Business prospecting, sales speech in the US, listening to the customer … More than ever, companies need professional sales people. Seven new tracks for your teams to improve productivity.
“The time has come for teams to be tightened and to return to basic techniques. Salesmen have less time and resources to make more sales.”
The diagnosis is shared by many sales force trainers. Tumultuous economic conditions, exacerbated competition in almost all sectors.
The icing on the cake, competition can also come from elsewhere. “Yesterday, Cartier was fighting with other luxury watchmakers, and today he is facing every brand of luxury that brings a watch,” observes Olivier Dardelin, president of Dardelin Conseils.
The motorway restaurants are attacked by tanker shops offering snacks. The SNCF competes with Air France … The classic media are poised the advertising windfall by the Internet media … In short, everyone overflows in the sector of the other. As a result, in 2008, there is no longer room for non-professional salespeople.
More than ever, companies must professionalize their sales teams. The organization, the methods, the tools and above all the men must be more prosperous than ever.
The expert’s opinion, Olivier Dardelin, president of Dardelin Conseils, training guru“Make your sales experts expert”
In the commercial population, there are four types of people.
The “arrogant” : poorly performing technically and humanly, they do not update their databases. They play the jaded.
Professionalize them urgently!
The “workers” : they only swear by the processes, ensure 30 appointments a week, send 15 quotes, collect 5 contracts. But they do not know how to take advantage of opportunities or adapt to situations. Teach them to understand the needs of the client.
The “chic types” : they have an excellent relational, make “blows” but their performances are irregular. They act instinctively and mock procedures.
You will have to convince them that they are not meant to be involved in them or to investigate them but that they will help them.
The “experts” : they combine all the talents. In 70% of cases, they know how to apply proven procedures to sell. But they also know how to adapt to non-reproducible situations.
Prospecting: Do More Upstream Marketing
Direct prospecting works less and less with large accounts, which buy eight times out of ten per recommendation. Before marketing, the sales teams will have to do upstream marketing: enter networks, public relations … The sales person (sales manager, manager, sales manager and even boss) must go upstream to potential tenderers when there is a call for tenders.
Business proposal: write better!
“Given the number of misspellings found in commercial proposals, the margin of commercial productivity is still very broad,” says a famous sales techniques trainer. “The commercial proposal counts for 35% in the decision to work or not with a supplier, reminds Olivier Dardelin, head of Dardelin Conseils, and must therefore be striking, simple and effective as a good article of journalist. A discipline of sales is developing, the “proposal management”, which teaches the art of developing sales proposals.
Sales speech: professionalize in the American style
“You should not be afraid to be directive if you have salesmen delivered to themselves that stammer their arguments and improvise,” advocates Xavier Auzouy, president of XA Conseils. In some cases where the method of sale is still too approximate, it does not hesitate to recommend to the sales managers to develop highly structured phrases and sales speech, to be applied to the comma. School? No. “Learned by heart does not mean stupidly recited!”
Customer Care: Listen More to Win More
Basico-basic, the insufficiency or lack of listening to the client still explains the mediocre or calamitous performance of many sellers. Basic training or a booster sting may be required. History of refreshing a know-how worn by the habit. Former of commercial and magician, Frédéric Lincker uses the magic for a ludico-pedagogical purpose. “At Bouygues, I realize a turn of cards in front of salespeople who must note what they have seen: no one sees the same thing! They become aware that their listening is filtered by their emotions, their beliefs and their professional experience. ” Beliefs limit salespeople in the client’s questioning and understanding of one’s motivations. The arrogant salesperson believes he knows what the customer wants.
Price: defend your rates by scaring the customer!
Too many sellers still let go of the price too easily. Xavier Auzouy suggests to “flank the funk to the customer”. In finesse of course: making the decision to buy complex, showing the hidden costs of a much cheaper competing solution, the risk of privileging price on quality. “Increase the risk of a less expensive solution, talk about new environmental standards … Even for unmarked products, it works!”
Motivation: prefer pleasure to pay
“Increasing the salary does not motivate more, it is a factor of hygiene. What motivates a seller is a premium, because it is unexpected,” explains Frédéric Lincker, Linsell Consultants. Morality: to distinguish what is satisfactory (a good salary, a good car …) from what is motivating (unexpected therefore enthralling). Xavier Auzouy, author of Control and motivate your sales force (The Genius of the glaciers editor), puts the nail in the limelight: “Actions that provide satisfaction do not run faster, but a motivating action generates a more intense pleasure and a desire to progress. ” To meditate during budgetary arbitrations.
Management: train your teams to think differently
Many salespeople have their nose in the handlebars and easily reproduce the same error scenarios! “You have to know how to take a step aside to see better,” says Olivier Dardelin, who trains large sales teams at Air France or at Vuitton. The commercials of the luxury porter have gone to spend a stay in a luxury hotel in Portugal to observe the customer service in the hotel and to take inspiration from what works in order to transpose it in their shops. To be a good salesperson, one must not only reason commercially. An excellent seller also knows how to think … like a buyer!
