If you work with a sales director, please surgically remove his/her Smartphone and place this article under their ubiquitous device of preference.
If you are a sales director, please close your spreadsheet on head count, stop sweating the forecast and read on:
Here are my Top 4 tactics for winning sales in uncertain markets
1 Talk it up.
There are a number of people of position who seem determined to dampen the mood more than a politician at a Kindergarten Finger Painting Day. Yes, we know you have to cover your backside at forecast time, but there ARE sales to be won out there and your team needs you to be positive, direct and encouraging. They are watching how you respond to the situation and will follow accordingly.
2. Turbo Performance Management.
Not the little blue pills on the bedside table …..of your CFO. Real performance management of your sales team. Re-visit territories,, re-jig quotas, get rid of the perennial underachievers you’ve been hedging on for a while and do the analytics.
3. Avoid going to the wrong Well.
Everyone loves going to the same accounts in the same verticals because it’s kind of comfy and we know they like the Cricket and their coffee with two sugars.
However they may not be the clients with the budget or the need any more.
This is the time to totally re-assess who needs you right now, who needs your system that reduces Capex by 30%, your new integrated software or new tools that cut client head count by 20%. They may be clients you’ve never dealt with before, and a fresh look from the clients perspective in the current climate may uncover totally new avenues and channels of revenue.
4. Lead. Lead. Lead.
There are opportunities to lead from the front now – that is drive the sales cycle on more than a couple of real deals. In the past few months, here are some of the reasons overheard as to why sales directors couldn’t do this.
- ‘I’m too busy working on strategy and getting the forecast right’
- ‘I have to work on managing up right now’
- ‘I am working on getting my average performers over the line’
- ‘I’m a big believer in empowerment and don’t want to come in over the top of my sales person/manager/team leader on these deals’
In my experience, sales directors are some of the most skilled, professional dealmakers in the country and yet, for these and other reasons they may be held back from using their vast expertise to drive sales.
This year is the perfect opportunity to be spending a significant chunk of time truly leading, not directing.
Happy New Sales Year
Written by Elliot Epstein, CEO, Salient Communication
Elliot has trained and coached over 4000 people throughout the Asia Pacific Region and is a sought after keynote speaker on Sales, Negotiation, Leadership and Presentations.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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