Rich Devos is one of the original founders of Amway. Here is a rather candid interview with Rich about the Amway sales process and as you are probably well aware Amway is seriously successful. As far as I am aware the sales are handled by multi level sales people. The company seems to be rather big on Sales Training and customer service training.Continue reading
One of the things that we get asked the most about at the Sales Management Mastery Academy, especially by those members that are in sales but want to get promoted into sales management and move their career forward and start managing and supervising other sales people is, “How do I actually get promoted?”
This is something that we do cover inside of the academy for our paid members.
I thought that it would be a great idea to do a show about it today because we have gotten many questions on it recently. A couple of interview requests online have asked the same question as well.
For the New Year of 2011, we wanted to give you 6 killer tips on how to get promoted into sales management if you are a sales person right now. If you are a sales manager now, this is something that you may want to advise your ambitious sales people on. One of the roles of a sales manager is to find out what their career goals are. You, as a sales manager has the unique opportunity to mentor and assist those sales people that have the potential leadership qualities that may be a good candidate for sales management or maybe some other position within the organization that you work for. So this applies to you as well.
6 Killer Tips to Get Promoted To Sales Management
The greatest sales people in the world don’t always become the greatest sales managers.
Just like the greatest baseball players don’t necessarily make the greatest coaches. Or maybe the greatest football players don’t necessarily become the best football coaches. Nonetheless, in order for you to get promoted, you do have to catch the eye of your superiors, in this case your sales manager, or your boss’s boss, or maybe the GM, or VP of sales.
The best way to do that as a sales person is to excel in the sales role. It is not necessarily a pre-requisite for great sales management, but it certainly puts you in a tremendous position to succeed. Anything that you can do to increase your effectiveness as a sales person, and continue to produce results consistently, year in and year out, quarter in and quarter out, whatever the timetable is for your organization, it will certainly get the higher ups in your organization to stand up and take notice and think, “hey maybe this is a person who potentially could move into management at some point in time. He certainly knows how to sell; maybe he could pass this on to the sales people in his charge once he gets promoted.”
Number 1 is to excel in your current sales role.
Volunteer and initiate
Someone told me these very early in my career; to take on new responsibilities. Do things that the average person just isn’t doing.
Maybe there is a sales meeting coming up and your sales manager is probably creating 4 or 5 different presentations, maybe he/she is looking for creative input on the agenda. The best thing to do is to approach him/her and ask if there is anything that you could do at the next sales meeting. Maybe doing a case study on one of your successful sales calls, or how to prospect, or maybe an in-depth discussion on a particular product and how you are using that to sell more effectively, or maybe something like a targeting strategy session that you spearhead, something like that. The first thing that I did when I wanted to become a sales manager in a very small organization is that I would always ask my sales manager what I could do. He said that he wanted me to do something on a ½ hour on something that I could make up. If you have a sales manager that is willing to let you do that, the obviously he trusts you and has faith in your judgment. I chose a topic called “Micro Opportunities: How to Make the Best of Your 2 Minute Sales Call”. I did it in about a half hour. It didn’t necessarily lead to my promotion, but it showed that I was ready to take on the additional responsibility and/or maybe a supervisory position.
Did that one initiation help me get promoted? It certainly didn’t hurt. Because I did well in that first presentation, and I prepared for it quite extensively, he gave me other opportunities to do other things in the organization that definitely led to my promotion. If you are a sales manager, encourage your people to do this, it will lighten your load at a sales meeting. Who doesn’t like another presentation done by somebody else?
But if you are a sales person looking to enhance your own visibility and put you in a position to be promoted, this can be a great tool.
Use your sales manager
This is something that a lot of people don’t do. Maybe they feel that their sales manager will take it in the wrong way, but it is important to tell your sales manager that you are ambitious and that you want to become a sales manager and move into the next role.
Ask them to be mentored. Talk to them about your goals and ask for honest feedback. Ask, “What do you think that I need to work on for better ability lead other sales people? What do you think that I should do?” Solicit their feedback.
Use your sales manager, they are in is in a position that you want to be in, so ask them quite frankly, “What do you think my areas of opportunities are? What do you think I need to work on?” Then, on the Monday call in ask, “Hey were there any challenging sales management problems this week? Can we talk about them without breaching confidentiality with the other sales reps? Maybe we can talk about them in a case-study format?”
