I was helping a client's sales management team learn to coach their sales team, when we came upon an interesting and beautiful, coaching moment. It was one of those experiences that makes the repetitiveness of participating in sales calls over and over so worthwhile. We saved a salesperson from going through the second phase of performance management and converted this person back into a strong performer.
Her name is Ann (not the real name)
Ann was a 5 year employee, who was struggling with the company's first sales management process that included accountability for achieving specific sales targets. Ann was the perfect non-performer to turn around. She had:
1) Great work habits
2) The right amount of sales activity
3) A great attitude and truly wanted to succeed.
Now, this was before I started using predictive sales tools by OMG, but I believe that she had the necessary Sales DNA.
Ann was primarily a telephone sales person
She made an occasional field call. She had recently been trained on following the sales cycle, which I wrote about in a previous article. We followed her through the sales cycle. She was prepared for every call, transitioned into the needs analysis and was patient into the presentation. However, when she attempted to close, the client couldn't make a decision. So, we listened to a few more calls. Over and over again, Ann made the same mistake. The sales manager and I sat with Ann in a conference room and played recordings of the same calls that we heard. After that session, Ann went back to work, feeling confident, but still unsure.
Then, she made a sale
Then another and another. She made 3 sales during the afternoon. Ann was on track for sales success with this promotional products company. And she was going to make more money due to the revised compensation that paid bonuses to sales reps who hit their targets. What did she correct?
Ann did an absolutely wonderful job gaining dialogue with the prospect and reviewing some great options. Ann was so focused on being consultative with the prospect that when her prospect asked about a specific product, she missed the buying signal and recommended an alternative that she thought was a better fit. This caused confusion and confusion leads to a "no sale." All she had to do was pay attention to the buying signal and move in the direction of the customer's interest. She hadn't transitioned successfully from the needs analysis into the presentation. She was still trying to find what the customer needed after the customer told her.
Lesson that Ann learned: Don't miss out on buying signals
Lesson that the sales manager learned: Sales coaching is worthwhile. She (Missy) converted Ann into a strong sales producer and learned the value of sales coaching.
CEO's and Business Owners: According to OMG, 95% of sales managers do not coach their sales team effectively. Fix this and watch your business grow.
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