are facing? Why do they have these issues?
· Don’t act like a stereotypical sales person. Phases like, “How are you today..” “Is now a good time..” I’m from X Corp and we…. “the commercial”
· Don’t be so positive you can help them. Even if you are 100% sure you have a solution to a business problem they have, you must let them come to the realization you might be able to help them.
· Be sincere. You must want to be purposeful and are interested in helping the person you are calling on. If your true objective is just to sell them something, then it will be very hard to reframe anyone’s perception.
There is much more to reframing perceptions and we would love to share it with you. Reach out to bbeck@salesbuilders.com so we can explore the possibilities.

Proactive vs. Reactive Selling

By: Bob Beck
To start off the new year it is always a good exercise to assess what is working for you, what’s not working and consider making the required changes that will bring you closer to achieving your goals. From the many sales strategy sessions, we were involved in during 2017, there is overwhelming evidence that shows: sales reps are applying a reactive style of selling and status quo remains the #1 competitor. Let’s make some adjustments to change that.
Beginning with definitions so we are all on the same page; Reactive: Is acting to a situation vs controlling it. Too many sales people that have a reactive mindset see themselves as powerless victims when deals go dark, delay or no decision is made (status quo). It’s always a shock when that happens, and we find ourselves at a loss not sure what to do. We all want to close deals as fast as possible, so we ask questions, listen to the answers, think we are building trust and some kind of positive relationship. We are in a hurry to show the product and think we are being seen as helpful. We will go at the prospect’s pace and their usually “make it up as they go” process, and with the hope the deal closes in a timely manner. If we blindly follow their make up as they go process, not knowing or seeing the entire picture, we now have a make it up as we go sales approach.
Proactive means-creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding. Being proactive minimizes potential negative outcomes and leverages potential positive ones. Being proactive helps you on your journey to becoming a trusted advisor.
A lot of sales people feel by being responsive they are being proactive-almost the opposite is true. That is much more reactive. It is very close to falling under the category of being subservient. You want prospects and clients to like you and buy from you, so you are very responsive to all their requests. You might feel by doing this you are being proactive. That would be wrong. By being proactive up front in a sales pursuit you will cut down the going dark situations and status quo outcomes dramatically.
The Transformational QPQ sales approach is all about creating relationships based on mutual respect by PROACTIVILY creating collaboration between yourself and the prospect or client.
What are we doing most of the time? A client/prospects asked us for something, we respond and WAIT for them to tell us what’s next & when. For the most part when we are reviewing sales pursuits, we review the two or three steps that have occurred in the pursuit and then maybe know what the next step will be. The dates are vague, and the rep rarely seems to know what or when the next several steps in the pursuit will occur. As an example: Lead came in from trade show, called and talked to the lead person (usually not the decision maker), went on site to meet prospect, demo scheduled for next month…
Before you totally engage in a sales pursuit, what should be asked every time: When would you like to have a decision made by? As you are trying to decide, what are the exact steps you are going to go through? Once you get that answer, then we need to put dates to each step. Or ask; What are the exact steps you are going to go through in your evaluation and then assign dates to each step. You now can build a collaborative road map with the prospect.
If they say, “Not sure?”
You’re not working with the right person!
Collaborate with them and create a plan with actions and dates, they can agree to.
If they can’t or won’t do that, then they might just be “kicking tires”.
By doing this they can:
Adhere to an agreed upon schedule
You can focus on and prepare for the next event
You now have the ability to reinforce a timeline
The no decision or status quo outcomes are dramatically reduced
Like everything else we are framing this required process, so it is good for the client or prospect: by having a timeline with dates you explain to the prospect you will make sure your calendar is clear, you will have the right resources at the right time for them and will be ready to give the best information you can, so they can make an informed decision.
There is much more we can discussion on this very important topic. Visit us at http://www.SalesBuilders.com