Cemex trains its sales managers and harmonizes its procedures to increase productivity
“Our trade policy is national, but our practices and procedures in our 17 agencies suffered from being too disparate from one agency and from one sector to another.” Pierre Laplante, CEO of Cemex France (cement manufacturer), has undertaken to harmonize them to improve the company’s commercial productivity.
The means: an extensive training program for sellers and sales managers.
> Organization. “We had branch managers and sector heads below who were both responsible for the geographic area for the commercial part and for the production part, we re-specialized the sales force: occupy only of the sale. “
Cemex United StatesActivity: concretes and aggregates
Location: Rungis (94)
Number of employees: 2,200 people,
140 sales in 17 branches
Sales: 980 million euros
> Sales methods.
Cemex has put in place commercial methods adapted to its business lines and, above all, generic in order to stick to its national policy: “We have called on Frédéric Lincker (Linsell consultants), an outside trainer,
to start with basic sales techniques and as he was good with the teams, we kept him. ”
> Management of sales forces. The sales organization also suffered from a lack of management of sales managers.
“Frédéric Lincker has set up a management plan for us.”
For example, Cemex sales managers have to conduct a number of interviews with their troops. “Before, some did not even realize!”
> Follow-up.For example, the weekly interview with the salesperson was geared towards more coaching. And the tools homogenized: number of visits of the sales people per week, weekly planning …
The first results are felt.
“At my level, I can now access all the order books, but that’s not the point.” When I meet the field salespeople, there is a lot of membership. ‘improvement.” Work in progress …
The place of the training relies on a commando structure and capitalizes on its good practices
When he launched Place de la formation in 2006, Jérôme Lesage immediately opted for a customer-oriented organization. From the first exercise, it has won 70 clients, half of which are major accounts.
> Organization. “We prefer an organization in a profit center or mission rather than an organization where the salesperson would be dissociated from production. Altran’s model, the famous IT services company organized into operational subsidiaries.
> Motivation. “Salespeople operate with two engines, money and fun.” Jérôme Lesage takes care of the working climate and the remuneration of his sales team:
he offers a small fixed salary and a large variable. Once the employee is “profitable”
Training PlaceActivity: broker in vocational training
Staff: a telesales cell of 10 sales and 2 commercial sales
Turnover: 260,000 euros on the first fiscal year
The commission is uncapped, which is very stimulating. But the company also pays the efforts of the salespersons (whether the number of contacts taken or the number of proposals) to persuade them even if the work does not “pay” yet. “The more you increase the means and the efforts up, the more you get from the business down,” explains Jerome Lesage. On the pleasure side, the job offers variety and the working atmosphere cultivates enthusiasm and information sharing. “There are never silly ideas here, it’s important to feed this logic of pleasure.”
> Methods.Place de la Formation, a young little-known company, established in the 9th arrondissement of the capital, was able to sign with Bolloré, Club Med, Toyota, Stade de France, Vivendi or Total, more accustomed to dealing with Cegos or with Demos. To conquer these big accounts, nothing like a physical encounter. From 50,000 euros in business, it is the field salespeople who take over the telemarketers, or even Céline Berlizon, the sales manager, or even the founder, who is a former salesman.
“I moved to sign Renault!” He says.
> Feedback.Place de la Formation meets in a seminar to give feedback every two or three months. “We debrief and capitalize on our best experiences.” Thus was drafted an internal Bible answers to bring to the most frequent objections of clients. Bible permanently enriched.
Potel and Chabot establishes commercial management standards
In a hyper-competitive market, Potel and Chabot are facing competition from other caterers (Lenôtre), but also from reception venues, hotels and restaurants.
After meeting the most obvious needs of commercial training, Potel and Chabot are currently training their commercial managers to become real business unit managers.
“The main lines of our processes were respected but everyone had their own … personal adaptation!” Everyone made his sauce in his corner, but we need sales managers who know how to manage their teams.
To arm its sales force, Christophe Renard, director of the reception department, decided to set up commercial management standards.
Potel and ChabotActivity: high-end caterer
Employees: 60 sales
Turnover: 94 million euros
> Organization. The technicians of the famous caterer installed in Paris since 1820 are organized in pools of three people, one customer manager and two project managers. They do not just sell: according to the client’s brief, they design proposals in accordance with the predefined budget framework, identify sites, negotiate, carry out test lunches, manage the various logistical agents, are present on the day of receipt and establish billing.
> Development of standards.With the help of an outside firm, Dardelin Conseils, Potel and Chabot has defined management standards for business management, about fifteen people. “Some, very daddy hens, were too fond of their subordinates, others left them a little too much autonomy!” Client managers have integrated these standards during real-life coaching sessions with their collaborators and the consultant trainer.
> Sharing information. Dior’s 60th anniversary, the inauguration of the Vuitton concept store on the Champs-Elysées … Experienced salespeople have a privileged relationship with exceptional people with a particular need. These star sellers must learn to share their experience and know-how to enrich their employees.
. “We want to avoid the supermarket scheme that works with an assistant and a sales secretary. Each member of the team must be invested in managing the client portfolio.” Potel and Chabot ‘s customer managers learn to delegate tasks to their employees.
This motivates and empowers them and ultimately creates an overall dynamic … good for commercial productivity!