Last week, I said sales leaders must demystify the why behind sales results to build and sustain high-performing teams. Today, I’ll show how we can use hard science to leapfrog those hurdles.
If you trust your gut in sales, you’ll get a stomachache:
- Nearly half of all reps fail to meet quota
- Over 33% of employers lost top performers in 2011
- “Sales rep” will be the 2nd hardest job to fill in the next 24 months
(Thanks to Nancy Martini, PI Worldwide for this data. She lead PGi’s webinar, How science will drive sustainable sales results in 2012, last week with Gerhard Gschwandtner. Download the recording here.)
The only way to can fill in these talent gaps is with scientific assessments that show exactly what skills our teams are missing. With the right sales data and analytics, we can benchmark, measure and duplicate the success of our top performers.
Nissan used scientific data to gain market share in a down economy. Using human analytics, Nissan assessed its sales team’s skills and launched customized coaching and training programs to bridge the gaps. Nissan’s
customer loyalty scores skyrocketed, and dealers increased their profits.
Here are my “4 Commandments for Scientific Selling”:
1. Internalize the “new normal“.
Equip your reps to sell in today’s conditions. Teach them to use technology effectively and sell better to today’s better-informed buyers.
- Get quick tips for getting face-to-face with prospects online + leveraging referrals with social media in this Focus roundtable. It’s today at 2:00 pm EST!
- I also recommend these 10 quick tips for a killer elevator pitch.
- Watch Nancy share her 4 keys to sales success in 2012.
2.Survive the talent famine + retain your best players.
Excel at talent acquisition & retention. CSO Insights shows turnover was 26% lower for firms with a formal retention strategy. It’s not enough to hire the best; you have to keep it. Talent retention is critical in 2012 -Rule of thumb says it costs about one year’s quota to replace a rep.
- Use assessments to increase your hiring accuracy.
- Gain a distinct competitive advantage with a strong onboarding strategy. At PGi, we use iMeet to host weekly face-to-face training sessions, so new hires get up to speed quickly.
- Build customer loyalty and increase sales with a sales training program that works.
3. Make decisions with precision.
Increase accuracy of driving a high performance sales team. Get it right; don’t guess.
- Use these tips for closing sales online to build trust and collaboration. You’ll engage buyers face-to-face with easy-to-use video conferencing technology and effective communication techniques.
- Create development plans based on job profiling and competency mapping with this guide: Transform a C-Player to B-Player.
- Design effective incentive compensation plans with the right performance metrics.
4. Go Einstein.
Leverage scientific tools to create predictable & sustainable results. Create an environment attractive to top performers – one where they can truly work smarter, not harder.
- Research shows up to 93% of communication is non-verbal. Use these guidelines to get key decision makers on video.
- Use science to find out who and where qualified prospects are and how to position yourself in front of them.
- Manage your sales funnel leads. Read this blog to forecast predictable results.
When you use science to augment the art of selling, you know what to do‚ and what not to do. You won’t waste resources on irrelevant or counterproductive activities. Managers will use key performance indicators to predictably improve sales results. Most important, you’ll create a culture that attracts and retains top performers‚ essential for growth and profitability in today’s market.
Nancy’s book, Scientific Selling, is due out in April 2012.