Achieving sales success goes beyond just understanding your product or service. It involves establishing strong and enduring connections with your clients. As a Fractional Vice President of Sales, I have learned the immense value that relationships play in driving business growth. This year calls for a shift in our approach to sales.
The economic landscape is always filled with challenges, but the key lies in deepening connections with both existing clients and potential prospects. Personalizing communication becomes crucial—moving beyond generic greetings to truly engage with clients personally, understanding their unique needs and how they interact with what you offer.
If you haven’t had any contact with a client for 90 days, chances are they have forgotten about you. Regular check-ins are essential, especially for your most important clients. Aim to maintain a communication cycle of 30 to 60 days with key clients to keep your relationship active and ensure that your services stay at the forefront of their minds.
Don’t solely focus on existing clients; continuously seek out new prospects as well. Set an attainable goal of establishing one new client relationship per month. This proactive approach to acquiring clients is crucial for maintaining long-term growth.
Having a structured method to track client interactions is highly important. If you don’t already have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, acquire one. Ensure that you document every engagement, not just responses to RFPs but also genuine and meaningful conversations.
Networking events offer abundant opportunities for new connections. There’s nothing quite like a personal introduction. Aim to attend at least three networking events this year and utilize these platforms to meet potential clients and gain valuable introductions.
These strategies are just the beginning of what can be accomplished. For more detailed insights on these approaches and how they can transform your sales techniques in this new year, I encourage you to watch my latest video. Begin implementing them now and witness your sales performance soar.
Bob Robinson, Jr., and his mechanical-engineer father, Bob Robinson, Sr., came up with the idea for a product the world truly needed 25 years ago: a “no-touch” restroom cleaning machine. Their company, Kaivac, is a Hamilton, OH-based manufacturer of cleaning machines. Hamilton is a suburb of Cincinnati, OH.
“We were on our hands and knees, crawling around the bathroom,” recalls Bob, Jr. “It was disgusting. We said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.'”
Through hard work and dedication, the Robinsons created the KaiVac to help solve that initial problem in public restrooms. Over the years, they grew the idea to create dedicated machines to clean kitchen floors, hallway floors, and grocery displays. Beyond its bathroom cleaning technology, it has expanded into floor cleaning and spill response machines and has 18 patents with 16 pending.
Along with growing their manufacturing capabilities, they also grew their sales capabilities. They adopted a hybrid strategy of selling through distribution and selling directly to key customers. Their direct team, under the leadership of Bob Robinson, Jr., who had taken on the role of VP of Sales, closed many enviable customers with massive deals, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target.
They realized that they needed to step up their sales professionalism after having a down year during COVID after having a record-breaking year the year before. They wanted to grow to $75 million in annual revenue within three years and a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of $1 billion in annual revenue within 20 years.
Bob Jr. says Kaivac is just getting started. “At 20 to 25 years in business, you’re at an inflection point where you’ve got resources, tenure, and history and have been through ‘adolescence,'” he says. “Now is the chance to build a professionalized organization.”
They contacted New Sales Expert LLC as the nation was coming out of the global pandemic, but before all the supply chain problems had paused. New Sales Expert LLC is a fractional vice president of sales consultancy. Sean O’Shaughnessey, the CEO of New Sales Expert, is aligned with SalesXceleration and has 38 years of experience in sales and sales management.
According to Sean, “Kaivac is a joy to work with. They are the shining star of Hamilton, OH, and Butler County. They had so much raw potential when I walked in the door; all I had to do was to focus their energy and enthusiasm on working smarter and just a little harder.”
Building an organization with a heart
Kaivac had a great culture to build on to make a great sales culture. Before Sean showed up, the company leadership had already developed their One-Page Strategic Plan and their “Why?” statement that reflects the owners’ Christian faith: “To glorify God by using KAIVAC as an instrument for Good.”
In addition to the “Why?” statement, they had drafted an acronym called FIGS that conveys the “heart” of the company. FIGS—which appears on signs that hang on the factory floor and in break rooms—stands for
F: “First shall be last, last shall be first.”
