You might be thinking mine are fine. We get excited, we get active and we’re focused on results.
Here's the truth. Most of them are boring, ineffective and are focused on activity rather than the route to real results.
It's the reason in many cases what gets forecasted doesn't come in. There's high activity but little to show and your team bring the same stories to the table. That may not be your team every week but I bet it’s happening. That can be the reality of most sales teams.
The challenge is the intent of your sales meetings are good but your focus might not be. Rather than obsessing over activity there should be a shift towards the customer and you and your team coming to new learning and revelation of who you need to become to win weekly.
The process of becoming a better and more effective team begins with asking different questions. You don't want to get caught in the loop of R.A.S moments (Random Acts of Success). Your team gets results but no one is able to replicate it weekly.
What if, instead of asking the question "What are you forecasting this week?" Or "What problems do you have?" You had a different set of questions that gave you and your team answers that helped them sell more effectively with higher returns on effort every week.
Want to know what those questions are?
They’re founded on two objectives. Getting to the cause and not the Symptom of poor results and creating a solution and problem solving mindset that is growth focused.
Here are 10 questions to help you and your team go beyond the normal sales meeting so that you can win weekly.
1. What one question haven’t you asked your client that would help you understand how we can serve them and help them better?
2. What one thing do you do weekly that yields bigger results than others?
3. What clients do you have the best relationships with to date? What do they buy and how else could we serve them?
4. What one thing could we do to improve the communication we have with our customers?
5. What opportunities have you seen to get more from your customer relationships that you haven’t been able to act on?
6. What do you believe is the one thing we can do as a team to support success?
7. What one skill will you be working on this week that will aid your success?
8. How can I help you this week to win in your customer conversations?
9. How have your current customer conversations changed the way you think about how you sell to your customers?
10. What have you noticed in your customer internal and external environment that we may need to prepare for or respond to this week?
Most of these questions are rarely asked by sales managers and account managers.
Notice that the majority of questions encourage deeper reflection and critical thinking. You want to get your team out of poor thinking, habits and behaviours that may not be serving them. You want to get them into a state of being customer focused, goal centered and results minded. All of these questions when answered offer a new consideration to what your team might do differently that week.
The bonus question you’ll ask to ensure they take action is this.
What will you do differently with your clients this week as a result of what we discussed today?
Get them to write down those actions. State 3 clear goals including how they’ll measure their progress. Remember to check in with them mid week. At the end of this process you will have had a very different but effective sales meeting. Importantly a team more empowered and equipped to do better and greater work that week.
Note: You don't need to ask these questions every week neither would you ask all of them. You may just want to pick one or two to stimulate new thinking with your team. The point is getting them to think differently. They never get a different result at the same level of thinking or activity. This process of questions helps you to help them transform their ability to think and act on that next result producing level.
By Jermaine Edwards, Founder and Author of the Key Account Hack. As a customer growth speaker and coach. Jermaine helps Key Account Managers, Managers of account teams, Solopreneurs and businesses around the world differentiate their value for retention and see up to 30% - 40% sales growth every year from their key customers. Using the key account hack system you access a proven step by step guide that leads you to deeper and more influential client relationships and massive customer sales growth in just 90 days. For more information visit his website, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Join Jermaine on the 16th-17th November this year at the Customer Growth Summit, Park Lane Hotel, London.