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6 Tips from Peak Performing Sales Teams


6 Tips from Peak Performing Sales Teams

6 tips for sustainable business growth and sales success

Have you ever wondered what sets the best salespeople apart while others struggle to make it?

It is just as important knowing the most important things salespeople should do to be successful as well as what they shouldn’t do. Sometimes salespeople develop habits that prevent them from being successful

Well-defined sales systems and processes are an opportunity to create uniform expectations, reward top performers, learn from experience, easily manage employees and delegate roles and responsibilities.

Effective sales processes allow SME business owner to work “on” the business as supposed to “in” the business.

I often hear businesses say they need more leads to grow their business when the truth is this;

The quickest and easiest way to grow is to increase the effectiveness of their sales process and improving their closing rate!

Effective sales teams
Improve you sales teams closing rate

Here are my top 5 sales tips for peak performance:

1. Know your mission

In your day-to-day sales world, it is imperative to have a sense of meaning. Walking into the office, grabbing a coffee, checking your email, and taking your day “on the fly” is not how top sellers get the job done.

When you have a well-defined purpose and a mission larger than yourself, you won’t get deflated when buyers and competitors don’t behave like you want. If you know that your product solves their problem, adds tremendous value then it becomes your moral obligation not to let the prospect buy from a competitor.

Zig Ziglar was one of my favorite sales gurus, who unfortunately passed away in 2012. He believed that a sense of mission is the common denominator among successful people – here’s one of his mos famous quotes below…

Quote by “Zig Ziglar”

2. Have a winning attitude

Sales professionals who feel they’re an unwelcome intrusion in their prospects day will never reach their peak performance until they see themselves as a peer and equal to even C-level prospects.

If you don’t have enough value to offer prospects and clients, that’s a different story—you have to develop yourself and become that sales professional who has immense value and knows it.

Never give up and keep asking yourself, “what can I do better?”

3. Measure your results

If you’re learning to sell, start from the end and work backwards. Knowing your goals and measuring your performance against them (more on that later) is the most important place to start.

How many customers do you or your company need, and in what time frame? How many leads do you need to close that many customers? How many connections do you need to generate that many opportunities? And so on.

Multiply your customer goal by the average sale price of your company’s product to get the amount of revenue you should be aiming for, goal-setting is imperative!

4. Refine your sales process

Selling is all about determining how best you can serve your client. In order to serve them, you have to establish the highest and best need for your service with the client.

An example of a sales process might include the following steps with sub-headings, forms and scripts going into more detail for each step. All businesses need this mapped out and documented to avoid growth pains.

  • Lead generation
  • Qualification process / reporting
  • Rapport building
  • Defining problem / need
  • Building objectives / outcomes
  • Build desire & add value
  • Agree on buying criteria
  • Scale motivation & investment
  • Propose solutions
  • Close the deal

Sales is changing rapidly, but some things will always be the same. To get customers, you’ll have to establish their needs and interest in your product, address inertia in their business, and determine a timeline to sell.

The way your company moves through the funnel, however, will be unique. If you treat every sales process the same, you could easily miss something.

5. Build a personal brand

In a crowded business environment, you need to establish a unique personal brand that stands out in a crowd. If you start with a strong identity, you will build a reputation as an industry authority and become a high performing salesperson.

Richard Branson is the most followed man on LinkedIn and nails this perfectly – to learn more from the 10 million follower man check out this article;

Lessons from LinkedIn’s Most-Followed Man by Nathanial Bibby 

6 Tips from Peak Performing Sales Teams

6. Invest in education…. Training never stops!

Take positive action toward your goals, every single day. Be proactive rather than reactive.

6 Tips from Peak Performing Sales Teams
Arm your sales team with the tools they need to be successful and dominate their industry; don’t blame them for poor results, lead them to victory.

Sales training should be constant and consistently being updated and refined with modern technology, case studies and real-life metrics from what’s working in the market place – both in your industry and others.