I: Integrity—as in “The truth shall set you free.”
G: Golden Rule—meaning “treat others how you want to be treated.”
S: Servant’s Heart, as in “We are in a race to help people.”
The company uses the first three letters of its name–KAI–to inspire the team’s thinking and actions. These letters stand for inspiring phrases such as: “Keep At It,” “Keep Always Improving,” “Keep Attempting the Impossible,” and “(creates) Kick-Ass Inventions.”
Prioritizing net income and growth
Sean’s first change was to make a compensation plan that motivated the sales team to sell bigger deals and to sell them quickly. Kaivac implemented a 50/50 plan in concert with defined territories to keep the Key Account salespeople focused on the goal of more significant and profitable orders.
After the motivation component was in place, it was time to help the team learn how to sell big deals more repeatedly. The big deals of the past had been challenging to work on and, while very profitable, had been disruptive to close. Sean encouraged the company to read John McMahon’s book, “The Qualified Sales Leader,” and with that tome as inspiration, quickly deployed MEDDPICCC to help them qualify deals.
MEDDPICCC by itself is not enough. The company had already licensed Salesforce, one of the highest-rated CRMs on the market, but Sean put MEDDPICCC into the various stages of the sales process to ensure that the salespeople knew all the required information about a big deal. Sean also created dashboards within Salesforce to track deal progress at the management level. The company implemented Sales Plans for Key Accounts and the Power Matrix to document the most influential people in the customer’s decision-making process.
The very first big deals that the company found after Sean started to help them also benefited from the Decision Timeline. The Decision Timeline is a tool to allow the sales team to walk through the entire decision-making process of the customer to understand all of the steps required to make a significant investment decision. It allowed frank and honest conversations to take place with the prospect as the team worked to close the largest deal in the company’s history to date.
Time to run on their own
As with most of the assignments with New Sales Expert, LLC, the goal is to allow the company to run independently. Bob Robinson Jr. was the company’s VP of Sales. Still, he needed to shed those responsibilities to help run the entire company. To finish the transition, Bob and three of his leaders took SalesXceleration‘s Certified Sales Leadership course delivered by Sean O’Shaughnessey.
The Certified Sales Leader (CSL) designation is the country’s most comprehensive sales leadership certification program offered. CSL leadership training and certification will prepare you with the analytical, tactical, and strategic sales management skills needed to drive revenue growth now…and into the future. CSL training expands the skill set of a Sales Manager by providing coaching, techniques, and tools to lead a successful sales team.
All four Kaivac leaders passed the CSL test. One of them, Mike Perazzo, was tagged to take over as Executive Vice President of Sales. According to Mike, “Sean is a master coach for helping shape sales process and methodology. Following his methods will help grow sales faster, transactionally, and strategically. Often a couple of pieces of the puzzle are missing, and Sean helps quickly identify them.
You have everything to gain by having Sean look at your current approach. He is a change agent and disruptive to the status quo. Pushing the pace and flow of deals is his sweet spot. I am a better sales leader because of my time with him.”
Sean O’Shaughnessey of New Sales Expert, LLC states, “Kaivac is a wonderful company. They have created a line of machines that gives pride to the workers in one of the toughest jobs in America – keeping things clean. They are focused on the success of their customers and their employees. They had all of the raw skills within their sales team to be a great sales organization; they only needed me to focus them on activities and techniques that allowed them to close bigger deals faster and at a higher profit level.”
“If anyone works in a clean building with clean restrooms and hard surface floors, they are either cleaning it with Kaivac technology or paying too much for that cleanliness,” Sean explains.
Revenue and profitability have grown since Sean helped Kaivac develop a higher level of sales professionalism. Recent results have shown a dramatic increase in revenue and profitability. The sales and revenue growth have allowed the entire family of Kaivac to prosper. The Robinsons have always considered their employees an extension of their family. The company’s prosperity is passed along to team members through a bonus structure for the whole company. It all fits into the spirit of Kaivac. Bob Jr. says, “Our organization was built to have heart.”