Proactive vs. Reactive Selling

By Bob Beck
To start off the new year it is always a good exercise to assess what is working for you, what’s not working and consider making the required changes that will bring you closer to achieving your goals. From the many sales strategy sessions, we were involved in during 2017, there is overwhelming evidence that shows: sales reps are applying a reactive style of selling and status quo remains the #1 competitor. Let’s make some adjustments to change that.
Beginning with definitions so we are all on the same page; Reactive: Is acting to a situation vs controlling it. Too many sales people that have a reactive mindset see themselves as powerless victims when deals go dark, delay or no decision is made (status quo). It’s always a shock when that happens, and we find ourselves at a loss not sure what to do. We all want to close deals as fast as possible, so we ask questions, listen to the answers, think we are building trust and some kind of positive relationship. We are in a hurry to show the product and think we are being seen as helpful. We will go at the prospect’s pace and their usually “make it up as they go” process, and with the hope the deal closes in a timely manner. If we blindly follow their make up as they go process, not knowing or seeing the entire picture, we now have a make it up as we go sales approach.
Proactive means-creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding. Being proactive minimizes potential negative outcomes and leverages potential positive ones. Being proactive helps you on your journey to becoming a trusted advisor.
A lot of sales people feel by being responsive they are being proactive-almost the opposite is true. That is much more reactive. It is very close to falling under the category of being subservient. You want prospects and clients to like you and buy from you, so you are very responsive to all their requests. You might feel by doing this you are being proactive. That would be wrong. By being proactive up front in a sales pursuit you will cut down the going dark situations and status quo outcomes dramatically.
The Transformational QPQ sales approach is all about creating relationships based on mutual respect by PROACTIVILY creating collaboration between yourself and the prospect or client.
What are we doing most of the time? A client/prospects asked us for something, we respond and WAIT for them to tell us what’s next & when. For the most part when we are reviewing sales pursuits, we review the two or three steps that have occurred in the pursuit and then maybe know what the next step will be. The dates are vague, and the rep rarely seems to know what or when the next several steps in the pursuit will occur. As an example: Lead came in from trade show, called and talked to the lead person (usually not the decision maker), went on site to meet prospect, demo scheduled for next month…
Before you totally engage in a sales pursuit, what should be asked every time: When would you like to have a decision made by? As you are trying to decide, what are the exact steps you are going to go through? Once you get that answer, then we need to put dates to each step. Or ask; What are the exact steps you are going to go through in your evaluation and then assign dates to each step. You now can build a collaborative road map with the prospect.
If they say, “Not sure?”
You’re not working with the right person!
Collaborate with them and create a plan with actions and dates, they can agree to.
If they can’t or won’t do that, then they might just be “kicking tires”.
By doing this they can:
Adhere to an agreed upon schedule
You can focus on and prepare for the next event
You now have the ability to reinforce a timeline
The no decision or status quo outcomes are dramatically reduced
Like everything else we are framing this required process, so it is good for the client or prospect: by having a timeline with dates you explain to the prospect you will make sure your calendar is clear, you will have the right resources at the right time for them and will be ready to give the best information you can, so they can make an informed decision.
There is much more we can discussion on this very important topic. Visit us at http://www.SalesBuilders.com

Top 10 Sales Issues of 2015

  1. Reactive Sales Culture vs. Proactive Culture that drives the sales process.
  2. Statistics show that over 50% of sales pursuits end up with “no fruit for your labor.”
  3. Sales teams are not selling to or engaging the Decision Maker early in the sales cycle.
  4. Individual Sales reps Forecasts are inaccurate due to lack of control in the sales processes and poor qualification format.
  5. Sales teams are trying to get prospects to understand the solution they are selling. They don’t yet understand why people buy in 2015; people buy because they feel understood not because they understand.
  6. When trying to sell value, the sales team is imposing what they think the prospect should value before they truly understand what the prospect deems valuable.
  7. Critical Questions go unasked, which results in surprises and slippage in the sales pursuits.
  8. Opportunities are running the sales reps vs. the sales reps running and controlling the activity.
  9. Most common sales approach is one of “Make it Up as You Go”. All prospects are different, the individuals inside those prospects are different, but sales professionals still need to follow a common results orientated sales approach.
  10. Sales people in general are falling under the classic definition of Insanity; Doing the same thing over and over and expecting or worse forecasting a different result.

For 17 years, Sales Builders has been working globally with organizations to solve these and many sales development challenges. SBI is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand.

Father Time

by Bob Beck, CEO SBI

In every workshop, in every organization, in every market, in all parts of the world, when the question is asked to sales professionals what their most valuable asset is, the answer is always time. Everyone seems to get that answer correct, yet time is the most unguarded and abused asset we have.

The popular sports saying, “We’ll get’em next year…” is often recited by sales reps, but is no more applicable in sales then it is in sports. Next year might not come. You could be on a different team or with a different company, in a new position, or worse could happen, because we just never know when our time is up.

Father time cannot be beat! You can’t negotiate with him, slow him down, turn him back or stop him. Time is not your friend or on your side as the popular song from the Rolling Stones says. The lyrics say, “Yes time, time, time is on my side, yes it is. Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is…” Trust me when I tell you, time it is not on your side!  There is not one person who is reading this that can say their runway is getting any longer. Your runway to take off, to realize your dreams, to realize your true and full potential gets shorter every minute of every day.

