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Sales Growth? 6 Webinars and ebooks to Generate Leads and Convert them to Customers

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

top sales tipsEvery business and sales professional has the desire and need to achieve sales growth. With the difficulty to get prospects on the phone, it is critical to incorporate an email strategy that is effective at getting the prospect’s attention and getting you in the door. Even though that is a reasonable thought, it still can be challenging to figure out how to best utilize the valuable tool of email marketing.

The Environment
It is important to know the environment that you are operating in in order to figure out how to best operate. The first thing to be cognizant of is your prospects are likely getting a large volume of emails from sales people like you. And to add another challenge to that, your prospects are likely extremely busy.

This is the environment. There is nothing that you can do to change any of that. Acknowledge this. Be aware of what you have to deal with so that you can design the best approach.

The Good News
The good news is that there are some very clear and practical things that you can do to improve your results and effectiveness. We will share those with you and if you apply some of the tips that we share, you will likely see an immediate improvement in your results.

The Solution – The Magic 5 of Email Content Based Email Campaigns that Drive Sales
SalesNexus recently released a series of 6 Sales Growth Webinars and accompanying eBooks that outline the process of targeting prospects, engaging them with emails and drawing them toward your business as long term customers. The first of these is “The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales.”

Start with these three sets of five emails. They should be easy to identify and create.

5 PAINS: What are the most common pains your service addresses? When you work with your ideal client, what problems do you solve? You want to look beyond the technical pain of what needs fixing to the business pain that causes them economic loss. The most effective way to develop trust is to dig deep into discovering the REAL pain…what causes them to lose sleep?

5 QUALIFYING QUESTIONS: How do you know when they’re ready to buy? Can you quantify what sort of clients brings you a higher average sale? Don’t spend much time on demographics. Instead, focus on identifying the decision maker and budget. You can easily determine your qualifying questions by tracking the data on your CRM.

5 FAQs: What questions are most commonly asked by those who are interested in what you offer? Do they ask about the set up process or delivery time? When they are ready to buy, do they want to know the difficulty of set up or installation? Do they inquire about your customer service option or refund policy?
It really is easy to start developing relationships with your prospective customers when you use a CRM solution to manage the sales process and gather data. When your email program is integrated into the CRM, it is even easier. Check out what is possible by attending a series of Sales Growth Webinars at no cost to you.

The Magic 5 process is the key to filling your pipeline with quality leads that your sales team can close now. The Sales Growth Webinar series dives into the specific components of identifying your customer’s pain, qualifying sales leads, managing your pipeline, forecasting future sales, sharing information with your team and effective sales messaging.

View the entire series of webinars on video at your convenience and download each ebook here or choose the specific topics you’re most interested in:

The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales
A simple 5 step process to create on-going, automated email campaigns that engage your audience and identify highly qualified prospects.

Building a Successful Marketing and Sales Process by Identifying Your Customer’s “Pain”
How to identify the emotional circumstances that cause customers to buy from you, how to question prospects to diagnose their “pains” and build sales processes that win!

How to Qualify Sales Leads and Focus on Sales Growth that’s Profitable
Use simple questioning techniques to determine if a sales lead will purchase and the powerful impact of consistent qualifying.

Manage a Sales Process of Actions that Lead to Sales Growth
What should be measured in every sales process, how to set goals for and measure it and how to manage sales people to achieve business growth.

360 degree View of the Customer Relationship for Business Growth
How strong relationships between customers and companies drive business growth and the risk of mistaking a customer to sales person relationship with a customer to company relationship.

The 4 Pillars of a Sales Messaging Strategy that Drives Growth
How to communicate what your products and services do for your customers, get their attention and understand their needs, with Michael Halper, author of “The Cold Calling Equation”

By simply taking some of the concepts discussed in these books and modules, you are likely to see immediate results in terms of sales growth.


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Sales Script Example

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

calling scriptsThe following is a sales script example utilizing a structured script framework which contains seven different parts. Keeping in mind that every sales person sells different products, we’ll use an example or product which the majority of people can relate to which is a car sales person attempting to schedule an appointment to sell a vehicle. We are all aware that this is not how cars are typically sold. This is simply an example scenario.

