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Sandler Training in Calgary | Calgary, AB
 

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Sandler Training

As a sales leader one of the best ways we can support our team members is to give them tools for reducing friction in their sales cycle. A powerful tool to share with our team is proactive roadblock identification early in an interaction with a prospect or client.

Creating a consistent, repeatable, scalable sales function means we need all of our salespeople to interact consistently with prospects and clients.

We’ve forever been steeped in a “hunter / farmer” mindset when it comes to building our sales teams. Even the Sales Development Representative/Account Executive/Account Manager model (with Pre-Sales Engineering, Implementation and/or Customer Care mixed in) follows this mindset with additional bodies taking certain parts of the “hunter” or “farmer” role.

Sometimes when we’re qualifying, we hear an “I don’t know” (IDK) response to a question we need to get answered to determine if the prospect we’re talking to is ideal.

Sandler CEO, Dave Mattson once said at the Sandler Summit, “if I was told I could only do one activity with my salespeople for the rest of my career as a sales manager it would be pre-call planning.”

Mike’s list of “active” prospects was always long and detailed, and he was sure everyone knew this during his team’s sales meetings. But when his manager Jacqueline did a little digging, she was surprised to learn how few of Mike’s “active” prospects matched up with the ideal sales cycle. Some were taking twice two or three times as long to reach a decision as the prospects of other salespeople on the team.

Eileen, a brand-new sales hire, found herself struggling during her first week on the job. At her initial coaching session with Juan, her supervisor, she asked for some guidance on identifying promising lead sources. Instead of making suggestions about that, though, Juan decided to begin the process by asking a few basic questions.

Mark’s sales manager, Irene, asked him to forecast the number of sales he would close over the coming month. Mark came up with his best guess. Unfortunately, Irene didn’t find his best guess very helpful. As it happened, the new monthly forecast was identical to Mark’s previous month’s “best guess” – a figure he had failed to come close to reaching.

Ken’s closing ratio had been the lowest on the team for four months running. Juanita, his manager, asked him to meet with her privately so they could figure out, together, what the possible obstacles to better performance might be.

Betty’s quarterly numbers were low. Her manager, Milt, asked her to do some role-plays so they could identify potential areas for improvement. They spent about 20 minutes role-playing through various scenarios – at which point Milt called a time-out and asked, “Betty, do you realize you’re positioning us in exactly the same way with every person to whom you speak?”
Betty looked at her boss quizzically and asked: “Is that a bad thing?”
Milt gave a little smile and said, “It could be.”

Melody was feeling unmotivated.
Carlos, her sales manager, was pressuring her once again to improve her closing ratio … but as usual, he wasn’t giving her much guidance on how she should go about accomplishing this goal. Yes–her numbers were bad. Melody knew that. But after three months on the job, she was tired of being lectured about the numbers and didn’t feel supported in her efforts to turn things around. In fact, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to continue in sales.