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Why So Many Sales People Fail

Why So Many Sales People Fail

In nearly all cases, Sales People fail because they fall into BAD HABITS.

 

  • They don’t talk to enough high potential buyers on a regular basis
  • They cannot explain their company’s differentiating factors and competitive advantages in a compelling, credible and persuasive way.
  • They are not skillful at applying a proven sales process that generates rapport, discovers needs through good questions and listening then tailors the product/service to truly fit what the customer needs.
  • They are not effective at identifying buying objections/barriers and responding them in a way that lowers resistance and increases buying enthusiasm.

More than anything, what enables these bad habits is poor training, coaching and follow up.  When a sales team has a great sales manager that makes sure the sales people build good habits and learn the fundamentals of selling their product/service, then two things happen:

  1. Sales team members with potential learn, improve and eventually succeed.
  2. Poor performing sales team members either get better or are replaced relatively quickly.

 

There are Two Distinct Types of Sales Training

  1. Programs that focus on the communication challenges of selling
  2. Programs that focus on the planning, strategy and account management challenges of selling.

In our opinion, far too much money is spent on #2 when the real problems that are preventing greater success with more members on the sales team have to do with #1.  There is a time and place for focusing on things like how to leverage social networking, maximizing the CRM, the account development process, networking, building your personal brand, etc., but it’s very important to keep in mind that all those activities, all that planning, all those keystrokes into a master database ultimately are trying to create the EXACT same thing … more voice-to-voice or face-to-face selling conversations with people that have the authority to buy a lot of your product and/or service.  It is what happens in those moments, when that sales conversation begins, that determines success.   More often than not, the sales team members that are not top performers are not very effective at the most basic skills of selling.

  • They don’t talk to enough prospects and customers on a regular basis
  • They do not have an always available list of the 25 high potential buyers they are trying to schedule meetings with.
  • They do not have a compelling answer to the simple question: “Tell me what you do and a little about your company.”
  • They cannot explain their companies differentiating factors, competitive advantages and value proposition in a compelling, credible and persuasive way.
  • They are not skillful at applying a proven sales process that generates rapport, discovers needs through good questions and listening then tailors the product/service to truly fit what the customer needs.
  • They cannot get the customer/prospect to tell him/her the truth about what is causing them not to buy.

All the account development and CRM training in the world is simply not going to move the needle when a sales team member cannot do these things effectively.  From our experience, it is a waste of time, energy and money to train sales people on anything else until they demonstrate mastery of the fundamental and important selling skills.

Consilio, more than any training company on the planet, can quickly turn the fundamentals of selling into one of your company’s most powerful competitive advantages.

 

Why Most Sales Training Is Too Easy

Why Most Sales Training Is Too Easy

Very few sales training or customer service programs really challenge the participants to clear the bar and show they have learned the content.

This is because most sales training allots minimal time for actual practice and wastes a ton of time on discussion and brainstorming new ideas of what to do.

Sales professionals MUST be able to verbalize competitive advantages, a value proposition and responses to frequently heard objections. All the conversation and thinking and planning in the world isn’t going to give them the ability to do this under pressure. What will give them this ability is practice and repetition with strong coaching. Consilio is the only training company we are aware of that does this and we’ve seen a lot of other training organizations come and go over the last 30 years.

Our team is more similar to Navy SEAL trainers than academic facilitators. They conduct difficult drills, give examples, practice and practice more until every participant can clear the bar and verbalize the core selling language that creates business.

Most sales trainers have little real ability to coach in a group situation so they do what they’re comfortable doing; they lead a lot of group discussion and although participants may like this, the progress and pace is slow and comfortable.

Not with Consilio. The progress is fast, the challenge is high and the intensity of coaching is there every minute of the program. That’s why sales managers love Consilio training. Challenge your team and put them through a program that really makes them perform under pressure to do the things that matter in a sales interaction.