1. Introduction

Some form of an introduction is needed for every sales script. In the case of telesales, you might have a need for two introductions, with one being for the gatekeeper and one for the target prospect.

“Hello, my name is Steven Johnson with Imperial Autos. Have I caught you in the middle of something?”

2. Value Statement

Share a few details about what you have to offer immediately following your introduction. Sharing a value statement that is one sentence which communicates how you can help is the best way to do this.

“The purpose for my call is that we assist individuals in improving their ability to transition into a vehicle which better meets their needs.”

3. Disqualify Statement

Disqualifying the prospect early in the call by questioning if they are the right fit is a psychological tactic in this sales script example. By doing this it can decrease the prospect’s guard, develop curiosity as well as build rapport.

“I am not sure if you are a good fit for what we have to offer, so I just had a couple of questions for you.”

4. Qualifying Questions

Questions to help qualify the prospect are included in this sales script example. Qualifying questions assist in ensuring that you’re spending your valuable time with the right prospects as well as help in getting the prospect talking and more involved in the conversation.

  • “How happy are you with your vehicle?”
  • “What year is your vehicle?”
  • “If there was anything that you could change about your vehicle, what would that be?”

5. Common Pain Points

Sharing some common challenges which others have been experiencing is a way to help uncover challenges that the prospect may be having.

“Oh, okay. Well, when we speak with other individuals, we find that they sometimes express challenges that their current vehicle is:

  • not fuel efficient
  • not a good fit for their growing family
  • simply old and doesn’t have the latest features.

Which one of those can you relate to the most?”

6. Building Interest Points

You can have some strong points at the end of your sales script to help trigger interest which will be needed at some point.

“Oh, I see. Well, it might be productive for us to talk in more detail.

  • As I mentioned, I am with Imperial Autos and we have ten auto dealerships offering the widest range of brands.
  • We use a “no haggle” sales approach so you will know you’re getting the best available price with us.
  • We have been in business for thirty years as well as have won many awards for customer service.”

7. Close

The following is a sales script example for an attempt to close.

“Since I’ve called you out of the blue, I do not want to take any more of your time to talk right now. What I would like to do is schedule some time with you where we can discuss your needs in more detail and share with you what value and insight that we have to offer against that. Are you available next week for a brief meeting?”

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that provides a sales script example.



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Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part II)

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Questions for Sales PeopleThe following are eleven great questions for sales people. At times, to be an effective salesperson, it’s not necessarily regarding knowing all the correct answers, but more about knowing the correct questions to ask.

6. What do you want to do next?

Commonly, sales people push prospects to move forward. Partly, this is trying to have the prospect do what the sales person would like to do next as far as meeting, looking at a demo, reviewing paperwork, etc.

Sometimes it is more powerful to ask the prospect what they would like to do next. You can suggest some directions in which to go, but checking in, obtaining the prospect’s opinion as well as making the forward direction initiate from them, is a healthy direction to go in regards to building relationships and creating good, quality leads.

7. When would you like to meet again?

Like the last question, asking the prospect when they want to meet again or in what pace they would like to move is a good direction to go.

A large majority of sales people will push prospects to meet and move as fast as possible which makes this question powerful. In retrospect, letting the prospect decide how quickly to move can be one of the questions for sales people that will have a positive impact.

8. Currently, how do you feel about your system/provider on a scale from 1 to 10?

Most likely, your prospect is already using something in your area. Whenever that’s the case, you want to find out how things are going with that. For example, are things great, are things OK, or could things be better? By finding this out you are helping with your efforts to create leads as well as qualify prospects.

It is not best to spend too much of your time with prospects that state they’re doing great because they might be tough to get to change. You want to be looking for those prospects that are just OK or could be better. This is one of the questions for sales people that will assist with that.

9. What is the decision making process?

You will always want to find out how much decision making power the prospect has as well as who is the ultimate decision maker. Sometimes, this can be a bit of a touchy subject to bring up, but by simply asking what the decision making process is and mapping it out will significantly help you in identifying where the authority lies.

