Tags: Selling and Sales
SHOULD YOU BE IN SALES?
When you scan the room, when you interview people who are in sales, and when you discuss professions with those in the sales industry. You’ll come across the few, the select few, that begin to wonder, “Should I be in sales?”
So, we are bringing to you 5 things to consider when determining if you should be in sales, or continue in sales if you’re a current sales professional?
If you’re thinking of this, and if you’re reading this and wondering, “Am I a sales person and should I be in sales?”
I’m going to give you 5 things to consider when determining if you should be in sales?
There is a statistic floating around the internet which states, 13% of all sales professionals are all “Natural Born Salespeople”, which implies that 87% of salespeople or sales professionals are developed.
1. NATURE VERSUS NURTURE
When I hire salespeople are consult salespeople, the question always arises, “Should I be in sales?” The study was completed by a Sales Benchmark Index, they estimated 13% of salespeople are natural born salespeople.
The other 87% had to work at it, they have to work at developing the proper skill set associated with filling a sales pipeline, selling and presenting, closing deals, follow up and generating referrals.
This is where Sales Training comes into play. Sales Training programs help develop raw talent, harness their current skill sets to associate with how to develop sales metrics for your company or organization.
2. LOVE WHY YOU SELL
No, that isn’t a typo. You always hear, “Love what you sell.” Right? Should you love what you’re selling? Sure, of course. However, if we go a level deeper, you should love WHY you sell. You should love the features, advantages and benefits your paying clients can receive from your solution delivered.
When you can see your clients increase their sales, decrease associated expenses, and increase their efficiency or bottom line, you love that.
If you are able to help a business increase their sales by 20% within the first 90 days, that’s something remarkable, and will likely garner attention to inspire referrals.
When you return back to your client and say, “You’ve increased your sales 20% within the first 90 days -- who else do you know that would love to have this type of experience for them?”
The chances of generating a referral are much higher than those who simply ask, “Well this won’t work for you, but who do you know that would like to hear about this?”
Those are two scenarios that drive additional business opportunities for you, as a sales professional to generate additional referrals and revenues. One inspires confidence, while the other is mining for names.
3. TO SALES PROCESS OR NOT TO SALES PROCESS
When I speak with other sales professionals, the conversational topic always arises. “Should you have a process, or should you not have a process?”
Statistics show, sales professionals with a sales process sell 48% more, than those who do not. Additionally, sales professionals who use a sales process, shorten sales cycles by up to 37%.
Bruce has a beautiful quote, whereas I like to associate with a sales process. Bruce Lee states, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is essentially your own.”
A sales process should be a framework, a guideline and structure for which you operate. This is more a informal set of rules with which you should operate. Let’s use this as an example. Basketball. The rules are set up to define the game play. However, you can have a team experience success that focuses on ball movement, screens, paint touches, and attacking the middle of the defense. You also have teams that focus on a star player, setting plays to get your star player more touches to generate more shot attempts.
Both styles are uniquely their own to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, but are both playing within the confines of the rules.
4. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIs)
As a sales professional, we are all residing at some point on the spectrum of the sales skills equilibrium. A sales professional with a full sales pipeline, let’s say 15x quota is in the current pipeline from referrals, networking and former associates. This sales professional doens’t need to prospect like the entry-level sales professional.
A KPI for the new sales professional is to prospect to the tune of 80% of their time, focused on building relationships, having conversations, leveraging a discovery process to learn about your Ideal Client or Target Market. This allows you to learn what your audience is looking for, what they need, and what they want, in order to choose a provider to do business with.
Meanwhile, the experienced sales professional with 15x sales pipeline, can simply focus on having conversations regarding integrations, contracts, pricing, and so on.
Whereas, the new sales professional isn’t nearly at this point, and should focus exclusively on filling the sales pipeline before they earn the right to discuss integrations, contracts, pricing, and so on.
The best way to learn more about yourself, is to determine what your current efforts are producing. Based on your presentation to close ratio, you'll learn that you need to present 5 more deals each month. In order to present 5 more deals, you'll need 11 more prospects in the pipeline. Your KPIs will indefinitely determine what you need to do in order to improve, and which area you should focus on to improve your overall sales metrics.
5. CONTROL YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
Sales, the only profession where you can truly determine your own future. If you hustle, grind, and develop processes to generate adequate pipeline on a consistent basis and close deals on a regular basis, you’ll earn far more than your counterparts.
Feeding on #4, let’s say you’re sitting on a $60,000 salary and 20% commission. Let’s say your quota is $10,000 each month, which provides you an additional $2,000 on top of your base.
However, taking this a step further. Let’s say you exceed quota, every deal closed is now 25%, and 125% of quota is 30% commission and 150% of quota is 35% commission. You effectively, doubled your commissions, on top of your base. Typically compensation plans will have sales accelerator bonuses and incentives, which can prove effective and attractive.
Sales and selling is all about risk and reward. The best part of this formula and equation is the fact that you can learn how to be a top earner. You can learn how to prospect effectively. You can learn how to conduct value-centric sales presentations. You can learn how to close more deals and at which point value exceeds price, to the point where you can ask for the deal. The hidden sales skill is “follow-up”, which is missed by the majority of the sales professional workforce. The majority of sales professionals do not follow up adequately, let alone effectively and properly.
I’m sure we’ve all had the phone call, email, text or office “stop in” which includes, ‘Hey just checking in…” or “I want to circle back on our last conversation.”
These follow up strategies are old school, and likely something you’ll find in the sales books of the 1980s. We no longer live in the 1980s. Prospects are far more educated, researched and informed than they were in the 1980s. In the 1980s, we as consumers didn’t have social networks, search engines, or rumor mills we could simply visit and ask the question with a few clicks. Now, we can do just that, and chances are hundreds upon thousands of others are asking that same question.
Those answers are then presented in the decision making process of buying a home, vehicle, personal watercraft, or any other form of large ticket purchase. As previously discussed, in the 1980s, you could simply ask a few questions, relate their situation to another, match tonality, and persuade the buyer into making a buying decision.
In today’s sales environment, consumers are more informed, and you’re job is to give prospective clients the information they cannot find in third party review sites, or in a google search. Your job is to be an expert, and give them insights, and simply more clarification into the individual scenario which is present.