Street Smart Sales Training Tips To Stop Costly Lost Sales

Discover how you can quickly and easily get the priceless, secret, modern selling skills that the best salespeople jealously guard and are unwilling to share. And, be successfully closing the deal at better margins, every time.

Sales Training Tip:

Selling skills and closing the deal come about after the human interconnection and trust and respect are built up not before. Closing is the sharp end of the selling process. It is the part where even the slightest hiccup means that you will be feeding the ducks instead of sipping champagne that evening.

Salespeople without the street smart consultative skills who cannot close are merely commercial visitors, and there is no line on any corporate balance sheet with any upside financial benefit for corporate visitors.

Unless you are good at sealing the deal, you are not paid.

Nor is the company who employs you paid. However, to get to the point where you can successfully close, you must have first applied all the right sales techniques from your modern sales skills that you may have picked up from your last sales training session and done everything correctly.

Sorry but, there are no magic closes that can make up for poor prospecting, poor qualifying, poor discovery, poor demonstration, poor product knowledge, and poor handling of objections.

Sales Training Tip:

Business to business selling is all about preparation. With business to business sales skills it is all about preparation your sales training. You must know how to ask for the order and have confidence in yourself, your company and your product and service to be sure that what the client is paying you for will reap them a financial reward far greater than the amount you are asking for.

A dynamic, never to be forgotten, business presentation has to captivate your audience and be a vital part of closing the sale. They don’t care about the presenter, or their sales training or skills, nearly as much as they care about themselves and their company.

But, if the presenter is poor at closing the sale they will think poorly of your company. Like I have recommended with your modern sales skills, practice your delivery repeatedly.

Pick Sales Training that allows you take out all the imperfections. Sales Training from street smart sales professionals – not theoretical sales training.

Sales Trainings Tip

Remember the KISS!

Most of all when honing sales skills remember the principle KISS, keep it simple salesperson. Be natural, work the audience one at a time, in a natural manner. Leave humour out of the close, they haven’t got time to laugh at this point; this is the serious end of the business presentation.

Use a simple prop that masks sales skills but conveys a powerful message and exemplifies a key point or theme. Talk about them and your solution and when closing the sale express all benefits as Return on Investment. (ROI).

Sales Training Tip

Never leave the client wondering. Most of all never leave people wondering what you said. Explain terms and acronyms if you must use them at all while closing the sale. It all comes down to what your audience walks away with in the end. Did you deliver another boring business presentation?

Or, did you use your sales skills gained from all those sales skills courses and persuade or motivate everyone to action? When closing the sale I prefer to soften the word ‘sign’, which rather conjures up thoughts of ‘signing your life away’ in the prospects mind by using the word authorize’.

Take these suggested statements, adapt them to suit you, then commit them to memory and practise out loud until you can recite each one of them verbatim in your sleep. Closing the sale will then become automatic.

Now, what are you waiting for?

Some salespeople with modern sales skills and all the sales training they need just sit around waiting for the right psychological moment to make a sales call.

Well congratulations you have just arrived at that precise moment. You are in closing the sale business. Selling takes courage, but often the things that take the most courage bring the biggest rewards. Now, what are you waiting for?

Make it your best year ever, and answer the question posed at the beginning of this article

Sales Training Tip

Sales training requires passion & expertise to ensure you get maximum value & return on investment.

Sales Training Tip

Pick training that provides…

Real world proven Sales Training tools, methods and strategies to reach sales stardom in any economy
An innovative sales productivity plan for salespeople to work to.
Modern sales skills that ensures they know exactly how and what to do in all sales circumstances and conditions.
A refreshed attitude for sales success that you deserve
Street-smart sales skills, sales tips, and sales techniques for closing sales every time.
Before you know it you will be out there and start closing the sale more often!

You will be the Sales Star before you know it!

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Your Salespeople Running Out Of Gas? Supercharge Them With Neuroscience Based Sales Training

How Often Have You Heard Yourself Saying: “My Sales Team Has Talent, So Why Aren’t They Hitting Their Numbers???”

This is a problem that sales managers have been trying to solve since the dawn of business. You can almost imagine a merchant circa 1300 lamenting to a friend, “What stops my traders from calling on the bigger kingdoms and getting higher prices is beyond me!” This exact conversation is going on right now in the offices of sales managers and company presidents all around the globe. The commodity may have changed but the essence of the conversation is the same. What stops my salespeople from attaining the results I know they are capable of?

According to David Stein, the CEO of ES research group, an analyst firm focused on the sales training industry, “American businesses spend over $7B a year in sales training and yet the failure rate is over 80%.” ES Research’s data shows that sales training has a motivational effect that fades with time. Stein explains, “Most salespeople revert back to their original production level within 80 days unless there is some sort of intervention that reinforces the training.”

There are many approaches to solving this problem, most of which don’t work:

Reward success: Vacations, money, and public recognition work for some. For others there is little or no motivational value. Beyond that, there is ample research that says rewards start losing their effectiveness the more you use them.

Punish failure: This can be a great motivator for certain people, but overall it has a detrimental effect on the morale of the sales organization. And once again its effectiveness tapers off with repeated use.

