Like a championship sports team needs great athletes, exceptional salespeople are the lifeblood of a high-performing sales organization. But if you have recently recruited new salespeople, you probably have also experienced how brutal it is to try to hire top talent in today's market. Even during more favorable hiring conditions, hiring sales executives is risky. Every sales manager has horror stories of hiring promising candidates who later were poor performers.
Sitting next to me, collecting dust, is a relic of a by-gone era: my desk phone. My company recently moved away from a stand-alone office phone system to an integrated platform that combines virtual meeting functionality with chat and telephony.
For some people, the word “sales” comes along with its own set of baggage and negative connotations. Your point of reference may relate to your personal experience with an overly aggressive “sales pitch” while going on a timeshare tour on your vacation. Or encountering manipulative “fear tactics” to purchase an extended warranty when you purchased your dishwasher. Unfortunately, this connotation can also find its way into business-to-business sales situations where companies get push back from their sales engineers and solution consultants who say their job is to help customers solve a problem - not to sell them more services.
Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber, was asked why he robbed banks, and he responded, "Because that's where the money is." So why should you be extra diligent and motivated when prospecting toward the last quarter of a fiscal year? You guessed it because that's where the money is.
If you sell technology solutions, you know that meeting with Technology Officers early in the sales process can dramatically improve your odds of success. CTO’s set the technology strategy for the organization and then send the marching orders downstream. They also understand how your solution can potentially impact other departments within the organization—critical information in situations where you are navigating a complex sales process.
In our research report 5 Hallmarks of High-Impact Sales Organizations, we identified sales coaching as the top sales management action to improve sales team performance. One of the key benefits of sales coaching is that it helps managers transition from chief problem solvers to sales team enablers. This force multiplier is particularly powerful as sales reps improve selling skills and learn techniques to advance sales opportunities.