If you can reduce your sales process with automation then this is a huge area for productivity gains and large improvements in your results. I’m always thinking of ways to add more value to the prospect before they become a client.

6 Tips from Peak Performing Sales Teams

Different products call for different approaches. Even if a potential sales partner or rep has a winning track record, you still need to train them in the art of selling your products and services effectively.

Sales is often one of the most under-rated positions within a company and these tips just scratch the surface of the knowledge and resources that are available through professional training. If your business doesn’t have an effective sales process and your sales results are not performing, take action and develop a sales training plan for your team.

Bibby Consulting Group offer half-day sales training workshops designed to empower sales teams to get more referrals, close more deals and build a sales process for sustainable growth. Contact me for more details.


About the Author

Bibby Consulting Group

Nathanial Bibby is the Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group and has assisted over 4,000 businesses across 120 different industries with their sales and marketing strategy.

Bibby Consulting Group are leaders in innovative digital marketing and new age sales systems for business success.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales Leaders

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Ask any sales leader and he or she will tell you: it’s a tough job! Sales leaders must motivate their teams, stay on the forefront of sales technology and earn the trust of hundreds of prospects, all while making sure they’re generating enough revenue to support the entire business.

With so many responsibilities and so much pressure, it’s no surprise that sometimes sales leaders can miss the mark. Here are 7 deadly mistakes that can have serious long-term effects on both your team and your business as a whole – and how you can avoid them.

1. Choosing a sales platform with low adoption.

With thousands of CRM and sales software vendors on the market, choosing the right solution for your business takes time, and depending on your selection, implementing it can take even longer. What’s more, total cost of ownership for CRMs and other solutions can quickly escalate to be thousands or even millions of dollars. Yet despite this level of investment, 33% of enterprises still face low CRM adoption rates!

Without reps consistently using a dedicated sales platform, data capture suffers and sales leaders can’t have true visibility into performance. To avoid this pitfall, when evaluating vendors, be sure to ask about their average user adoption rate. Search for a solution that offers features like automatic data capture, drag-and-drop UIs and email integration to inherently drive adoption by adding immediate value within the sales process.

2. Failing to define a sales process.

According to a survey by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association, companies that define a formal sales process see 18% greater revenue growth than companies that don’t! In fact, during his fireside chat at Forecast 2016, Andreessen Horowitz Partner Mark Cranney revealed that if he were interviewing a prospective head of sales and could ask only one question, he would ask about his or her sales process.

A clearly defined sales process outlines the exact steps a rep must take to move a deal from one stage of the pipeline to the next, providing a series of consistent data points that can be measured to understand and improve performance. For example, a sales process might require reps to have an on-site meeting and receive verbal confirmation that they’ve made the short list of competitors before moving a deal from a Qualified Opportunity to a Proposal stage.

For a step-by-step breakdown of how to build a sales process that drives value for your business, check out this free eBook.

3. Missing the mark on mobile.

A recent survey by Workplace Options revealed that 65% of American workers use mobile devices as part of their job, while 59% continue to work via mobile after business hours. Think of the amount of data that is lost by reps forced to use cumbersome or read-only mobile sales applications! By not giving sales teams the ability to easily enter data in real-time, businesses run the risk of reps forgetting to enter certain information once they’re back at their desks, or entering it in a less complete and accurate way.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales Leaders

4. Coaching via play-by-play.

Many sales leaders use their 1:1s with reps to ask for play-by-plays of their weeks, trying to get a handle on what is happening, rather than understanding why it’s happening. Not only is this a waste of time, but it also leaves little opportunity for coaching and developing strategies to address performance issues.

Instead, sales leaders should focus 1:1s on viewing sales intelligence together with reps and digging into the impact of particular factors on their performance. For example, why are leads from a particular source closing 3X faster than leads from all other sources? Why might one rep be struggling to close deals in the financial services space compared to his or her peers? Asking questions like these leads to strategies and actionable next steps reps can take.

