A professional mechanic will invest in professional tools that help him (or her) be more effective and efficient. A physician needs diagnostic tools in order to make time with patients effective and efficient. Likewise, in top sales organizations, there is a willingness to provide sales teams with the tools they need to be successful. These tools come in many forms — from technology such as laptops, iPhones, iPads and CRMs, to sales support and training.
Of course, many organizations invest heavily to provide the tools their teams need. As trainers, we work on the front lines with your sales professionals. The characteristic we see most often in top reps and managers is a strong desire to succeed. Success feeds families, egos, and careers. More than anything, these top men and women want to be successful in selling their products. Their success starts with more opportunities in your sales funnel, and that begins with knowing the tools you need to prospect more effectively.
It does not matter how good your service department is, how pretty your new demo room is or how much money you have spent learning how to do better MPS surveys. At the end of the day, the first tools dealerships must focus on relate to getting more customers. First and foremost, an office technology company is a sales company that needs to sell. This means having new customers to sell to every day.
Is your organization providing the tools your sales team members need? Do you encourage and monitor their prospecting activity? It is important to know how many dials they make and what their hit rate is when they get a real decision maker (DM) on the phone. You should be looking for your salespeople to schedule one meeting for every three to four decision makers they speak to live. If they are not, they will need tools to address their prospecting skills. They should be making and sending 150-plus dials and e-mails every week to get at least six to 10 net new sit-down meetings with decision makers. If they are not, then you need to provide time management and activity tools for them.
Your salespeople need to identify and verbalize out loud in your weekly sales meetings how many new meetings they will deliver that week. It is not enough to just commit to a dollar amount for the month. They need to know how to get to these numbers and they get there by prospecting.
The most important tools for success in any dealership are sales tools and they should start with the meetings. Appearing on this page is The Kingston Training Group Appointment Setting Call Log, which we use in our training with dealerships across the country. You can use this as a way to gather key numbers from your sales team. Have your salespeople complete one of these charts each week and you will be able to identify how well they are doing and which areas they need to focus on for better success. Baseball players are rated and compensated on their batting average. Salespeople should know their average every time they “swing their bat” as well.
Have each salesperson complete the call log, noting the day and time he (or she) called. Record the number of dials and how many decision makers — CFOs, controllers, owners, etc. — they actually spoke to on the phone. This does not include office managers.
Marking down every time they schedule a meeting/appointment will allow for analysis of how good they are at skillfully conveying to the prospect how your dealership can plug into their needs for business technology. Counting the voicemails (VMs) that were left and how many are returned will let you and your salespeople know if they are leaving successful voicemails. Sales forces should expect several voicemails returned each week. If your sales team is not getting calls back from the voicemails they leave asking for a meeting, they need to be evaluated by managers to see what components are missing. Have your salespeople call and leave their sales manager a voicemail asking for a meeting and then talk about that call with them.
E-mails are a very important part of prospecting. If your salespeople are sending them out, they should count how many they send by noting it on the call log each day and then count how many are returned. Your salespeople should look for a returned e-mail at least every eight to nine e-mails they send.
The last section on the call log is for when your salespeople connect with the prospects’ assistants and use them to schedule a meeting.
Knowing which tools to use and which need work will create success for each member of your sales team in 2011 because if you make more meetings, you make more money.
Kate Kingston is president of the Kingston Training Group, which provides prospecting sales training to office technology dealerships across the country. For more information on how to guarantee more meetings and net new revenue for your dealership, contact Kingston at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.kingstontraining.com.