Today's blog is written by Tony Cole, of Anthony Cole Training Group. Tony is also a keynote instructor at our upcoming spring Sales Coaching Summit. Tony shares a recent article from Mark Gibson at Advanced Marketing Systems which sited a report from CSO - (Chief Sales Officer) identifying the key focus points for sales success in 2012. The survey conducted by CSO identified the following BIG issues that members felt needed to be addressed:
1. Ability to show benefit/value,
2. Optimizing the sales process,
3. Reaching people with power,
4. Increasing customer loyalty,
5. Differentiation from competition
I see the value in each and every one of these and over the last 20 years that we've had our sales development practice I can tell you that not much has changed as it relates to what sales officers feel there teams need to improve. In addition to the list I continue to hear the following requests:
1. How do I keep my people motivated?
2. How do I help our people see more people?
3. How do we utilize and leverage the CRM tools that we've invested in?
4. How do I hire better people?
5. How do I motivate top performers?
Imagine trying to deal with all ten of these! You'd be like Dr. House in the TV series - all of these symptoms and not a clear clue as to why they exist. And that is where I believe most sales executives miss the mark. Year after year, companies attempt to treat the symptom instead of solving the root problem. If this were not the case then why do companies still suffer the same symptoms year after year?
We have a client that when we first engaged with them told me that they had spent millions of dollars on sales training with little to no impact. They felt that their biggest problem was with the sales management and sales leadership group - no one had coached the coaches on how to be better coaches, recruiters, mentors and motivators. The sales leaders where great sales people that were promoted or hired because they where great bankers, insurance agents, accountants or some other highly competent professional but had virtually zero training and coaching to be an effective sales leader.
Additionally, the problem is that when time is invested and money is spent it is invested and spent on the wrong end of the problem. In the research we do prior to engaging with a new client we find the following:
1. Typically 65% alignment of sales, business and marketing strategies between executives and sales people
2. On average, 66% of sales people make excuses for lack of success either in overall results or for losing an individual sale
3. Usually, 25% of sales people hired lack the required desire and or commitment to be successful as sales people
4. Roughly, 65% of all sales people have problems dealing with prospects that want to think it over, compare, shop and buy low cost. Additionally 60% have a hard time talking to prospects about money
5. On average, 50% of sales people do not feel it is necessary to uncover budget or the decision making process prior to making a presentation for close
6. Over 95% of sales people have difficulty establishing a strong relationship on the very first call
7. Over 95% believe that prospects are honest
8. Over 80% of the sales people believe that a prospect that "thinks it over" will eventually buy from them
9. More than 35% of sales people are making inappropriate presentations to unqualified prospects
10. Typically only 50% of the opportunities in the pipeline have a medium probability of closing
The work required to fix the top five focus points identified by CSO does not start with more training on how to fix those problems. The work required starts with finding out why the problems exist, who has them and who with training, appropriate coaching and alignment with strategies has the ability to change when training is provided.
1. Ebook - Why is Selling So #$%&* Hard?
3. CSO website -
4. Sales Grader
Hear Tony speak in person at the Sales Coaching Summit on April 10-12 in Austin Texas. His session is titled "The Evolution of Coaching in the New Era of Sales Management". Learn more about his talk CLICK HERE.