Today, I have two phenomenal and astoundingly awesome entrepreneurs (and friends of mine) and they will be bringing a whole load of value on today’s Sales From the Street.
Here’s something new… I’m trying a new approach where I’m inviting people who work with salespeople as they talk about managing salespeople, some challenges they’ve seen as business owners, and things they’ve done to improve their sales.
Ann-Marie Athavale is the VP of Sales and co-owner (along with her brother) of a Canadian-based technology company, Empire Communications, which provides voice, data, and security solutions to businesses covering places in Southern Ontario and parts of Michigan. They do B2B sales and deploy telecom technology for contact centers, school boards, doctors’ offices, as well as IP cameras and access controls for these businesses.
Also gracing today’s show is Bryan Orr, the general manager and co-owner of Kalos, a HVAC construction and electrical company in central Florida. He started it 10 years ago with his family and uncle. Bryan is also a podcaster, general audio nerd, and a business coach. Bryan is the host of the podcast The WOW Small Business Show
Some major challenges they’ve encountered:
Bryan: Never liking the idea of sales
Ann-Marie: Recruitment and finding the right fit for their team
Top qualities they’re looking for in sales individuals:
- High-level salespeople
- Internally motivated
- High character and integrity
- Setting realistic expectations
- People who are not afraid to say “no”
- Someone who can go upfront to customers
- Able to go the extra mile
Bryan says you have to make specific agreements with your team about the type of work they should or shouldn’t be accepting to generate a great customer experience and making sure you’re not wasting time.
Things they’ve seen in their top performing sellers:
- Going after the vertical market.
- Being a good listener
- Good at building legitimate relationships (not just transactional, but emotional relationships)
Does the company need to find you leads?
The importance of one-on-one conversation sets in: Having conversations with your people and coming to an agreement with them
They’re lucky their team members are hunters!
Strategies for developing a sales mentality for your organization:
- Look for opportunities in the project to be able to offer the customer.
- Keep the team motivated on a daily basis.
- Conduct project management meetings: Keep the relationship and line of communication open between the sales team and the technical department.
- Know what motivates your people.
- You can’t pretend that you want them to be motivated by what they should be motivated by.
- Have a constant feedback loop that reinforces that motivation.
- Engage with their motivations and remind them about their motivations by giving them different opportunities tailored to what motivates them.
Some pieces of advice to early entrepreneurs:
- Do not be afraid to get out there and sell.
- Do not be afraid of customers who say no.
- Make changes as needed as you’re growing your organization.
- Be open to whatever possibilities that exist, both with customers and with your staff.
- Listen carefully to your customers
- Be open to failing sometimes and do not be afraid of what could happen.
Some pieces of advice for a new sales rep:
- Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get out there.
- Take risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
- Be relentless.
Get in touch with Ann-Marie and visit their website http://www.empirecom.on.ca/