Sales organizations often choose to focus on the activities that their sales team members are completing (or failing to complete). In reality, however, sales team performance is driven by a seller’s ability to move deals down the sales funnel. While many of those progressions are task-based, your sales team members also need the key behaviors that will allow them to meet their quotas. If you’ve acknowledged that it’s sales team behaviors that need to be evaluated, then you’re already halfway there! Unfortunately, many sales organizations recognize that they need to evaluate behaviors, but struggle to deepen their understanding of exactly which ones are necessary to reach their goals. If your sales team is struggling to move prospects through the sales cycle, make sure they have these critical behaviors.
Early in the Sales Cycle
In order to attract and qualify leads, your salespeople need to be familiar with the people they’re selling to. Train your salespeople to:
Maintain a professional demeanor: Your sales team should be professional throughout all of their interactions with customers. While it’s important to form a relationship with customers, it’s equally important to maintain formality and create that professional impression that will give them a great opinion of your company. This simple step can make or break the customer interaction, so it’s important that professional poise begins in these early stages.
Uncover business pain: Do your salespeople understand the pain points of the businesses they’re working with? Train them to identify potential challenges faced by the businesses you work with on a regular basis, then provide them with information about how your products and services can help solve those particular challenges.
Deliver a value proposition: Does your seller know what benefits can be offered by your products or services? Are they able to deliver these in a way that adds value to the customer, rather than in a way that simply lists the product attributes?
Prove their knowledge: Your salespeople should be clearly knowledgeable about your industry. They need to be able to display both their product knowledge and their overall understanding of the industry as a whole, including your business’s role in it. The more knowledgeable your salespeople are, the better they can interact with your customers.
Establish a timeline: How long does the customer have to make a buying decision? In some cases, salespeople may need to take the long view in order to secure a sale. In other cases, customers need to make decisions fast, which means your salespeople need to be ready to jump in!
Ask open-ended questions: Does your sales team know how to ask the open-ended questions that will give them key information about the customer? They need to know how to gather the details they need, then listen for critical words and phrases that will help deepen their understanding of customer needs and expectations.
The Middle of the Sales Cycle
Your salespeople have identified prospects, drawing them in with compelling narratives that address their pain points and show a solid understanding of what those prospects really need. In the middle of the sales funnel, it’s important to set your business apart with some of these key behaviors.
Restating business challenges: When your salespeople work with a prospect, do they have the ability to restate the challenges the prospect has described–even if they’re different from the ones that the salesperson has identified previously? Are they able to sort through the information they’re provided, clarify key issues, and address those pain points effectively?
Differentiation: Your prospect is now aware of the options that you can offer, and chances are, they’re aware of what your competitors are offering, too. Does your salesperson know enough about the industry and your products to understand what sets you apart? Are they able to offer those key details to customers in a simple, memorable, and compelling way?
Creating compelling narratives: When you’re trying to bring in prospects, you want to provide them with interesting information that will help draw them in. This information isn’t just a recitation of your product’s features and what you can offer! Instead, it’s a narrative. You want to offer information to your prospects that will help them trust your company. Tell them a story. Draw them in. As you teach your salespeople these key skills, you’ll discover that your interactions with customers improve substantially.
Tailoring the sales path and vision: Each customer’s journey is unique. You want to be sure that your salespeople know how to tailor the sales path to the individual customer, providing them with information that is customized to their needs, rather than sounding as though it comes straight out of an advertisement.
Closing the Deal
You’ve almost hooked your prospect. Now what? Closing the deal is a critical step in the sales cycle, and you want to be sure that your salespeople are able to display these key behaviors as they finish the deal.
Overcoming objections: In many cases, your prospects will have objections that prevent them from moving forward with the sale. Is your sales team able to overcome those objections? Does each member of the team know how to move forward with the discussion, providing compelling arguments that will help your prospects make a decision for your product?
Confirming the business solution: Is the seller able to confirm that your solution will be able to solve the business’s problems? In many cases, this is the final step in closing the deal: simply being able to provide an evidence-based confirmation that your solution is adequate for solving the issues the business faces.
Execute the agenda: Your salesperson has established a clear agenda throughout their interactions with the client. How well are they able to execute it? Do they move forward smoothly, delivering on their promises, or do they provide a choppy, difficult delivery that doesn’t match up with their promises? Your sales team often reflects the major interactions that your customers have with your company–and their reliability will help establish that same image for your company as a whole.
If you want to learn more about the ways that behaviors can impact sales team performance, contact us! We’ll work with your sales managers to develop a deeper understanding of what’s necessary to help your sales team members reach their quotas, including the key behaviors that will set your business apart from your competitors.