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INSIGHT: Prospecting for those golden nuggets...

INSIGHT: Prospecting for those golden nuggets...

As resellers in New Zealand, we live and die by our sales numbers.

As resellers in New Zealand, we live and die by our sales numbers.

Strategies for meeting our numbers include taking on new products or expanding into new markets, but each comes with its own complications, such as cannibalizing existing sales, or requiring more headcount respectively.

Another, often overlooked option, is improving the existing sales team’s overall performance by getting better results from each individual.

As sales managers we tend to just accept that the team has weaker performers as well as strong ones. Often too busy to invest much time into those weaker players, we inevitably factor their average performances into our forecasts.

Introducing a structured, scalable and efficient sales model improves results because it encourages sharing of best practices and helps sales managers to coach their team without reinventing the wheel.

Often salespeople have their own way of selling, without regard to what actually works and I’m amazed how quickly sales processes are watered down, amended, customized or simply ignored.

Unless the whole team understands the contribution the sales model makes to increasing the win rate (and often their remuneration), sales managers fight a tough rear guard battle to maintain proven processes.

There are six key steps that make up an effective sales model, for both hunters and farmers.

These include the importance of qualifying prospects, product demonstrations, proposal structure and presentation, handling objections and asking for the sale.

Following a good sales model is all about lifting the effectiveness of the team to win more, and often, larger deals.

First though, let’s concentrate on prospecting, filling that sales funnel with as many potential opportunities as possible. This is where the mud hits the wall and the more mud on the wall, the more will stick.

Do your team all have a clear understanding of how many new prospects or proposals they must do every week or month, and do you manage to this? If so, that’s great. If not, you need to start doing this – next week.

Each individual’s number should work backwards from their quota. Factor in the closing ratios, proposals from demos or visits, and qualification meetings to demo ratios. What’s the number of new prospects needed to make quota?

A sales lead isn’t a prospect until you’ve qualified them, and this requires some engagement on the prospect’s part.

Okay, so your contact has picked up the phone, or maybe you’ve been introduced at an event – what do you say?

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