Another year, another sales marathon

happy-new-year-2016

A client of mine just concluded his first week back from the Christmas break by having 1:1 Funnel Audits (inspections) with each of his salespeople.

Wow! What a statement – he walked the talk of the importance of working the funnel, and he reinforced the priority that working the funnel should be. For me this was the equivalent of watching a ten year old open the car door for grandma. Makes me feel the future looks bright.

These first of the new year Funnel Audits are unique.  They coincide with and are caught up in the ‘new year resolution’ vibe. If you’re a sales manager I encourage you to consider taking advantage of this ‘new year’ frame of mine to run this Audit with your salespeople different from all others.

Consider using the Audit to discuss any of the following:

  1. If you made any changes to your Funnel Audit process be sure to explain them and the reasons for the changes.
  2. Ask a general question, how do you feel about 2015?  Do you draw any conclusions?
  3. Ask another general question, how do you feel about 2016?  Have you taken time to set any personal goals for 2016?
  4. Find out if the salesperson has evaluated his or her strengths and weaknesses specifically in selling. Does she care to share that with you?
  5. Don’t ask “How can I help you?”  He’s not being elusive when he says “I don’t know”, he’s being honest.  Instead ask “What are you working on that you want to get better at?” After he replies then ask if he would like your help.
  6. If your company uses a sales process you don’t have to make the sales process the story to reinforce its use.   Sometimes the learning and lessons get lost when managers do that. Ask ‘What part of selling do you want to get better at?’ Then, reply using whatever sales process terms you have.  For example my clients might say to a salesperson, “Ok, you want to get better at finding more TVR and Stage 1 opportunities.  Would you like to brainstorm some possibilities?”
  7. Help your salespeople mind their splits. With the new year begun, your people have begun running their next sales marathon. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or off track. Help them ‘mind their splits’, that is focus on getting where they need to be at the end of the first month regarding sales to date and funnel value. Then help them get where they need to be regarding sales and funnel value at the end of the 2nd month, and then the 3rd month, and so on. If they hit their sales and funnel value splits each month they’ll hit their number by year’s end.
  8. As always, consider ending each Funnel Audit with a well-defined 30 Day Plan.

Run hard and run smart!

Related resource:
Check your sales funnel health. Take our free diagnostic.

Source: Another Year, Another Sales Marathon | Mark Sellers | LinkedIn

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Mark Sellers

Mark is an international sales consultant, CEO and founder of the sales consulting firm Breakthrough Sales Performance®. In 2008, he published The Funnel Principle© book and introduced a game-changing standard in the sales funnel called The BuyCycle Funnel™. Since then, sales leaders around the world have hired Mark to implement the 5 Step Funnel Principle Process, an enterprisewide business process for funnel management.
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