The biggest challenges facing sales today

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We all cannot deny that the landscape of the sales professional has changed. The way we sell, the way we close and what we sell has also to a degree evolved. Over the years while training and coaching salespeople and those that lead them, I have  always highlight some key areas that could change the way you sell effectively and now more than ever these aspects have been fundamental if you want to succeed in this economic climate.. If you’re lacking in one of these areas, you’re never going to reach your true sales potential. This remains true, regardless of the impact of Covid.

Sales results against target

As a salesperson or if you lead a team your primary goal and the reason you are employed is that you need to produce results. So, if we cut to the chase if you are not meeting your reason for being employed your future at the organization is questionable regardless of the reason why. We have all faced the pandemic and the effects however, as a sales professional regardless of circumstance we are there to sell the product or service. We should have a base of skills that make us different and valuable. We know how to sell regardless of the obstacles is it not? Your sales target is not your goal. Your sales target is your company’s minimum expectation of you, the reason they hired you in the role. The end result of anything in sales by which we measure our success and how many /people companies we are helping, is the scoreboard – your results against target.

The importance of a "real" Pipeline

We have heard the cliché "Sales in a numbers game" and the more you see the more you close right? The pipeline is the reflection of those proverbial numbers popping out of the funnel to transform into a solid sale. The question you should be asking right now is are you in a drought or is your sales pipeline full? The health of your sales pipeline is the lifeline to your sales results. The second question to ask if your pipeline full is it real or optimistic? Too often pipelines are optimistic and exaggerated at best. I recommend being brutally honest and disqualifying anything in your pipeline if you cannot put a yes against all of the following:

  • Do I understand the core need of the client?
  • Do I understand clearly what they are looking to resolve / achieve and why?
  • Do I have clarity on what the objectives are and how to achieve them?
  • Do I understand their sense of urgency to achieve / resolve their objectives?
  • Do I understand if they can afford what we are offering (i.e., budget)?
  • Do I understand their decision-making process and timelines?Do they want my help?

Consider these and then ask yourself again: Do I have a strong sales pipeline or am I feeling the pressure of a pipeline drought?

Understanding the power of a Qualified meeting

Do you really know and understand what a QUALIFIED MEETING is? Have you defined what a qualified meeting is and how to measure if you have achieved what was set out in the qualified meeting outline? The main reason behind a poor sales pipeline is that you are not seeing enough qualified people and having a meeting that meets the qualified meeting criteria that you can help and will buy from you.
Here’s a quick exercise: Look back at the past four weeks: how many new sales meetings should you have set up? How many did you actually set up? What’s your shortfall?
Now look at the upcoming two weeks: How many meetings should you have in your diary? How many do you actually have? Yes, sales is a numbers game and it all begins with the amount of QUALIFIED meetings you are having daily, weekly and monthly. Perhaps to resolve you pipeline drought begin with conducting qualified meetings.

Prospecting does not need to be Cold Calling

Many sales professionals are unsure what prospecting truly is, the immediate response would be "cold calling". This is often the mistake, and it is then avoided. Prospecting has many avenues to research, and the key to effective prospecting is in actual fact focusing on low hanging fruit and effectively transforming a cold call into a warn one. If you can do this creatively by asking for referrals, using tools like LinkedIn and your database the idea of cold calling becomes a bit more palatable. The cause more often than not for insufficient new meetings is a lack of consistent daily prospecting activity. The word prospecting is associated with the gold rush when people around the world rushed to gold fields in the hope of finding wealth. The first prospecting tool was a pan. The men would get down and sift the river sand, looking for gold – not just once or twice, but from sunrise to sunset. Why? Because the potential personal reward was worth all the effort.
It continues to baffle me as to how low the general daily prospecting activity is and how little time salespeople put aside to do what should be their number one non-negotiable activity. Are you committed to daily prospecting activity to achieve your end results? How much time should you be dedicating to prospecting daily to fill your calendar, pipeline and achieve great results?
 
My checklist for sales success:

  • My sales results against target for the last 3 months
  • My qualified sales pipeline for the next 3 months: what it should be and what it is
  • New qualified sales meetings for the last 4 weeks booked and seen: what it should have been and what it was
  • New qualified sales meetings booked for the next 2 weeks: what it should be and what it is
  • Have I done enough daily prospecting activity for the past 4 weeks – what is my standard?
  • Companies / people on my prospect list: how many should I have weekly and how many do I have?

We all have areas that we are struggling with both managing and executing the perfect sale. In some cases, the simple answers and solutions are hidden due to the fact that we are so close to the problem. In this case we need a person with a fresh perspective to either identify the source of the struggle or then point us in the direction to the solution. 

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The Faces of a Sales Manager

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Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?


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The Face of effective online Management (standalone)

ZAR 1,500.00

STANDALONE COURSE MODULE

Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?
This is just a stand alone modular course which is also included as a limited time special offer in
THE FACES OF A SALES MANAGER

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Faces of a Sales Manager Mini Course 1

ZAR 3,500.00

MINI COURSE
Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?

We have taken select segments:
Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4 from the full course
to create a mini course to
bring the price down for you!

Then this course is for you!

Faces of a Sales Manager Mini Course 2

ZAR 3,500.00

MINI COURSE
Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?

We have taken select segments:
Chapters 5, 6, 7 & 8 from the full course
to create a mini course to
bring the price down for you!

Then this course is for you!

Faces of a Sales Manager Mini Course 3

ZAR 3,500.00

MINI COURSE
Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?
We have taken select segments:
Chapters 2, 4, 6 & 7 from the full course
to create a mini course to
bring the price down for you!

Then this course is for you!

Faces of a Sales Manager Mini Course 4

ZAR 3,500.00

MINI COURSE
Are you an up and coming Salesperson ready to take on the role of managing a team OR a seasoned Sales Manager in need of some fresh insight, direction and tools.

Alternatively you could be a Senior Manager, managing a group of Sales Managers and you have utilized all avenues to keep them motivated, on target and have shared all your experience and knowledge and need something new and fresh?
We have taken select segments:
Chapters 1, 4, 5 & 6 from the full course
to create a mini course to
bring the price down for you!

Then this course is for you!

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About Landie Stevens

Landie Stevens has been involved in various aspects of sales and business management over the past twenty five plus years, seventeen of those years have been within a senior management role and over the last eight years she has been running her own national coaching, training and consulting platform, both face to face and online.

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