In this dynamic episode of the “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” podcast, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey, delve into the importance of strategy in successful sales performance. Using a navigational analogy, the hosts discuss how just like using an app like Waze, successful sales also requires anticipation and understanding of the challenges on the way.
Drawing parallels between navigation and sales, Kevin and Sean underscore the value of proactive strategic planning. From the importance of mapping out the sales process akin to charting a route on a map to responding to unforeseen challenges, just like navigating detours on a road trip, they highlight how a robust strategy can guide salespeople from the starting point to their goals effectively.
Touching on subjects like the sales process, tactics, and mid-year sales strategy, the hosts shed light on the importance of a sales process, likening it to a paper map providing a general path. They discuss how technology today allows for more dynamic navigation, reflecting on how modern sales techniques can help efficiently reach sales targets.
Kevin shares the difference between strategy and tactics, comparing a sales strategy to a commander’s intent in the military, emphasizing that strategies are generally long-term. Sean continues the conversation, sharing how salespeople can be proactive in their strategy, planning in advance for predictable stages in the sales process.
On a practical note, the duo also discusses how sales leaders can help their teams distinguish between strategy, tactics, and to-do items, nurturing their understanding and development in the sales process. Lastly, the hosts touch on the importance of strategic planning for the coming year, even in the middle of the current one.
Listeners are sure to find actionable insights and practical advice in this episode that could help them to formulate effective sales strategies and tactics, streamline their sales processes, and drive their sales performance forward.
In this thought-provoking podcast, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive into the challenges salespeople face when their sales process doesn’t align with the buyer’s journey. Using the example of a beer industry manufacturer, they explore the difficulties encountered when dealing with prospects who are only interested in the price and user count and how this can lead to feeling like a commodity. This insightful discussion underscores the importance of adapting to the buyer’s journey to sell more effectively.
As the conversation continues, Sean and Kevin emphasize the need to understand the buyer’s process, from recognizing the signs of a good prospect to determining the right time to buy. They highlight the importance of asking the right questions, listening to the buyer, and identifying their current position in the evaluation process. The hosts also discuss the concept of commercial teaching, which involves meeting prospects at their level of knowledge about the industry, solution, or product.
In addition, the duo addresses the challenge of long sales cycles and the factors that contribute to them, such as not understanding where the buyer is in their journey or not setting up for success earlier in the sales process. They encourage salespeople to be self-reflective and analyze their pipelines, identifying deals that may be stuck or taking longer than expected due to a lack of alignment with the buyer’s journey.
Furthermore, Kevin and Sean touch upon the importance of knowing the buyer persona, recognizing that different people within an organization have different perspectives and needs. By understanding the type of person you’re speaking with, salespeople can connect more quickly and effectively.
The podcast concludes with a challenge for salespeople to be introspective and consider how they can better align their sales process with the buyer’s journey for improved results.
Small businesses often find themselves at a disadvantage when competing with larger, well-established companies. However, they can still succeed. It requires them to think creatively and strategically and to develop unique approaches to win customers over.
One approach small businesses can take is implementing the Fragment Sales Strategy. This approach is advantageous when small companies find themselves in David vs. Goliath-type sales campaigns, going up against larger competitors with more resources, references, and success stories.
Salespeople can increase their chances of success by focusing on specific areas where they can create value for the customer and differentiate themselves from the competition. The Fragment Sales Strategy is a methodology that breaks down the opportunity into smaller, more manageable pieces. This helps salespeople stay organized, identify key decision-makers, and manage essential milestones in the sales process.
Essentially, with a Fragment Strategy, salespeople are trying to change the opportunity to a smaller portion of the customer’s goals where they can be successful and convince the prospect to look at other needs in a future opportunity. A Fragment Strategy is essential if you want the prospect to adopt multiple “best-in-class” products, but the small business only offers a few of the “best-in-class” capabilities.
Understanding the goals of the customer is also crucial when implementing the Fragment Sales Strategy. Salespeople need to understand what the customer is trying to achieve and what challenges they face in reaching their goals. By focusing on specific goals and offering solutions that address those challenges, salespeople can increase the likelihood of a successful sale.
