One of the most frequent issues that I hear from new customers is the lack of sales. In many cases this is really a marketing issue far more than a selling issue. One of the reasons for this issue is many individuals confuse marketing with selling. This confusion leads to inconsistency.
To set the record straight marketing is all about attracting potential customers (a.k.a. prospects) or even better potential qualified customers to your place of business. Selling is when you now have qualified potential customers and walk them through the specific steps to earn the sale.
Not only is there inconsistency in marketing and selling, but in many other aspects of a business from a total lack of enforcement of current policies and procedures to haphazard execution. When there is a lack of consistency, small to large gaps form with the result of small to large drains of profitability.
To avoid inconsistency takes diligence and a commitment to taking action. This solution is not short term, but one that will be in existence as long as the organization is active. These 3 tips may help to reverse inconsistency in sales as while as business.
The first tip is returning to the strategic sales action plan and revisit the Values Statement. Since inconsistencies are observable behaviors, then logic suggests the desired behaviors need to be articulated. These behaviors are found within the Values Statement. When everyone knows the expected behaviors, then dealing with the gaps created between the desired and the demonstrated behaviors becomes far easier to close. Sales Coaching Tip: Describe the behaviors as part of the job descriptions.
Tip two is directed toward the Vision and Mission Statements. Once again because of confusion as to what these two statements are creates inconsistency. Simply speaking, the Vision Statement is the big picture as to where the business or organization sees itself in 3 to 5 years. The Mission Statement is one year and focuses on 3 to 5 measurable goals.
By having the Mission Statement written from a goal driven perspective allows behaviors to be directly connected to these goals. Unfortunately, most (over 75%) Mission Statements from my experience are nebulous, very expensive and far too wordy. They become fertile grounds for growing and promoting even more inconsistent behaviors.
The final suggestion involves leadership from the basement up. Since leadership is really about securing results be them personal or organizational using clearly articulated positive core values, then everyone in the organization needs to developed to improve their own self-leadership skills or what some refer to as people or soft skills.
Research data continues to support soft skills of effective collaboration, clear communication, decision making, goal achievement, positive attitudes, problem solving, team building and time management are far more critical to organizational success than actual technical skills.
From my own personal experiences and after working with business coaching training clients these past 10 years, what I know to be true is people skills are the least developed when compared to sales skills. For example, very few people have even been educated on how to consistently set and achieve their own goals. Yet, they are expected to secure sales targets. With 40 to 70% of all these targets not being achieved illustrates this gap.
The bad news is inconsistency dooms many sales professionals. The good news is you as the CEO, owner or manager have the ability to turn this significant challenge around. Take action today by scheduling time within the next 30 days to revisit tips one and two. Then look at your budget and put a plan in place to develop your people or yourself.
By the way if you think you do not have the money to make this investment, wasted time alone by your employees is costing you a minimum of $750 per employee per year that you will never, ever recover. If you wish to maintain your competitiveness and increase sales, now is the time to take action because the gaps are only growing larger.
By Daniel Blare