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How To Create a Winning Sales Culture with Employee Development and Good Coaching

Posted by adamvital

Create a Winning Sales Culture with Employee Development and Good Coaching

“As coaches, we equip people to be in touch with their best selves.”– Clyde Lowstuter,

A disciplined program for coaching is a key strategy to drive enhanced performance necessary for achieving and exceeding business growth goals on a consistent and reliable basis. When implemented properly, such a program ensures effectiveness, consistency and inspired execution.

Effective coaching brings out the best in employees, and is not just about imparting knowledge and helping them develop a skill-set (which is without a doubt extremely important); however, it’s much more encompassing. Instinctively, good coaches get to know people in such a way that they understand how to tap into unrealized human potential. In some cases, this is capacity or ability that perhaps the employee may not even know is within him/her. 

What I’m saying is that coaching is not just about teaching and cultivating skills. It’s much deeper and all encompassing. The kind of coaching I speak of also involves touching the heartsCoaching - Sales - Force of employees, thus laying the groundwork for inspired and significantly enhanced performance and execution.  

 Said differently, good coaches teach, guide and counsel but, more importantly, build special relationships. In other words these people not only teach but they get know individuals in such a way that they are able to put folks in touch with the best version of themselves.

And thus, here is a key takeaway for you:  You must demand that your sales managers not just be administrators that sit in their offices, analyze reports and give orders, but that they be actively engaged as reliable resources and coaches for their team members. When hiring and selecting your sales leaders this means, in addition to other key requirements for the job, you must find people that are passionate about helping others grow and develop. And, once you find these individuals, there must be a plan for their own ongoing development. That is, you must execute a plan for teaching them how to coach and help them to continue to hone those capabilities. It is critical that you, the business leader, will create the environment and provide resources and support to help sales managers do that.

Finally, you must inspect operations, on a regular basis (both planned and spontaneous), to ensure that employee development and coaching is a priority, and that it’s a meaningful, integral part of the sales management function. 

So, how do you find sales managers who are also good coaches? The fact is that in some cases you may find these kind of people through traditional recruiting and hiring processes, but in many cases you will need to develop them.  And, we can help you with both! With 20+ years of experience, we can help you with both selection and development of the right people for this key role in your business.

If you are interested in assistance, you may contact me at (281) 817-7391 or click on this link https://avbgs.com/contact to schedule an appointment for a quick discussion as to how we can assist your business.


Built on High Expectations for Performance | Creating a Winning Sales Culture

Posted by adamvital

Create a Winning Sales Culture Built on High Expectations for Performance

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”     

Charles F. Kettering

 

grow - business - sales - blog

 

This discussion will cover teams with consistent peak performance, operating within a culture built on high expectations. Furthermore, we will review the requisite execution on some of the key factors for consistently exceeding goals. Using a proven process, we help leaders build an environment that sets the expectation for excellence and peak performance to be “business as usual.” 

I had the privilege of being a part of such an environment in business, and when I played football. In this article, I will elaborate on the football experience, though there are many parallels to what I have helped build and experienced in business.

Let’s examine the football experience briefly for the winning culture attributes. Now, here’s where I date myself, but this is nonetheless a fact-based story:

In 1969 at the University of Missouri, we won nine games and lost two. Furthermore, this team has been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. We were co-champions of our conference and played in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day, January 1970. And finally, please note that many consider this to be one of the best teams in Mizzou football history. 

Question: So what does business performance have to do with football, Adam?

Answer: It is the environment/culture and intangibles/characteristics of this team that I believe warrant a closer look at the application to business. So, let’s do a high-level examination of these:

  • Coaching and development, both energetic and capable – We had coaches who were highly trained in the development of crucial skills in the players. And, our players had great relationships with the coaches, though they worked us hard, on a consistent schedule, and demanded excellence. The coaches knew each player’s unique strengths, and weaknesses and genuinely sought to optimize those capabilities. They wanted each of us to be the best we can be and, as a result, set very high standards for our performance in practice. Suffice it to say that we were extremely very well prepared; I never played a game that was anywhere near being as hard as practice.
  • Team orientation/singleness of purpose and strong peer relationships: As far as my teammates were concerned, we were just like family. I cared about each person and would do anything for any of them, just as they would for me. When I played, it was not so much for myself, but rather, I did not want to let them down. Our team identity was essential and were accountable to one another for contributions to the winning effort.
  • High expectations for achievement; confidence based on talent, preparation, and ability to execute – For any given game, we always felt that we were just supposed to win. That may sound cocky, but confidence in one’s abilities is paramount to success in any endeavor. Our preparation was top notch; we had an excellent talent in every position, and thus, as a team, we could beat anyone in the nation. It’s pretty special when a team comes together with that special kind of collective mindset. It’s poise and mental tenacity based upon individual and collective ability. Furthermore, it’s a will forged from hard work and rigorous preparation, grounded in a strategy based on disciplined execution on proven winning processes, skills, and techniques. 

The previously described environment is the kind of culture businesses should aspire to create.

In business and in football, winning cultures possess key attributes which are critical to their success. A few of those are covered in this article; but more importantly, A Vital Business Growth Solutions has a proven process to help you put these and other reliable growth strategies in place for your respective team.

