Business, Entrepreneur, Productivity

Full Guide To Improving Sales Performance At Work

Win rates are something that irks every business owner and sales leader. But we’re here to tell you that win rates can be changed with the right training in sales. In this blog post, we are going to reveal all of the facts and advice you could possibly need when improving your sales performance at work.

In fact, the number one sales competitor isn’t the competitors in your market: its indifference. Recent statistics have shown that businesses aren’t really losing more sales deals than usual to their competitors; rather, they’re losing to B2B buyers doing nothing. While it’s easy to look at these sales figures with despair, think of it as an opportunity: if no one is winning these buyers, then you can still win sales. Even just an improvement of a couple per cent in win rate can lead to a massive improvement in revenue – so training is key. 

One thing that has arisen out of this age of indifference amongst B2B buyers is that sales managers need to perform better sales training. Sales research from the last five years has found that nearly 50% of sales managers needed improvement when it came to the fields of coaching, training, and mentoring. It’s easy to point the finger at sales managers, but the reality is probably that they have received insufficient management training themselves. This can be corrected by finding a sales training UK expert to act as a training coach to your sales manager(s). They can help elevate the performance of your sales manager and your sales team.

Are Salespeople Naturally Gifted Or Well Nurtured?

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There’s a temptation to fire and hire when it comes to sales, but this perpetuates the myth that all sales professionals are naturally gifted. In fact, there are a number of successful salespersons out there that were hopeless when they started selling. But with the right sales training, they improved. Sure, an endless pool of charm, wit, and seemingly natural talent can go far in sales, but training in sales can go even further. There’s a tendency for people with that charm to reject changes that could improve their selling, whereas those with an eagerness to learn will eventually get better – and will even surpass those stubborn talents. Think about this: it’s thought that 25-50% of the world’s population is introverted. While extroverts tend to gravitate to selling, it’s likely that you have a fair share of introverts within your sales team too. In fact, some of the most successful sellers are introverts. If the ‘natural salesperson’ argument were true, how can introverts succeed in a sales environment? It’s because nurture and, perhaps, nature play a part in making a salesperson great. But the main point to take home is that all salespeople can improve and all salespeople can become better at landing deals. With hard work, determination, and the right sales training program, your mediocre sales team can be nurtured into a team of sales superstars! Plus, being a receptive boss and offering benefits can go a long way to encourage harder work from your sales team. From offering vouchers for computer glasses to making ergonomic improvements in the workplace, small things like this can go a long way.

Does Training Really Work?

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What if your organisation already has in-house training in place? What benefit will coaching bring overtraining? Stats have shown that sales training can increase performance and behaviour, but often only in the short-term. However, there is also research that demonstrates the effects of coaching alongside training. The result? Behaviour and sales results are vastly improved – far more than those salespeople who are receiving training in isolation. Why? It’s because coaching reinforces the message that training is sending. Salespeople may be switching off during training, whether it’s in a classroom environment or via an online portal. They may take in some of the information and apply it to their job, but they’ll soon slip back into their old ways of operating. A sales coach can reinforce and drive home the reasons why they should make that change permanent. As a result, performance improves, behaviour improves, and, most importantly for leaders, sales improve. The initial cost of coaching is completely overshadowed by the measurable increase in revenue as a result of intervention by a good coach. While there’s a temptation to try and enact this change internally, a coach is effective by being external. They are unbiased and unemotional about your business, and their experience in other sales environments is what gives them that respect from sales staff.

Learning To Re-Engage Clients

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Sales training is very much in demand. However, it’s all too common to see so many sales teams fall into the same pits of mediocrity when it comes to presentations and closing deals. The key here is not learning a script better or providing an even more polished presentation – it’s about learning to be flexible.

B2B buyers are a savvy bunch today, helped in no small part by the all-time high level of availability of the Internet. They’re not just working for static organisations that sleep under rocks; they know what to expect. So when you approach a potential client with a super-polished, super-scripted presentation, expect to encounter apathy. Buyers are disengaged by these sales tactics that have punctuated sales training courses everywhere; they want genuine approaches to discuss mutual benefits to their organisation and your organisation. Overly scripted presentations only make the buyer think your organisation is inflexible, rather than dynamic, exciting, and reactive. They find it unlikely that your organisation will understand the problems unique to their organisation. After all, they’re being treated to a static approach; what makes them think that they are special? Or that their unique requirements will be met by your organisation? Very little. They’re just another buyer to be conquered, after all. But there are sales training courses and approaches out there that can teach your sales leaders and teams to be more flexible in their plans to charm a potential client.

Can It Help Generate New Business?

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Executive sales coaching will provide a noticeable competitive advantage to your sales team. It can improve behaviours and help boost the value of deals with current clients. But what about when it comes to the generation of new business? Can coaching really help with lead generation?

Absolutely. When it comes to entrepreneurial behaviour, we can sometimes find ourselves believing in that Hollywood fairy-tale of ‘if you build it, they will come’. Even after you’ve built everything, you can’t expect clients just to fall into your lap. You need to go out there and attract them. If your sales team has been finding that difficult, changes need to be enacted. Positive changes will rely partly on your ability to identify the strengths and uniqueness of your organisation, and will also partly rely on the effectiveness of your organisation’s sales training. Both of these activities will feed into the way in which your salespeople portray your organisation to potential clients. 

A good sales coach can help craft better presentations and better behaviours amongst your sales staff to ensure that potential clients are getting the right message. This is further bolstered by an introspective look at your organisation’s strengths. Being able to convey these strengths to potential clients is key. The coach can also help with this aspect. They may also be able to perform an assessment of your organisation’s sales capabilities. This is an extremely important step in helping to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses within your sales leaders and teams.

Can It Help Overcome New Market Entry Challenges?

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Effective sales coaching is something you will be looking to implement if your organisation is entering a new market. There are a number of challenges that come from entering new markets, so it’s perhaps not reasonable to expect that a previously successful sales team will be effective here too without coaching.

There needs to be an appreciation of the market that you’re arriving in. It’s likely that there will already be well-established competitors, so your organisation and sales team needs to understand and accommodate to this challenge, particularly if your organisation has been effective in another market for some time. Trust is the biggest factor. A new supplier will be viewed with scepticism. Therefore, coaching in sales and sales training with this in mind is very effective. 

An effective sales coach can help to devise a strategy for success in the sales department. You may want coaching to focus on buyers in the market who already have a relationship with your organisation. Or perhaps you are seeking coaching that focuses on directly competing to dislodge suppliers who are complacent or who aren’t effective enough when it comes to retention? Coaching in sales on aspects such as emotional intelligence and client centricity can really help give your sales leaders and sales teams an advantage over established competition. If your sales team has coaching in sales that’s customer-centric, there’s no reason why they can’t dislodge established competitors.

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