Use your sales manager.
Get to know people within the organization
This isn’t brown nosing. This is just a good way of doing business. Get to know as many people as you can within the organization, especially your sales manager. Also get to understand them. Get to know your sales managers boss.
Then, what a lot of sales managers neglect, get to know the other sales managers in your organization. Use the regional sales meetings as an opportunity to chit chat with them at the bar. At a lot of organization, they use the input of other sales managers, not just the direct sales manager, but other sales managers and they ask “hey what do you think of this guy/gal for the sales promotion in Chicago?” Sales manager, not just your sales managers could have influence over your position; get to know them. This will certainly put you in a good position, so that you have credibility and character references. Obviously if you’ve done well in number 1, others will see that you’ve done well in your sales career, so why not give them this opportunity.
Get to know people in your organization.
This seems like an obvious topic, but a lot of sales managers and people forget about this. They think as soon as I get into the role, then I’ll figure out learn how to become a manager, but it is better to start getting educated first.
Figure out what your role and style are. Sometimes the best way to do this is to think of certain sales/management situations and think about how would I handle that if I were him/her? Think about what your style is. If you are very friendly, open, and gregarious, maybe then that is your sales style. If you are more serious, direct and to the point, maybe that is what your style is. Figure out what your style is and then pick up education, and take some classes.
Another idea is to join some paid membership sites as well, such as The Sales Management Mastery Academy; it is a good way to pick up ideas on motivating, leading and coaching people.
You can even use that as a reference in your interview saying, “I have taken all seven courses in the Sales Management Mastery Academy and this is how I am preparing myself”. Something like that is very effective.
There are hundreds of sites, and I encourage you to look at them all. This is certainly something that could prove very effective. You will show that you are serious and that you have done your homework if you have thought about how you would handle certain situations, and you have identified your sales management style.
Through the academy we talk about the practice being more of who you are and not some other management style because your sales people will see through that very quickly and you’ll become an ineffective sales leader as a result.
Visualize how you would handle future situations
If you do the education and then you start to think, you are talking to one of your cohorts, and they are explaining a challenge. Instead of giving them advice, think about; “How would I handle this situation if I were the sales manager? How would I like it to be handled?”
You may not know how your friend is motivated or how best to coach them, or how best they should be led, all of these things that you will learn, but you can start to think about how you would handle the situations, using some of the education that you have picked up, or using some of the books you have read, or using information from sites you have visited, or through bogs you have visited, so by visualizing how you would handle things, in advance of them happening, that is really how you are best prepared for them.
Granted once you become a sales manager, you are going to come in contact with situations and experiences that are new and that you have never encountered before, and every day you will see things that you have never seen before, but you can relate these experiences to other experiences that you have had. By visualizing things in advance it helps you prepare for situations that will occur once you are handed that opportunity to be promoted into sales management.
Let me ask you a simple question – do you want your customers to say positive things about your business to other people? I bet you do, because as we all know “word of mouth” is one of the most effective and low cost ways to find new customers. And the most effective way to generate “word of mouth” is to provide extraordinary customer service.
Remember – the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit “extra.” So what is that little bit extra?
I recently decided that I needed a new pair of training shoes. I was suffering from sore calves after exercising and put it down to the state of my shoes. (And before you say anything, there’s no way I’m putting it down to old age).
A visit to a local sports shoe store resulted in me walking up and down the length of the store in my bare feet with my suit trousers rolled up to the knee. Two sales assistants were sitting on the floor watching my progress.
After much discussion between us they recommended two pairs of shoes that I should try. New shoes were purchased; no more sore calves and I told you it wasn’t old age.
These sales assistants provided that little bit “extra.” They made me feel important, they were warm and friendly, they responded to what I had to say and they listened to my complaints about my aching muscles. I’ve now recommended that sports shoe shop to several people.
Research tells us that customers want two basic things from a supplier: –
Firstly, they want quality core service. – In other words, they expect your product or service to work, to do what you say it’ll do. (However, do this alone and you’ll only provide “ordinary” service).
