Getting a sales team from the ground to the top takes a little bit of work. Today’s guest is sales architect, Nigel Green, and he shares his insights into what you can do to scale your sales team to the next level.
Nigel worked his way up the sales ladder until he became a leader and learned how to build teams quickly by grasping on to the motivations of the reps. By 2016, he became the CEO of StoryBrand where they help companies clarify their message, which is a very important element in sales.
Nigel has been a student of sales for the past ten years and he helps companies that want to go fast and to figure out a recipe to getting where they want to go in a short span of time.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Nigel:
How to get started with scaling: Understand what you’re doing well.
Formalize some feedback. Before you scale, you want to systematically get information from your customers on what’s right with the offering, what’s wrong with the offering, what’s missing that they have to go somewhere else, and what’s confusing. Ask these to your happiest customers who are the 20% that make up 80% of your business.
3 Ways to Grow Your Business:
Take what’s write about your offering and find out who else in the market place needs it. Fix what’s wrong and amplify what’s right about your offering.
When was the last time you adjusted the price on your offering? For most companies, it would be in a while because they feel like the price is the ultimate decision-making piece for customers. Raise more price and add more value. Think of ways that you can add additional features or services that amplify the perceived value.
Give them another reason to buy from you. This is where you look at what’s missing or what’s confusing about your offering. Customers will love to tell you all the ways you’re not solving the problem. Be honest and open to hearing it so you can come up with additional offerings that allow you to offer them something completely different, be it a service model or coaching, anyway that you can add a subscription for some type of recurring revenue to your product or service. Or if you’re a subscription revenue where you have a repeat revenue, what’s a one-time thing and a real quick win you can do to generate additional revenue?
If the business strategy is to get more customers, the compensation plan of the rep has to incentivize new revenue. Nigel recommends breaking down the team into their specialized roles to have someone dedicate their energy to closing new business and have compensations plans that support both of them.
Think about how exactly you want the customer to experience your brand or offering. The challenge with reps is they tell you how they want to do it but it may not be what’s best for the customer. Instead, think about how to get your customers from unaware to aware about the offering, the interest, the evaluation process, how they transact with us and how they buy and after they buy, how to maintain relationships. Map out this ideal customer journey and then figure out who inside the organization needs to own every single step.
It’s okay for one person to own multiple phases of the buying cycle but if you can take a customer from unaware to post-purchase and know who’s exactly responsible for that experience, you’re off to a good start.
Where companies go wrong is that reps are making price concessions and offering rebates that deteriorate earnings that lead to less than desirable results.
Put some metrics where if they discount their price, you will also discount their commission. And if they can raise the price, reward them for that by giving them higher commission percentage. Creating these tiers and giving flexibility to the rep to adjust the price based on what the customer needs, this is a strategy for improving your margins.
This is the hardest strategy to implement and scale because while the market might need your offering if you don’t think through its deployment, it could be a distraction to your sales team.
Make sure you launch your product correctly. You have to train your reps and make sure that if they have enough to worry about with their products, hire a specialty force to sell this new offering so as not to distract your core reps from the core products.
Be careful in doing this. There is a lot of research on how to create specialization within your sales force particularly around the new product offering.
Nigel’s Major Takeaway:
The most underutilized tactic in selling is listening. Particularly in complex sales with multiple decision makers, listening becomes paramount. It’s not being quiet and creating space to let you plan what you’re going to say next. Focus less on what you’re going to say and more on what the customer is telling us.
Nigel has put together a content and worksheet that you can add to your sales training program. Check out www.findevergreen.com/listen and go through the worksheet to figure out where you need to do some work on your own listening.
Check out www.findevergreen.com/listen and go through the worksheet to figure out where you need to do some work on your own listening.
Summit on Content Marketing on May 22-June 02, 2017
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Check out this scenario:
I went to this particular website and downloaded their white paper. I received a phone call from one of their reps and they asked about by sales team and he eventually was trying to sell me. I told him I was not the sales manager, but one of the sales reps of the organization. From that point on, he got nervous and practically didn’t know what to do. He asked me if he could email the details to me so I could send it over to my boss and see if they’re interested. And I said yes.
Do you think I really sent that email over to my boss? Heck no!
Do you think what the sales rep did was a good case of cold calling? Double heck no!
So, here are the top 3 things you need to remember and apply when doing cold calls:
Do some research and look up the company. Look at LinkedIn and see if you can look at your prospect’s information and see his/her role within the organization.
Just chill. Relax before you start getting all panicky. Use a script to help you get those words out and have them become your own language so they become a part of you. Internalize the script. Change it according to your particular situation.
Recognize that you’re going to have objections. Recognize that you may not speak to the manager all the time. What are you going to do when you confront these challenges? What questions are you going to ask? What alternatives are you going to take?