Why Do You Need a Prospecting Culture?
As discussed in my first article, there are many consequences for NOT having a positive, profitable and reliable prospecting culture, so let’s now focus on the benefits of creating such a culture within your business.
Eliminate the Boom/Bust rollercoaster sales patterns that bring erratic revenues.
Remove the need for panic prospecting brought on by a dip in sales.
Win those opportunities that your competitors are currently closing.
Consistently hit your sales targets.
Boost the morale of your sales team, leading to greater staff retention and the attraction of new, desirable team members.
Reduce management stress through the consistent achievement of sales targets.
Provide a platform for growth within the business.
Make more sales, more profitably, more often.
My question to you is, can you afford NOT to have a positive prospecting culture in your business?
In the rest of this article, I will lay out the steps that we take to create and imbed this culture within our clients’ businesses, which is bringing them the benefits listed above, and more. many sales training companies will help you create new and enhanced skills within your team, but Sure Train goes further by working with you to create the new structures, practices, habits and skills that lead to turning training into positive cultural change.
Committed Management Attitude
The most important place to start with any cultural change is with the management team. Having total commitment from the key management is vital to the success of any long term programme, particularly where the changes will be challenging to implement and the importance of success is so high.
This commitment needs to be very public and clearly communicated to the sales team, along with your goals and expectations for the project.
Clear Goals and Expectations
At the start of the programme, you will need to decide on and communicate your goals and expectations for your prospecting / new business development programme. These need to be backed up by carefully researched conversion rates which filter through the sales funnel to produce the revenue and profit streams required.
Expectations of behaviour, attitude, activity and application need to be laid out, along with the key motivating benefits that your business and sales team will see, when they succeed.
A Reliable and Profitable Process
Here is the focal point of your programme. We work with many companies whose prospecting has diminished simply because the process and techniques they used were not producing reliable results, so the sales team saw them as an ineffective waste of time and therefore stopped prospecting or switched their attentions to more comfortable, but less profitable, routes to market.
Over the last 10 years, we have developed a very reliable, easy to use prospecting process which brings industry leading results. Working in partnership with our clients, we have evolved our original concepts to the extent that we can reliably predict conversion rates and future sales and profit, while giving your team a comfortable process that WILL lead to more sales.
Along with a reliable process and successful prospecting techniques, the structure of activity is central to the success of your programme. Looking at the predicted conversion rates, combined with the amount of time available, in balance with your sales team’s need to be in front of clients and prospects, you need to work out an activity structure that can be delivered, week in, week out, without fail.
This consistent quantity of activity, along with the quality of the process will bring sustained, predictable results which will feed your pipeline and then your bottom line. Consistency and regularity is the key!
An Effective Measurement Process
Of course, any activity structure has to have effective measurement to ensure that the activities are taking place and the predicted conversion rates are being achieved. Having the right measurements also enable us to identify the differences in individual performance and target training, coaching and management in the right areas, thus improving the success across the team.
Your measurement processes should be clear, easy to complete, useful in the information output and easy to corroborate from other metrics.
Discipline and Accountability
The right measurement process will create its own accountability, however, your team will need to provide the discipline to stick to their activity structures and implement their processes effectively and regularly. This discipline needs to come from the management showing their commitment to the programme and ensuring that the team follow that positive lead and focus on the programme.
You need to be prepared to hold the team accountable for their actions and performances and they need to hold themselves accountable for the same. We can use the measurement outputs to provide some of that accountability, along with incentives and the open sharing of information.
Tangible Positive Results in the Early Stages
It has been our experience that gaining some very positive, tangible results in the early stages is crucial to the ongoing implementation of the prospecting processes and ultimately to whether your culture is created. The key to this is having the right sales techniques and processes that deliver results quickly.
This is why, during the initial prospecting stage of our training programmes, we introduced live calling sessions, getting the team on the phones making prospecting calls to their target prospects. In every programme we have run, and we’ve done this many, many times, our delegates have always produced such positive results in terms of appointments booked and future opportunities generated that they feel highly motivated and enthused to continue with the programme, long after the initial training. In one recent training session, our 8 delegates added an estimated £900k in business opportunities to their pipeline, in terms of confirmed appointments.
A Motivated, Incentivised Team
Sales people should always be self motivated, however, in my experience, many of them are motivated to do the things that they are good at and enjoy the most, but less motivated to work on things that are outside of their comfort zone or might involve a change in their approach. naturally a high degree of this motivation needs to come from their management, but we have found that the motivation that comes from the new processes and training, coupled with early, positive results, really boosts the motivation to continue.
Most sales people are incentivised on their results, gaining a commission on their sales volumes and profits, possibly with bigger bonuses linked to target achievement. Very few sales people are incentivised on the activities needed to reach their goals. It has been my experience that linking in activity measures as part of their commission / bonus scheme brings a new focus and commitment to the key activities that are vital to sales success.
Ongoing Coaching and Mentoring
Finally, once your programme is in place and your team are working hard to deliver, it is vital that you provide regular and consistent coaching and mentoring to your staff. This is essential to the long term success of the programme and to gaining that cultural change that you need. Looking at individual results and activities, make sure you target coaching and mentoring to the right people, for the right reasons and help them to evolve their skills and activity levels.
The New Business Sales Academy
from Sure Train
Our New Business Sales Academy was created to provide everything you need to create your own Positive, Profitable Prospecting Culture.
In partnership with you, we create all of the elements discussed above, and more, along with the training, coaching and mentoring required to achieve success. It’s a fully comprehensive programme which has proven success and can be fully self - funded very quickly by new sales. Our customers see a substantial return on their investment in both the short and long term.
I would welcome the opportunity to have an initial discussion with you about how the Academy works and what it could bring to your business in terms of additional sales and profit.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this article, I hope you found it useful.
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