Secondly, they want friendly caring service. – They want to be acknowledged, to feel that someone is interested in them as an individual and that they’re cared about. (This is what provides that little bit “extra”).
Here are Six Steps to add that little bit extra and generate word of mouth:
1. First impressions are vital – It therefore makes good sense to consider what you look like and sound like. In a face to face situation it’s important to make eye contact and smile. On the telephone, it’s not what you say as an initial greeting that matters, but more important how you say it.
2. Warm and friendly – This is what most people want and it makes your life easier too.
3. Use names appropriately – A person name is one of the warmest sounds they hear. It says that you have recognised them as an individual.
4. Respond – If a customer says something, the intention was for you to hear it. And if you hear it, it’s a good idea to acknowledge it.
5. Actively listen – When you think about it, most people aren’t very good listeners. We’d all rather be talking. You have to work hard at listening particularly if you want to let the other person know that you care. Many people listen but don’t show that they’re listening. You’ve got to do all the nodding head stuff and look like you’re interested. And remember over the phone; occasionally make some indication that you’re still there.
6. Close positively – At the end of an interaction it’s a good idea to make a positive statement on a business level and a personal level. Say something like – “If you have any further problems then please phone me on this number and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your holiday next week”.
Make no mistake about it, providing friendly caring service creates that little bit extra and generates word of mouth for your business
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/how-to-generate-word-of-mouth-leads-2444183.html”Continue reading
Wal-Mart may conger up some images for you, yet one thing Wal-Mart does is to have a Greeter to make people feel welcome. Even the old K-Mart use to announces “Welcome K-Mart shoppers.” Unfortunately, after the Greeting or the welcome message, you get lost in the sea of people and merchandise and it’s next to impossible to find someone to show you where to find what you’re looking for, because they’re too busy stocking shelves.
So always greet your customers. If all your people are busy with other customers, someone should at least acknowledge the new entrant. Even the post office gives you a number. Don’t ignore them or make them feel like an intruder. Let them know how long the wait will be and point them to a sitting area where they can peruse or sit with a bottle of water, look at a video promo or experience pleasantness. This is a good captive advertising moment. If your facility is big with lots to see, have a map with a numbered walking tour.
Burn this into your staff’s heads. People are coming into your establishment for ideas and/or to buy. Both are good for your business. The better the experience the more they will buy and buy and buy.
Lose “Can I help you?”
It’s like asking the Pope, “Are you Catholic?” As I said above, people come into your place of business for a reason. Of course you can help them. However, to do this your front-line people have to: (1) Make them comfortable; (2) Find out why they came in (their motivation); and (3) Find out what their perfect something looks like, that they are willing to spend and spend and spend on.
Now let’s wrap this up. Make your customer have a wonderful experience in your Center. To do this you will have to first convince yourself that it’s all about the customer. I’m not saying to succumb to abusive people that give no energy and waste your time. I am saying, however, if they are a motivated buyer and they have a pleasant experience, they may buy a lot more than they originally intended and they will tell their friends how great it was.
Second, show your employees what to do. Don’t think for one minute they should know what to do, or that you will insult their intelligence by spelling it out. This is your Center, and it should be done your way. They don’t know your way unless you tell them, and it’s your responsibility to tell them explicitly. Otherwise, they won’t succeed. You’ll get upset and the demotivating cycle will begin.
Finally, you have to monitor and give feedback. Look for the positives. “That part of what you did was good.” Don’t tell what was done wrong, but rather how to do it better the next time. “In the future, try doing this or that.” Realize, you cannot just instruct and turn your employees loose. Until there is recognition, reinforcement and reward, the behaviors you desire will not happen. So, to insure success make your business establishment a pleasant experience.
And now I invite you to learn more by reading other posts on this blog.
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/small-business-articles/retail-sales-acknowledge-potential-customers-in-retail-selling-649413.html”Continue reading
Getting a salesman to plan his time is regarded by many sales executives as the one of the major problem in sales management. Why is time management and planning so important for sales? The answer lies in today’s rising costs, in the midst of hot competition and the obvious decline in the face-to-face selling time.
