May 2024 Newsletter

May 2024 Newsletter

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – The Trusted Advisor: Excelling in Consumable Product Sales – E70

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – The Trusted Advisor: Excelling in Consumable Product Sales – E70

Welcome to another insightful episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” where hosts, Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey, delve into the often-overlooked realm of consumable sales. In this episode, they explore strategies for making that initial sale and ensuring repeat business in a competitive market. Whether you’re selling paper, steel, lubricants, or any consumable product, this episode is packed with valuable insights for sales professionals at all levels.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. The Importance of Being a Trusted Advisor: Understanding the significance of building solid customer advisory relationships in consumable sales.
  2. Selling Beyond the Product: How to add value and differentiate yourself when selling widely available products that are similar across competitors.
  3. Strategies for New Territory Development: Tips for sales leaders and salespeople on effectively breaking into and growing new sales territories.
  4. Crafting a Unique Selling Proposition (USP): The necessity of developing a compelling USP, even for distributors of similar products.
  5. Role of Sales Managers and CEOs: The importance of leadership in providing tools and processes to support the sales team in delivering value.
  6. Maintaining Customer Satisfaction: Strategies for keeping customers engaged and ensuring repeat business in a competitive environment.

Key Quotes

  • Sean: “The value you bring is you. The value you bring is your ability to understand the prospect, your ability to guide the prospect.”
  • Kevin: “Figure out for yourself what makes the most value for your customers. When they say, ‘thank you,’ what do they say thank you for?”

Additional Resources

  • Book: “Challenger Sale” – Recommended for understanding the concept of challenging and driving customer business – https://a.co/d/cIUwphe.
  • Book: “Eliminate Your Competition” by Sean O’Shaughnessey https://a.co/d/4qCVNEP.

Summary

In this episode, Kevin and Sean provide a deep dive into the world of consumable sales, emphasizing the importance of being more than just a salesperson – being a trusted advisor. They discuss the necessity of understanding your product and your customer, crafting a unique selling proposition, and the critical role of sales managers and CEOs in empowering their teams. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting, this episode offers practical advice and strategies to excel in the competitive market of consumable sales. Tune in to “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” for these and more invaluable sales insights.

Elevating Your Sales Operations with New Sales Expert

Elevating Your Sales Operations with New Sales Expert

My mission is to bridge the expertise gap that hinders many companies from scaling their operations to the desired heights. The core issue often resides within the sales sector of these organizations, and this is where my expertise becomes a game changer.

Understanding the Challenge

Many company owners, be they founders or inheritors of the business, come to a crucial realization at some juncture in their entrepreneurial journey. Despite their prowess in product development, manufacturing, or service provision, they identify a glaring deficiency in their sales acumen. This inadequacy, unfortunately, bars them from propelling their companies to the next level of revenue generation and market share acquisition. The earnest attempts they might have made to rectify this situation often end in futility due to a lack of specialized knowledge in sales. Hence, they seek external expertise to resolve this bottleneck.

Affordable Expertise

A common concern among these business owners is the affordability of engaging a sales expert. While it’s true that the investment required for a full-time engagement may seem steep, my services are offered on a fractional basis, making them a viable option for many. The value of having a seasoned professional revamp your sales operations far outweighs the cost.

Creating a Self-Sufficient Sales Operation

With a wealth of 38 years of experience, I step into your organization to set up a robust sales team, instill effective sales methodologies, and fine-tune the messaging to resonate with your target market. By doing so, I lay a solid foundation for your sales team to thrive long after my engagement concludes. The emphasis is on creating a self-sufficient sales apparatus that continues to deliver results, allowing me to transition to aiding other businesses facing similar challenges.

Actionable Advice

  • Evaluate your current sales operations to identify areas of improvement.
  • Consider the value of engaging an external sales expert on a fractional basis to address these areas.
  • Ensure the transition plan post-engagement is straightforward, enabling your sales team to sustain the improvements.

Reflect on these steps and envision the transformation your sales operations could undergo with the right expertise steering the helm. The goal is to achieve a state of self-sufficiency in your sales operations that guarantees sustained revenue growth, thereby unlocking the full potential of your enterprise.

Leadership Styles Differ Based on the Situation: Sales Growth vs. Sales Recovery 

Leadership Styles Differ Based on the Situation: Sales Growth vs. Sales Recovery 

By Sean O’Shaughnessey & Kevin Lawson

As B2B-focused businesses navigate the ever-changing landscape of a post-COVID economy, sales leaders must adopt and institute strategies to meet the demands of a business in growth or recovery mode. 

