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Sales Tips: Asking Sellers to Execute Without Providing the HOW

Posted by Jill Perez on Oct 30, 2017 2:32:16 PM

Sales Tips: Asking Sellers to Execute without Providing the HOW

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®

Salespeople want to meet or exceed their quotas. When numbers aren’t achieved the reasons can be that sellers have skill deficiencies or are unwilling to execute the steps in the company’s sales process. 

  • “Won’t” is an attitude issue and managers must find a way to motivate sellers.
  • “Can’t” is a skill issue.

It should come as no surprise that when managers ask sellers to perform tasks they can’t execute, disappointing results are a virtual certainty. 

Show Sellers HOW to ExecuteIn an attempt to exert some modicum of control over the pipeline and forecasting, organizations define steps in their sales processes and embed them into their CRM system. While this roadmap is helpful to sellers, has anyone in your organization mapped the skills and messaging needed to execute each step?

In my experience, first-line sales managers have a habit of telling sellers what to do without providing sufficient detail about how to do it.

As I started my first sales job, my manager shared four nuggets of wisdom in one sentence: Call high, stay high, don’t lead with product and establish value. This was great advice but not very helpful as Jeff never shared with me HOW to do these things. 

After getting my license, my Dad cautioned me about driving at night by making me aware that 60 miles per hour meant traveling at 88 feet per second. Dependent upon the distance that headlights illuminated objects, reaction time to see them, the time needed to hit the brakes and braking distance it was possible to “outdrive” your headlights. In other words, by the time you could see objects it was possible there wasn’t enough distance to stop the car in time.

It happened a day at a time but over the last 15 years or so, selling has gotten more complicated. Given the pace of product announcements and changes in how goods and services are purchased, I’m of a mind organizational “headlights” for sellers are likely to have lagged behind.

👉 Is it worth the time needed to take a hard look at your sales process and ensure your salespeople have the skills and messaging necessary to allow them to execute each step?

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