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Reflections on a Week of Small Improvements in B2B Sales Productivity

It’s been a good week. Time to reflect on some of the things we’ve seen and learned:

  • new sales hires are a joy to work with. They’re curious. They’re motivated. They’re not easily discouraged by poor, early, results. More proof that curiousity matters.
  • it takes effort to achieve a result. Yet when results are poor, sellers can get discouraged. They’re tempted to walk away from work they see as having little reward. Whispers of ‘trying hard’ are a first clue that it’s time to try new approaches.
  • focus matters. Sellers are at their best when focused on having value-creating conversations with buyers. Anything that turns their attention to other things lowers their odds of success. Put another way, busy is easy; productive takes focus.
  • metrics that deliver fast proof that sales efforts are *not* engaging buyers in conversation enable sellers to lower their risks of poor sales performance. It personalizes learning. When sellers can see their mistakes, fast, they worry less about making mistakes. They spend less time developing bad habits. Sellers ask more questions, more often, of their managers and peers when it’s clear to themselves that something they’re doing isn’t delivering any verifiable buyer value.
  • when it’s possible to do ‘small lot testing’ on sales tactics, no one has to be the bearer of all wisdom on the ‘right’ thing to try. The effort to ‘get things right’ starts to involve more ‘we’ and less ‘me’ in the discussion.
  • before testing new approaches with prospects, it helps to ‘test’ with peers thru role playing. Put yourself in the role of a buyer. Ask yourself: would this approach cause me to lean into a conversation, or walk away from it?
  • overall, it’s been a week that’s confirmed learning matters, and learning fast matters most.

 

One example of the above: a new hire on Wednesday began calling titles he hadn’t recently called using tactics that had worked well in the past. By that afternoon, he could see that his messages were getting him in the door, but his conversations were not advancing buyers to next steps. He had the data to prove it. He asked for help. With a quick role play, and a bit of related coaching, by end of day he had booked appointments with key players from a target account.

He got a little bit better really quickly. He knows it.

Bring on Monday.

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