Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S. (that’s 1 in 8 jobs) are full-time sales positions. Yet, The Brevet Group finds a whopping 55% of sales professionals don’t even have the right skills to be successful in these roles! How could this be? Is there a lack of sales talent or is it a lack of the appropriate tools and training sales professionals need to be successful? We tend to see and believe the latter.
Tools for Transparency
When a sales professional joins a new company, they typically receive standard company training, devices (i.e. company phone, laptop and/ or tablet), and tools. In most cases, “tools” is actually a singular tool – the CRM. But, how effective can a sales professional be when we know how little data ends up in the CRM? (Salesforce reports 91% of CRM data is incomplete.) Meanwhile, 71% of sales professionals believe they spend too much time on data entry (Toutapp). How can we set our sales professionals up for success from the beginning?
Last week, we wrote about democratizing your data and making it accessible to professionals across your organization. This access allows for greater transparency and improvements to the overall sales process. Why is this important? Because 88% of missed opportunities are a direct result of the inability of sales to effectively find or leverage internal resources (Qvidian). These resources can be the tools; or, more commonly, the other individuals within your company who are involved in the client or prospective customer relationship. A CRM alone doesn’t allow you to know that relationship data. What if you could not only see these other key individuals involved in deals, but you could also access the same data and information they have on hand? Tools and transparency are key to setting a sales team up for success.
Coaching for Success
Tools and transparency alone can’t do it. Let’s hit pause for a moment to look at what essential “skills” are required in a sales professional for effective selling. According to Geoffrey James, an award-winning sales blogger, author, and speaker (@Sales_Source), there are eight essential skills:
- Researching Prospects
- Planning Meetings
- Creating Rapport
- Asking Questions
- Listening Actively
- Presenting Solutions
- Asking for Commitment
- Building Relationships
Though some of these skills are down to the professional being natural and personable, while majority of these skills involve relationships and highlight the necessity for sales coaching. Last year, we offered tips for coaching and talked about the difference between training and coaching. Training is what you do when you have a new employee. Coaching is what you do on an ongoing basis to empower your sales force and guide them towards growth and success.
With transparency comes opportunity. Access to data allows sales managers and leaders to be in-the-know without being a “helicopter boss.” No more check-in meetings or office drop-bys. With SalesWise, all the information you need is there on one digital card – visibility into every sales interaction – making relationships more portable and sharable across your entire sales and non-sales teams.
Tools and coaching can play a crucial role in enabling sales for your organization. Learn how #CheckTheCard can be the key tool for your company’s successful sales force! Visit http://www.saleswise.com/the-platform/.