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How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.

 


 

How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work.

Published 23 hours ago

on Sep 3, 2020

By Anthony Nebel


If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals.

What most people don’t know is that motivation comes to you when you’re doing the work. The more time you spend working on your goals and achieving progress, the more motivation you get which helps bring momentum to progress even faster.

In this small guide, I am going to show you how to create a reliable stream of motivation to achieve any goals that you want:

1. Create Small Mini-Goals For Your Larger Goals

People argue whether you should create small goals or big goals for your motivation but the real secret is to have both of them.

Here’s why:

  • You want goals and dreams big enough so that it makes you get excited to work for the bigger picture
  • You want small goals for your big goals to show proof that you are making progress

In other words, you need to have goals that get you excited and goals that show you’re making progress. When you have goals that show you are making progress, it shows that whatever actions you are doing is not in vain and that you are one step closer to that exciting big dream.

There’s a problem if you’re missing on just one of these because, if you only have big goals, you are going to lose motivation when you see no progress in 3 months. Same for the opposite, if you only have small goals, you aren’t going to be excited enough to keep working on them.

Define your biggest goal that you want and create mini-goals for that big goal to show you are slowly but surely making progress.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

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Motivation comes from seeing progress and results from working through a period of time. This means that when you are working on your goals, you want to journal and measure how far you have gone: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and yearly.

The funny part is that you won’t feel a difference whether it’s been 3 months or 1 year. You are just going to feel normal. It’s when you see physical proof that you have evolved based on your past ideas and progress that you can see you transformed into another person.

That’s why I want you to keep a journal and record the most important metrics of the goal you are working on.

For example, if you are trying to lose weight you want to record:

  • How much you weigh each week
  • How many calories you are eating
  • What types of food you are eating
  • How many times you exercise per week

Having data allows you to see what works and what doesn’t work and gives you the opportunity to make changes to see the results you want. When you start to see the results you want happening slowly over time, this will make you much more excited to be consistent to reach your goals. 

3. Celebrate Your Small Successes

A lot of us who are tracking our progress in achieving our goals don’t take the time to celebrate our little wins. It’s the small building blocks that build the foundation to achieve our goals.

When you take the time to reflect on how far you have come and start celebrating your little wins, you are putting yourself in a positive framework where you reward yourself for doing something that you want.

This is a powerful tool in making sure you continue to stay persistent in your goals as you celebrate your small wins which eventually lead to your big win.

Here are some ways to celebrate your small wins:

  • Eat out with the family
  • Take time to watch Netflix
  • Do a hobby you enjoy

The key point is to do the above in moderation. You want to reward yourself in such a way that it doesn’t become a habit. That’s when rewards become even more powerful as a tool for increasing your motivation.

“Small successes are still successes; great failures are still failures.” – Mason Cooley

4. Find Your Inner “Why”

There’s a reason why a lot of people who have New Year’s resolutions suddenly quit on their goals. People are excited to have their own business making a lot of money, their ideal body, and the relationship of their dreams. But when it comes down to trying to change themselves, most of them quit within a couple of weeks.

This is because they realize that the pain of trying to change is greater than the pleasure of staying in their comfort zone. You need to delve deep in yourself and find your inner “why.” Why do you want to change so badly?

You need to start asking this question whenever you are trying to change one of your habits. Things will get tough as it’s hard staying consistent in doing the right thing every day.

Here are some more questions you need to find and answer when things get hard:

  • Are you unsatisfied with where you are now?
  • Are you willing to make some sacrifices for the goals you want?
  • Are you willing to change your habits and understand it takes time?

You want to answer these questions honestly and figure out how to make it a reality.

Conclusion

Waiting for your “inspirational motivation” is an unreliable way to get started on your work. Rather, true motivation comes from seeing the progress and results when you start working on your goals.

The way to create this true everlasting motivation is to create small and big goals and track your progress in achieving them. You also want to have small celebrations along the way to maintain your motivation and reward yourself. Finally, when things get hard you need to fall back into your inner “why” on the real reason why you want to change.

Which motivational tip did you find most surprising? Let us know in the comments below!

RELATED TOPICS:ACHIEVE YOUR GOALSCHANGE FOR THE BETTERCHANGE YOUR LIFEGOALSHOW TO GET POSITIVE RESULTSHOW TO SET GOALSMEASURE YOUR PROGRESSMOTIVATE YOURSELFSETTING GOALSWHATS YOUR WHYDON’T MISS8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

Anthony Nebel

Anthony Nebel is a freelance writer who is obsessed with self-development. He has tried everything from meditating, journaling, fasting, and writes about it all on his blog, AnthonyNebel.com, on his personal transformation as well as marketing hacks you can use for your business.


