We may only look like spring chickens (ha!) but over the course of the last 12 years, the Japenic team have run sales training courses for over 2000 salespeople of all experience levels from 250 companies around the UK. Throughout the course of our careers, we have found out a thing or two about sales people, the sales process and the industry as a whole. We like to think of ourselves as a generous bunch and as such, we’ve decided to share our findings via what we like to call our ‘selling whitepaper’.
This post (part 1) is the first of a series of three that will reveal our top 10 findings, what they mean for your business and what you can do to tackle them. We hope you enjoy the series – please get in touch with us if you have any feedback or comments.
“Most sales people are incapable of describing the value that their products, services and company can bring to their clients.”
It seem a basic requirement to any sales person’s toolkit, but over the years of working with sales people, it becomes apparent time and time again that many are unable to deliver a clear and convincing ‘value proposition’ of the business they work for.
All sales people should be able to summarise in three short sentences why they believe that existing customers value their relationship and why new customers would benefit from the products and services that are offered. And yet so many cannot, therefore falling at the very first hurdle when speaking to a potential new customer that asks ‘What do you do?’ or ‘Why should I buy your product?’
Taking time to formulate a strong value proposition is fundamental to any sales person’s success.
“Sales people give away margin far too readily.”
Sales people are most often terrible at negotiating on price. When faced with a customer who asks for a discount, the majority of sales people simply panic and are all too keen to knock a percentage off to seal a deal. Depending on the margins associated with the product being sold, reductions in selling price can have a dramatic impact on profit per sale and over the course of a year, this can add up quite significantly.
Being well-trained in negotiating techniques is worth its weight in gold, quite literally.
It’s important to remember that clients wants to be sure that they are getting the best price possible from the company that they have chosen to do business with. They are not looking to buy the cheapest possible product or service!
“Too many sales people let too many opportunities drift.”
There is always a reason that a sale is lost or delayed. Not many salespeople realise this and even more are guilty of failing to put a structured plan in place to see that the opportunity is turned around.
When faced with objections, sales people crumble too easily and often miss the simple answers to finding a solution that will get the client to sign on the dotted line. Honesty is always the best policy and if this approach is taken by sales people, clients will usually adopt a similar position.
Chasing opportunities that are never going to lead anywhere is another common failing – learning the tricks and employing the right techniques to spot these early and move on to the leads with a greater chance of success is something few sales people seem able to grasp.
Of course, understanding what goes on in the sales industry is just one part of the puzzle. Once you have identified the gaps/issues/problems in your business or sales team, the most important step is to do something about it!
In the next instalment, we look at another three key observations regarding sales people and how these impact on the sales process. If you can’t wait until then, contact us now to access the complete whitepaper.