While the goal for a sales organization may be to sustain the growth trajectory aligned with organizational goals, the year-over-year approach to achieving success can vary significantly. Sales leadership styles depend on the current situation, the starting point, and the existing team charged to accomplish the goal. Good sales leaders find a way to achieve the annual goal; great sales leaders find ways to achieve the goal and systemize the process to allow for repeatable growth, pivots, and rapid scale.      

Growth Focused Leadership

Sales leaders focused on growth must proactively identify new market opportunities, verticals, geographies, platforms, or sales talent. They must invest in new sales channels and technologies, along with onboarding and training programs to support the growth of their sales teams and the acquisition of new client relationships.

When sales teams are in a breakout stage of growth, it can be challenging to gain the discipline to systems and alignment on processes and approaches due to the nature of managing client expectations on a wildly rising revenue outlook. This situation demands that all of the skills of a sales leader be applied consistently and strategically across the team and sales practices.  

Seasoned leaders know that hiring for an increased workload and rapidly scaling teams can be tempting. However, this approach can often lead to problems down the line. Further, we must suppress the desire to hire quickly instead of exercising patience in finding the right candidate to continue to scale teams and culture appropriately. That patience means we must endure the short-term challenges of being under-resourced and under a great deal of pressure to keep performing as if we already had the resources on the team.  Instead, it is essential to focus on finding the right candidate who will not only be able to handle the current workload but also contribute to your team’s culture and help your organization achieve long-term success. Take the time to vet candidates carefully and consider not only their skills and experience but also their values and how they fit into your team’s dynamic. By prioritizing quality over speed, you’ll set your team up for success in the long run.

Another important consideration when building a team is to prioritize scalability. It’s easy to get caught up in your organization’s immediate needs and hire for the present moment, but it’s crucial to think about how your team will grow and evolve. Look for candidates with the potential to take on new responsibilities and leadership roles as your organization expands. Consider investing in training and professional development programs to help your team members acquire new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. By prioritizing scalability, you’ll be better equipped to adapt to changing business needs and continue to achieve success over the long term.

Discipline to proven systems is essential for leadership and having transparent KPIs and organizational goal communications. The rigor and discipline of a sales leader in a growth cycle are particularly demanding. One primary concern for leaders in this mode is talent loss due to competitive pressures to grab your resources for their growth. It would help if you had experience and discipline for these growth moments.

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Unlocking Your Company’s Potential: The Power of a Strong Sales Organization in Driving Revenue Growth and Boosting Valuation

Unlocking Your Company’s Potential: The Power of a Strong Sales Organization in Driving Revenue Growth and Boosting Valuation

A strong sales organization is the cornerstone of any successful business. The sales team serves as the company’s lifeblood, driving revenue growth and ensuring long-term financial stability. When a company prepares for a merger, acquisition, or public offering, having a strong sales team can translate into a higher valuation. 

A strong sales organization is the backbone of a thriving business, as it directly impacts revenue generation. When a company’s sales team is well-organized, well-trained, and motivated, they become more effective in closing deals and fostering relationships with clients. This increased effectiveness leads to more sales, ultimately resulting in higher revenues and profits for the company.

By investing in a strong sales organization, businesses can capitalize on opportunities and achieve maximum value. The best sales organizations have a proven track record of success. These teams have established a consistent sales process, streamlined communication channels, and aligned with the company’s overall business goals.

A successful sales team is crucial for driving revenue growth. The following factors contribute to a sales organization’s ability to increase revenues and profits:

  1. A clear sales strategy
  2. A process-oriented approach
  3. High-quality sales training and coaching
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Sales Coaching: A Key Tool for Achieving Business Growth in B2B Sales

Sales Coaching: A Key Tool for Achieving Business Growth in B2B 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:

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3.  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.
  4.  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:

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3.  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.
  4.  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.
  5.  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.

Header Photo by cottonbro studio
Leading Your Sales Team to Success: 5 Best Practices You Need to Know

Leading Your Sales Team to Success: 5 Best Practices You Need to Know

In today’s highly competitive business environment, sales leaders play a crucial role in the success of their organizations. They are responsible for setting sales targets, creating effective sales strategies, and motivating their teams to achieve their goals. However, being an effective sales leader requires more than just setting targets and motivating your team. This article will explore the five best practices of effective sales leaders.

1. Set clear and achievable goals.

One of the primary responsibilities of a sales leader is to set clear and achievable goals for their team. Setting goals is critical to keeping your team focused and motivated. With clear goals, your team will know what they are working towards and may be able to achieve the results you expect.

