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Few of the most common challenges regarding business results are:
- weak sales results
- unreliable sales forecasting
- lack of a modern sales process
- inadequate sales skills
- lack of right sales indicators
- direction of sales management
- key account management process plans
You can read more about your thoughts on business results below.
In addition to sales management, a company needs a uniform sales method that all salespeople follow. This can be described by as simple a sales process as possible with its different phases.
Each phase description should describe the salesperson’s main tasks and tools used to carry them out.
The sales process should be based on the customer’s purchasing process and the sales method the company considers efficient. Solution sales have a longer and more complicated process than product sales, where the process is rapid and efficient.
A good process contains performance indicators, not just a single indicator for the final sum in euros, but also the number of potential customers at the initial sales phase, for example.
A good CRM tool supports the execution of the sales process and also works as a tool for saving and sharing essential information.
If the sales process is not described clearly, the sales managers have difficulty in directing the salespersons’ performance towards the goals and take corrective actions in case of underperformance.
Companies’ goals are naturally dictated by their strategy. Sales goals should be derived from strategic goals.
Companies’ goals are naturally dictated by their strategy. Sales goals should be derived from strategic goals. The goals must be specific down to the unit and salesperson level. In addition to monetary goals, sales goals could also be, for example, increasing the average sale or improving sales efficiency to speed up the sales cycle.
It is also critical to define the sales management method.
This includes sales meetings following a standard agenda, salesperson-specific one-to-one coaching sessions, methods and formats of reporting and sales forecasts.
Sales is both mathematics and art. The mathematics side consists of process-like action and performance indicators, while the art lies in the salesperson’s skills in bringing a sales project to a close, starting from the initial phase and continuing all the way to a positive customer experience.
In the past, a good salesperson was an active presenter of a company’s goods or services. Quantity was a significant performance indicator. In the last few years, purchasing has undergone a revolution thanks to new online tools, and usually the purchasers have already thoroughly assessed their needs before they meet a salesperson. As a result, a salesperson must be well-prepared already in the initial meetings. He/she must use a range of sources to determine the customer’s possible needs, make some educated guesses and create value-adding suggestions to present to the customer.
The goal is to establish trust as early as possible with the customer’s key decision makers. This requires an ability to discuss about the customer’s business challenges and to help the customer to improve their competitiveness. If the salesperson can guide the customer’s purchasing process, the probability of getting the sale closed is high. A precondition is that the customer sees the salesperson as a reliable person who offers assistance.
However, the traditional selling skills, such as presentation and negotiating skills, should not be forgotten. A professional is always practicing – and this applies to sales professionals as well.