Everyone has probably heard of the four P’s (product, place, price, and promotion) for marketing. How about the “4 P’s” for sales? There are a few things that separate sales professionals that consistently overachieve on their bookings goal from the pack. For sales leaders to help their team achieve and overachieve there are four things they can help coach their teams on. This includes positive attitude, preparations, persistence, and patience. You may wonder in sales – how does patience fit in with an “only as good as my last quarter” profession? Read on!
1) Positive Attitude – It all starts off with a can-do attitude. Do you help your team understand how the goals were set? Do you help them see the path to attainment? Regardless of how high a target is set – overachievers start immediately looking at who can help them hit their number. The rest of the pack loses valuable time complaining about the target being impossible to achieve. Encourage sharing peer success stores and best practices at team meetings.
2) Preparation – Preparation begins with identifying the resources and creating a virtual team they can work with to open doors with prospects. This team typically consists of technical resources, inside sales, Channel Partners, and many more. Help your team identify internal and external resources that they can partner with and align on the accounts. For enterprise and large accounts – typically will be fewer than 10 accounts per Account Executive (AE). This allows for the ability to personally contact each one. They will directly be driving the majority of activity although much of it may be through their virtual team.
What if your team is supporting a large territory with hundreds of accounts per AE? This is where coaching to divide their list into A, B, and C accounts is crucial to success. For “A” accounts the AE takes the lead, for “B” accounts – one of the resources identified on the virtual org chart needs to take the lead – most of the time this is a great way to leverage Channel Partners. For “C” accounts – best to have a digital sales motion and engage only on request. The coaching in this area is to help your team stay focused on the A accounts and team for the B accounts where they play more of a coaching and supporting role themselves. This gives them time back and allows them to focus on the largest opportunities. Their role is to coach the virtual team for B opportunities and not lead the opportunities – that will not scale. If you hear the words “I need to do this all myself” – you have a person that will not make plan or even come close to it. They need your help in holding them accountable to educate their virtual team and build trust.
3) Persistence – This is displayed by the follow through and follow up on action items for prospects. Maybe the prospect isn’t returning calls, responding to emails, etc. Be professional and have a regular cadence to reach out. There may be changes going on at the company or a personal issue. This is when as a leader – you can also reinforce the positive attitude. It may have nothing to do with your proposal and there is just a higher priority consuming the prospects time.
4) Patience – Knowing when a deal is lost is important. Until you have confirmation a competing solution beat you, always assume you are still in the running. At the same time, you want to coach your team not to spin their wheels when there is other business to be booked in the quarter. Establish a regular outreach for those that may have a longer than expected sales cycle but you are the preferred solution and “won” – just waiting for the PO. I wish I had $1 for every deal an AE “won” but they ghosted the prospect after being frustrated with a lack of communication and they in turn stopped their outreach only to find out a short time later a competitor quickly closed the business due to the need all of a sudden becoming critical. The AE was nowhere to be found and missed their quarter.
Sales is a process and results are a direct result of positive attitude, preparation – having a plan with their virtual team and execution through persistence and patience. If you build a culture of coaching and best practice sharing with your team, you will be off to a solid start.
Feel free to post comments or email them to me. Small Business, Big Lessons® – How are you leveraging the 4 P’s of Sales?
About the Author:
Gregory Woloszczuk is an entrepreneur and experienced tech executive that helps small business owners grow their top and bottom line. Gregory believes in straight talk and helping others see things they need to see but may not want to with a focus on taking responsibly for one’s own business. He and his wife, Maureen, started GMW Carolina in 2006.
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