Setting a time budget :
Setting a time budget is a task that requires joint effort by the management and the salesmen. The sales manager and his field managers are accountable for a salesman’s productivity, so they have the responsibility of ensuring that the salesmen manage their time well. At the same time, it is also the duty of the salesman must also plan his time wisely.
Since it is not possible for a salesman to be under constant supervision, he has to be independent and flexible. A sales person’s day is rarely ever routine, for instance, one customer may keep him waiting in the reception room longer than expected or may cancel the appointment after the salesman has arrived at his office, or spend a half hour airing complaints.
All time management does is, create a proper environment for the sales man to utilize his time well. It is designed to get him face-to-face with as many prospects and customers as possible. This does not mean he will work harder; but only that he will work smarter.
The ability to plan well is a big asset to any sales person and it is essential for a successful salesman to also be a good manager, in order to manage himself, his home, his job and a segment of a sales territory.
Controlling a time budget :
The first step in controlling a time budget is the periodic analysis of the call-reports and time charts. The salesman should get a copy of this analysis to help him improve time management skills. Call reports are to be routinely scanned and filed, too many call-reports, however don’t serve any real purpose.
The first thing a sales manager should teach his sales men about effective time management is the appropriate hours to make sales calls and whether a prospective customer should be dealt with over the phone or face to face. This basic knowledge could save a sales man a lot of time and resources.
Some companies use their marketing service staff to assist the regional and branch managers in directing salesmen to manage their time more efficiently. Some others grant clerical help in field offices to reduce the amount of paper work. Many firms provide audio-visual equipment to create more persuasive sales presentations to make the most of the precious three or four hours of face to face interviews with potential customers each day.
The amount of time a salesman delegates for travel and work depends on various factors such as the management’s knowledge of the sales territory, the present and prospective accounts, traffic conditions, etc. All of the salesman’s plans must be flexible because the workload and territorial boundaries may very from time to time. Managers cannot afford to work entirely at their desks, using control maps, it is important that they get into the territory, not only to make logical alterations but also to bolster the salesman’s morale and to make sure he values the plans that he is expected to follow.
The way in which a salesperson should plan his time is not too different from how people from other professions should manage theirs. It is only a matter of priority, since certain tasks are best accomplished within a particular time period than others. It is therefore essential that salesmen be sold on the need to plan well.
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/time-management-articles/effective-time-management-tips-for-salespeople-235390.html”Continue reading
I receive Google Alerts daily on my favorite subject of conversation, cold calling, and I read them. I’m always on the lookout for an opportunity to contribute to a discussion on cold calling, sales, or any other related subject, especially if I can inject some self-promotion!
In the over four years that I’ve been following this subject, I’ve gotten very good at spotting trends, and there’s one that is popular right now: The idea of “Cold Calling 2.0.”
Whoever coined this term no doubt took the name from Web 2.0. However, the idea that cold calling is any different today than it was in the past is far-fetched and ignorant at best. In my opinion, attempting to dupe salespeople and small business owners that there is anything new or different about cold calling that might work in today’s economy is problematic at best, and downright unethical and dishonest at worst.
Here’s an example: I had a coaching call today with an individual who spent over four figures (yes, four figures!) on a package from one of these “Cold Calling 2.0” gurus. What was he taught for that obscene amount of money? To send e-mails to companies, pretending to ask for help, all with the lowly goal of learning who the contact person is.
Well, that’s a lot of effort – and a bit of lying – just to find out who the contact person is. After all, the sales interaction doesn’t even begin until that contact person is, well, contacted … and I’m guessing the recommended advice is the old, ineffective, obsolete cold call.
Let’s face it: A cold call is a cold call is a cold call. I don’t care if it’s a direct, in-your-face, old-school cold call, or a sneaky, pretend-to-be-someone-I’m-not-to-get-a-contact-name cold call. (And if all you have is a contact name, you still haven’t even made the cold call!)
Here are some key reasons why cold calling – whether it’s “old-school” style, or especially this sneaky “cold calling 2.0,” continues to become less and less effective as time goes on:
1. Cold calling lacks honesty and integrity. I’ve been talking a lot lately about honesty and integrity. They need to be the foundation for everything you do, end of story. Without building on those principles, nothing else you do will last for the long term. Sure, you might get a lead and maybe even a sale now and then by being sneaky and telling little white lies, but what will that do for your reputation and self-esteem in the long term?
