5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales | Action Selling

5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales

SEPTEMBER 2019 – ISSUE 184

5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales

web ecoach - 5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales

A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS

Dear Sales Executive:

What is the only real reason to employ a sales force at all? My answer is that the fundamental mission of every salesperson is to add value to the products and services you sell. If they can’t do that, they don’t belong on any company’s payroll. Use the internet to sell your stuff instead.

Yet, to most salespeople, the skills most vital to adding value consistently appear to be secrets. That’s right: I’m saying that a particular set of identifiable skills are most crucial to enabling salespeople to do the thing they are hired to do. And, I’m saying that most people employed in sales roles don’t even know what those skills are, never mind how to use or improve them.

Where do I get off making an outrageous claim like that? Read on.

If you have a question about how to make sales training pay off with spectacular results, click on “Ask The eCoach“.

We are committed to your professional success.

Duane Sparks
Author of Action Selling

A WORD FROM DUANE SPARKS

Dear Sales Executive: What is the only real reason to employ a sales force at all? My answer is that the fundamental mission of every salesperson is to add value to the products and services you sell. If they can’t do that, they don’t belong on any company’s payroll. Use the internet to sell your stuff instead. Yet, to most salespeople, the skills most vital to adding value consistently appear to be secrets. That’s right: I’m saying that a particular set of identifiable skills are most crucial to enabling salespeople to do the thing they are hired to do. And, I’m saying that most people employed in sales roles don’t even know what those skills are, never mind how to use or improve them. Where do I get off making an outrageous claim like that? Read on. If you have a question about how to make sales training pay off with spectacular results, click on “Ask The eCoach“. We are committed to your professional success. Duane Sparks Author of Action Selling

5 SECRETS TO RECORD-BREAKING SALES

buttons thumb - 5 Secrets to Record-Breaking SalesAnyone in the sales training industry can make big promises. But is there actually a research-backed pathway to boost performance dramatically and achieve record-breaking sales? As a matter of fact, yes. It’s all about teaching the right skills. Salespeople who complete the Action Selling training program and then go on to achieve a predetermined competency level at each of five critical skills become Action Selling Certified. These certified salespeople learn how to increase the customer’s perception of value of your products and services. They get so good at it that their revenue and margin performance improve at six times (6X) the rate of non-certified salespeople. Certified salespeople improve their performance at 6X the rate of non-certified salespeople. How do we know that these five skills are the ones most critical to sales success? How did we isolate and identify them? We did it through three decades of ground-breaking research (more below). This same research also reveals that most salespeople are oblivious to the five critical skills. In other words, the most important keys to sales success are a mystery to most of the people who sell for a living. That’s why I’m calling them the Five Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales. Here they are: CRITICAL SKILL #1 – Buyer/Seller Relationship. In the course of every major sale, customers follow a predetermined set of buying decisions. They don’t make a single buying decision, they make several. Salespeople who know this, and who match their sales process with the customer’s buying process, are able to differentiate themselves and forge far stronger relationships. And, how do I know that this is a “secret”? Secret #1: Benchmark tests reveal that 82% of salespeople fail to differentiate themselves. CRITICAL SKILL #2 – Sales Call Planning. Most companies lack a well-defined and sustainable sales process. Therefore, salespeople are not coached on how to plan and orchestrate their sales calls and sales cycles properly. Every sales conversation should end in some kind of commitment from the customer—an agreement to do something that will move the sales process forward. This just isn’t happening. Secret #2: 99% of salespeople set the wrong sales call objectives. CRITICAL SKILL #3 – Questioning Skills. Most salespeople do not ask the right types of questions. And, nearly all salespeople fail to ask the best questions. The impact of poor questioning skills is horrendous. It leads to resistance in the form of stalls and objections, bad presentations that offer improper solutions, failure to differentiate from the competition—and missed sales opportunities. Secret #3: 86% of salespeople ask the wrong questions. CRITICAL SKILL #4 – Presentation Skills. Most salespeople claim that this is the skill they are best at. Their managers agree. Everybody’s wrong. In reality, the “gift of gab” has little to do with the quality of sales presentations. When salespeople zero in on presenting only specific solutions to previously agreed-upon needs, they do far less talking. And they rarely fail. Secret #4: 95% of salespeople talk too much. When they talk too much, they listen too little. CRITICAL SKILL #5 – Gain Commitment. This is the principal mission of every salesperson. Every sales call should end with the customer agreeing to take some action that will keep the process moving ahead. But, if you don’t ask for commitment, you will never get it. Secret #5: 64% of salespeople fail to ask for commitment on sales calls. That is appalling. For a fuller discussion of these critical skills and the research that tells us why they matter, download our free white paper, 5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales. Action Selling in Action “We increased our sales growth six times faster following Action Selling training and grew margins at the same time,” exclaims Craig Rand, director of quality and training for Wesco Distribution, a multinational electrical distribution and services company in Pittsburg. “This proves Action Selling certified reps increased their ability to add value to our products and services.” The gains were only possible because Wesco’s salespeople learned the right skills. Where is the research to support my contention that these five skills are most critical to sales success? Since 1990 The Sales Board has been measuring the skills of working salespeople before, during and after training. We also have measured changes in their sales performance (revenue and margins) following training. Because we measured skill development at the same time, we successfully tied those performance changes to improvements in specific skills. More than 400,000 salespeople, from over 3,500 companies, have been benchmarked and then tracked in this manner, using our validated Selling Skills Assessment instrument. That’s how we know which skills have the potential to double revenue for companies like Wesco. That’s how Action Selling-certified salespeople are able to improve their revenue and margin performance at six times the rate of non-certified salespeople. For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485. For a huge advantage over your competition, download our free white paper, 5 Secrets to Record-Breaking Sales.