Challenge yourself right now with what you are doing that is not bringing you closer to the things you want to achieve.  What are you not acting on that is holding you back? What is the status quo costing you professionally and personally?

At some point every single person that realizes consistent success has taken a risk. Risks can come in many forms.  Risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of perceived value. They can be financial risks, professional risks, social risk, and the big one emotional risk. The biggest risk is losing or wasting your precious time, which is what you should value most of all.

For many people just challenging the status quo of how you invest your time personally and professionally seems like a huge risk. I work with many executives and sales professionals that feel they are doing Ok. The mind set of if it’s not broke why fix it, prevails all too often or now is not the right time, things are going OK. That would be fine if things stayed the same, if markets didn’t change, products never evolved, or new competitors weren’t emerging every day. That is not the case in any business!

The world we live in is changing. How business is done always changes. Your market is changing. I have yet to be challenged with these statements.  So how has your sale approached changed?  If you have the same approach you’ve always had or are selling the same way you did a few years ago and are not experiencing the results you want, there may be a correlation. If everything around you is changing, how can you logically think selling the same way and not evolving or improving is going to serve you well?

If not now, then when? When will you push yourself, your organization, your life, to the next level?  Status Quo achieves nothing but mediocrity. The famous basketball coach, John Wooden was right when he said, “Average is just as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”

At Sales Builders, we have helped thousands of sale people and organizations in 10 countries, make changes to achieve results at new levels. Let us help you!

Sales Builders is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand.  We’re architects of change and builders of consistency. We’re pioneers of innovation and masters in sales transformation.

The “FRANKENSTEIN” SALES APPROACH

You may recall author Mary Shelley’s story about scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a ridiculous creature in an experiment by mixing and matching different body parts….So what does that have to do with selling?

Too many sales leaders, sale people, and organizations in general we have worked with over the last 15 years will say when asked about what sales approach they use:

We took something from the training we had a few years ago, picked up some things from a new book we read, learned some things from my peers, my last sales manager taught me a few things, and we combined that with our own experiences and that is the core of our approach.” If you are a seasoned sales professional, and any of this answer remotely describes your approach to how you sell, you might be using the “Frankenstein” Sales Approach.

Let me be the first one to say there is more than on way to sell. A consistent results orientated approach is what you should be subscribing to. An approach that addresses sales in a practical way that offers duality. The duality of having a proven, time tested, approach and the freedom to allow you some room to make prudent decisions along the way. What we see today is really more of a “make it up as you go” approach, which in general terms is the same thing as the Frankenstein approach.

Frankenstein was ugly, clumsy, inconsistent, and didn’t function very well. Sure he got it right every once in a while, but over time he just didn’t work. As you read this, human nature may lead you to be defensive. You may be saying that the Frankenstein approach doesn’t apply to your team. Really? I challenge you to sort it out with just a few questions:

• What percentage of your sales pursuits, end up with no fruit for your labor?

• How many of your opportunities closed in the time frame you forecasted last year?

• Would your prospects (not clients) consider you a trusted advisor to them or a sales rep?

• Who’s in control of your sales pursuits, you or the prospect?

• Does your team apply a consistent approach to selling or is everything situational? In other words are you making it up as you go with a little of this, a little of that, and a lot of this?

If you have created a mixed bag of parts into “Frankenstein” Sales Approach and it is netting the consistent results you want and need, then great! If you are one of the very few that can answer all the above questions with pride and confidence, then by all means continue.

If you have any doubts about these questions, it’s time to consider a new approach. Selling in 2015 is not about relating your solutions to people. It’s about relating to people first, so they will be open to consider your solutions. What if your team’s consistent sales approach included:

• Controlling the sales cycle – not being put in a subservient position with prospects and clients

• Selling directly to decision makers – 93% of sales people sell at least one level below the decision maker

• Becoming a trusted advisor to your prospect – relating to decision makers on their level vs. 1990’s style “solution” or “value” selling

• Lead generation practices – fill your pipeline with qualified, high-level leads, consistently

• Opportunity qualification – not wasting time on unqualified leads and developing inaccurate sales forecasts

• Defining and following a consistent results orientated sales methodology – 98% of sales people do not follow a consistent sales approach

In today’s business world there is no time or patience for a make it up as you go sales approach. We have clients in 10 countries that are passionate about the results they have experienced from our partnership with their firm. Don’t be like Frankenstein and scare off your prospects! Contact us today to learn more about how to employ a consistent sales approach that works!

SBI: Sales Builders Inc. is a dedicated professional development firm that offers organizational assessment, training, and consulting all geared to help organizations transform, thrive, and expand. We’re architects of change and builders of constancy. We’re pioneers of innovation and masters in sales transformation.