Take a look at this blog post for more insight into how you can become a data-driven sales coach.

5. Forecasting based on gut feelings.

When it comes to forecasting, or the process of predicting future sales revenue over a given period of time, many sales leaders default to relying on assumptions and gut feelings. This is hardly a measurable or scalable process, and when something doesn’t go as expected (which it inevitably will), how can you understand what to do differently next time? No wonder less than 1/3 of businesses consider their forecasts to be effective!

To accurately predict sales performance, you must consistently capture and measure sales data across key conversion points over time. Sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be. This eBook tells you everything you need to know about how you can eliminate sales forecasting fallacies with a data-driven approach.

6. Gatekeeping reports.

Traditionally, sales reporting was a meticulous, time-consuming exercise that took place in spreadsheets guarded by sales executives. However, in today’s fast-paced, data-driven market, all reps need access to real-time information to independently track progress and make more strategic decisions. Scientific sales leaders are choosing sales software that has the power to capture and process big data, provide real-time analytics and offer robust permission controls. This way, reps are able to get their hands on the reports they need when they need them.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales Leaders

7. Telling reps to “work harder.”

According to the author of Cracking the Sales Management Code, Jason Jordan, “The number one metric tracked by every company is revenue. But the reality is that you can’t manage revenue.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some sales leaders from spurring reps to “work harder” and “stay later” to hit their numbers. What they don’t realize is that, if something isn’t working, why would doing more of it work better?

As Jordan puts it, “You can’t work harder to make revenue. You have to work smarter.” This means taking a step back and measuring the key conversion points within your sales funnel across various dimensions, such as sales methodology, lead source, stage duration and more. Isolating the impact of these specific factors on your revenue goal uncovers actionable, quantifiable insights as to the steps that can be taken to improve performance.

For sales leaders, avoiding these “7 deadly sins” is critical to building a successful, data-driven sales organization. For more advice on how to improve your sales performance and processes, download the eBook “From Art to Science: 5 Steps to Predictable Sales Growth.”

This post originally appeared on the Base Blog.

10 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics that will Help You Recruit Smarter

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Written by Siofra Pratt.

Hubspot, the marketing specialists, recently released a list of the 107 Mind-Blowing Sales Statistics That Will Help You Sell Smarter. Being the curious folks that we are, we decided to take a look through and see how many of these stats can and should be applied to recruiters to help them sell their jobs to candidates better. After all, candidates are our customers and essentially what we do every day is sell to them. This is what we discovered:

1. 44% of salespeople give up after one follow up, yet 80% of sales requires 5 follow ups.

In other words, the fact that a candidate hasn’t responded to your initial reach out email, DOES NOT mean they are not interested. They may have been busy when they received the email first, or they may have simply forgotten to reply. Silence does not mean no. Only no means no. Therefore, it’s exceptionally important for you to follow up on each and every one of your candidate emails. You’ve likely spent a lot of time searching for the candidate you have contacted by email, so it makes complete sense to rule them in or out before you re-start your search from scratch.

Start using a free email tracking tool like Sidekick, which will tell you (in real time) when a candidate has opened your email. If they see it but don’t respond within 24 hours, be sure to follow up. After 24 hours, the likelihood of a response falls from 90% to just 3%. However, Yesware has proven that by continuing to send more emails, you create more opportunities for your recipient to reply:

10 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics

2. 63% of people requesting information of your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months (and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy).

Like customers making a purchase decision, candidates need time to become familiar with your company before they will make a decision on whether or not they’d like to work for you. As recruiters, we very often tend to launch straight in with our job ads and tell them to “apply now!”. We forget that it takes people a long time before they get to that “purchase stage” of actually sending an application, and that even after they apply we still need to nurture them to get them over the line and actually sign a contract.

Our blog ‘How to: Successfully Influence Candidates at EVERY Stage of their Decision-Making Process‘, highlights each of the 4 stages associated with the candidate “consideration loop” (i.e. the decision-making process), and the specific employer branding efforts you can use to influence your candidates throughout each of these stages. Read it to gain an insight into the mind of your candidate at each stage and how you can nurture them.

