Is your sales process agile and adaptable? Does your team today fit your business life cycle? Mark Allen Roberts, in his article, Fix Sales: Does your sales team today fit your business life cycle?
Roberts says that,
Companies who have agile sales make strategic adjustments in their sales team based on their business and market life cycles and achieve increased sales.
Robert's three main questions to consider are:
- Does your sales team's talents and structure match the business life cycle your business needs today? ...and more importantly tomorrow?
- Is your sales team capable of executing what your company needs today?
- Are your salespeople selling in a way that matches the buyer's buying process today?
If your sales team is trailing behind your company and the market life cycle, then that lag is costing you sales and net profit. "The wrong sales team fit, wrong structure or approach based on the life cycle your market is like finger nailes on a chalk board and creates team disruption instead of growth."
Be asking where you believe your business is in its life cycle, where the market(s) you serve are and does the sales team you have today and their capabilities match what is required to win?
Be sure nott to scale your business with the employees you have if their skills do not fit the new task. Find the root of the problem and then create a road map to solving it.
A few last questions:
- Does your current sales model match the life cycle of you business and market?
- What are common triggers to help you know the life cycle you are in or about to enter?
- When is the right time to make strategic adjustments to your sales team?
In a slideskhare by Abhisbek Shah, the author gives the audience a few tips for a better sales pitch. Shah writes, "Let's face it. Sales people spend a lot of energy to get in front of prospects and a good percentage of those sales people blow it by making a mediocre presentation." Here are his tips:
- Match your audience to your message. "If you are talking to a CFO about technology or talking to someone from performance and quality about supply lines, you are probably doing something wrong!" People don't care about what it is you sell, they want to know what it has to do with them!
- Define the problem. "Put yourself in your audience's shoes and ask the question, why should they care? If they are not given a reason to care about what you are talking about then you are probably failing to engage them."
- Don't assume understanding. "If you are comfortable with your material, it an be easy to forget that your audience doesn't necessarily know what you are talking about. Think about what it is you are trying to say at the basic level and build upon the simple elements."
- Be concise. "Most presentations are aimed at solving a business problem - so cut to the chase and start off with that!"
- Stay on message. "At best, people are probably only going to remember three main things about what you have said."
- Focus on the highlights. "You want them to be on board from the start, saying "that looks interesting, tell me more!""
- Don't get lazy. "If you are repeating the same presentation over and over it is easy to get a bit relaxed with your presentation. Don't let your delivery skills slide! Mix it up and keep it stimulating."
- Don't go on too long. Remember that people have short attention spans.
- End big. "Don't let your presentation trail off at the end, even try asking the question: What, if anything, would stop us from taking the next step right now? This will give you an opportunity to deal with any resistance or dispel any doubts right then and there."
In Bernard Marr's article about attitude and success, Marr writes that, "When it comes to success, I find it's much more about mindset and attitude than any external factors. Many hugely successful people are able to overcome incredible odds to become successful-and that is almost always due to their attitudes."
What different attitudes make a successful person? Marr gives seven examples of different attitudes:
- Have passion for your work. "People who are successful in their field tend to have an insatiable passion for it, because it's nearly impossible to be truly successful when you don't have a passion for the process."
- Exude self-confidence. "Successful people often believe in themselves even when no one else does. It isn't about self-delusion, it's about a deep unshakable belief that they will succeed."
- Look on the positive side. "Interestingly, successful people also tend to be positive people. They believe in their ability to succeed and see the positive even in challenging situations."
- Encourage a passion for learning and improvement. "Successful people never rest on the belief that they know everything possible. They put a premium on investing in themselves through education and training."
- Persevere. "Successful people tend to have a stubborn streak-in the best way possible. When they believe in a thing and have passion for it, they will pursue it to the dogged end." What a good trait to have!
- Build tolerance for change and risk. "Every successful person-especially in business-must cultivate a high tolerance for risk and embrace change. Today's world is changing at an almost alarming rate, bt the people who will succeed and profit from that change will take the risk to engage it." Being able to adapt to change quickly is very needed in life and especially business.
- Maintain a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Don't be easily satisfied. "Always strive for the next milestone, the next big thing. Even when they reach what might be someone else's definition of success, they chosse to keep going, to reach beyond that finish line to create an entirely new one."
Which of the seven attitudes is the most important? Which do you think is the most linked to success?
In this article by Marshall Goldsmith, Goldsmith writes that, "...success is all about structure."
We do not get better without structure.
Goldsmith writes a few of the many benefits of structure. What can you think of?
- When we follow a recipe we're relying on structure to simplify the complexity of cooking-and improve our odds of delivering an appealing dish.
- When we formulate our bucket list we're imposing structure on the rest of our life.
- When we join a reading group, we're imposing structure on our reading habits (and possibly restructuring our social life).
"Successful people know all this intuitively. The rest of us discount structure when it comes to honing our interpersonal behavior. We tell ourselves, I'm a confident, successful adult. I shouldn't have to constantly monitor if I'm being nice or if people like me. Or we're so satisfied with how far our behavior has already taken us in life that we smugly reject any reason to change."
Don't let yourself think that, we all can do better, and structure will help.
Authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick in their article talk about leaders and managers. What do engaging managers do differently from others?
"It's the main thing a leader is supposed to do-engaging people-and yet the truth is very few of the smart, driven managers we talk with every year come naturally to it."
Being engaging has been talked about a lot. "And yet despite this, in most companies nothing changes. Workers are not getting more engaged. On the contrary, they are disengaging in droves."
This is what the authors found in their research: To achieve higher levels of engagement, managers have to find out what really motivates each of their people-individually. Managing is more of a one-on-one game than we may have realized.
Most engaged people have aligned more of their work with their core motivations. As for those who are most unhappy at work, as you might expect, their jobs are out of alignment with what they are passionate about. They aren't doing what they love, on the contrary their work is demoralizing.
As a manager, how do you find out what motivates your people? Sit them down and ask them a few questions:
- Tell me about your best work experience ever.
- Write down a few of those "best-work" specifics-why exactly was that your best work experience? What specific assignments did you have? How did your manager act toward you?
- Now, think about what's really important to you at work?
There will always be things about all our jobs that people won't like. "But smart managers realize just a little sculpting can go a long way."