Upgrade selling skills: The sales manager or a hired gun comes in and teaches the sales team sales skills that they usually already know. On occasion something new is delivered that makes a difference. Sales Training does deliver a boost in sales. Unfortunately, sales usually slide back to the normal level all too quickly.

Motivation: An impassioned speech from the CEO or a flavor of the month speaker can get the entire sales team fired up and ready to take on the world. Salespeople can usually maintain the fervor for days, sometimes for weeks, but eventually their fantasy collides with the reality. And the motivation fizzles out.

External Motivation is Short-lived – Internal Motivation is Permanent

One of the key elements of sales training is its motivational effect. There are two types of motivation; external motivation, which is transitory, and internal motivation, which stays with you no matter what. Unfortunately, sales training delivers external motivation. It’s no wonder that the “high” from a great sales trainer often fizzles out quickly. Furthermore, relying on external motivation means businesses constantly have to invest in ongoing sales training just to keep pace.

The key driver that determines sales success
Most sales professionals intrinsically know there has to be something more than traditional sales training. If we knew what the missing element was, we could transform training from just a motivational experience with short-term gains into one that provides a permanent change that delivers improved results.

Salespeople as a group are notoriously difficult to study because there is such a wide array of sales methodologies. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Even if a company standardizes on a particular sales methodology, an objective study is still challenging because the individual salespeople feel more comfortable reverting back to their native sales techniques. This creates a mishmash of techniques within a company.

Sandler Sales is a great sales training company that has hundreds of franchisees worldwide. These franchisees use the Sandler Sales system to sign-up new students. They also teach the system everyday as part of their job. They literally live and breathe this sales ideology. In fact, their commitment to the Sandler Sales System was so high they purchased a franchise ($60,000+). All of these franchisees are highly driven individuals who selling the same commodity, using the same methodology.

A number of highly successful franchisees are very comfortable charging twice as much for the same service. While other franchisees feel uncomfortable asking for a higher price. Keep in mind all of these franchisees would coach their students to sell on value and get the highest price possible while being fair to the customer. This means that the “weaker” franchisees know what to do but fail to take action when it comes to price. This highlights that what’s going on inside the salesperson’s head (the human element) is more powerful that their sales skill-set level.

With an empowering human element, a salesperson can attain results far in excess of what common wisdom would predict given their current skill level and drive. And conversely you can get a highly skilled and driven salesperson that gets less than stellar results because of a disempowering human element.

Sales training teaches new selling skills and provides much needed motivation to get out there and make things happen. Motivation can also temporarily overcome fear or inertia that hinders a salesperson’s success. The area where sales training misses the mark is in addressing the human element. This is a clear case of 2 out of 3 is bad. As long as the human element goes unaddressed, the only way to get a lasting performance boost is to engage in a never-ending cycle of sales training.

Understanding The Human Element

Salespeople are driven: they want to get better results, but sometimes it seems no matter how hard they try they can’t break the bonds of their human element. The human element trumps skill and drive every time. For lasting sales success it’s critical that we understand the human element.

The first thing you need to know is that humans have several neurological levels. At the deepest level is where we hold our beliefs. We have beliefs about being a man, the government, about selling, money, and self-worth; there is a belief about everything in our awareness. Researchers have discovered we have anywhere from 50,000 to a 100,000 beliefs.

Our beliefs shape our values, which sit on the next level. Values give us the rules of engagement that allow us to quickly navigate through our complex lives. These are the invisible lines that we will not easily cross.

On the next level we have our capabilities, where we define what is possible for us to do or not do. A good example of this is where others can clearly see person X has the capability to do something (ask for higher price) but they can’t even imagine it being possible for them (still cave-in on price). Paradoxically we call this prison the comfort-zone.

The final level is what we are most aware of our behaviors and actions. We can see the results our behaviors deliver. If one of the higher neurological levels like beliefs is out of sync with what our sales training dictates we will not do that behavior. If we do attempt it we will quickly revert back to the old comfortable behavior.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” -Albert Einstein

If you want to get better results, you have to change your behaviors. Changing behaviors is one of the hardest things on the planet to do, even if you really, really want to change. This is why sales training fails to deliver long-lasting results. In order to effectively change behaviors you have to go to a deeper level. The deeper you go, the faster the change, and the longer it lasts. In order to facilitate permanent change, you have to embrace neuroscience techniques to transform limitions in our higher neurological levels.

Change happens in an instant!

Change happens in an instant. People live under this illusion that change is hard to do or that change takes a long time. Another popular belief is that change is a painful experience. At one level, all of those statements are true because we try and facilitate change at the behavioral level.

“I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity; I would give my right arm for the simplicity on the far side of complexity”-Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 -1935)

Simplicity on the far side of complexity is where elegan

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How to Sell Your CFO on Sales Training

Ask any CFO what their first impression is when they hear the words ‘Sales Training’ and they might communicate back their ‘Real world’ vocabulary of ‘un-accountable’ and ‘un-measurable’. Simply put, they know they’re wasting at least half their sales training budget dollars; the problem is they don’t know which half.
And from a sales management perspective, if you don’t use your training budget, you’ll lose it.