10. Is there a budget approved for the purchase?

Identifying if the prospect has the budget to spend money is another key area to look at when qualifying prospects. Some questions for sales people which assist with this are to ask if there’s a budget that has been approved for the purchase in which the prospect is considering.

11. What is the range of your budget that you’re trying to stay within?

Finding out how much the prospect is looking to spend is another important area you want to look into. It can be tough, but one way to approach this is by being very direct and asking what the current budget range is that they’re trying to stay within.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that provides questions for sales people.



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How to Develop Good Phone Scripts

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

phone scriptsA sales person can make a big difference by writing good phone scripts. The following are key things that you’ll want to include when creating your calling scripts.

1. Identify your value

A step that is often left out is language which communicates the core value being offered.  Often we will discuss the company that we’re representing as well as the products that we’re selling, but that doesn’t communicate the value that we’re offering.

How will your products or services be beneficial to the prospect? It can be broken down into three separate categories: technical, business, and personal.

Determine the benefits and value that you’re offering and include some statements which communicate this in your phone scripts.

2. Outline some qualifying questions

We could try to sell to everyone that answers or takes our sales calls. Realistically, not everybody is a good fit. When someone isn’t a good fit and we try selling to them, we stand to increase the chance of wasting time by speaking with prospects which have little chance of buying anything.

By including a few light qualifying questions in our phone scripts, we can help to avoid that.  Also, have those qualifying questions makes our cold calls more conversational as well as helps to decrease your prospect’s guard.

3. Gather some common pain points

To be effective at telesales, it is important to have the ability to uncover pain that the prospect is experiencing. If pain isn’t present, they won’t have a true reason to purchase from us and they won’t have a reason to keep speaking to us.

Including some common pain points in your sales scripts that other prospects have experienced is a great way to uncover pain. Create a list of good pain points and share those with your prospect to determine if they can relate as well as if they’re experiencing anything similar.

4. List out some statements that can build interest

You will need to build some level of interest in order to keep prospects on the phone and get them to commit to future steps. While generating complete interest can be challenging and time consuming, there are ways to trigger initial interest over the phone while speaking with prospects.

Developing a few powerful building interest points is a great tactic to use here.  They can be used towards the end of your phone scripts to attempt to hook the prospect before going for your close.

5. Focus on the next step

There’s always something to close when speaking with a prospect. It might not be closing the sale in the first few conversations, but you’ll still need to close for the next step in the process.

Identify the next step in your sales process and focus on that at the end of sales scripts.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool to help sales pros with building phone scripts.



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Five Keys to Good Calling Scripts

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
calling scriptsIt may seem like a challenging task writing good calling scripts. There are some very clear things which can be done to make your calling scripts more powerful.

1. Confirm Availability

An extremely powerful thing to insert at the beginning of calling scripts is a question which confirms if the prospect is available. A great way to do this is by asking the prospect if they have a moment or if you have caught them in the middle of something.
Some argue that by doing this you’re giving the prospect the opportunity to provide you with an objection as well as giving them with a simple way to exit the call. We can also look at it as if it is like standing at the door of a prospect’s office. When not confirming if they’re available to speak with you, it’s like you’re barging in their office and sitting down which can negatively impact the level of rapport.
You’re going to help increase the level of rapport as well as stand out from other average sales people out there by asking questions to confirm availability. In addition, you’ll get yourself a couple of minutes to work with.

2. Communicate Value

Language that communicates the value that you have to bring to the table is a key thing to include in calling scripts. The positive impact in which your products and services will have on the prospect is value.
Very easily we fall into the trap of speaking mostly about our products and what they do. This may be great, but what the prospects really care about is what’s in it for me and by communicating value, you will tell them this.

3. Qualify the Prospect

Be sure to include questions which qualify your prospects in your calling scripts. Qualifying questions will differentiate if the prospect is a good fit for what you’re offering.
Qualifying questions help make cold calls more conversational as well as decrease the amount of time you spend with prospects that will probably waste your time.

