By Diane Helbig
Seize This Day Coaching
I can’t tell you how often I encounter salespeople who are struggling between what their sales managers are telling them to do and what actually works. This is something that is happening all over the United States.
For some reason, sales managers and corporate leadership have bought into the belief that the way to succeed in sales is to dial (or enter) for dollars. They give their sales teams quotas on calls or visits.
They require their salespeople to collect business cards and attend networking events with the goal of making sales. Then they wonder why they are consistently losing and hiring sales people. The training and onboarding costs alone are enough to make me scratch my head!
This leads to – frustration, not sales. Why? Because this isn’t the way people buy these days. With the influence of the internet, consumers are much better educated. They do their research; they are more interested in doing business with people they trust.
71% of people prefer to buy from someone recommended via social media. That’s a huge number! Nowhere in the statistics does it say that anyone likes to be randomly cold called.
So, what works better? What should sales managers do with their sales teams? Encourage them to take the same amount of time and use it more productively. Allow sales people to build relationships with people who may or may not need what they have to sell. Change the focus from sales to true networking.
The best thing a salesperson can do is spend their time building relationships with other business professionals who can help him/her gain access to ideal prospects. What is better than a referral? Not much!
And, as I said, they are going to spend the same amount of time. What is different? Their time will be more productive and will yield greater results over a longer period of time. The only people contact quotas work for are those sales people who are one hit wonders.
They hammer their way in, make the sale, and then move on to work for someone else. Why? Because they know that this behavior prevents them from being able to gain renewal or recurring business from those clients. And they’ll never get a referral from them.
So, ask yourself – how do you want your sales people to spend their time? And is how they spend their time more important than the results they get? I submit that the most important thing is the results.
Corporations and small companies alike would be wise to empower their sales people to build their own prospecting and sales process. There should always be reporting and accountability. What there shouldn’t be is micromanagement of what people do all day long. How they work is not important as long as it’s ethical and moral. What matters is the results they get. Get out of their way and let them build and nurture relationships. Make sure they have the resources they need and stay tuned to what they are encountering. This is how sales managers can promote sales and success.
Copyright© 2014 Seize This Day Coaching
Diane Helbig, a certified, professional coach and president of Seize This Day Coaching, will be one of the guest speakers at Tribute Inc's Users Group Meeting, TribNet. Diane started an internet radio show, Accelerate Your Business Growth, in 2009 to help small business owners, salespeople, and aspiring entrepreneurs with the various aspects of business success.
The show airs at 1pm ET on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. She has a great lineup of guests and topics scheduled and will talk about everything from sales to employee issues; from technology to social media; from work-life balance to exploring uncharted territory. The goal is to help you remove challenges so that you can realize your own success with your business. You can read more on the website www.seizethisdaycoaching.com or on her blog.