3. After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.

If you were a candidate looking for a job in recruitment and you read the following two statements in two different job ads, which job would you be more likely to apply to?

  • Job ad #1: “You will have responsibility for the identification and hire of 15 new staff.”
  • Job ad #2: “We started last year with 6 people. Stephen and Reza then joined us as interns after responding to a Youtube video; no salary, just the will to grow and learn. Lisa trained as a Black Belt 3 years ago in her old job. She called asking us if we were hiring and we snapped her up. Since then we’ve hired Johnny’s brother Graham and his mate Dave. This year, your job will be to scale this to 15 more people. You’ve got your work cut out! ;)”

Both job ads tell us exactly the same thing, but job ad #2 has given us so much more insight into the company looking to hire. We now know the story of how they’ve gotten to where they are now. We feel invested in the people mentioned in this story. We’d love to meet them. And we’re relishing the challenge of putting our skills to the test to find more people like Stephen, Reza, Lisa, Graham and Dave, and adding to this already great team.

As the incredible Chip and Dan Heath said in their book ‘Made to Stick‘, “Credible ideas make people believe. An emotional idea makes people care. The right stories make people act.” And as recruiters, that’s exactly what we need them to do, act! We need to compel the right people to apply for our jobs. And the best way to do that is through storytelling in your job ads. Storytelling grabs attention in a crowded marketplace and makes you memorable.

4. 95% of buyers chose a solutions provider that provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.

In a recent survey by Software Advice, a company that compares recruiting tools, 59% of jobseekers said that unclear application instructions “significantly worsen” their candidate experience, while 35% said it “somewhat worsened” their experience. That means that in total, a whopping 94% of candidates regard clear application instructions as a must have when applying to an organisation. That’s why having an FAQs section on your careers site is exceptionally important.

10 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics

Having an FAQs section on your careers site that informs candidates as to what they should expect from your application process and your interview process, sets their expectations. If you prepare people and tell them what they can expect from your application process in advance, they won’t be in for any nasty shocks. Their expectations will have been set and as long as you then meet those expectations, you have made the application process a pleasant one for them.

If your ATS asks them 10 pages of questions and normally takes 40 minutes to fill out, tell them they will be asked 10 pages of questions and they will need 40 minutes in which to answer them. If you usually conduct a phone interview before a face-to-face interview, tell them. For a great example of how a real-life company has put this into practice, check out Glanbia’s Graduate Recruitment Process as detailed on their graduate programme website.

5. The best time to email prospects are 8am and 3pm. Tuesday emails have the highest open rate compared with any other weekday and personalised emails increase click through rates by 14%.

While it is universally agreed that Tuesday is the best day to send emails, the consensus on time is a little harder to pin down. While Hubspot cite 8am and 3pm as the best times, CoSchedule have research to prove that late-morning send times (10am and 11am) are the most successful and that the second best time is between 8pm and midnight.

In general, the best time to send emails will always come down to the person/audience you are sending the email to, so when deciding on the best time to send an email to your chosen candidate, be mindful of that person’s most likely schedule.

6. In 2007, it took an average 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. In 2016, it takes 8!

People are busy. And no one is (or should be) more busy than in-demand candidates. They’re hard to reach by phone which is why most recruiters resort back to InMail or email to try and get in contact with them. But the results from the Global Recruiting Survey 2016 found that phone is hands-down the most effective way of contacting candidates, with a 44% response rate in comparison to a 35% response rate on LinkedIn.

So, while it can be difficult to reach candidates by phone, it is well worth the extra time and effort involved. For some advice on how to go about using the phone to recruit, check out our guide entitled ‘The 10 Golden Rules for Using the Phone to Contact Candidates‘.