 

Why Best Practices Are So Important And Consistently Ignored

Why Best Practices Are So Important And Consistently Ignored

Every company in the world knows what best practices are and will say they are important

Every company in the world knows what best practices are and will say they are important, but when we talk with sales and customer service teams rarely do we find anyone that can clearly articulate the 3-5 most important best practices that everyone that talks to customers must master.

Rarely = NEVER.

In many large companies, most likely, a consulting company like McKinsey did a study on best practices, put it in a very pricey report and the company executives nodded in agreement and some memos were sent around and the training department might even have taken notice, but operationalizing this critical information never happened. Knowing what the best practices are is critical, but it is much more important to develop a strategy and execute that plan to steadily turn those best practices into skills that more and more team members possess. This is the missing link and this is what Consilio specializes in.

The truth is, it doesn’t take much time or money to find out the best practices of the teams that actually talk and interact with customers whether they are sales or customer service. It always comes down to the same things. We know what these best practices are and we’ve been refining the coaching and training process to rapidly turn those best practices into a competitive advantage. That’s what it’s really all about.

People that interact with the customer need to be very good at verbalizing critical pieces of information. This is where the breakdown always is. They know in their brains MUCH MORE than they are able to effectively verbalize. Consilio fixes this frustrating problem with the most drill-oriented, practice-based training on the planet. It is extremely challenging with rigorous coaching and demanding exercises. Consilio is not about lengthy case studies with invigorating discussions and analysis; Consilio is about practicing how to verbalize a company’s competitive advantages, value proposition, differentiating factors, product advantages and all the important elements of a sales interaction like how to:

  • get the meeting off to a good start with an organized agenda.
  • recap and summarize to move the conversation forward.
  • answer the question: “Why should I do business with you?”
  • ask great questions and really listen then summarize.
  • respond to the most frequently encountered objections.
  • verbalize the price / cost relationship of their products and services.

Sales People need to see the right people, say the right things, organize themselves to get things done on time, communicate with credibility and conviction and follow up relentlessly.

Customer service people need to develop a helpful and positive voice tone, know how to listen and ask questions, reassure the customer they will get their problem solved, and pay attention for clues that can help them make an up sell offer that is HELPFUL to the customer.

These things simply don’t change and unfortunately, more and more companies every day are forgetting to train and coach their people to become masters of these core skills.   That’s where Consilio comes in.

 

The “Missing Ingredient” In Most Sales Training Programs

Simple – Rigorous coaching and practice.

The Consilio Team has been working in the sales consulting, training and coaching business since 1985.  Every year, sales training becomes more theoretical, analytical, technology oriented and discussion oriented.  Important topics are brainstormed, discussed, case studied, evaluated and put into elaborate planning models.  And, no doubt, there’s a place for this, especially in long cycle, complex sales.  However, what causes most sales people to fail has nothing to do with these topics.  The three most common (by far) causes of failure in sales are:

  • Not spending enough minutes speaking with people that have the capacity to buy a lot of your product/service
  • Not being able to communicate the most basic sales information in a convincing, compelling and credible way
  • Inability to direct a sales conversation in a consultative (rapport > discovery>solution) way that tailors products and services to real needs

Amazingly, every year, less and less training covers these topics.  We agree that elaborate account development and pipeline management models are interesting and intellectually stimulating as a training topic, but, unfortunately, they don’t move the needle nearly as much as the more fundamentals skills areas that more and more sales professionals do not possess.