I have many clients and students who now receive 100% of their business from referrals. Do you think this could be possible if they didn’t live and do business by the highest, utmost standards of honesty and integrity? No way.
A big part of the “cold calling 2.0” myth is using a new “angle” to cold call. Well, I hate to break it to you, but honest, ethical people don’t have to use “angles” or “gimmicks” to do business.
2. Cold calling provides zero value to others. Another subject that’s coming up a lot in my talks and programs lately is that of giving value first. If you give first, with no expectation of reward, and no strings attached to your giving of value, you will reap rewards like you’ve never dreamed possible. People will look up to you as a trusted business adviser, they will respect you, and they will see you in an entirely different light than your competition.
Here’s the clincher: You can’t give value first if your initial contact with a prospect is through a cold call. Instead of positioning yourself as a generous provider of value, all a cold call does is position you as a hungry salesperson who just wants to get a sale … with no regard to providing any value first. This is precisely why closing rates of leads that come from cold calling are the lowest of all, or as my friend and author Jeffrey Gitomer has said, “Cold calling has the lowest percentage of sales call success.” It’s also why prospects tend to trust cold callers far less than other salespeople – they wonder what’s wrong with you and your company that you have been forced to cold call – the last resort of a desperate salesperson – to drum up business. It doesn’t speak highly of you or of your company’s financial stability.
3. Cold calling strictly limits your income by time. Due to the sheer amount of time required to make enough cold calls to get enough qualified leads, you will never make a high income by cold calling. Think about it – with all the time it takes to run appointments, meet with prospects and customers, handle customer service issues, attend sales meeting, write proposals, prepare reports, attend training (including your own continuing education), and so on, how on earth are there enough hours in every week, day, and month to make all those cold calls? There simply aren’t! Sure, if your product or service is a great offer and you’re good at cold calling, you might manage to eek out 100% of quota and hang on to your job for another month, but do you really want to spend the rest of your life eeking out your quota and starting over again next month? Of course not! I assume if you’re taking the time to read this article, it’s because you’re focused and have high goals for your career and your life and want to make the big bucks!
You’re not going to make the big bucks cold calling. Even if you’re some kind of cold calling genius who can make it work, you’re going to severely limit yourself by time and never reach the six-figure and higher income brackets. The only way, and I really mean the only way, to achieve that is through leverage. You need to have lead-generation systems in place that work exponentially, and simultaneously, to generate the quality and quantity of leads you’ll need to have to make the big bucks. That’s what will open the doors to promotions to upper management, consulting opportunities, or my own path – becoming a bestselling author and speaker.
If you’re out in the ocean, you have two choices: Swim back to shore and live on, or tread water until you die. Cold calling, including the new, so-called “cold calling 2.0” tactics, are treading water. Do you want to break through and move to the next level and beyond, or do you want to continue treading water?
Hopefully those points clear up this idea of “cold calling 2.0” and expose that urban legend as just that – a legend. I’m tired of hearing from struggling salespeople who have spent hundreds, or in some cases, over a thousand dollars on these “new cold calling” courses, only to have them fail, spend a mere $97 on my system, and find out it was the answer to their prayers. Save your money, use your brains, and think for yourself … and stop treading water with those ineffective and time-consuming cold calls!
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/sales-articles/cold-calling-the-myth-of-cold-calling-20-and-other-urban-legends-641418.html”Continue reading
Being a salesperson is one thing; managing a team of several sales professionals is entirely another. Sales management brings more people in perspective along with a completely different set of goals. Thus, sales manager training is a wholly separate tract in business management education. Be that as it may, sales manager training is something which cannot be overlooked for it is the pivotal point at where business proficiency and management acumen must be fully demonstrated by the person in charge — that is, the sales manager.
Among all departments in a business, it is perhaps the sales department that has the highest turnover rate not just among the basic sales staff but also among sales managers. It is also the department that has the quickest rate of promotions and expansion. The sales manager position is therefore the most dynamic post in the business hierarchy and requires the most attention in terms of learning solutions and continuing education.
