Sales Tips: Give Skilled Craftsmen Better Tools
By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
Many sales executives that are considering training their salespeople question whether their top performers should attend. My suggestion is:
If a sales process is chosen it’s important that all sellers use the same approach and have a common skill set to be able to execute the process.
That foundation gives first level sales managers a much better chance of successfully assessing and developing sellers that report to them.
With all due respect to “A Players” I hope you agree they sell intuitively. They are so talented they ad lib (wing) sales calls and are successful. That said, few A Players sell “on purpose.” By that I mean they have a plan, execute it and can articulate exactly where they are in a given sales cycle. If you doubt it, think about how frequently estimated close dates slip on opportunities in an A Player’s pipeline. The good news is their close rates are much higher than B/C Players but forecasting is a challenge.
My thought is many projected dates reflect the seller’s or vendor’s need to close by month, quarter or year-end without much thought to when the buyer may be ready to buy.
I’d like to cite two (2) examples of A Players that quantified significant improvement in top-line revenue after attending CCS® Workshops:
I happened to run into a senior salesperson for a distributor of Canon printers, copiers and faxes when I was onsite to teach another workshop. Jeff had been and continued to be a top performer year after year. I intimated that he probably didn’t need to attend the workshop and his response surprised me.
He said he had been “maxed out” prior to attending CCS® and said that being able to disqualify low probability opportunities sooner allowed him to increase top-line by 50%. Qualifying using CCS® milestones (selling on purpose) had a significant impact.
A seller (Rusty) from a client (InContact) that sells call center software did part of a video testimonial that is posted on our Customer Showcase on our website. After being promoted to a sales manager he looked back and realized after the CCS® workshop he was able to drive revenues higher by 40%.
Rusty says in the testimonial that such an increase would be likely for a relatively inexperienced salesperson, but it was “unexpected” of a top performer.
It stands to reason if you give a craftsman a better tool their final product will be better. As it turns out superior sellers have significant upside if they follow a proven process.