Your sales team may have the App but what about the application?
For companies that depend on sales people to drive business forward, there are likely times you could hug them and times when they drive you to despair! Undoubtedly, many businesses have employed sales people who appear busy, talk the talk and have all the toys a professional could need such as an iPad and iPhone, yet they don’t deliver as much as we think they should.
ReMap, Northampton use a very robust and accurate profiling tool (the Sales Preference Questionnaire, or SPQ Gold®), to find out how sales people really feel about prospecting and selling. With over 30 years of meticulous research behind the diagnostic tool, there is now unequivocal proof that a sales person’s level of comfort or indeed discomfort, directly impacts how they choose to use their skills and knowledge in sales situations. Performance is affected in two distinct ways:
- Avoidance: Some sales people avoid closing deals, asking certain questions, making telephone calls or challenging customers’ views, because of a lack of willingness to place themselves in a position of personal discomfort. Often, they do indeed have the skill, and the knowledge and will capably demonstrate this in role play, however, it just becomes uncomfortable for them when it is real, and is therefore something they prefer to avoid.
- Sell badly: Sales people who experience discomfort when selling live manage to ‘stumble’ through their calls but their performance is often seen as rushed, mechanical, scripted or lacking authenticity. This is because they are putting most of their focus and energy into ‘coping’ rather than into their sales craft.
For sales management, it is vital to understand exactly what each member of the sales team really think, feel and prefer to do, when working in the field and being paid to move business forward and close deals.
The SPQGold® recognises the 12 different behavioural ‘traits’ which affect a sales person’s performance and identifies that many sales people can be negatively affected by a combination of these issues at various times during their working day. The report produced for each individual measures all 12 traits, but does not attempt to categorize the person. In essence, ReMap provides a full MOT on a person’s emotional resilience for sales and self promotion.
The official collective description for these 12 behavioural traits is Sales Call Reluctance (SCR) which includes some interesting terms such as Yielder, Role Rejection, Social Self Conscious and Over Preparer. However, as we tend to remind our clients, most sales managers can recognise a selection of these potential ‘traits’ in various team members. Why don’t you try it on your own team – here are four for you to consider:
Yielder – A fear of ‘spoiling relationships or upsetting good clients’ which often causes the sales person to back off rather than pursue a matter to achieve satisfactory results. Sales people often lose the ability to close against their own agenda and needs.
Social Self-Conscious – A self-imposed rule engine that prevents effective interaction with certain customer target groups. Triggers tend to be perceived status, wealth, education or reputation differences or inadequacies and in extreme cases it prevents meeting some clients at all.
Over Preparer – A tendency to be drawn into low priority / preferred tasks. Procrastination. Over amplified and unnecessary amounts of preparation analysis are conducted which allows more important but uncomfortable sales tasks to be sidelined or ignored completely.
Role Rejection- Unresolved feelings of dissatisfaction, discomfort or guilt about their career choice. These feelings are often fuelled by their concerns about what significant others think about the sales career they have chosen or a personal feeling of wasted potential.
(NB: Descriptions of all 12 traits can be found at www.ReMap.co.uk/12_types_sales_call_reluctance.aspx)
So if you can accept the premise that it is how comfortable sales people feel about parts of their role which affects the way they perform, the next point to explore is what it is that you can you do with this information to help your sales figures if you think your sales team should be bringing in more revenue.
Here at ReMap, we have been working with SCR for 14 years across a wide selection of industrial sectors and sales channels and offer two levels of support for their clients:
- Staff Development ReMap work to develop existing sales people by using the pragmatic and effective ‘ReMap Development Programme’. It starts with a two day event where the sales people get to understand the theory of SCR, and their own profile results. Their support then transfers to the workplace where ReMap work with the sales people daily for 4 weeks via email and phone in order to change behaviour.
- Recruitment Support ReMap can profile candidates that clients are seriously considering employing and provide a comprehensive bespoke report describing the 12 traits, the sales person’s likely potential for selling for the business, the speed at which this potential could be realised, and the cost to the business to get them to that level.
ReMap offers evaluation case studies to show long term sustainability for what they do for every client. Understandably, many of these reports contain sensitive data but there are some examples of sales increases delivered for clients on the ReMap website (ReMap.co.uk/case_studies.aspx) – typical uplifts in sales range from 25% to 43% within 12 months, post programme.
So if you would like to increase your sales, find out more about the ReMap Programme, or would like to explore the potential of being involved in a subsidised case study which ReMap could then use for promotional purposes then please call Ian Saunders on 01476 870459 or email him at Ian@ReMap.co.uk.
Thank you Ian.