Sales Question:“Other than improving specific sales techniques, what other advice do you have that may help improve an individual’s sales numbers?“
SalesBuzz Answer: By Michael Pedone
That’s a pretty wide-open request but here are a few areas that new sales people need to excel in and veteran sales people might need reminding of:
1) Tone / Enthusiasm Level
The tone of your voice is critical when selling by phone. We are all human which means we don’t always feel like being energetic, happy or helpful. But that’s no excuse. Once you walk through the door and pick up the phone, it’s game time. Everything else needs to be pushed aside and you have to make sure your tone and enthusiasm level is spot on. (If a personal issue is truly bothering you that much to where you cannot perform as required, inform your sales manager and go get it handled – family first in all things and you can’t take care of your family if you aren’t able to take care of yourself).
I’m not a “rah-rah / get crazy to sell” kind of guy. I’m not into that kind of false enthusiasm. What I am into however is helping those that I can help. Having that as my #1 priority gets my tone and energy level right where it needs to be.
2) Call Volume / Talk Time
The optimal sales call to talk time ratio for B2B inside sales is 60 dials per day and/or 3-hours of talk time. If you are doing less than the minimum in BOTH categories, you would benefit from increasing your output level. Some days you may only have 40 dials but have 3-hours of talk time. That is perfectly fine. Other days you may have 60-dials but only an hour and a half talk time. Again, perfectly fine. It will all balance out in the end. But if your sales days consist of 40 dials per day and only 2 hours of talk time, your focus isn’t where it needs to be. You either need to say “NO” to other activities that are pulling you away from making your dials or you need to solve what’s causing your “call reluctance”.
3) Think Quick On Your Feet
Selling by phone is fluid. That’s why it is important to have a baseline sales process to follow to help keep you on the right track, as well as to know what to do when a prospect throws you a curve ball when they respond in a different way than you expect.
It’s imperative that you are able to process and respond appropriately in an extremely fast time frame. The “deer in headlights” doesn’t play well during a sales call. Those “ums” and delayed pauses need to be replaced with quick decision making responses that move the sales call to the next step. The way that happens is by knowing what sales step you are on, which sales step is next and quickly analyzing your prospects response as to why they aren’t moving to that next step with you.
Let’s say you are calling on an old lead that was once hot, but now is not.
You get the prospect on the phone, do your introduction and they respond with:
“No, we wont be moving forward.”
There are only three main reasons why they said “NO”.
What are they?
They don’t need it, they don’t like it, they can’t afford it.
This is what I mean when I say have a “baseline sales process”. In order to move forward, I know that one of these three things need to be addressed. Quick thinking is recognizing that we have to identify one of these three things is most likely the culprit and you have to quickly on the fly chose a response that will identify which of these issues needs to be handled.
Coincidently, you won’t be able to open the prospect up and continue the sales call if your tone and enthusiasm levels aren’t in the right place. See how all of this works together? Your tone, your dials and your ability to think quickly are all important components to successfully sell by phone.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com. An online sales trainingcompany that shows inside sales teams how to: avoid being rejected by gatekeepers, leave voicemail messages that get callbacks and overcome tough pricing objections. Request a proposal here to have Michael teach your sales team his techniques!