I think we can all agree that being a topflight sales rep or account manager doesn’t automatically make you a candidate for sales management. I’ve seen plenty of cases where the people leading an organization took their top sales rep out of the field, where he or she was flourishing, and put them in a sales leadership role where they couldn’t use their favored skills.Continue reading
A question I often get in my consultation sessions is, “Bob’s not motivated. What’s the best way to motivate Bob to get out there and sell more?”
Well, I don’t know if there’s a best way to motivate sales people because I actually don’t believe motivation is an outward force. It’s not something you do to someone. Motivation comes from within the individual.Continue reading
“People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that.” -Peter Brand, Moneyball
The premise of Moneyball, both the book and the film, was that the method of recruiting baseball talent was stuck in the past. The process used outdated methods and antiquated statistics. Recruiters were using the same methods tied to the same statistics dating back to the early days of baseball. Because the Oakland A’s had a smaller budget for salaries, they were forced to look for players undervalued by the market. When the general manager teamed up with a statistician, they found that certain, previously ignored stats were better indicators of a player’s performance today than the traditional stats used by the bulk of the sports executives and talent scouts.Continue reading
In an earlier post, I cited an example where Jessica had unsuccessfully tried a few times to engage a prospect during her sales opening. Yet when she asked a question that cut to the heart of her contact’s problem, Jessica’s sales starter got her contact’s attention. And it earned her a meeting!
Here’s a tip: the more generic your sales starter, the less engaged your contact will be and the less effective your sales opening will be.
Instead, make your sales opening specific to the contact and to their business or industry. Jessica was successful when she created her opening to address her contact’s challenges down to a personal and career impacting level.To make that happen, Jessica had to do some research on her contact. She had to know something about her contact’s business, and the challenges her contact faced on a regular basis.
Mind you, these aren’t cold contacts. These are people in companies where you think you have a decent shot at driving some business. These are people who have already raised their hand and have in some way indicated that they are in the market for what you are selling. So take a little time to do some discovery work on these people.
Sales Training Exercise – Sales Starter Assignment
Here’s your assignment for the week. During your lunch break today, write down the top five industries that you serve. Then, for each industry, write down five companies that you are looking to break into or are looking to upsell.
Then, when you are back in the office, write down three contacts that are in a position to make a decision for each of the companies you have listed. Now, for each of those three contacts, write down:
- Their name
- A compliment on one of their accomplishments
- A startling statement or statistic about their industry that ties into the solution you provide
The information here is easy enough to find on Linkedin, your CRM, and their social media streams and blog posts. You don’t have to go overboard and discover every detail about their lives. But you do have to show them that you are seriously interested in their business.
Now, you have some options in creating your sales starter before you perform that follow-up call. And your sales starter will be more effective at grabbing your prospect’s attention because it leverages an issue, concern, or idea that already has their attention.
Remember, no one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care. So, do like Jessica. Use a sales starter that shows your prospect immediately that you have their best interest at heart. Your sales opening will seize your prospect’s attention every time.
Are you ready to take the quiz?
Want to know if your sales process puts you in the field of play and not on the sidelines?
Take our online sales evaluation here and quickly assess how your knowledge and skills stack up in the industry.
Every team needs a winning strategy. Some of the top franchises in sports turn to Tyson Group to help their sales teams move to the next level. Fenway Sports Management (large naming rights and sponsorship sales), the Dallas Cowboys (sponsorship, premium new stadium), the New York Yankees (premium space), the Boston Red Sox (tickets) and the University of Notre Dame (gifting and donor) are just some of the organizations we work with.
Despite the varied sports, our approach is one they all understand and easily adapt: when they adapted our process with an offensive strategy approach, they are successful. Whether it’s selling suites to Fortune 500s, closing multi-million-dollar naming rights deals, or selling tickets to the masses, it really doesn’t matter because it is the exact same process.
That’s the crossover power of our process that makes Tyson Group so successful. Throughout the years, I’ve worked with many of the same individuals who move from franchise to franchise and the feedback is this, “What you did at the Browns I want you to do at the Padres. What you did at the Cavs I want you to do at the Vegas Golden Knights. What you did here in San Diego I want you to do at Tampa Bay.” Regardless of the sports franchise, the process has been proven time and time again through a series of six steps that can be customized in a thousand different ways. Simple is genius.
Running an Offense Strategy Regardless of Your Industry
Last time I was in Salt Lake, I was with insurance brokers working with them on sales. We plug the same offense and process into tech, insurance, or financial as we do for major sports organizations. What these sales professionals—across all industries—learn is the same offensive strategy each of our major sports organizations leverage – a strategy and approach built on solid sales management, sales leadership and what I’ve referred to previously as, “grit.”
