50 Ways To Increase Corporate Sales
Improve Sales Right Now
By Nick Moreno, Sales Trainer and Founder of the National Sales Center
Corporate Sales Directors and Sales Vice Presidents are constantly looking for ways to improve sales performance. The quest to turnaround flat sales performance keeps sales consultants in the money and sales executives on their toes. The goal of this article is to point those B2B sales executives in the right direction and help them to increase corporate sales performance.
Are You Ready For The Truth On Ways To Improve Sales?
How many of the below mentioned trouble spots are alive and well in your Corporate Sales Organization? If you find a few, fix them and start improving your corporate sales performance.
1) Your salespeople have too many sales reports and many of those reports never get read. Also, you never read an honest Lost Order Report that simply said, “We were outsold”. Reports alone will not improve sales performance.
2) The only people that truly understand your complicated Sales Compensation Plan are in the Finance Department… because they developed it. Finance was the only one competent enough to present it at your Annual Kick Off Meeting. Knowledge of your Comp Plan is a key motivational factor when it comes to improving Corporate sales performance.
3) You are not doing enough sales training. Want proof? Find out how many sales reps can describe the steps in the sales process. Sales skills must be at the center of your sales team’s culture. That’s how you start to improve sales performance.
4) Too many home office sales support employees get invited to the Annual Sales Recognition trip. As a result, some of your top producing field salespeople never get recognized because there was not enough room for them. Guess how they felt? Fix this and you’ll improve your Corporate sales performance.
5) Your order process is too long and complex. It’s time to fix this long lingering problem. Efficiency is yet another way to improve sales.
6) You recognize the wrong salespeople and for the wrong reasons. Only three-things matter in sales… YTD Commissions Earned, YTD Percent of Quota and YTD Close Rate. Who cares about the sales rep that secured the most sales appointments during your last prospecting blitz? Instead, recognize the rep that got the most sales as a result of that blitz. Recognizing the results that matter is a key way to improve your Corporate sales performance.
7) There is a lack of “Trust” at all levels in your Sales Organization and this is especially trust when sales are down. Email trails grow longer because the focus is no longer on selling. The focus is now on “CYA” activities and that’s not a way to improve sales. Get the team to relax.
8) You wanted higher sales activity so now your sales funnels are packed with unqualified prospects that will never buy anything. Sales Activity for the sake of activity will not generate one penny in revenue. That’s no way to increase corporate sales performance. Forget the phony numbers and track your close rate.
9) You spend too much time forecasting sales and not enough time closing sales. The last week of the month should be spent on “closing” and not “reporting”. Forget all those forecast update reports during the last week of the month if you expect to increase Corporate sales performance. You’ll have the real number in few days so focus all energy on closing business as the month ticks down to the end.
10) Product training explains how a product operates but a Product Manager can’t tell your sales force how to sell it. Product training is not sales training. Get your entire sales organization focused on sales skills and you’ll improve Corporate sales performance.
11) There are too many layers of management and sales channels in the sales organization. Salespeople spend too much time arguing over who owns which accounts. Get ‘lean” and you’ll improve your Corporate sales performance.
12) Your brochures come off a printer in your office. The second rate quality is obvious to your clients. Improve your Corporate sales performance with some high quality brochures. Why are you saving money when it comes to your corporate image?
13) Not a single salesperson knows your company’s Mission Statement. Remember Mission Statements? Powerful ones can improve sales.
14) You cut cost by reducing your administrative staff and now a $150,000 a year salesperson sends out the mail. Smart move? How can that improve sales?
15) You don’t take the time to learn how to improve sales when you lose an order. Also, you don’t take time to learn something repeatable when you win an order. That knowledge is power. You’ll need that information if you expect to improve your corporate sales performance.
17) There are too many meetings for the sake of having meetings. Please don’t have a meeting to fix this problem.
18) Sales are down so most salespeople don’t want to make waves at a time when some waves should be made. Your “Open Door Policy” isn’t as wide as you may think. You’ll improve corporate sales performance when you get all the problem issues out in the open.
19) Salespeople wonder why their offices receive expensive posters etc, but there isn’t enough money to buy a quality sales proposal binder. You’ll improve Corporate sales performance when you give your reps the tools they need to succeed.
20) The sales rep that won your last sales contest didn’t even know there was a sales contest.
21) Due to cuts in customer service, salespeople spend too much time on customer service issues and not enough time selling new accounts. Corporate sales will increase when your reps have the time to do what they do best… sell.
22) You don’t widely circulate the best practices of your top sales reps. Why the secret? Fix this and you’ll improve Corporate sales.
