The 7 Critical Elements to Sales Success

By Greta Schulz

CEOs often discover recent hires can’t meet sales quotas despite presenting stellar resumes during the interview.

Improperly vetting employee candidates on sales acumen has been a problem for as long as I have been in sales. What does it really take to get the right person in for the job? Let’s turn to the B2B Sales Playbook as a guide and follow its seven essential tips that will lead to finding, and hopefully retaining, sales talent.

1. The very first thing is hiring right. Easier said, hard to do do. What criteria are we using? How are we finding our candidates? How are we interviewing? Are we using an assessment to help? If so, which one? Quick tip: Look for people already working. Great salespeople are not out looking for work, they tend to have another one lined up. That’s because they are an asset, not a liability.

2. Train them the way you want them trained. Don’t rely on what they learned before. Teach them your method, the way you want them to sell. If they haven’t worked before, even better, because he or she will have no bad habits. Get a true training process in place. There are a few good ones out there.

3. Use a repeatable and trackable sales process. The key word here is “repeatable.” When everyone adopts the same sales process, there is a common language that is understood, not just by the sales team, but by the whole organization. This is also important for managing the team and coaching success.

4. Motivation is individualized. One size doesn’t fit all.People are motivated by different things. Is money a motivator? Sure, but is it the only one? Don’t assume what motivates one will motivate another.

5. Your sales leader is the critical link to sales success. Being a sales manager is one of the most challenging jobs in sales. It is also the critical link to sales success. But unless the sales manager has all the tools needed to manage the team, the whole performance of the sales organization will suffer.

6. True and critical tracking methods. Complete integration with your customer relationship management (CRM) software, so it delivers the optimum information for you and your sales people. Without true data, it becomes nearly impossible to eliminate failure and repeat success.

7. The ability to forecast sales properly. Sales forecasting is a guessing game that a certain percentage of deals will close. If you have to and actually need to forecast more closely, a process for the sales funnel needs to be adapted. ♦

Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is the best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to greta@schulzbusiness.com.

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