One effective way for a sales executive to approach the fiscal level of their organization is with an offer a fiscal person can’t refuse. Not the ‘Godfather’ type of offer, but a business offer tied to a measurable revenue outcome and accountable to the overall profit objective of the organization.
Doing so effectively can take the ‘budget constraints’ out of the equation.

If you’re in sales, you already understand how to speak to a potential customer in line with their personality type, business needs and personal wants. But many of us don’t know how to effectively sell internally to our own organization. Let’s take a look at a diagnostic way to go about it.

Step 1: Diagnose your current sales Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

Sales executives and Chief Financial officers have one thing in common.
Both are accountable to the bottom of the scorecard at month-end, because numbers don’t lie. They can be your best friend… or your worst enemy.
When preparing a sales training proposal for your upper management, put on your CFO hat and speak to relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI); individual gateways that directly effect the outcome of your process.

A KPI example in the sales process might be how many times you advance the first sales appointment to the next phase, whether that’s a demonstration, a site visit, a survey or a proposal. Another KPI is how many times you gain a new customer once the first gateway is passed. And when you do gain a new customer, what’s the average revenue you achieve? That’s certainly an important KPI. Because if your average revenue per sale is 40% less than the average peer KPI, you might want to find out why and take focused action to improve it, as you’re leaving money on the table.
Sales cycle in days and 1st appointment generation are 2 additional KPIs to measure.

Never rely on a subjective approach when promoting a sales training program to Upper Management. Define and determine where to ask for training dollars by identifying your Key Performance Indicators and finding out where you’re the weakest in line with your established revenue goals. That takes the guesswork out of it and will report back the quickest way to a measurable training return.

Step 2: Propose ROI sales training systems to turn traditional Cost Center expenses into revenue generators

From a CFO’s perspective ‘sales training’ is within the spreadsheet of Cost Centers, those departments that incur expenses but don’t generate revenue. That’s why most sales training departments fall under the Human resource (HR) jurisdiction, as HR is traditionally a Cost Center line item.

Sales management can lead by taking an objective approach to diagnosing where to put their annual training dollars and articulate the CFO language of turning traditional Cost Centers into profit centers that create measurable returns in ‘Hard’ dollars.

Here’s a good example as it relates to a new sales employee; New-hire sales training programs. CFO’s think of new-hire sales training as a necessary evil, not a profit generator with a specific Delta and ROI. That’s the opportunity.

Because when I ask sales and training executives “What is your #1 objective in line with your new-hire sales training program?”, I seldom get a definitive answer.
So I rephrase my question and ask them “Does your new-hire sales training program provide a successful ramp-to-Quota in a Pre-determined amount of time?” The answer normally is ‘Not really”.

Because if you can reduce the time it takes a new-hire sales rep to Ramp to quota it will provide a measurable ROI, something you and your CFO can actually put your finger on. You’ll be talking the same language. And you have your KPI data to support your decision on the type of pin-point sales training.

For instance, let’s take a look at a sales organization that hires 50 new reps per year with a quota of $5,000 per month, an average term agreement of 24 months and the average ‘Sub-Quota’ revenue per month during ramp of $2000.
Reducing the time it takes to achieve Quota by just 1 month will provide an annual ROI of $3.6 M.

All you need to do is to back out the training costs for the bottom line ROI.
(See Resource box below to calculate your Ramp-to-Quota numbers)

Step 3: Recommend training initiatives for only one sales competency at a time, with a defined training goal in ‘measurable’ terms. Individual competency training versus all encompassing ‘soup-to-nuts’ training will lead to the best overall result and the quickest training ROI. And it will continue to place deposits in the CFO relationship Bank.

Are you willing to state to your CFO and CEO:

(1) The total cost of developing or outsourcing an effective learning system?

(2) A benchmark competency improvement as the training objective?

(2) The time in calendar days it will take to attain the benchmark objective?

(3) The estimated training Delta/ROI based off of current KPI’s?

(4) The projected annual Delta/ROI based off benchmark competency improvement?

(5) The risk factors and contingency plans

Because if you’re not, go find an outsource company that trains to your relevant KPI improvement objective that will.
Because sales performance training should provide a measurable ROI… Just ask your CFO.

The most successful businesses — and certainly, sales departments — have identified their Key Performance Indicators (KPI); individual gateways that directly effect the outcome of a process. Then they measure the competency ratios in line with them.

And if an individual sales KPI is below a satisfactory level, applying timely sales training to it alone, first and foremost will provide the quickest path to a measurable training result.

Remember that ‘Trust’ is reliability over time.

Develop or outsource a single KPI training system, coach the skill-set to work the system, lead the Discipline to routinely do it and measure and report the results. That will permit you to sell future pin-point KPI sales training effectively and routinely to the folks on the top floor holding the purse-strings.

Jeff Hardesty is President of JDH Group, Inc. and the Developer of the X2 Sales System®, a blended training system that teaches sales professionals the competency of setting C-level business appointments.

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