When setting goals, it’s essential to make them SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

  • Specific goals are clear and well-defined. 
  • Measurable goals allow you to track progress and determine success.
  • Achievable goals are realistic and within reach. 
  • Relevant goals align with your organization’s overall objectives. 
  • Time-bound goals have a deadline or timeframe for completion.

Setting SMART goals gives your team a clear direction and purpose. This guidance helps them focus their efforts on the activities that will help them achieve their objectives.

2. Develop a sales strategy.

Once you have set your sales goals, the next step is to develop a sales strategy. A sales strategy outlines your team’s approach to achieving its goals. It includes the tactics and activities that your team will use to reach its targets.

Your sales strategy should be based on deeply understanding your market, customers, and competitors. It should also take into account your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. A good sales strategy is flexible and adaptable. It allows your team to adjust its approach based on the market or changes in customer needs.

When developing your sales strategy, it’s essential to involve your team. Your sales team has firsthand knowledge of your customers and their challenges. You can tap into their expertise by involving your team in the strategy development process and gain buy-in for the approach.

3. Provide ongoing training and coaching.

Sales is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. To be successful, your sales team needs ongoing training and coaching. Ongoing training helps your team stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices. It also helps them develop new skills and techniques that can help them close more deals.

Coaching is equally essential. Sales coaching helps your team identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to overcome challenges. It also gives your team feedback and support, helping them stay motivated and focused.

You must understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses to provide effective training and coaching. This requires regular communication and feedback. Regular one-on-one meetings with your team members can help you identify areas for improvement and develop tailored coaching plans.

4. Foster a positive team culture.

Sales can be a high-pressure and stressful environment. To be successful, your team needs to work well together and support each other. This requires a positive team culture.

A positive team culture is built on trust, respect, and collaboration. It’s a culture where team members feel valued and appreciated. It’s also a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.

As a sales leader, you are critical in fostering a positive team culture. You need to lead by example and model the behaviors you want to see in your team. You also need to encourage open communication and provide opportunities for team members to collaborate and work together.

5. Use data to drive decisions.

Finally, effective sales leaders use data to drive their decisions. Data provides insights into your team’s performance and helps you identify areas for improvement. It also lets you track progress toward your goals and make informed decisions about your sales strategy.

To use data effectively, you need the right tools and systems. This includes a robust CRM system that captures and tracks critical sales metrics such as leads, opportunities, and pipeline value. It also provides analytics tools to help you analyze your data and gain insights into your team’s performance.

Data can also be used to optimize your sales process. By analyzing your sales data, you can identify bottlenecks and areas where your team struggles. This allows you to develop targeted interventions to improve performance.

Effective sales leaders use data to continuously improve their sales process and drive results. They are always looking for ways to optimize their approach and stay ahead of the competition.

Being an effective sales leader requires a combination of skills and practices. It requires setting clear and achievable goals, developing a sales strategy, providing ongoing training and coaching, fostering a positive team culture, and using data to drive decisions. By following these best practices, sales leaders can motivate their teams and drive results. They can also create a culture of continuous improvement that allows their organization to stay ahead of the competition.

Header image by Tumisu from Pixabay
Maximizing Sales Performance: The Power of Coaching

Maximizing Sales Performance: The Power of Coaching

As a small business owner, you know that your company’s success depends on your sales team’s performance. That’s why providing your team with the tools they need to improve their skills and achieve goals is crucial. Regular coaching sessions help your sales team grow and perform at their best.

Identify Areas of Struggle and Success

Coaching allows you to identify areas where sales team members are struggling; while recognizing areas of success. You help your sales team focus on growth areas by acknowledging what works well or needs improvement. This effort fosters a culture of continuous improvement and provides sales team members with the tools they need to be successful.

Be Specific and Constructive

It is essential to be specific and constructive when providing coaching and feedback and providing actionable feedback that focuses on particular areas for improvement. By focusing on specific areas for improvement, you can help your sales team make changes to improve performance.

Provide Support and Guidance

Regular coaching and feedback sessions allow sales leaders to work closely with each sales team member, providing them with the guidance and support they need to improve their skills and achieve their goals. This coaching can include setting individual sales targets, providing training resources, and offering personalized support for each team member’s unique needs. By providing this support and guidance, you can help your sales team to succeed and contribute to the overall success of your business.

Regular coaching and feedback sessions are essential for improving the skills and performance of your sales team. By identifying areas of struggle and success, being specific and constructive in your feedback, and providing support and guidance, you can help your sales team achieve their goals and drive success for your small business. Remember, investing in your sales team is an investment in the future success of your business.