7. On the phone, tone is 86% of our communication. The words we use are only 14% of our communication.

When trying to reach your candidate via phone, chances are, the first person that you’ll speak to is going to be a receptionist. And chances are that when you ask if ‘Joe Bloggs’ is available, they’ll ask who you are and what the call is in reference to. But don’t fret. Obviously, you’re not going to say ‘It’s Mary here, just wanted to speak to Joe about a possible job opportunity’, how are you?

The key here is to be in control of the conversation. So when you ask if Joe is free and the receptionist asks what it’s in reference to, give your name and say that you sent information over to him and wanted to chat about it, but follow that up immediately with another question like ‘Is Joe usually at his desk around this time?’ Keep asking questions and remember to ask them confidently. You have to retain control during the exchange so that the Gatekeeper is the one that has to do all of the answering. If they advise you that Joe isn’t available, ask ‘When would be a good time for me to call back?’ or ‘Is it better to call his direct line?’

10 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics

8. The best time to cold call is 4-5pm. The second best time is between 8 and 10am. The worst times to cold call are 11am and 2pm.

Between 4-5pm, people are starting to wind down for the day. At that point they will have most of their tasks completed for the day and (hopefully) most meetings finished with too. The Gatekeeper will also be winding down for the day and may be more amenable to helping you out and putting you through to the candidate.

Between 8 and 10am, most people won’t have really gotten into the swing of the day yet, so they may be more willing to accept phone calls. At 11am and 2pm, people are busy and are more likely to be in a meeting or in the middle of a task. This is definitely not a good time to start trying to tell them about a new job!

10 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics

9. You are 70% more likely to get an appointment on an unexpected sale if you join LinkedIn Groups.

What are large and active LinkedIn Groups full of? That’s right folks, potential candidates! LinkedIn Groups are massive job­seeker pools filled with like-minded prospects you can interact with in a group setting. By joining groups, you can efficiently broaden your scope of applicants, and ultimately find a great fit for the job in question. Unsure how the whole Groups thing works? Don’t worry we have a complete guide on how to use the new LinkedIn Groups feature.

10. 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting.

While conducting the 2016 Global Recruiting Survey, we found that the average LinkedIn response rate of a recruiter in 2016 is about 28%. But just because a candidate responds to you on LinkedIn, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily say yes to the opportunity you’re offering. Some will decline to go any further in the process. So, we asked recruiters, “what percentage of candidates who do respond to you on LinkedIn, agree to go forward in the process”? 27% was the average response.

We delved even further by asking, “what percentage of candidates you submit to the hiring manager are called for interview”? On average, our respondents told us that two-thirds (66%) of the candidates they send forward actually get an interview. But that begs the question, how many candidates does the hiring manager want to have on their interview panel from which to make a hiring decision? The average we got back was 4. That means that the average recruiter’s funnel in 2016 looks like this:

10 Mind Blowing Sales Statistics

In order to make 1 hire, you told us the hiring manager needs to interview 4 people. But if just 66% of the candidates you send forward to the hiring manager are selected for interview, to get 4 on the interview panel you have to submit 6 people to the hiring manager. But if just 27% of the candidates you reach out agree to go forward in the process, to submit 6 people to the hiring manager, you need to speak to 22 people. To get 22 people talking to you, how many people do you have to reach out to? Well, if your average response rate on LinkedIn is 28%, to get 22 people talking you need to reach out to 79 people. But if you’re only reaching out to 28% of your LinkedIn search results, that means you need to identify a whopping 262 people in a search!

So, to make one hire, you need to identify 282 per open vacancy… Does that look like an efficient funnel to you?! Just look at the waste! This funnel shows us that 72% of our search results are not relevant, which means that we view and discard circa 200 profiles per assignment. Quite significant when you consider we send between 30-60 seconds viewing each profile! It also shows us that 72% of the candidates we contact never respond, meaning we just spammed 60 people. And if 73% of the candidates who do respond to us say no, we just had 16 wasted conversations. This is an EXTREMELY wasteful process! And one that can be avoided if you know how to plan and structure your searches properly.