June 27

Three Steps to Elevate Sales

You may have noticed that our world is different today than it was 3 years ago. What use to be common place and practice is now changed.

When we talk about sales today, there are new dynamics that must be considered:

  • Virtual selling
  • Buyers who do not want in person meetings
  • Greater economic pressures
  • Massive increases in email traffic

These are just some of the challenges sales efforts face today.

On top of this...there are over 200 different sales assessments (most based in personality measures). Add to that the hundreds of different sales trainings and techniques...and the noise becomes deafening!!

So how do we make sense of all of this? Create agile and resilient salespeople and teams? It is easier than you might think. But first, we have to understand what is driving buyers.

The illustration to the left does a great job of pointing out something very important. Emotional drivers are a large part of the buying decision. Brian Tracy, in his book, "The Psychology of Selling" states, "Buying decisions are 100% emotional." So if all these experts are pointing to emotions as an important factor in sales success...we should consider how to prepare our salespeople (and ourselves) with the skills necessary to navigate the emotional dynamic in the selling effort.

Equipped with this insight, we can now look at Three Steps to Elevating Sales.

Assess

When we want to elevate sales, we need to assess:

  • The current market
  • The relevance and attractiveness of our products and service
  • Our pricing strategy
  • Our messaging/marketing
  • The current state of our sales talent

The first four bullet points depend on many factors unique to the organization. The last bullet point is one that can be extremely beneficial when the right tools are applied. Earlier in this article I mentioned the 200+ sales assessments on the market today. The vast majority of these are personality based. Personality is not a primary predictor of success. It is a look into a persons preferences, styles, and method of communication and collaboration. These are important, but not highly predictive on their own.

I have been in sales more than 40 years. I have known for a long time that something was missing in the way we assess salespeople through various tools of psychology. Then about 10 years ago, I did a deep dive into neuroscience as a part of my consulting and leadership development work. And there it was! Emotional Intelligence! I had waited for years to find an assessment that measured how salespeople were "showing up" to influence others in real time. It simply did not exist...so I worked with the largest emotional intelligence organization in the world to create one. The EQuip Sales Profile is the result. The combination of proven neuroscience (emotional intelligence) with critical Success Factors for sales success. And it makes so much sense when we consider how big a role emotions play in selling to buyers.

Equip

Assessment is just the starting point. The next of the three steps to elevate sales is to equip salespeople to prosper. With the added challenges, equipping needs to be focused and consistent. The old models of a once a year sales training being enough is simply not enough in today's competitive marketplace. If you want a true competitive advantage, training in sales techniques (which is the vast majority of sales training) needs to be enhanced with emotional intelligence training for salespeople, coaching, and rapid access to resources. What does this look like?

  • Train and coach in emotional intelligence to provide salespeople with:
    • A way to create an agile and resilient mindset
    • The ability to navigate the emotions in themselves and in others well
    • The skill of recognizing patterns (buyer decision making patterns)
    • How to build strong internal motivation
    • The ability to leverage optimism to engage buyers
    • How to increase empathy to better understand the buyer's perspective and needs
  • Equip with connection and trust building skills that enhance buyer-seller interactions
  • Learn the power and application of "Hot Cognition" to accelerate sales success

I have focused on the neuroscience aspect of sales training and equipping (the EQFIT® proprietary methodology) because there is simply nothing else like it. And even better, it can be used with any other sales training and equipping process. The EQFIT® process + your sales training = greater success.

Align

The last of the three steps to elevate sales is alignment. Assessing and equipping are great, but without alignment, they will not reach maximum success.

Sales is one of the easier efforts to measure. It is about the numbers. So alignment takes the elements in assessing and equipping and points these in the right direction to achieve the desired outcomes. However, alignment has specific steps within it to ensure success is consistent and sustainable. These are:

  • Success pathway - each individual understands their role and their specific pathway to success.
  • Accountability practices - every role has specific practices and standards of accountability based on their success pathway.
  • Clear measures and metrics - every individual knows and understands what their measures/metrics are for what they are accountable for and how to track progress.
 When all of these steps are defined and understood, then you create freedom for people to put their time, energy , and focus to the best use possible.

KEY POINT: The importance of the equipping process cannot be overstated, especially in sales. People are emotional beings. Their decisions have a very large emotional component. I hope you will explore the benefits of emotional intelligence training and coaching for your salespeople. I believe you will find it to be a magnifier of success...with an added benefit of enhanced confidence and well-being for your people.


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