Don’t Repeat Someone Else’s Mistakes from 2008 in 2009
2008 is over, and 2009 is just beginning; and if you’re a sales professional, this could mean more than just a new set of resolutions and a new tacky calendar to hang from your office wall. Many companies choose this time of the year as their moment to reassign salespeople to new sales territories. You might soon face, or already are facing, the prospect of creating a totally new sales plan to manage an unknown sales territory. For some sales professionals this can be overwhelming, especially since reassignments are usually targeted at already under-performing territories.
How can you, as a salesperson or sales manager, take action to turn around a formerly stagnant sales territory and turn it into a profit generating powerhouse?
First of all, you can follow the two basic tips listed below. But don’t stop there. If you want to keep learning how to make effective sales, talk to and mimic sellers in your company who perform consistently in the top 20% and plug yourself into online sales educational resources like SalesRoundup.com.
And now the tips:>>>>>
Find Out What the Former Sales Professional Did Right, and Keep Doing It.
There are bound to be at least a few accounts in your new territory that are already generating quite a bit of revenue. If this is so, do as much research into these accounts as you can and make sure that you keep them active and flourishing. Talk to the customer and find out what their needs are and how you can continue to meet them. Chances are, you will be able to improve upon this relationship and make even more money in the future with only a small amount of action.
Find Out What the Former Sales Professional Did Wrong, and Change It.
While there are probably a few good accounts in your new territory, it is the sad truth that sales territories change hands most often when they have been under-performing. If this is so, it is your job to find out why and take action by fixing the problem.
Are there accounts in your territory in which the former salesperson came close to striking a deal but then lost it? Talk to the customer and find out what went wrong. Sometimes this will be something that will be easy to fix. Since you are new, the customer is likely to be more open to talking about the problem with you. This could considerably shorten your sales cycle and improve your efficiency.
However, always make sure that you get specific information about the problem or else you are likely to just repeat the last person’s mistake. If the customer is reluctant to give you specific information concerning what they need from you, it will be difficult for you to market to them successfully. If the person in charge of the account failed before, you are going to fail again unless your sales methodology is considerably different. In most cases the difference will be having an approach that is tailor made to your customer’s very specific needs. If the customer is reluctant to discuss what types of solutions they are interested in, this may be why the deal didn’t go through in the first place, signaling that it is time to move on to another account. You don’t want to get sucked into another long sales cycle with the customer that produces no results.
This post was inspired by the SalesRoundup Podcast episode titled “A changing of the guard – Taking over someone else’s territory”
Mike & Joe