Small businesses can use five basic sales strategies to win more sales. These include Frontal, Flanking, Fragment, Defend, and Develop Strategies. The Frontal Strategy involves going head-to-head with the competition and trying to win over customers based on the product’s merits. Unfortunately, a salesperson for a small business can quickly lose with this strategy when competing against a larger competitor with more resources and, in theory, more successful implementations.
The Flanking Strategy is useful for a small business salesperson because it shifts the focus of the customer’s buying criteria to new or different issues that favor your solution. It means you are not playing by the rules. You are taking a completely different approach than your competitors expect. The challenge with a flanking strategy is that you need to understand the dynamics of the prospect completely. You must understand both personal and organizational needs. It can only be used in opportunities where the salesperson has an influential inside advisor (a Coach). Ultimately, the strategy needs a strong Champion. The strategy also requires you to have multiple value propositions that are relatively unique to your offering, which may not be available to the small business B2B salesperson.
The Defend Strategy focuses on keeping existing customers happy and preventing them from defecting to the competition. Of course, this strategy depends on the current relationship with the customer. It is only applicable if the prospect already has a business relationship with the small business.
Finally, the Develop Strategy involves identifying opportunities and developing products or services that meet customer needs. While this strategy allows the building of intense relationships, it can also be the most extended sales cycle, putting a small business at significant risk if the prospect doesn’t move forward after a long development process.
Small businesses implementing the Fragment Sales Strategy should focus on understanding their customers’ goals, identifying pain points, and offering solutions to those challenges. By breaking down the sales process into smaller, more manageable pieces, salespeople can focus on areas where they can create value for the customer and differentiate themselves from the competition.
Some questions that a salesperson might ask the prospect could be:
What are your short-term and long-term business goals? For several reasons, asking a prospect about their short-term and long-term business goals is an essential part of the sales process for the salesperson of a small business. Firstly, it enables the salesperson to understand the customer’s specific needs and requirements, which helps them tailor their sales pitch and offer the best solution possible. Secondly, it allows the salesperson to identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling by offering additional products or services that can help the customer achieve their goals. Thirdly, it helps the salesperson build a relationship with the customer by showing a genuine interest in their business and demonstrating how their product or service can help them achieve their objectives. Overall, asking this question can help the salesperson position themselves as a trusted advisor and increase their chances of closing the sale.
What challenges are you currently facing in your business? – A salesperson would need to ask a prospect about the challenges they are currently facing in their business to gain a deeper understanding of their pain points and business needs. By asking this question, the salesperson can identify specific problems that the prospect is looking to solve and then position their product or service as a solution. Understanding the challenges also enables the salesperson to demonstrate their expertise and industry knowledge by providing insights and advice on how the prospect can overcome their obstacles. Additionally, asking about challenges shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in their business and is committed to finding a solution that will address their specific needs, which can help build trust and a stronger relationship.
What specific problems are you trying to solve with this purchase? – A business-to-business salesperson would need to ask a prospect about the specific problems they are trying to solve with their purchase to identify how their product or service can help the prospect achieve their goals. This question helps the salesperson understand the prospect’s needs, challenges, and requirements in-depth, allowing them to tailor their sales pitch accordingly. It also enables the salesperson to offer a customized solution that addresses the prospect’s unique problems and requirements, making the product or service more valuable to the prospect. Asking about specific problems also helps the salesperson build a stronger relationship with the prospect by showing that they are interested in helping them achieve their objectives rather than just making a sale. Ultimately, understanding the specific problems the prospect is trying to solve will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in the eyes of the prospect.
How does this purchase fit into your overall business strategy? – A business-to-business salesperson working for a small business would need to ask a prospect how their purchase fits into their overall business strategy to understand the prospect’s long-term goals and position their product or service as a strategic solution. This question helps the salesperson identify whether their product or service aligns with the prospect’s broader objectives, allowing them to position it as an investment rather than just a purchase. Understanding the prospect’s overall business strategy also enables the salesperson to identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling by demonstrating how additional products or services can help the prospect achieve their long-term goals. Additionally, asking about the business strategy helps the salesperson build credibility by showing that they are interested in the prospect’s broader objectives and are committed to assisting them to achieve success. Ultimately, understanding how the purchase fits into the prospect’s overall business strategy can help the salesperson close more deals and build long-term relationships with their clients.
