The Number One Reason Why Sales People Don’t Sell

Picture in your mind for a moment a typical Accountant.  What is s/he doing?

If you pictured an Accountant from Enron, he is probably making number plates.  But if you pictured a normal accountant, she would probably have a calculator, or a spreadsheet, or a graph out in front of them.  For they are the typical things we associate with an accountant.

How about if you picture in your mind’s eye a sales person?  What are they doing?

Chances are they are speaking on the phone, or presenting a proposal to a client.  In other words, busy selling.

If that were always the case, as a sales training company, we wouldn’t have much to do.  Industrious sales people, doing the right sales related activities, will always end up selling.

However we find that this is often not the case.  We see sales people all the time who are caught up in sales redtape, either by their own creation, or their managers.

We call this behaviour “sales avoidance”, and it’s the number one reason why sales people don’t sell.  It’s very much the driving reason behind why we’re in business – we go into a company and re-focus people back to the sales-related activities that will make them money.  Once we have done that, then we give them some new skills to make them more effective.  But it always starts with focus.

So, how do you recognise sales avoidance in yourself, or your team?

Here are three tips:

1. Activity levels.  If you aren’t actively measuring activity levels, then start doing it.  Outbound calls, inbound leads fielded, talk time, and number of meetings are the big measurements.

2. Strip away all non-sales related activities, so that there are fewer excuses NOT to sell.  A non-exhaustive list:  internal non-essential meetings, getting involved with marketing, extensive research on companies prior to picking up the phone, multiple forms of paperwork, a slow CRM or database, excessive banter in the office, sorting some grander plan out such as strategy…  Sometimes to help, we ask salespeople the following question:  “If there was a sign above your desk, saying ‘If I’m not doing X, Y, and Z I’m wasting my time’, what would those activities be?”

3. Re-focus by using time management blocks.  For example:  8:30am – 11am:  calls.  11am – 12:30pm:  proposals and follow up.  13:30 – 16:00:  meetings.  16:00 – close of day – plan calls and meetings for tomorrow.

We are now in the real business end of the year, and every moment counts if you are going to achieve target.  If you feel that you or your team are victims of “sales avoidance”, then move, quickly and sharply, to address it.  Give us a call on 0207 043 1582 to discover more about how our sales training can help.

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