Hence, sales manager training is at a critical position. A good and sufficient training can provide an advantage for the company; however a training that is less than ideal may prove inadequate in helping sales managers excel in their businesses.
Focus on Managerial Skills
Most sales managers go up the ranks from being sales agents, to holding supervisory positions, until they get the managerial job either when the previous manager have gone further up the hierarchy, have left the company or when the business unit expands. Sales manager training should already be enacted at the supervisor level or even earlier among key sales personnel.
The primary learning requirement for upcoming sales managers involve augmenting their knowledge and skills to effectively perform their managerial duties. Most rookie managers have not been in a leadership position before. And the tools and know-how expected of seasoned managers are still all new to them. These include, planning skills, organizational skills, ability to motivate their respective teams, what to do during difficult situations — all these and more go into the content of sales manager training to allow new managers to adjust accordingly to their new duties.
Through sales manager training, the trainer brings together the novice manager’s new found skills and knowledge with his or her achievements and proficiency as sales professional. This brings about profound potentials that tend to improve performance of the manager and the sales team.
Discovering Strengths and Weaknesses
One additional benefit of training up sales managers is the opportunity to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the firm’s sales managerial talent pool. This allows higher management to adjust accordingly either at the individual level or as a team. A sales manager with a weakness on a certain area may be given additional training to help the manager improve. Otherwise, at the team level, certain adjustments can be made to let managers and teams complement each other’s respective strengths and weaknesses.
The importance of sales manager training cannot be watered down. A company that provides continuing sales manager training is sure to reap its benefits of a high-performance sales force.
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/coaching-articles/sales-manager-training-the-critical-advantage-555904.html”Continue reading
Salespeople get this into your brain! The marketplace is changing, unless you learn the skills of selling and understand the differences between making major sales and simple sales you could end up without a job.
Here is a great video from Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling. If you don’t own a copy go and buy one. There is no other sales book ever written that comes close.
Sales training programs create the muscle that turns a mediocre sales person into an outstanding sales individual. Effective sales courses from an advanced sales training program that turn an educational investment into profitable behavior go beyond basic training, and train for the individual and the future.
Sales courses in sales training programs that are designed to advance the sales skills and sales techniques of experienced sales persons must integrate personal development along with sales team development and business development. In the developmental beginnings of creating a professional sales person, the basic lessons of sales – developing leads, soft selling, solution selling, creating a call to action and closing the deal – create a foundation for a sales professional to practice and build their sales career upon until it is mastered. Once the educational foundation of sales (and hopefully sales and marketing) is created and mastered, it is up to the sales professional to decide whether their career drives them to become a mediocre salesperson – or an outstanding sales individual. Sales training facilitates that change. Personality masters it.
Sales professionals must have a personality. Your personality is the driving force behind the sale that takes sales training and turns education into a profitable selling behavior. Personality turns a person into an individual. And an individual makes the sale. Even websites have personalities. A textbook sales person with a dry presentation following their knowledge of the Sales 101 course syllabus should not be in sales – unless they are selling for your competitor of course. Sales courses within a sales training program that combines sales training on modern sales techniques and includes course material that encourages the application of these techniques to be applied to unique business circumstances and sales personality, gives sales persons the opportunity to strengthen their individual sales techniques. The sales professional can then truly examine how to apply newly learned sales techniques from the sales training program to their own sales presentations.
Customers and prospective clients are well aware of traditional sales techniques – and wary of them. Sales techniques must become individualized and refined. Sales training and sales courses must go beyond the basics, and focus on the future, not the antiquated methods of the past. Nor should a sales course participator suffer from learning the unsuccessful sales techniques of the present. Carefully evaluating advanced sales training programs and the sales courses a training provider offers by keeping an eye on the future, and an eye on developing your own strengths and weakness, will ensure your educational investment with sales training will strengthen you for the future and give you the muscle you need to become an outstanding sales individual.
Sales training programs that introduce you to new sales techniques and stay current with sales trends give you the educational foundation to advance your sales career. Knowledge and personality build outstanding sales individuals. Sales courses in advanced sales training programs are the muscle to build and strengthen your sales techniques and turn sales knowledge into sales profit.
Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/sales-training-programs-and-sales-courses-that-strengthen-sales-techniques-720972.html”Continue reading