What are the key drivers of success for your business? – A salesperson working for a small business and selling to another business would need to ask a prospect about the critical drivers of success for their business to understand their priorities and position their product or service as a strategic solution. This question helps the salesperson identify the specific factors most important to the prospect’s business, allowing them to tailor their sales pitch to those critical drivers of success. By understanding the key drivers of success, the salesperson can also demonstrate their industry knowledge and expertise by providing insights and advice on achieving success in those areas. Additionally, asking about the key drivers of success shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in their business and is committed to finding a solution to help them achieve their objectives. Ultimately, understanding the key drivers of success for the prospect’s business will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in the eyes of the prospect.
What are your top priorities right now? – A salesperson needs to ask a prospect about their top priorities right now to understand their immediate needs and to position their product or service as a priority solution. This question helps the business-to-business salesperson working for a small business identify which specific pain points the prospect is currently focused on, allowing them to tailor their sales pitch accordingly. By understanding the prospect’s top priorities, the salesperson can position their product or service as a must-have solution, helping the prospect achieve their most critical objectives. Additionally, asking about the prospect’s top priorities shows that the salesperson is interested in understanding their specific needs and requirements and is committed to helping them succeed. Ultimately, understanding the prospect’s top priorities will help the salesperson close more deals and build long-term relationships with their clients.
What metrics do you use to measure the success of your business, and what metrics do you need to accomplish for this project and purchase? – Every salesperson needs to know the metrics for success for the product they are trying to sell. A small business salesperson would need to ask a prospect about the metrics they use to measure the success of their business and what metrics they need to accomplish for a specific project and purchase to understand the prospect’s goals and to position their product or service as a strategic solution. This question helps the salesperson identify the metrics most important to the prospect, allowing them to demonstrate how their product can help the prospect achieve their specific goals. Understanding the metrics also enables the salesperson to demonstrate their industry knowledge and expertise by providing insights and advice on how the prospect can measure their success more effectively. Additionally, asking about metrics shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in their business and is committed to finding a solution that will help them achieve their objectives. Ultimately, understanding the metrics that are important to the prospect will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in the eyes of the prospect.
What are the biggest obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals? – A business-to-business salesperson working for a small business would need to ask a prospect about the most significant obstacles preventing them from achieving their goals to understand their pain points and position their product or service as a solution. This question helps the salesperson identify specific challenges that the prospect is facing, allowing them to offer a customized solution that addresses the prospect’s unique needs. By understanding the prospect’s biggest obstacles, the salesperson can also demonstrate their industry knowledge and expertise by providing insights and advice on overcoming them. Additionally, asking about the obstacles shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in their business and committed to finding a solution to help them overcome their challenges. Ultimately, understanding the prospect’s most significant obstacles will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in the eyes of the prospect.
What impact would achieving these goals have on your business? – Since a small business salesperson is always concerned about wasting their time on an opportunity that will not close, asking a prospect about the impact of achieving their goals on their business to understand the prospect’s motivations and to position their product or service as a strategic solution. This question helps the salesperson identify the specific benefits the prospect is looking to achieve, allowing them to tailor their sales pitch to those particular outcomes. By understanding the impact of achieving the goals, the salesperson can also demonstrate the value proposition of their product or service and show how it can help the prospect realize their objectives. Additionally, asking about the impact of achieving the goals shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in understanding their business and is committed to finding a solution to help them achieve their desired outcomes. Ultimately, understanding the impact of achieving the goals will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted advisor in the eyes of the prospect.
