Sales Hunger – Unleash the Wolf!
Sales people want to sell. There I said it. It is true, they love it, they love hunting for prospects, they love the presentations, and they love selling the benefits of their products and love the hell out of closing the client. Why? Because they are hungry for the sale. Or they should be.
I have been in sales for to many years to count, sold all sorts of things too, but one thing I know made me sure that sales what something I loved was the need to hunt for the sale and close it. Why? Because there is a certain buzz you get when you have the client say ‘yes’ to you and agrees to buy your product or service. Running my own business now affords me the chance to speak to so many different buyers and use my skills for sales and the buzz and feeling I get is like nothing else and I know, that this is the ‘hunger’ being satisfied. Yet the ‘hunger’ comes back and that is what keeps me going, wanting that feeling again and again.
Sounds pretty vulgar right? Well it might be to people who don’t sell or don’t want to sell or simply cannot sell. However when we look to recruit sales people, or train sales people then we need a certain attitude to be in place and this attitude also needs to include this sales hunger.
The problem is, that companies often look to suppress this hunger with a deluge of paperwork and admin as part of the role, and whilst in some companies it is essential, a sales person will not really like doing admin, they want to sell. If you have sales people who prefer rather than have to do admin, and hide behind spreadsheets and paperwork then really, find new sales people, right now, as there is something else going on with them. Hint: wrong job!
Sales hunger is essential for business, it keeps the engine running and the motivation to bring in more clients, these new clients help to replace expired clients, or clients that for whatever reason have decided to move on. If a business doesn’t keep this stock of clients topped up then it’s own stock will deplete. End of.
So how can we keep the hunger alive? We create Sales Dysmorphia!
To keep sales people hungry, we need to understand a sales person’s motivation, and keep them always dissatisfied with their own performance. That doesn’t mean that the Sales Managers must demonstrate this dissatisfaction with their sales team that would be stupid. No instead we need to ensure that Sales people always want to be better, do more, strive onwards and to do this they need feel a sense of dissatisfaction, and that manifests itself as a continued hunger.
Types of Sales Person
Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson define sales people typology in their book The Challenger Sale. There are five types:
- The relationship builder
- The hard worker
- The problem solver
- The lone wolf
- The challenger
The sales hunger is often most prevalent in the Lone Wolf as they make up their own rules and want to do things their own way, and the Challenger as they are happy to bring positive tension to the sale that really gets the hunger to buy into the client’s mind. Talk about transference! These two sales person types get great results; especially in the more complex sales and use insight and opinion to get into new clients, result? They are really effective at new business. This is not to say that the former three sales types are not good, it is just that their focus is on their key area; the relationship, working hard and solving problems.
What Buyers want from the Hungry Sales Person?
The days of calling a client to ‘find out the need’ or ‘solve the problem’ or ‘make a friend’ are long gone. Clients no the sales game, and want to buy on their own terms, they need sales people to collaborate with them not manipulate them with clunky outdated sales process, no client ever wants to hear “so if I can show you a way to do XXX you will do YYY?” yuck! Things have evolved and buyers are far more sophisticated now. This sophistication means that sales people can continue to be hungry and go after the sale, just using more collateral, opinion, insight, market knowledge, competitor knowledge why? Because that is what clients want now?
Here’s the proof.
In a recent October 2014 study (so 18months ago) by the Corp Executive Board Company, buyers claimed that they wanted ‘a sales experience’ and that it counted for 53% contribution to their loyalty. They wanted sales people to be actually ‘wanting’ their business, to offer something unique and relevant, not just different! (How many times do we hear ‘different’ snore…), they wanted to be educated and guided through the competition, they wanted evidence that the sales person has testimonials not only on the product they sold but also on themselves. That latter point alone is a clear sign that collaboration is key and finally they wanted the process to be easy with pitfalls clearly highlighted and easy to avoid.
Keeping Accountability and Hunger Going
Sales people are so good at what they do, remember they actually convince clients to part with their money, how brilliant is that as a skill? They need to be kept hungry by recording activity, productivity and conversion rates so that there is visibility on what they are doing. This doesn’t impinge of any autonomy; instead it allows the sales person to be more ‘conscious’ of what they are doing instead of just doing the routine or the ‘milk round’ as I have recently heard it called. The added benefit of course is that the Sales Manager can effective develop and reward their teams using a great performance management tools.
Look at your sales team, ask yourself “Are they Hungry” or are they bored with the same diet? Give them a new prey to focus on and unleash the inner wolf.
Thanks for reading, if your team need effective training in sales skills then give me a call on 07979 537824 or email me Simon@serialtrainer7.com