23) When it comes to improving Corporate sales performance, employee turnover is the enemy. All too often, the sales rep you just hired is just as bad as the one you fired. Don’t get rid of your problems. Fix them with a solid employee development program! That’s how to improve sales!
24) You are too focused on the weekly number of sales calls instead of the sales close rate. Focus on the close rate and you’ll increase Corporate sales. The Close Rate keeps all the other numbers honest.
25) Your most tenured salespeople are using the most outdated laptops. In order to increase corporate sales, give your tenured reps the tools they need to succeed at the highest level. In return, they will help you to improve sales.
26) No one can recite the Elevator Pitch you spent months developing two years ago. Did that pitch ever work?
27) Every office uses a different Major Account Sales Plan format and none of them seem to work very well. That’s no way to improve Corporate sales.
28) The sales team was never supplied with sharp answers to the most common sales objections they face every day. Why not? Is that any way to improve sales?
29) You can’t hide the fact that this year’s commission plan is not as lucrative as last year’s… so stop trying to promote it for more than it is. Your reps see right through this one so stop “selling” it to them. Honest leadership will improve Corporate sales performance.
30) You never hired an outside sales trainer and your internal sales trainers ran out of new material years ago. Since there isn’t any new material, you now only train “new hires”. Improve sales by training all your reps.
31) You hired an outside consultant to learn what your sales force already knew and wanted to tell you. Listen to your reps and you’ll improve your Corporate sales performance.
32) The entire Sales Organization is not built around a Sales culture. Get your entire sales team, Admin to Service, focused on sales skills and sales strategies if you want to increase your Corporate sales performance.
33) It’s been years since a salesperson asked for a referral from a client. Referrals improve sales.
34) Home office sales support employees never visit field offices. Information directly from the field is key to improving Corporate sales performance.
35) Processes have become very complicated and process training has replaced sales training. Process training may improve processes but it will never improve Corporate sales performance.
36) Every sales office has a different fax cover sheet and not one of them outlines your mission statement or any other Marketing message. Get all involved with your mission to improve sales… even your admin staff.
37) Sales people spend hours entering data into some prospecting data base that no one ever uses. Get your reps out in the field where they can increase corporate sales performance.
38) The Casual Dress Policy has gotten out of control. Fix it and you’ll improve sales.
39) There are too many internal E. Mails and not enough phone conversations. Improving internal communications will improve sales.
40) There are too many arguments about account ownership and each argument is resolved using different standards and guidelines. Disappointed reps will do little to increase corporate sales performance.
41) You have too much employee turnover and your accounts are concerned about getting a new salesperson every year. How can employee turnover ever improve sales? Fix it!
42) Performance Improvement Plans replaced counseling and coaching sessions. Replace PIPs with Employee Development Programs.
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43) Your branch sales contest award is only a twenty-dollar gift certificate. If you don’t have the budget, forget the contest. You’ll improve your corporate sales performance when you have sales contests that get the full attention of your sales reps.
44) You track appointments after a phone blitz day but never follow up to see if any of those appointments ever closed. Once again, track “close rate” as a way to improve sales.
45) You don’t have a list of customers you can reference. How can that void improve corporate sales performance?
46) You spend too much time on low producers and not enough time recognizing your top producers. Only your Top Producers will increase your Corporate sales performance.
47) Your sales force can’t answer one simple question… “How is your average customer benefiting from using your product or service”? That’s sad! Fix this major problem and you’ll improve sales.
48) It takes too long to get newly hired sales reps productive and you quickly loose faith in them. Get serious about a solid new hire development program and you’ll increase corporate sales performance.
49) No one can remember the last time they had some fun at work. Fun is just one more way to improve sales.
50) Having the best product at the best price will never happen so forget about that dream. Even if that dream did exist, it would still never be a guarantee for sales success. Sales success always goes to the team with the best sales skills. Do something to get those sales skills.
I sure hope there isn’t a single Sales Organization facing all 50 of these speed bumps! If you found two or three, deal with them and you’ll increase your Corporate sales performance
Do you think I can help your organization? If so, contact me.
If you think I know my stuff… consider my Corporate Sales Training Program.
Nick Moreno, Sales Coach and Trainer
Nick Moreno, founder of The National Sales Center, is a well-established sales training consultant with more than 30 years of experience providing excitement, empowerment and benefit to those he trains. Offering a competitive sales training advantage through education and cutting edge programs, his system, The Progressive Sales Process, is known for generating “Sales Superstars” who consistently reach much higher sales commissions. Mr. Moreno can be reached by contacting him at mailto:Nick@Nationalsalescenter.com or by visiting his web site at www.nationalsalescenter.com
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