How does your purchase decision fit into the larger picture of your business? – This question also helps a business-to-business salesperson working for a small business clarify the priority of working on a project that turns into a successful order. The salesperson should always ask a prospect how their purchase decision fits into the larger picture of their business to understand the prospect’s strategic goals and to position their product or service as a critical component of their business strategy. This question helps the salesperson identify the prospect’s overall business strategy and the specific role their product or service plays in achieving that strategy. By understanding how the purchase decision fits into the larger picture of the business, the salesperson can demonstrate the value of their product or service as a strategic investment that supports the prospect’s overall objectives. Additionally, asking about the larger picture shows the prospect that the salesperson is interested in a deeper understanding and is committed to finding a solution that aligns with their strategic goals. Ultimately, understanding how the purchase decision fits into the larger picture of the business will help the salesperson close more deals and establish themselves as a trusted partner in the eyes of the prospect.
The salesperson should tailor the above questions to the information the salesperson already knows about the prospect’s business. However, every salesperson should understand these high-level questions and try to align their product to them.
Small businesses can compete against larger, well-established companies by developing unique approaches and implementing effective strategies like the Fragment Sales Strategy. By understanding the goals of the customer and breaking down the sales process into smaller, more manageable pieces, salespeople can increase their chances of success and win more sales.
Sales coaching has become integral to the modern business environment, particularly in business-to-business (B2B) sales. The sales coaching process enhances salespeople’s skills, knowledge, and capabilities to achieve their goals, deliver value to customers, and improve organizational performance. In this article, we will examine the importance of sales coaching in B2B sales organizations, explore the best practices for effective coaching, and discuss the key benefits that result from a well-executed sales coaching program.
Sales coaching has become increasingly critical to the success of B2B sales organizations. Equipping salespeople with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to deliver value to customers and drive business growth is essential. Here are three reasons why sales coaching is critical in B2B sales organizations.
Firstly, sales coaching helps salespeople to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to engage with customers, understand their goals or priorities, and provide tailored solutions. In a B2B sales environment, customers’ goals are often complex and unique, making it challenging to identify the best strategies for engaging with them. Effective sales coaching helps salespeople identify the most effective ways to engage with customers, build rapport, and establish trust. Through regular feedback and guidance, sales coaches can provide salespeople with insights on approaching different customer scenarios, offering valuable insights, and delivering a superior customer experience.
Sales coaching provides salespeople the necessary tools to improve their communication skills, such as active listening and effective questioning techniques. This active listening capability enables salespeople to understand customers’ unique goals and motivations better, allowing salespeople to provide tailored solutions that meet prospects’ expectations. This skill is essential in B2B sales organizations, where customers’ needs are complex and varied.
Secondly, sales coaching is essential for enhancing the performance of sales teams. Sales coaching helps salespeople to focus on their strengths and weaknesses, set clear goals, and develop strategies for achieving them. Coaching provides salespeople with performance feedback, identifies improvement areas, and provides guidance on addressing these areas. This, in turn, leads to improved sales performance, increased productivity, and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Effective sales coaching can help salespeople identify areas where they need to improve, such as their communication, time management, or presentation skills. Sales coaches can provide their teams with targeted feedback and guidance, offering practical solutions for improving performance. This not only helps salespeople to become more effective at their job, but it also helps them to feel more confident and engaged in their work.
Thirdly, sales coaching helps to create a culture of continuous learning within B2B sales organizations. Sales coaching enables salespeople to develop new skills, learn about new products and services, and keep up-to-date with industry trends. Continuous learning is vital for B2B sales organizations that operate in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, where the ability to adapt and learn quickly is essential for success.
Sales coaching allows salespeople to learn from their experiences and mistakes in a safe environment that doesn’t affect their revenue production. Sales coaches can guide how to approach different customer scenarios, offer valuable insights, and help salespeople to develop new skills. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, sales coaching can help B2B sales organizations to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in their industry.
Best Practices for Effective Sales Coaching
To ensure that sales coaching is effective, B2B sales organizations must adopt best practices aligned with their organizational goals and objectives. The following are some of the best practices for effective sales coaching:
Provide Timely and Relevant Feedback: Feedback is critical to effective sales coaching. Managers and team members should provide feedback in a constructive manner that focuses on improvement rather than criticism. Feedback should be timely, relevant, and focused on specific behaviors or actions.
