Sales behavior and sales success

Business Intelligence Building strong relationships with customers should be top of the agenda for sales managers. But good banter and a winning smile can only go so far. To foster a genuine relationship built on trust and loyalty, sales reps will need to know their customers inside out, and offer genuine value. Gathering customer data is a great start but extracting business value from that data is the real key to uncovering new sales opportunities.

Sales behavior and sales success

To understand this disconnect, we observed sales professionals in live sales meetings.

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We discovered eight sets of sales behaviours. The bad news is that only three of them — accounting for a mere 37 percent of salespeople — were effective.

Managers can effect changes in their current salespeople and recruit better team members in the future if they understand the eight sets of behaviours.

Sales behavior and sales success

Selling is an important job. It is noticeable that major customers are becoming more demanding of their suppliers, and in many cases it is the sales team that has to respond to these greater demands. Yet, despite this, many sales people perform less well than they should.

Previous research has shown that customers look for three key factors in sales people: However, until now, little has been known about what it is that good sales people do in sales meetings and how that differs from what happens in unsuccessful sales meetings.

So, we worked with Silent Edge, a specialist consultancy, which has used a detailed scorecard to collect observations of no fewer than live sales meetings over six years.

We subjected these observations to a rigorous analysis. The results tell us a great deal about success in selling. Eight Sets of Sales Behaviours Our results show that there are eight sets of sales behaviours that sales people use in meetings. From least to most successful, these are: Each set of behaviours with the possible exception of Experts have their strengths and weaknesses, which should influence the training and development they receive.

The best Experts nine percent Make selling seem effortless, keep customers happy, and clearly outperform their peers. Experts generate few objections from customers, probably because they are highly trusted. They need little coaching and could themselves be valuable mentors for less successful sales people.

Closers 13 percent Pull off some very big deals typically in product sales rather than in service sales and can effectively counter customer objections.

Sales Behaviour links to Sales Success

But their smooth talking style puts some customers off. But they tend to be one-dimensional and to forego valuable case examples that could boost sales. They are also less careful at pre-meeting preparation: Coaching should focus on pre-meeting preparation and meeting planning.Use every sales pursuit as an opportunity for your salespeople to practise their competence in the fundamental sales behaviors that bring success until they have obtained fluency, and ultimately, mastery.

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