Q: How can I help my sales people make the numbers without over-pressuring them?
A: When you always pressure sales people to produce results and make the numbers, they, in turn, will pressure their customers. Your customers can feel like they are being forced to buy or have to make a decision faster than they like, resulting is lost sales, credibility and if it persists you may lose the relationship altogether. So, this hard focus on sales may cost you in the long run. I am not suggesting that you don’t demand high standards of performance, quite the opposite. However, you have to use the right kind of pressure.
When you stop focusing on sales and start focusing on sales performance, suddenly making the numbers gets simpler and easier.
Whenever I tell business owners and leaders this, it gets’ their attention. They squint their eyes and furrow their brow and then ask me “how do we not focus on the sales numbers”? It has to do with what immediately happens to your sales thinking, decisions, and actions when you start focusing on performance instead of making the sale.
Think about it…. Your sales people can’t control the sale because you can’t control your customer’s decision to buy. However, your salespeople can influence the sale. They can control what actions they take that can facilitate customer’s decisions that will move the sale forward. So instead of pressuring them to pick up the pace, focus your attention on what they control.
The next time you review the sales pipeline with your salespeople,
- Focus on their plans for closing the gap between where the sales are now, and where it needs to be.
- Ask them to identify specific accounts or opportunities that have the potential for additional sales and what specifically are they doing to move the sale forward.
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