Welcome to the second of our three part blog series all about things we have learnt about selling and the sales industry. If you missed part one, you can take a look at it here.
The aim of these blogs is to highlight some of the key observations we have made about selling and sales people over the years. Here are points four to six.
“Sales people cannot forecast accurately, even if they want to!”
In our time we have trained over 2000 sales people and throughout this time, we have noticed this to be a prevailing flaw amongst sales people. If we ask a room full of sales people what the chance of a success is for a particular deal, we get the whole spectrum of results; from the optimists that put the chance at 80 – 100% to the pessimists who predict only a 0 – 20% chance of conversion.
The ability to accurately, or a least realistically, predict sales is not only beneficial to individual sales people, but also to businesses as a whole. Nobody wants to be hauled into a meeting because they have little or no figures on their forecast, but equally, constantly failing to deliver on vastly inflated predictions won’t do you any favours either. Accurate forecasting is a skill that can be learnt – you just need to learn how to interpret signals from buyers and ask the right questions!
“Over 50% of experienced hires will have left within 12 months.”
Hiring sales people that are able to perform as per expectation is a notoriously tricky task for any organisation, as the majority of sales managers will be able to testify. Whether it’s a case of failing to live up to the promise shown at interview, taking too long to get up to speed or simply failing to fit in with the company and its practices, our experience is that an awful lot of hires fail to make it through their first year in a company. Where top brass is being paid, along with recruitment fees and other costs, this can mount up to a not unsubstantial sum.
Having been there, done it and bought the t-shirt, Japenic are often brought in by sales managers to help identify gaps and help to build the sales team to fill them. We are also able to deliver a great deal of value in terms of training when new members of a team have recently come on board; bringing all sales people up to speed and singing from the same hymn sheet.
“Sales people are often reluctant to discuss financial benefits.”
Considering what they are doing is as usually as much a financial decision to the client as much as anything, sales people often have a remarkably poor grasp of the world of finance and accounting. All sales people should understand the difference between the Profit and Loss account, and the Balance sheet. Plus they should all understand the financial criteria (payback period, or ROI) that will influence investment decisions.
Sound familiar? Now you have identified the issues/problems in your sales team, it’s time to do something about it! That’s where we come in…Sales training from Japenic can make a big difference in the performance of individual sales people and teams as a whole. To find out more about our tailor-made sales courses, please get in touch.