Consilio has mastered the training and coaching processes to quickly and dramatically improve sales teams ability to verbalize the information that generates sales.  Our trainers are much more like Navy Seals Trainers/Coaches than the analytical trainers that lead most sales training program.  A Consilio training program feels more like a workout in a gym than an academic experience.  It’s challenging and participants MUST perform under pressure.  They learn to verbalize stuff that really matters like:

  • Their company’s competitive advantages
  • A value proposition that really works
  • An easy transition to start a sales conversation that projects professionalism, credibility and preparedness
  • Effective responses to objections that come up over and over
  • An answer to the questions many skeptical buyers ask such as:
    • Why should I do business with you?
    • What makes you better than your competitors?
    • Why should I schedule a meeting with you?
    • Why should I change from my current supplier?
  • How to ask great questions that drive the consultative sales process
  • How to turn information learned through great questions into highly tailored solutions and verbalize those solutions in a compelling and natural way
  • How to leave great voice mails that generate quick call backs
  • How to get past gatekeepers that prevent them from reaching decision makers
  • How to explain products and services in a powerful way

When a sales person has the verbal power to communicate these things with confidence, their sales results improve quickly.  Then, the more refined topics like account development, CRM utilization, and social media marketing will have more impact.  Consilio has fantastic account development programs as well, but 90% of the time, even with experienced sales teams, what they need is a rigorous coaching experience that really challenges them to up their game when it comes to verbalizing the basics.

We have found, over and over, that when sales managers actually watch live their people answer the question about competitive advantages they are astonished at how ineffective their people really are.   However, they are equally astonished at the quick progress they see as a result of the Consilio Training/Coaching approach.

Challenge us.  We’ll give you an offer you can’t refuse, no risk to you at all.  We guarantee all results.

 

How To Build A Dynamic And Effective Sales Culture

Generally speaking, the best sales teams do two things better than their competitors:

 

  1. They spend more time interacting with high potential buyers and prospects.
  2. They are more skillful at using a proven interactive sales process and are more credible and convincing when explaining their products, services and competitive advantages than their competitors.

There are obviously other elements that factor into sales results like product/service quality and price, convenience issues, barriers to changing suppliers, familiarity with current supplier etc. However, the two things a sales professional usually has control over is how much time he/she is going to speak with high potential buyers/clients and what he/she is going to say and do in that interaction. The best sales people spend more time talking to people that can buy more of their products and services. This seems so obvious but thousands of companies ignore these simple indicators of success and ultimately this is why so many sales people never reach their full potential.

Many sales executives get bluffed out into thinking more computer based tools and account planning and forecasting processes is the answer. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a good CRM system and using planning processes that give management better visibility into the pipeline, but these tools rarely increase a sales person’s activity level and have virtually no impact on how skillfully the sales person communicates important things like competitive advantages, and differentiating factors from the competition.

From working with hundreds of sales organizations, we have learned that the vital elements of a high powered sales culture include:

  1. An intense focus on making sure every member of the sales team masters the ability to communicate the critical sales information that generates business.
  2. A real commitment to using a proven consultative sales process that generates rapport, finds needs and tailors solutions.
  3. A clear understanding of the transferable best practices that must become strengths of all members of the sales team.
  4. A strong focus on coaching and training from sales managers so they don’t waste too much time on data analysis and looking at computer screens.
  5. A method of finding and sharing success stories that highlight strong selling performance so that all members of the sales team can learn from one other’s success.
  6. An unbending commitment to identifying who are the most important buyers/customers to speak with NOW and a proven strategy to generate those selling opportunities.
  7. Compensation and incentives that reward the right things.

Consilio’s approach toward helping sales teams transform is simple:

  • Focus on the best practices that generate the best results. Force members of the sales team to really clear the bar in terms of being able to communicate persuasively and credibly with customers/buyers.
  • Identify the bad habits that sales managers and sales people have gotten into and execute a plan to change this quickly.
  • Create a more intense focus on spending more time talking to the customers/buyers that have the highest capacity to create more business.
  • Conduct rigorous training so that all sales people can effectively communicate the Bedrock Sales Communication Tools and apply an effective consultative sales process.
  • Train sales managers to quickly transition to a more coaching intensive relationship with their sales teams.

Simple, but not easy. We have learned how to execute these steps better and better through many projects with good, bad and ugly sales teams over the last 30 years. Our training and coaching processes are more rigorous and demanding than our competitors and sales teams love it. Consilio believes repetition and practice is needed to be able to effectively verbalize critical selling information under pressure.