4. Find Pain

Find pain which the prospect is having in the areas that your products and services impact to assist you in fully qualifying the prospect. Anything that’s not working well or could be better is pain.
Your qualifying questions might uncover pain, but, if not, share some pain examples which are common for other clients as well as have some examples in your calling scripts that can help you to have those ready.

5. Build Interest

It is imperative that your call script has the ability to build some interest. When interest is nonexistent, the prospect most likely won’t agree to take any steps forward following the call.
Include some statements in your calling scripts which are designed to trigger enough interest to get the prospect to agree to at least speaking more following the call.
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool to help sales pros to develop calling scripts.


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The Best Cold Calling Hours

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Changing to the right cold calling hours can have an immediate impact on your results. Let’s talk about hours that are not optimal for cold calling.

Bad Cold Calling Hours

The absolute inopportune time to call prospects is when they are away from their desk. It may seem challenging to know when prospects not visible to you are away from their desk. To improve our ability to predict the prospect’s behavior, some realistic assumptions can be factored in.

Prospects and decision makers that we’re calling will commonly hold and attend meetings throughout the day and week when performing B2B selling. Similar to how there are primetime TV hours during which people watch TV, there are primetime business meeting hours during an 8 to 5 business day.

Meetings are commonly scheduled to begin at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm which are often the first timeslots chosen. Is that something you can relate to? When trying to schedule a meeting, are 10:00 am and 2:00 pm times that you initially suggest to a prospect?

What can be done with this assumption? Due to those being the most common meeting start times, they could be the worst cold calling hours. Reason being that the probability of the prospect being absent from their desk or unavailable is highest at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

This is not suggesting that we should stop all cold calling hours at those times during the business day. If only an hour or two will be spent cold calling, try to schedule hours away from those timeslots to have a better connect rate.

Good Cold Calling Hours

Let’s talk about optimal cold calling hours for prospects.

Avoiding the Gatekeeper

Avoiding the prospect’s gatekeeper often improves our ability to connect with prospects. Calling when the gatekeeper is not at their desk is a way around that due to the prospects may answer the gatekeeper’s phone at that time.

Timeslots when the gatekeeper may not be at their desk are:

Early morning before 8:00 am or 8:30 am
During lunch hour, between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm
After 5:00 pm

Avoid Primetime Meeting Hours

Another factor is to avoid primetime meeting hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. This enables the focus of the cold calling hours to be either early morning to catch the prospect prior to the gatekeeper being in, first thing in the morning being prior to 10:00 am, the lunch hour, or mid to late afternoon.

Launch Pad Solutions provides web-based training helping sales pros with finding the best cold calling hours.



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Building Your Cold Call Email Strategy

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A cold call email strategy can plan a large role in sales prospecting as both cold calling and email are two main communications methods.

Creating and Using Cold Call Email Templates

Creating and using email templates can be a key component to a successful strategy. This is because having templates that you can use again and again and skip the effort of crafting every email you send can save you a tremendous amount of time.

Email First Strategy

One point to identify is whether you are going to cold call first or you are going to email the prospect first. If you are going to email first, you will of course need to already have the prospect’s email address.

Emailing first can have some benefits as it can help to warm up the cold call. Although, that can also work against this cold call email approach as the prospect may read your email and begin to formulate a negative impression or position before receiving your call. This means that once they answer your call, they may have a preconceived position on what you are calling about and already have objections established and ready for you.

Cold Call First Strategy

The other cold call email option is to cold call first and send emails after that. This focuses on reaching out over the phone first but always following up prospecting conversations or voicemails with an email.

The good thing about calling first is that you start with a clean slate in terms of what the prospect knows about you and why you are calling. This allows you to use verbal words in place of written words to trigger interest.

Cadence

Once you figure out how you are going to mix your cold calling and email marketing together, you can spend some time to figure out the cadence you are going to use in terms of how many calls to make and emails to send.

One factor to look at here is if and when voicemails are being left.  Every voicemail should be followed up with an email right after. But an effective strategy may only involve a leaving a voicemail every 5 to 10 cold call attempts.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool helping with a cold call email strategy.


