Answers to Four Tough Sales Management Questions
Don Buttrey is the president of Sales Professional Training Inc., a company that offers in-depth skill development for sales professionals and sales support. He has trained thousands of salespeople over 25 years and clearly understands the selling environment of equipment dealers and manufacturers. He has given answers to these four tough sales management questions over the course of his career. His curriculum is comprehensive and proven! Don is also the author of “The SELL Process”, a foundational how-to book on effective sales interactions.
Don can be reached at (937) 427-1717
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this website link salesprofessionaltraining.com for more information – or to purchase online sales training.
Four Tough Sales Management Questions
As a sales trainer I get to work with heavy equipment dealers all across North America. In this 4-part series I will provide some answers to four tough questions that sales managers often ask me. I hope they give you some clarity and direction as a sales leader!
QUESTION 1: What preparation should I expect my salespeople to do before picking up the phone or meeting with a customer?
Don Buttrey: Most of the time salespeople do the typical prep such as considering the situation, doing some research, or reviewing notes on the customer such as past sales, problems, internal politics, personal facts, previous calls etc. That is important – but it is not enough. Often, at that point they just charge in or pick up the phone and “see how it goes”. I call this, “showing up and throwing up”.
I accept the reality that selling is very dynamic and that anything could happen. However, one of the most important disciplines and skills I teach is, tactical pre-call planning. When salespeople make proactive calls, they are on the “offense” and they should prepare their offense! What will they say to start? What questions will they ask and how will they word them for maximum effectiveness? What benefits of product or distributor value will they leverage? What is their action-oriented objective and how will they ask for commitment or action?
My short answer to this question is that before every call salespeople should pre-call plan using the SELL Process tool. SELL stands for Start, Evaluate, Leverage, Lock: and each of these steps should be prepared in order to maximize every precious customer interaction. Preparation and ongoing practice are essential. You play like you practice—and salespeople just don’t practice enough.