We often find ourselves coaching managers and helping them clarify what their true role is in sales management. Sometimes they look puzzled when we say: "Your job is not really managing sales or even growing sales." The sales manager's highest value comes from developing people.
It's RSP season again and for some reason, this is when sales people start to get lazy. They know they should be getting a client to acknowledge a problem first before they present a solution (i.e. a product) but for some reason, when it comes to selling RSP's at this time of year they resort back to a money grab by just asking if they have contributed yet. Oh, I know that is not their intention, but by just asking someone if they have contributed yet, that's essentially what they are doing.
There is a simple rule we advocate to help people avoid coming across as being pushy sales people: Don't present a solution (product) to a problem (need) that is not been acknowledged by the client. Generally speaking most people dislike having someone try to sell them a product that they don't need. By asking good questions you can get a client to acknowledge that they have a need which clears the path for you to comfortably present a solution.
If there was one thing that would make sales managers more successful it would be this: Sacrifice complexity for consistency; Adopt a "less is more" attitude and approach.
Results will be more evident when managers quit making sales coaching a "mile wide and an inch deep".
Financial institutions have strategies and plans for almost every part of the business. They have marketing plans, IT infrastructure plans, plans for how much risk they will tolerate, and plans for what they will do if a disaster strikes. Most of these plans are very detailed and well thought out. Unfortunately, when it comes to the sales plan - the plan on how their teams will cross-sell products and services to existing clients - many financial institutions are woefully unprepared.
Watching the Olympic Games coverage and the in-depth analysis provided in slow motion by sports physiologists got me thinking about sales process and the variance in results we see between individuals playing the same game. The sports analogy for sales has been used so often because it really does fit. In both pursuits the difference in results comes down to preparation and desire. Preparation is technique, practice, and effort. Desire is that attitude or drive to win.