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Sales Meeting Minute

Managing your sales team

Managing a sales team can be quite a challenge. Harnessing individual personality preferences and getting everyone focused on the same goals, moving at the same pace, and working in collaboration to develop business opportunities is a major (and some would say impossible) undertaking.

To illustrate the complexity of the task, let’s examine the dynamics of the sales team at Hypothetical Systems, Inc.

Bill is the sales team leader. He is extremely knowledgeable about the company’s services and the markets served. Bill’s teammates describe him as having only one speed – fast forward. His strategy, from their perspective, is “give me the relevant facts and figures and let’s get moving”. Actually, once Bill gets a clear picture of the opportunity, he makes decisions quickly and is ready to take action.

Tom is a senior member of the sales team – having been with the firm almost as long as Bill. Tom is also a ‘give me the facts and figures’ man. He wants all the information about an opportunity before he is ready to make decisions. But, unlike Bill, Tom needs to invest more time analyzing the information before he is comfortable taking action. He’s always looking for more information to analyze and review – and review – before he is ready to move forward with an opportunity.

Karen is another member of the team. Unlike Bill and Tom, she is not particularly interested in facts and figures, she only needs “the big picture” to get a sense of an opportunity and the possibilities it holds. She plays hunches. When pressed for the rationale behind a course of action she suggest, her typical response is “That’s just the way I feel.”

Jeff is the fourth member of the sales team. Any one of his teammates would tell you that Jeff is a “people person.” Jeff’s concerns tend to revolve more around the people involved in an opportunity than the facts and figures that Bill and Tom are concerned about or the possibilities that Karen looks for. Jeff’s aim in developing a selling opportunity is to maintain a state of harmony between all of the players.

Each member brings something different and valuable to the team – something that enhances the team’s ability to understand an opportunity. But, at the same time, each is pulling in a somewhat different direction. It’s easy for any of the members to fell misunderstood or ignored.

Bill often accuses his team members of ”dragging their feet” when it comes to making decisions and taking action.

Tom accuses Bill of moving too quickly and can’t understand Karen’s and Jeff’s lack of interest in the details surrounding the opportunity.

Karen doesn’t understand Bill and Tom’s” fascination” with the details or Jeff’s “whining” about how “so and so” will feel.

Jeff has a hard time understanding how any opportunity development strategy – based on facts or intuition – can be formulated, much less initiated, without first considering with whom you will interact.

Can you relate? If you’ve managed salespeople for any length of time, some of the attitudes – preferences for thinking and acting – and the problems they create will sound familiar. Unless channeled appropriately, these different preferences can be a roadblock to productive activity.

What can you do?

To turn potential roadblocks into building blocks, you must understand – and help your sales team understand – that each person’s preference (including your own) is neither right nor wrong; neither good or bad. It is simply part of one’s personality makeup and most importantly, each has value. Let me repeat that, each has value.

Your interaction with your team must reinforce the notion that each preference can make a valuable contribution to the understanding of a situation and help determine the most appropriate course of action – but only if each person is open to the ideas and views of his or her teammates and is willing to give them unbiased consideration. With the proper coaching and encouragement, and by taking the lead and carefully orchestrating your sales meetings and individual communication with your team members, you can establish an environment where that concept can flourish.

Imagine Bill, for instance, resisting the urge to jump from facts to action long enough to consider Karen’s hunches and sense of the big picture. Both can also pay attention to Jeff’s concern about how the various decisions will affect the people involved in the process. And all three can give Tom some time to think things through.

When you help your team respect and appreciate each other’s personality preferences, you open the door to improved communication, creativity, and productivity.

 

©Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected] or toll free at 1-866-645-2047





Before you cut your price

When you cut a deal to get the business there are consequences. How far are you willing to go to close a sale? More importantly, have you debriefed what led you to drop your price in the negotiation? Was it worth it?

Before you let price be the deciding factor of a sale again, review the facts about cutting prices.

When you cut prices by...

5%                       You must sell: 25% more merchandise

                            You must do: 18% more dollar volume

 

8%                       You must sell: 47% more merchandise

                            You must do: 35% more dollar volume

 

10%                      You must sell: 66% more merchandise

                             You must do: 50% more dollar volume

 

12%                      You must sell: 92% more merchandise

                             You must do: 69% more dollar volume

 

15%                      You must sell: 150% more merchandise

                             You must do: 112% more dollar volume

 

20%                      You must sell: 400% more merchandise

                             You must do: 300% more dollar volume

 

How much is it costing you on an annual basis by needlessly cutting the price to get the deal? How often do you give in on price in order to close a sale?

If you found these statistics troubling, what will you do to make sure you're not cutting deals to make sales in the future?

 

Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected] toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or www.glennon.sandler.com.



Be quiet already!

No, you’re not crazy. There really are voices in your head. Voices that keep you from doing what you need to do during your customer care calls. It can be the voice of your teachers, your parents, your piano teacher, or your hockey coach. Voices which have now become your own voice, collectively known as negative self talk.

‘Don’t ask so many questions. You’re making a pest of yourself. Hurry up and fix this before they get upset with you. You’re doing it wrong. You’re making it more complicated for them! You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ And the list goes on and on. While these voices may have been appropriate at some point (and I emphasize, may have), they are no longer appropriate. And you don’t have to listen to them. Tell them to be quiet.

Make a list of all the people on your customer care call who are not helping you – your parents, your teachers, spouses, friends (so called), colleagues – anyone whose voice you hear that doesn’t support your efforts to help people. Stick the names in an envelope, seal it, and tuck it away in the back of a drawer. Better yet, if you can handle the symbolism, stick the envelope in a paper shredder. Don’t allow any voices that aren’t there to encourage you to do what you have to do.

 

Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected] or toll free at 1-866-645-2047





Are you dealing with difficult customers?

Wednesday mornings are tough enough without our most annoying client calling in with the usual simple problem that he is over-reacting to. We sigh and answer the phone - all while making the facial gestures of a person eating oysters for the first time in their life.

WHY does that client seem to be determined to drive you insane? It's your fault ...

Every morning the manager from the operations department stops in to tell you how your team messed up his operations this weekend. She is soooo abrasive. You answer in abrupt sentences and quite rudely push her out the door.

WHY does that coworker seem determined to drive you insane? It's your fault ......

Every Tuesday morning the boss has a "mandatory" meeting to review your prior week. You hate the meeting, and your boss is an idiot (and you know the feeling is mutual.)

WHY does the boss seem determined to drive you insane? YES! It's your fault ......

People deal well with people they like, are like them and like them back. That means that unless you work at it, 75% of people don't like YOU!

Are you "reading" them and listening? Probably not. The four personalities, DISC, are always at work and you ignore them at your peril. The Demanders don't like chit-chat and they can only win if someone loses. The Integrators need affirmation that you really like them and they require a "win-win" to get along. The Steady relators reject you if you are not on the team and they are linked to the details and they will throw themselves under the bus for you and you don't appreciate them! The Calculators believe in the numbers and don't like to lose. They need to win, and they don't care if you win or lose (that's your job) and they don't like you trying to find out personal stuff. AND SOMETIMES each personality can be distressed. "Not OK" people can only be "Ok" by seeing someone worse off than them, and you are the only one in the office!

Want to convert these difficult people to your side? Read them, listen to them, and rescue them. If they are not OK, be less OK than them! Check your ego - be emotionally detached always. Match and mirror their body language and tonality. It is very hard - very worthwhile and very profitable!

 

Copyright 2014 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or view his website at www.glennon.sandler.com



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About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.

www.glennon.sandler.com




[email protected]
1-866-645-2047




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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