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How to Close Sales Faster In a Pandemic

How to Close Sales Faster In a Pandemic

BY: MARK HUNTER|PUBLISHED ON: AUG 26, 2020|CATEGORIES: SALES MINDSETSALES MOTIVATIONSALES PROCESS0 COMMENTS

My newest book, A Mind For Sales, relates to what we’re dealing with today in the middle of a pandemic. So much of it has to do with our mind. There’s a tremendous amount of business out there; we just have to be flexible and willing to adapt to go find it.

I’m going to share…

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How to Close Sales Faster In a Pandemic

BY: MARK HUNTER|PUBLISHED ON: AUG 26, 2020|CATEGORIES: SALES MINDSETSALES MOTIVATIONSALES PROCESS0 COMMENTS

My newest book, A Mind For Sales, relates to what we’re dealing with today in the middle of a pandemic. So much of it has to do with our mind. There’s a tremendous amount of business out there; we just have to be flexible and willing to adapt to go find it.

I’m going to share with you 10 steps on how to close sales faster in a pandemic.

I encourage you to hit subscribe so you have access to the new content I put out there every week – on my blog.

1. Keep It Simple for Your Customers

This is not the time to get into a complex sales process. It’s not the time to get into major, major deals that are going to take years to close and involve multiple people. With a lot of people working from home, it’s much harder to get people together. You have to keep everything in your sales process and in what you sell. All of it must be simple in order to help the person or maybe the two people you’re speaking with to make a fast decision.

2. Focus on Your ICP

Now more than ever, you have to stay tight with your ICP – ideal customer profile. Stay focused. It is too easy to chase the shiny object for the sake of trying to find business; however, when you get outside your lane and start dealing with people not within your ICP, it will take you much longer to understand them and for them to understand you. That will just slow down the process. Stay in your lane and stay focused on your ICP.

3. Fast Prospecting

What is fast prospecting all about? It means you need to double down and triple down the speed with which you’re interacting with customers. This is not the time to sit there and say that you’ll slowly continue to reach out to them like every month. No! It’s not the time for that. You have to take whatever your process was, cut the time in half, and double the contacts. Prospecting must be faster than ever. In other words, if you normally reach out to your prospects every two weeks, now it needs to be every week. If you usually reach out every week, reach out every three days. Speed is what it takes. Speed sells!

4. Narrow the Solution

When you talk to a customer and engage them, the solution is not to start throwing out all of these ideas as to what they can do or all these things that they’re going to be able to accomplish. No, it’s not the time to sell world peace. This is not the time to try to find a solution for hunger. Now is the time to narrow the solution and help the customer achieve that one specific outcome that they’re looking to achieve.

5. Shorten the RSI

Remember that customers don’t want to be sold to and really, I don’t even think they want to buy. What they desire is a return on their investment. That is what they truly want, so it’s your job to show your customers how they can quickly receive a return on their investment when they buy from you and invest with you. Therefore, let them know that when they buy “x” service or product from you, they will immediately get value back. I have to do everything possible to shorten the ROIC, because things are just too unstable as we look long-term.

6. Limit the Options

When you get to the point of putting things out on the table, don’t say, “well, hey, why don’t you pick from one of 18 different items?” This is not the time to play buffet. No, no. You must limit the options. Any time you present too many options, you automatically slow down the decision-making process because the customer needs more time to think about it. Don’t put more than three options out on the table.

7. Trust

One of the reasons I am able to only put two or three options on the table is because I’ve earned their trust. Without a doubt, trust is key. Everything in your sales process must be centered around helping the customer understand that they can trust you, because you trust them.

Confidence starts in the listing and the respect. Confidence creates integrity, and integrity is really the sister or brother of trust. The greater the level of trust you have, the faster the customer is willing to make a decision with you.

8. Two-Way Street

Have you ever driven down a two-way street and noticed there are cars on the other side? They’re coming at you from the opposite direction. So, what is a two-way street and how does it relate to sales and prospecting? When it comes to helping you close sales faster, you have to understand that there will be give and take on both sides, but stay in your lane. This does not mean that you give the customer everything he/she wants. No, not at all. You don’t do that. Just understand that there may be wiggles and shakes that you need to be prepared for, and that’s okay.

9. Land and Expand

I want you to put this simple phrase on your computer. Put it on your phone. It’s your objective to make it so simple for your customer to do business with you that you land them as a new customer. Then, once you do, you expand that customer and begin building into and getting them in additional ways. But you have to create that initial sale first.

10. Value your Time

Your time is your most prized resource. It’s not what you sell. It’s not your customer. It is your time. In order to use your time wisely, go back through this list of nine and ask yourself where you need to change things. When you begin to understand the value of your time and that you can’t put a price on it, you’ll be able to close sales faster than ever. Time is priceless.

For more tips on valuing your time, go check out my blog post and video on How to Gain An Extra Three Weeks Every Year.

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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