EP Huddle #10:
We spend a lot of time talking about each specific sales account and upcoming prospects we expect to move into the pipeline. We discuss appointments scheduled, meetings conducted, proposals sent and sales forecasts.
As a sales organization, we're constantly reviewing data and anecdotal summaries of accounts, campaigns and sales information. But, we've found the best way to approach the idea of sales reporting is to automate the things that can be automated, and then ask for a crystal clear picture of everything else.
The reasons for sales reporting is two fold, but is utilized poorly within many organizations. The reasons are: 1) Sales reporting helps the sales team work together to help generate revenue, solve problems and overcome obstacles. 2) Sales reporting helps management forecast sales numbers and determine what the future sales opportunity looks like. Unfortunately, too many sales leaders only focus on the second reason and aren't asking for information to further help the sales person increase sales and be successful.
Here's a list of (some of) the things we ask for, and a small summary for how this information is delivered.
As a team:
What additional reporting is helpful in your business? As you talk with your group, make sure the following bullet points are considered.
EP Huddle #9
One of the most important questions to ask at the beginning of a sales presentation is "how much time do you have for this call?"
Even if you've said it'll take 30 minutes when you set the meeting, it's important to ask the question in advance of beginning the presentation. And, most people forget to do this.
It's important to explain how the process will go, so that the audience knows what to expect and how their questions will be answered. They'll feel disrespected if you promised 30 minutes and took 2 hours.
Even if they're engaged and see the presentation the whole way through, they'll remember that you took longer than expected and they'll always view you as the long-winded guy.
The worst thing in sales is to have a prospect NOT share information with you. They stop returning calls and they try to preserve your feelings by not saying "no". This leads to you chasing the prospect and wasting a lot of time (not to mention bad forecasting for upcoming sales).
One way to reduce this scenario is to ask up-front how much time they have for the sales call or presentation. This way, you know if they have to leave at a certain time. If they tell you they have nothing scheduled for another hour, and 35 minutes into the call they say they're late for another meeting, then you can formulate an opinion whether they were trying to get out of the call.
If you don't ask the question up-front, you'll never know if they were truthful or not.
As a team:
What are other reasons for asking this question and setting proper expectations up-front?
EP Huddle #7
We talk a lot about the importance of providing customized solutions to your buyers in order to effectively match what you offer with what they're looking for.
Choosing to not have a one-size-fits-all approach will typically lead to more creative sales, larger opportunities and higher profitability. For instance, one of our clients sells social media reporting to attorneys, insurance companies and employment screening companies. There are ultimately two products for sale, but this company generates about 30% of their revenue by offering customized services to their clients. This means they can create products/services on the fly, and take advantage of the customer demand for obscure products and never thought about needs.
But, sometimes that's not entirely true. Over-customizing can lead to loss in productivity and an over complication of the sales process. Sales people waste a lot of time crafting custom solutions with their managers, and marketing people spend a lot of time trying to promote these newly crafted services. Buyers can get frustrated too.
As a Team:
Talk as an entire company (sales, finance, order management, product development, etc.) and determine the following.
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ABOUT EP HUDDLE
All departments within an organization should have a daily 10 minute quick meeting. People call these huddles, stand-ups, meetings, etc. Here you'll find ours.