In this guest blog Managing Director of Hawthorn Business Group, Brendan Walsh, shares his advice for a high pressure sales environment where KPI’s and targets often force a hard sell.
For the past eighteen years Mr Walsh has been helping businesses to grow their sales revenue by choosing the right activities and behaviours.
In his guest blog he explains the three key areas of sales activity necessary to compete in today’s market, without forcing your sales team to hard sell.
We’re not inclined to tell business owners that results are not the most important part of their business. However, results are not the important part of their business! At least for the sales team they’re not.
We live in a time of numbers, targets and performance indicators. We constantly focus on the drive for more income, more customers and more profit. Adopting this constant pressure for results with your sales team will more or less force them to hard sell. That’s why in excess of 80% of salespeople do just that.
Yes results are important, but how you go about achieving these results is more important.
So what’s the alternative?
The alternative is a concerted focus on sales activity. And in sales activity everything you do is QDQ! That is:
QUANTITY: Are you doing enough activity?
DIRECTION: Are you doing it with the right people?
QUALITY: Are you doing it with skill, knowledge & enthusiasm? Focussing on the needs of your customers and building strong relationships?
These 3 aspects of sales activity are non-compensating, that is for high performance in sales you need high levels of all 3. For example, you could be doing lots of activity and with the right people but if you’re doing it with lower levels of skill then you won’t have high performance.
If you’re a salesperson you should write your sales activity plan around QDQ. For example, if one of your planned activities is cold calling, your QDQ might look as follows:
QUANTITY: 50 calls per week.
DIRECTION: Target Sales Managers & Marketing Managers in your ‘ideal clients’.
- Fully research prospects to ensure they are an ideal client.
- Develop a ‘purpose & benefit’ statement to use when calling the prospect.
- Maintain the objective of gaining a face to face meeting.
- Make the discussion conversational and needs-based.
By focussing on all 3 aspects of QDQ you will ensure that you maintain your focus in driving the right sort of sales activity.
If you get your sales activity right – your QDQ – your results discussion will be a celebration.