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Sales Strategy for Leaving a Voicemail

Monday, August 20th, 2012

There are many different options for leaving a voicemail when sales prospecting. Should you leave a message? Should you just hang up? Having some sort of game plan or logic for what to do in this area can improve your results.

Key Assumptions for Leaving a Voicemail

In order to figure out what to do, let’s start by looking at some assumptions that we can make in this area.

1. Prospects get a lot of voicemail messages

In most cases, if you are calling a true decision maker, that person you are calling will likely get a tremendous number of sales calls and those will lead to a tremendous number of voicemail messages every week.

2. Prospects do not listen to every message

It is very safe to assume that prospects do not listen to every message they receive if they are busy individuals and get a lot of messages. You have to assume that prospects are pretty aggressive with how they listen to and delete messages due to sheer volume.

3. Prospects do not listen to messages in their entirety

If a prospect has not deleted a message right way and actually decides to listen to it, it can be safe to assume that, if the message drags on, there is a good chance that the message will get deleted before it reaches the end of the message.

4. Prospects rarely return messages

When you are leaving a voicemail during prospecting, it can be very likely that the prospect is not going to return your message. This is due to a prospects being extremely busy and either deciding not to call back due to lack of interest, not calling back because too busy, wanting to call back but forgets too, or even simply just deciding to wait for you to call back.

What to do When Leaving a Voicemail

What can we do now that we have those assumptions identified? We can still use voicemail as a tool to try to connect and communicate with prospects.
We just should shift from leaving messages that are designed to get a call back and move to one that is designed to educate the prospect on who we are, why we are calling, the value that we have to offer, and prepare for our future calls and emails.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that helps sales pros with leaving a voicemail.



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Effectively Qualifying a Prospect

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Qualifying a prospect is can be a one of the most important steps for a sales person because wasting time with prospects that are not going to purchase can be detrimental. If you can increase the amount of time spent with good prospects and decrease the amount of time spent with bad, you can see an immediate improvement in results.

Here is a two-step qualifying process:

Step 1 – Soft Qualifying

When working with a prospect at early stage of the sales cycle, you want to focus on soft qualifying first. This would be asking questions to primarily identify if it makes sense to keep talking or to meet at all before getting into the more thorough qualifying questions.

The key areas to focus with soft qualifying are outlined below:

Current state: What are the current processes, systems, and vendors in the area that your products or services impact?
Level of satisfaction: How are things going? Good, OK, or could be better?
Organizational details: Is the prospect the right person for us to talk to?

Step 2 – Hard Qualifying

After you determine that it makes sense to continue talking and progress through the sales cycle to a formal meeting, it is time to work on qualifying a prospect. This would be to ask questions that dig at a much deeper level and could be considered hard qualifying.

To measure how qualified the prospect is and how high the probability is that they will purchase, you can ask questions in the following categories:

Need vs. want: What happens if you do nothing?
Funding: Has the budget for this project been approved?
Timing: Is there a date when you need the purchase made by?
Authority: What is the decision making process?

Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros with qualifying a prospect.



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Sales Tip of the Day – Value Awareness

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

When we sell and reach prospects that do not show interest in talking with us or have a lack of interest in our products, we can begin to have doubt in what we sell and maybe doubt the company that we represent. This can have a negative impact on your results as it can not only change the tone of your voice to one that has less confidence, but it can also change how you respond to objections as you may have more of a “needy” frame of mind than confident.

The reality is that that the company that you represent is established and provides products and services to an existing customer base. These existing customers are receiving value in the form of being helped to decrease costs, increase revenue, save time, decrease risk, etc. Businesses need what you provide and those that need it but are quick to say they are not interested are missing out.

When you keep this in mind, and become fully aware of the value that your company, your products, and you yourself have to offer, then you can shift from a needy frame of mind to one of confidence. This can have a positive impact on how you carry yourself when talking with prospects and can improve your sales results.

If a prospect either does not need or is too stubborn to see how they can benefit from what you have to offer (after you go through a good attempt to communicate with them), the mindset should be that is fine because there are a lot of other prospects out there that need what we have and get it in and then quickly move on to find those prospects and scratch this one from the list.


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