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Is Your Company Sustaining Sales?

By: Kate Supino

 

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Is your sales team performing lackluster in spite of efforts to improve sales and service techniques? Do they keep slipping back into old ways instead of embracing the changes you’ve been training them to accept? Find out how to sustain and increase your small business sales with these insightful tips.

 
Take Away Their Toys
 
If you had a child who kept hitting their friend over the head with their Stretch Armstrong even though you told him not to, you’d take the toy away, right? In a similar way, you need to take away the ineffective tools that your sales team keeps trying to use. If your best salesperson still insists on typing his or her proposals up on a typewriter, remove the Olivetti. Likewise with outdated order forms, handwritten expense reports, etc.
 
Bring in the Shiny and New
 
Replace old sales tools with efficient new sales products that will not only streamline your company’s sales process, but will improve sales numbers. Utilize the newer cloud technology to help keep your sales team in sync with each other on the road. Equip employees with private electronic devices that will allow them to access all of your company’s internal proposal templates and sales agreements. Make it so easy to electronically submit a sale and make commissions that they can’t help but love the new system.
 
 
Use Plants
 
Plants can help lead stubborn employees into the next generation of change. Before you rush out and buy geraniums for everybody’s desk, this is a different kind of plant. Insert natural leaders onto every sales team. These leaders would be new employees who don’t even know the old way of doing things. Their invisible job is to lead by example so seasoned employees learn how successful they can be when they embrace the changes you’ve implemented.
 
Revise Your Training Meetings
 
If your sales training meetings are average, people attend, take notes, then walk out and forget everything you just told them. Shake things up a little by thinking differently. Consider shadow training days where you pair a weaker sales person with a strong seller who can share some practical lessons out in the field. You could also bring in sales people from other industries who can speak anecdotally to your team about their own sales experiences, and some of the successful techniques they use. 
 
 
Finally, think about having your meetings off-site, in places that will stimulate your employees and shake the dust off, so to speak. Outdoor recreation areas, amusement parks, and luxury hotel conference centers would all be interesting options.
 
Play Games
 
Games and contests are still great ways to motivate people, teach them new skills and cultivate team spirit. While you have your team’s attention at your fresh meeting locale, play a game with them that will get their creative juices flowing. There are dozens of effective sales games to try, but here’s one to start with. Have your team stand in a circle and toss a Frisbee back and forth among one another. Each time a person receives the Frisbee, they must call out a number, plus the number that the previous person called out. By the time it gets near the end of the game, the employees will have exercised their bodies, their memories, and probably enjoyed being a member of a fun group for the first time in a long time.
 
As the following article shows, these unusual best practices for sustaining sales and service behavior will provide the tools and incentives that will turn your sales team into a force to be reckoned with. Next year, you’ll be able to look forward to bigger profits and a mightier sales force when it comes to your small business.
 
Author: Kate Supino is a marketing and business guru who writes extensively about best practices in small, medium and large businesses.
Published: December 15, 2014
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