How to improve sales performance

Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with key people at Fortune 500 companies that are in charge of sales performance.

After listening to them discuss challenges or problems they need to solve, there are two key problems people run into —

They misestimate what it takes to train the team on a repeatable consistent process that accomplishes the end result — a competent and producing sales team.

They also misestimate what’s needed to support the sales team through the journey so they can push through things like call reluctance and lack of follow up, the average rep follows up

3 times and it can take over 18 contacts to close a deal. So there’s a big gap and discrepancy between what it takes and what’s happening in the real world.

We help solve this in two ways:

  1. Internal video training campaign — we map the sales journey to break up the steps (IE, discover, proposal, proposal review, selling, handling, asking, closing and logistics..) and then break those steps down to each actionable step within the process steps. From those steps we create the video training content in sequence one after the next, to train the sales team on the ideal model. Usually in 2-3 minute videos each. Each part trains the team on one sub-action. For example, how to handle a discovery call. This training content, once created can be put into the LMS (Learning Management System) to have the team train through it once with tests for aptitude and competence at the end. From there, it can be used to handle any rep that is getting stuck on a particular part. Repetition in training is key so this is important. They need to learn it and do it until it’s culturally in. The thing about video and doing it this way is that it scales. You can train one or a thousand reps on an exact, standard repeatable process. Whereas if you go train in person, even when the training goes incredibly well — two days later they do something wrong or different and you’re sitting there thinking “we just trained on this in-person …???” — with the videos, you can run them back through the entire thing or that part and get them corrected and back on track. In sales, systems like this create consistency and avoid peaks and valleys. Using an analogy of anything that you just know how to do — it comes from repetition and practice. Whether that be a sport or making a cup of coffee, practice leads to competence.

  2. Sales Enablement Campaign — for the second part we again use the map of the sales process but for this, we create external-facing videos, that will be used to help the sales team sell and can be sent to the prospect. We create 8 videos that follow the sales journey or buyers' journey, again in sequence, that arm the team with assets to follow up and follow through. We know that reps follow up on average 3 times, part of the reason for this sheer lack of follow up is call reluctance connected to lack of things to say or send. With this, they have things like value prop or product videos, technical videos, process explained, case study material, testimonials, examples that show how the product or service is being used in the real world, key objections handled within 1 or 2 videos, statistics to win confidence etc. We also create a 6-8 page sales deck for them to use and two case study PDFs along with a guide for how to use the sales enablement campaign to improve sales.

These two things together will dramatically help your sales team improve their performance and will help you attain your objective.

The costs associated with this are justified by the shelf life of the assets and the outcome from the performance of each rep.

Whereas not having something like this leads to continued frustration and lost revenue opportunity from lack of peak performance by the team.

This video helps illustrate the above two campaigns.

Hammer the week!

— Robert

About Robert Cornish: Robert Cornish founded Richter in early 2008 to build an agency focused on communication strategies that support sales growth for business to business technology-related companies. Bootstrapped with zero capital in the middle of the financial meltdown, Richter went on to make the Inc 5000 list comprised of the fastest-growing companies in America five times. Richter made the Silicon Valley Fast 50 four times and the Entrepreneur360 award two times. Robert has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Selling Power Magazine, Inc Magazine and IDEA magazine. He's been a guest speaker for ACG Los Angeles, IASA Summit, West Point and been interviewed for 33Voices, EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast and IDEA Magazine by Northwood University. In 2012 Wiley & Sons published his book, What Works, about the lessons he's learned while growing his agency from start-up navigating his way to a multi-million dollar agency. Robert currently owns four companies.

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