# 12 Up to 70% of product information is found online, not through sales reps
Self-discovered information is becoming the norm for product research and purchasing decisions. Your company needs to have targeted and relevant sales materials that are easy for customers to find.
Salespeople This is true for B2B sales and B2C. The prospect no longer relies heavily on the salesperson for information where there is much to be found online. And researching online is such an integral part of the buying process that it needs to be part of the Discovery Questions that the salesperson is asking their prospect: Where have you been looking? What have you found? What questions do you have? What do you like/not like about what you have learned? Rather than resist internet research, embrace it and ask more questions about it. What we resist, persists!
Have your sales team research what their prospects are searching for so that they know what they are being told. Is the information accurate? Current? Complete? Does it skew toward a particular direction?
Coach your team to include internet research in their Discovery Questions and ask about it in your one on one sessions. Roleplay this area with your people so that they are comfortable having this conversation with their prospects. Otherwise, their prospect knows more about the marketplace than they do…not a good place to sell from.
# 11 High-performing sales teams invest in sales enablement strategies and technology
Investing in CRM software and other marketing automation technology helps organize and expedite the sales process and increases sales productivity. High-performing sales teams use almost three times as much technology as underperforming teams.
Salespeople I still hear pushback from older salespeople on upgrading technology to be current in today’s marketplace…a reaction that is sure to diminish their sales results! Or salespeople who populate CRM’s with data and nothing happens with it…either they don’t take the actions that they schedule or their sales manager doesn’t look at the activity and results and coach from it. At the very least, use Outlook for upcoming actions and appointments if the company doesn’t use a CRM. Don’t let your success be at the mercy of the technology that your company provides.
Sales Managers Seriously?
There is no excuse, including cost, that keeps sales managers from having a structure for managing sales opportunities and actions. SalesForce, HubSpot are 2 affordable solutions and are easy for salespeople and sales managers to use. And if they are too expensive and cash is really tight, use Outlook for scheduling and Excel for client databases…but use SOMETHING that forwards sales follow up actions and manages accountability.
Making website material mobile-friendly and having trained salespeople ready for web sales is crucial to your bottom line. If you’re not keeping up with the mobile and tablet movement, you will be left behind.
Consider getting a second line on your phone so that your customers can call you, or become facile with your tablet so that you can use it for sketching, web searching your competition, scheduling appointments, etc. If you aren’t living in the technology that is current today, the world will move beyond you and you won’t see it happening. Be up to date with the technology that your customers and prospects are using so that they see you as a ‘resource’ and not just a salesperson.
I listen to owners and managers who don’t want their salespeople to have their phones with them on the showroom floor…seriously??? Their phone is a computer, a camera, a calendar and can access mobile data. YOU need to live in this techno world and make it HOW you and your team do business. Check out what your competition is doing with their website and how hand-held technology is impacting the customer experience – GET to that level THIS year and go beyond it next year.
For sales managers everywhere
We have all heard about how pressure creates diamonds as inspiration to be able to learn to withstand it. The ability to deal with pressure effectively is a learned trait, and sometimes the only benefit of adversity and challenge. Pressure shows what is underneath and who we are.
The Dalai Lama said “How we do anything is how we do everything” and that goes for pressure, too. If we cave and implode, get confused and flaky, get demanding and impatient and angry, those are our defaults under pressure. My quote is: “When we squeeze a tomato, we don’t get orange juice.”
When I work with an organization and get push back from employees, I know that I am providing pressure and revealing how that person will behave under pressure.
Training shows you how your salespeople learn and comprehend, take risks and try new things, and how they perform under pressure. How they behave with the pressure I provide shows you how they will behave with a prospect or customer who doesn’t do what they want them to do. So when they show me resistance or indifference, consider that is the same behavior they will show your customer when they say “I’m just browsing” or “I want to think about it.