Focus on Skill Development: Effective sales coaching should focus on developing the skills and knowledge necessary for success in a B2B sales environment. This includes communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and product and industry knowledge.
Use a Coaching Framework: To ensure that sales coaching is consistent and effective, B2B sales organizations should use a coaching framework that provides a structured approach to coaching. A coaching framework should include a straightforward process for setting goals, giving feedback, and developing skills.
Measure and Evaluate Coaching Effectiveness: B2B sales organizations should measure and evaluate revenue generation to ensure that sales coaching is effective. This includes tracking sales performance metrics, such as revenue, customer satisfaction, and retention rates.
Critical Benefits of Sales Coaching in B2B Sales Organizations
Effective sales coaching can deliver a range of benefits to B2B sales organizations. The following are some of the key benefits that result from a well-executed sales coaching program:
Improved Sales Performance: Effective sales coaching can lead to improved sales performance, increased productivity, and higher levels of job satisfaction. Sales coaching provides salespeople the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to achieve their sales goals and deliver customer value. This, in turn, leads to increased sales revenue, higher customer satisfaction, and higher customer retention.
Increased Employee Engagement: Sales coaching can help to increase employee engagement and motivation. When salespeople receive regular feedback, guidance, and support from their coaches, they feel more valued and invested in their work. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.
Enhanced Customer Relationships: Effective sales coaching can help salespeople build stronger customer relationships. Sales coaching can help salespeople to identify customer needs, provide tailored solutions, and establish trust. This leads to stronger customer relationships, higher customer satisfaction, and greater customer loyalty.
Continuous Learning: Sales coaching helps create a continuous learning culture within B2B sales organizations. Sales coaching provides salespeople opportunities to learn new skills, develop their knowledge of products and services, and keep up-to-date with industry trends. This, in turn, leads to more significant innovation, improved performance, and competitive advantage.
Aligned Goals of the Company and the Team: By doing an adequate job of sales coaching, the salespeople are working toward the same goals as the company. This prevents wasted activities that don’t serve the purposes of the company. Let’s discuss this a bit more.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives
Setting clear goals and objectives for salespeople is crucial to the success of any B2B sales organization. These goals and objectives provide a framework for salespeople to work within and help to focus their efforts on achieving specific outcomes. Here are some reasons why setting clear goals and objectives is essential for salespeople:
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Coaching provides a sense of direction and focus.
Setting clear goals and objectives helps salespeople to understand what they are working towards and what they need to do to achieve success. Having a sense of direction and focus is essential for salespeople as it helps them to prioritize their tasks, make informed decisions that align with their company’s needs, and stay motivated.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Helps to measure progress and success.
Setting clear goals and objectives allows salespeople to measure their progress and success. This is important as it provides a sense of achievement and helps to maintain motivation. Tracking progress will enable salespeople to adjust their approach to get on track to meet their goals.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Creates accountability.
Setting clear goals and objectives helps to create accountability for salespeople. When goals and objectives are clearly defined, salespeople are more likely to take ownership of their work and strive to achieve their targets. This sense of ownership and accountability helps create a performance culture and can increase job satisfaction and employee retention.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives: Aligns salespeople with the organization’s overall objectives.
Setting clear goals and objectives ensures that salespeople align with the organization’s overall objectives. This alignment is crucial as it helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that the organization is moving in the right direction, as defined by company leadership. This can help create a sense of purpose and meaning for salespeople, increasing motivation and engagement.
When setting goals and objectives for salespeople, it is essential to ensure that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These SMART criteria help to ensure that goals and objectives are meaningful and actionable. Here are some tips for setting SMART goals and objectives for salespeople:
Be specific: Clearly define what you want salespeople to achieve, such as revenue targets or the number of new customers.
Make them measurable: Ensure that goals and objectives are measurable so everyone can track their progress and adjustments can be made if necessary.
