It’s 10/10 or Nothing!
A lot of companies bring in sales trainers to upskill their team and teach new sales techniques and not to say that there is a lot of validity to this , but I often think about one thing and that is – how do they know what to train, has the customer been involved?
Do you actually talk to your customers?
Do you survey customers who have decided to go ahead with you and your product or services and find out – why?
Do you survey customers who haven’t chosen your product or services and haven’t decided to go ahead with you and have you found out – why?
If we don’t know our customers experience of doing business with us how can you upskill your sales team and learn new techniques – when you don’t know what parts of the sales process need improvement, or are effective.
For example – I have a new client who wants to use our services to call potential clients and book in a meeting with them. Sounds feasible right but what I realised is that I don’t want to start this project until I have researched their customers – why? Because the research is really going to tell me what their existing customers are saying about them.
The client can provide me with a brief and tell me what they think and that’s all good but it is way more important to know their customers experience.
If their customers aren’t loving the experience of doing business with them or the experience of the product or service they signed up for and therefore not rating the experience really highly (see Net Promoter Score 1 – 10) the score alone provided us with a huge amount of information, not to mention their verbatim comments in answer to the NPS questions.
If their score is between 6 – 0 /10 we know they will not repeat business and they are not generating positive word of mouth.
Even though my clients service agreement doesn’t have an end date, the agreement just keeps rolling and rolling – what’s to stop clients from leaving and closing their account?
Thinking about this made me realise how important it is to find this information out before we can fulfil on the project brief.
We also work with a lot of companies who we recommend just talking to lost customers, but it is equally important to talk to people who have chosen you and find out why?
By talking to our customers we get to understand:
What are the patterns? Sales, customer service, product, team members and most importantly – what are the gaps?
What’s the feedback about your team, as an overall team and each team member?
Create the Gap, Bridge the Gap
When you use research you identify where the gaps are and then we need to bridge that gap with our training. To learn more Create the Gap, Bridge the Gap.
When we talk to our clients customers one of the main questions we ask is what was the main person you dealt with like and how would you rate them with 10 being they were excellent and ) being they were extremely poor? What number would you give? (NPS Score)
Because then I can identify what customers are saying about the main person they dealt with, and understand did that person add value or take away from the overall experience?
This information is gold.
In my last blog ‘Aces in the Right Places’ I discussed, Ace in the right place is about looking at your team and asking yourself who is the best person to be answering your phone, who is the best person to be on reception, in this case – who is the best person to be a part of your sales team.
Remember the example, of not having our ‘aces in the right places’ think about how many times you have heard of companies making a great salesperson into a sales manager. Being the best salesperson, does not mean they have the skills to be a manager.
In fact, in this example your ‘ace in the right place’ is leaving that salesperson selling! And you need to look at how you can reward them, so that they feel their contribution is acknowledged and rewarded. When we do this people stay.
How people want to be sold to
The research that we have done at The Loyalty Zone tells us in a general sense how people do NOT want to be sold to.
They don’t like scripts, they don’t want to feel like they are just being taken through a scripted formula, they want to have a real conversation, and feel heard and understood.
They don’t want to speak with people who are not enthusiastic and generally interested in what they have to say,
They don’t like being made to feel wrong, whatever they say is right –
or trying to be convinced if they say No,
They don’t like being double hit, if they say “No” to your initial offer, they do not want to be hit with another sales pitch for an alternative offer, in their world a No is a No.
I always remember, the key to being said No to, is that you haven’t given them enough reasons to say Yes. They are not a Yes, yet!
And of course, the customer service they have experienced must be really good in the first place – otherwise why would they bother talking to someone who hasn’t created a great experience in the first place.
Sales training must build on the teams existing benchmark, you must know what there is to train. Upskilling your team is one thing, training new sales techniques is an entirely different conversation.
Why would we train new techniques’ if they will not cause a positive impact in the areas your team need to improve?
The focus must be about how to improve the sales performance of each participant, it is about getting down to the nitty gritty of the sales process and behaviours.
When I talk of benchmarking, you need to know your numbers, we use the 4 ways to drive revenue as a great model.
Training must include the introduction or recreation of the sales process and include a see selling model, this allows for each of the steps to be repeatedly practiced.
And, keeping score – introduce a prospects table and keep an eye on individual and team conversion rates.
When I work with my clients sales teams, the two aspects I want to dig down on, are:
What is the conversion rate of the overall sales team?
What is the conversion rate of each salesperson within the team?
Why, because it’s not just about who has the best sales in terms of dollars.
So, if this is the case, how do you know who your best salesperson is and what measurements do you use?
I always look for the salesperson who is consistently given the highest NPS rating by your customers, why? Because those customers will definitely return and want to do business with that person again.
Rather than a salesperson who has the most sales why? Because you don’t know how many customers they have burnt to get there.
Let me share a story, about a time I was working with a company in the real estate industry.
When we were researching this companies customers, we found that some of their top salespeople had really terrible NPS ratings; really terrible customer loyalty scores.
In fact, some of these salespeople even had 0 NPS scores, not one of their customers would ever use them again.
Although, the company considered them their best salespeople because they generated the most dollars and all these new customers.
Unfortunately, they would do it in ways that were really underhand, for example over promise and under deliver, their sales practise was all about Bad Profit. To learn more, go to Good Profit vs Bad Profit.
No matter how we presented the research back to the company, the senior management team could not reconcile our recommendation to let one of these people go. They were stuck in the world of dollars and new customers equals the best salespeople in their team.
In the end what we showed them was to partner these salespeople who generated the worst customer loyalty NPS scores, with the highest rating customer service people.
The salesperson would bring in a new customer and hand over to the customer service person who’s role was to build relationships. This person would run the open house inspections, provide consistent updates and be available to the customer.
The salesperson would reappear at the auction for example, and they would do, what they do best – the deal, because that is what they are really good at.
Together this partnership works, it comes back to having our ‘aces in the right places’.
The salesperson was very good at winning business and very good at getting the best possible sale BUT they were crap in between!
In this example we were able to bridge the gap and create a ‘win-win’ solution for our client.
How do you know who your best person is?
Is your best salesperson actually creating long term customers loyalty, or just short term customers?
In summary, if you have no customer feedback, how can you possibly say who are the best people in your team?
When we talk about customer feedback we are not talking about anecdotal information, we are talking about using a proven methodology (NPS) and a statistical valid sample to based business decisions on.
For example, I am now talking to 50/80 people who have signed up to our new clients business, because I know this is a valid sample, which will give me a good understanding of where their existing customers are at, prior to setting up my team of researchers to call potential clients and book in a meeting with them.
We must know what we are building from. For more information on ‘Sales Training’ download my Sales Training Brochure here.
If you would like to have a chat with me about ‘Sales Training, Do You Know HOW Your Customers WANT To Be SOLD To?’ and customer loyalty best practice contact me I look forward to hearing from you.