Are your sales sluggish, unpredictable and off quota? Do you scramble at month-end or quarter-close to figure out how to pull revenue forward just to keep you alive for another month? Are you staring Q4 in the face and wondering how in the world you are going to make this year a success?
You are working harder than ever, putting in long hours and still, your results are abysmal.
If only there was a better way!! If only there were one of those YouTube videos that show you how to hack sales like there are for seemingly everything else, from how to clean your house faster to organizing your office items (baking soda, vinegar, dryer sheets, clips and toilet paper tubes seem to be the secret).
Good news – there are a few sales hacks that will certainly put you on the path to sales effectiveness and continuous success.
Here are 6 things that Sales Hackers do so much better than Sales Slackers.
Hacker: Has an updated profile with a professional picture, a title that speaks to the value they deliver, connections that are ever increasing and interacts with them regularly. Spends a few minutes each day to get a pulse on the industry, understand his prospects interests and to post a thought-leadership article or share a relevant piece of information.
Slacker: Has only basic information on his profile, doesn’t stay in touch with connections, has no system for utilizing LinkedIn daily or worse, only uses it when the heat is on and needs to start looking for a new job.
Hacker: Has a clearly defined set of prospects based upon the ideal characteristics of a great client. These characteristics are not limited to financial characteristics (they buy a lot of what we sell), but include operational (we can service them really well) and culture (they will appreciate our relationship as much as we will). Hackers understand that not all prospects are good prospects, and that in order to form collaborative relationships, both parties need to find value in the partnership. The Hacker focuses all efforts on these specific targets, creating value messaging and consistent contact patterns.
Slacker: Has a territory.
Hacker: Has a few scripts MEMORIZED so that he is ready for every initial conversation and most common objections. A great script is 100% customer-oriented and benefits the customer throughout the entire conversation. The Hacker internalizes the script and thus strengthens his belief in their service offerings. Oh and as a result, he avoids being thrown off track by objections!
Slacker: Prefers to “keep it real”. A Slacker thinks he can handle the conversations on the fly just fine. Really? Try competing with a Hacker on this one. Oh wait, he probably is.
4. The Telephone
Hacker: Actually uses it. Hackers pick up the phone and call their targeted prospects and use their scripts to begin the call or to leave messages if no one answers. And guess what? They get meetings. Maybe not on the first call or even on the second call. But they get meetings because they have a system of staying top of mind. It includes social selling (see #1), it includes targeted messaging (see #2) and it includes communicating in multiple ways, including the phone.
Slacker: Believes that no one listens to voice mails anymore and doesn’t want to feel like a pest. Decides to just send an email because "it will get read".
5. Problem Solving
Hacker: Knows that unless he can solve a customer problem, there won’t be a need to do business together – enough said. The Hacker focuses all efforts on understanding the customer’s operating reality, finding the gap in their world as it stands, and working to fill that gap with something better. Lives by the motto: “If we solve our customers’ problems, we solve our own”®
Slacker: Talks about himself or his company from the very first interaction and every interaction that follows. It’s pretty apparent that he is trying to solve his own problem - quota shortfall. (This does make them a pest and that’s why they don’t want to leave voicemails – see #4).
6. Effective Meetings
Hacker: Has a pre-call plan. Is prepared with a strong opening, focuses on adding value, asks great questions, has a call to action and keeps the meetings as short as possible. Instead of 30 minutes, hackers go for 20. Instead of an hour, they go for 45 minutes. And they can - because they are prepared and efficient. Prospects notice this and are very appreciative. So appreciative that they set a next step meeting.
Slacker: Shows up for sales meetings without an agenda or clear plan. Wastes several minutes chit-chatting and confuses the prospect as to exactly what the value of this meeting is. If they’re lucky, the prospect agrees to meet again. Most likely, the prospect just asks for pricing or a proposal – which btw, never amounts to anything but more work for the slacker. See our blog, We Came in NOTHING again.
So you see, Sales Slackers don’t necessarily sit around doing as little as possible, they are just not efficient or effective. And Sales Hackers don’t necessarily work 90 hours a week. They just know how to get results through a disciplined, process-based approach.
Butler Street specializes in Sales Effectiveness. If you or your team is stuck in Sales Slacker mode, contact us. We can help you become Sales Hackers!