Make them achievable: Set goals and objectives that are challenging but achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to demotivation and disengagement.
Make them relevant: Ensure that goals and objectives are relevant to the salesperson’s role and the organization’s overall objectives.
Make them time-bound: Set a clear timeframe for achieving goals and objectives. This helps to create a sense of urgency and ensures that salespeople are focused on achieving their targets.
Effective sales coaching that includes setting clear goals and objectives is a critical component of success in B2B sales organizations. It helps salespeople develop the skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to engage with customers, enhance their performance, and create a culture of continuous learning. By adopting best practices for effective sales coaching, such as using the SMART criteria to set goals and objectives, B2B sales organizations can realize a range of benefits, including improved sales performance, increased employee engagement, enhanced customer relationships, and continuous learning. Therefore, sales coaching should be a top priority for any B2B sales organization that wants to achieve long-term success and growth.
If you are unsure how to create an atmosphere of great coaching in your organization, please contact me. You can reach me by filling out the form on this site or by emailing Sean@NewSales.Expert.
We are almost done tabulating the results for the grading of small businesses. Every year, Sales Xceleration asks the CEOs and owners of small businesses to grade themselves on how well their company is running its sales operations.
Like last year, 95% of all companies couldn’t get to the “average” level of execution.
But 2022 was worse than last year since more companies graded themselves as “Poor” rather than just “Below Average.”
It is okay that small business owners or executives at small businesses do not know how to create a great sales organization, however …
… it is not okay for them not to fix it.
The reality is that most small business owners excel at many things. That is why they started their business. Perhaps, they are experts at:
Or any of the hundreds of essential skills required to create a great company. But even though the small business owner is best-in-class in one or many of these disciplines, they still need to be better-in-class in producing or managing a sales organization.
It may be okay that the small business leader cannot create an excellent revenue generation machine. Still, it is not okay that they don’t address the problem. The company and all of the people working for the company (along with their families) depend on that company. The owner needs to fix this problem.
But it is very hard for the small business owner to fix this problem.
They may not be able to find or afford an executive to at least get the “Excellent” rating. Let’s face it, that type of executive is in very high demand by companies that are much larger than small businesses.
The solution, of course, is to look for a Fractional Sales Vice President to help them. I am here to help. I help company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. To accomplish this, I help owners enhance their sales management, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging.
You can learn more about how small businesses are doing in generating revenue for their companies at two upcoming events.
The company owner may be unable to make a best-in-class revenue generation engine within the company personally, but that doesn’t mean the owner shouldn’t create one. Fractional executives are available to fill in the gaps in the expertise that exists within the company.
Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean O’Shaughnessey, CEO and President of New Sales Expert, LLC., located in Mason, OH, USA.
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
I am a fractional Chief Revenue Officer. I help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their revenue growth.
Tell us about yourself
I realized a few years ago that many companies struggle to develop a revenue stream that is predictable and sustainable. This is primarily because the people in those companies that are in charge of sales are not sales professionals. They needed help creating the sales messaging, methodology, and processes to repeatably sell their product. However, they couldn’t afford someone with my skills full-time, nor did they need me full-time. A fractional relationship allows me to help them grow without burdening them with a cost that is crippling.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There is nothing better than seeing salespeople that were struggling or not appreciated start to be successful in their positions.
What’s one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My biggest challenge is balancing selling with delivery. I work on relatively short engagements, so I am always talking to new potential clients about what I do. I cannot let that activity affect my ability to deliver great service to my clients. The balance of selling and delivery is a weekly challenge.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Since my job is to help small companies create more revenue, I will focus my advice on sales (which is the lifeblood of any new company):
Talk to at least 40 prospects monthly about their needs and goals and how you might help them.
Develop your value selling proposition (VSP) that creates a strong message to those 40 prospects.
Tell your story as loudly and as often as possible. Don’t hide. Put your VSP out on social media. Tell everyone what you do.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Your company’s job is to sell your product or service. It isn’t to make a product or service. Treat sales as a complicated and difficult profession (it is). Hire the best people to run sales, and you will succeed.