Like a top football, basketball, or baseball team, you can coach skills and knowledge all day long; however, the most successful sports stars have an “it” factor of persistence and grit. We not only help our clients the necessary sales skills, we help them access the grit within themselves—the element needed for true success in an offensive sales strategy.
There’s an exercise I like to do with management teams and salespeople in which they list attributes that would make their replacements successful. “If you had to hire somebody for your job and would get a bonus of 20 percent of your salary, what are things you would hire on?” I ask.
They will make a list of twenty or thirty things. But it comes down to three broad categories forming a triangle. At least 60 percent of success is based on attitude—things like grit, endurance, and perseverance. Another 20 percent to 30 percent revolves around skills like goal-setting and communication.
No matter your industry, when you approach your sales process with a proven offensive strategy—built on effective sales management, skill, and grit—your sales professionals will be unstoppable. Learn more about applying our proven offense strategy to your sales organization in my book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.
Think about the steps you take when you buy something—a pair of sneakers, for instance. Something in your world gets your attention and you come to the conclusion: I need a new pair of sneakers. You start to go out and look, try a couple pairs on, go to the store, go to Amazon, etc. In that process, you remove doubt, because you’re actively looking. Then you start to consider it, lay it out and say, “Jeez, do I really need these? What pair do I need?” Ultimately, you buy a pair.
That’s a simple buying process.
In most sales, especially B2B sales, it’s more complex. In a previous blog, I’ve likened the process to a trip to the doctor’s office. Regardless of the product or service though, there’s a way to be successful: sell how people buy. Do this and you’ll be successful. Sound simple? It is and isn’t at the same time.
The Science and Art of Sales
As a sales professional, you take action to get somebody’s attention. You need to qualify them to see if they would fit business parameters. You have to engage the prospect in some kind of request for their time, ask them a series of questions that are really for their benefit, and get the buyer in a scenario where you can present them with an idea in order to start creating an opportunity where one did not exist before. Then you present something that removes their doubt and gets them saying, “This is a decent fit for me.” Finally, you get into dialogue with them to remove any objection and close.
There’s no shortcut to the process, no way to cheat the sales process—whether solicited or unsolicited. At the end of the day, sales is a science—a series of yeses. “Yes, I’ll talk to you. Yes, you can ask me questions. Yes, you can present to me an idea. Yes, you resolved my objection. Yes, I’ll buy.” It’s an algorithm of questions, each followed by five or six yeses.
But sales is also an art—one that requires a deep understanding of why someone is looking to buy and how to help them understand you’re the right solution. Practiced at a high level, the profession combines creativity with a process for predictable selling.
Success Ultimately Requires a Proven Process
I have been a sales professional, entrepreneur, and have trained other salespeople since the 1980s. Selling vacuums door-to-door in college; leading the largest franchise for Dale Carnegie Training outside Taiwan and Hong Kong; building Tyson Group as the go-to sales trainers of professional sports and entertainment as well as insurance organizations; training over one thousand sales executives and sales managers annually.
In all these years of selling and working with organizations of all sizes, the key to successful sales can be distilled down to a six-step process applicable to any product, service, industry, and solution. This process works. It’s a process that will benefit any high performer—from entrepreneur to sales professional to manager trying to boost team performance—and anyone for whom selling is a matter of life and death.
Learn more about what this proven and repeatable sales process is by visiting www.tysongroup.com, OR by purchasing your copy of, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World.
As a sales leader, you will often find your people looking to you for wisdom, direction, and reassurance. Therefore, you need a coaching process that takes time to build up the people who make up your talent pool. We need to look beyond what they can do today and help them realize what’s possible tomorrow. When you invest in building your team members, you are investing in your organization’s future. Continue reading
Around 18 months ago, we published an article on how to purchase sales training. There, we described the three factors you should take into consideration when buying sales training: content, process, and methodology. I began thinking about all this in early 2000 when I met a sharp HR executive who reminded me she bought millions in training each year — and promptly told me how to sell it. Continue reading
If you haven’t yet checked out this week’s issue of Sales and Marketing Management, make sure you don’t miss Lance Tyson’s article, ‘Can Millennials Sell?’
In this article, Lance busts the most common stereotypes about Millennials in the workplace, and offers concrete tips on how to successfully manage a millennial sales team.
It’s a must read for anyone who wants to be managing a successful organization 10 years from now!