If you’re interested in a free assessment for your business, you may schedule a 30-minute consultation at this link:  https://calendly.com/adam-vital/consultative-meeting. And, when you employ our services, we don’t get paid unless you see results!


Harness the Power of WOM

Posted by adamvital

Harness the Power of WOMHarness The Power of WOM

 

Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six-step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harass the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!

There are six steps to harassing word of mouth:

 

 

  1. Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would buy your products.
  2. Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters and laggards.
  3. Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
  4. Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
  5. Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
  6. Create and implement your word of mouth campaign.

The Decision Maker Matrix is based on years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts to different concerns you may come across when working with different adapters and putting together a decision process for each one.

We are now going to move on to the 30 ways to harass the power of WOM:

Use Experts

Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:

  • Customers
  • Suppliers
  • Experts
  • Salespeople
  • Experts’ roundtables
  • Experts’ selling groups

Seminars, Workshops & Speeches

These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:

  • Speakers program
  • Seminars
  • Group selling
  • Dinner meetings
  • Peer selling groups
  • Teleconferenced experts’ panels
  • Trade show events/opportunities

“Canned” Word of Mouth

The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:

  • Videotapes
  • Audiotapes
  • World Wide Web
  • CD’s

Referral Selling

As we’ve talked about before a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:

  • Testimonials
  • Networking
  • Referral Selling Program

“New” Media

The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here are some of the “new” media options:

  • Hotlines
  • Faxback services
  • Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
  • Call centers

Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth

Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:

  • Customer service
  • PR
  • Placements
  • Events
  • Promotions
  • Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
  • Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
  • Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
  • Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)

Internal Word of Mouth

  • Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others
  • Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success

 

As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please contact me at  Contact adam.vital@avbgs.com or (281) 817-7391.


Word of Mouth Tactics – Part 2

Posted by adamvital

In the last post, we started our series on word of mouth and talked about how to make your customers purchasing experience a short, easy one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit today. We’re going to talk about the power of word of mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.

The reality is everyone needs an advisor to guide them to make a decision. We rely on the expertise of others to make the right decisions as they are explained to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word of mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember this path when working to understand word of mouth:

 

  • Accelerate the decision-making process for increased profits.
  • You can accelerate product making decisions by making the process easier.
  • Instead of low-ball advertising and the used car salesman approach, try delivering on your word of mouth promises.

 

Traditional advertising draws about one response for every thousand ads and most of those are to ask for more information before the customer even considers purchasing. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and act. On average, customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.

So, what exactly is word of mouth? Well, we know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word of mouth is communication that happens between a customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an established level of trust.

Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer where they have not established relationship with you or level of trust. Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!
We talked above about the benefits of word of mouth now let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:

  • The information is custom tailored to the potential customer because of the friendly relationship of the referrer.
  • It’s more personal, relevant and believable.
  • It’s customer driven.
  • It’s self-generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information age of the Internet.
  • It becomes part of the product’s description.
  • The source of word of mouth can be important and more effective when coming from an expert.
  • Word of mouth saves you time and money.

 

To fully utilize word of mouth you need to understand:

  1. Where is your word of mouth coming from?
  2. What products are being affected by word of mouth?
  3. How is your word of mouth traveling?

Once you know these things you can work out a plan on how to trigger more word of mouth. This wraps up our lesson on word of mouth.

If you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can impact your business, try our FREE test drive to access our wealth of resources and tools.  For a complimentary consultation on ways to grow your business, contact me at  adam.vital@avbgs.com or (281) 817-7391.


Maximize Your Resources – Part 2

Posted by adamvital

Maximize Your Resources – Part 2

Last time we talked about the first three areas to work through in maximizing your current resources.  

They were:

  • Recognize the obvious
  • Unconventional breakthroughs
  • Face the facts

Today we’ll cover the next three, which are:

  • Reveal your business’ soul
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank
  • Stand up and stand out

Reveal Your Business’ Personality

Every business has a personality and you likely felt it the strongest when your business was just starting. It’s that passion, newness, and momentum you had at the very beginning. Sometimes that can get lost along the way as your business gets stagnant and set in its ways. You have to break out of that rut and get back to your business’ true character.

The philosophy of putting your client’s needs above your own is the true key to success. You need to serve your clients not sell to them. They want to build a relationship based on trust, not a used car. Add to these responsibilities your ability to solve problems, handle special situations, be a friend to your clients and focus on offering valuable, high-quality products/services. Only then will you get back to the basics and find you have more resources than you thought.

From Breaking Even to Breaking the Bank

One of the classic and most used ways to attract clients is to offer them a ridiculously low price on their initial purchase and lock them in for future purchases. You see this approach with movie or book clubs and even credit card companies who offer lower interest rates for the first six months.

Essentially, you are offering them a deal on their first purchase and then you offer them back-end and add-on products along the way. These are naturally higher prices and will bring them into more of an intimate relationship with you and your company.

Stand Up and Stand Out

You need to stand out from the pack among your competitors. The only way you can do this through consistency and value. You do this by discovering what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is and perfecting it. Here are some tips to help you find and develop your USP:

  1. Look for unfilled needs in your industry.
  2. Use preemptive marketing.
  3. Use a technique that is clear and to the point.

This wraps up this post. These three areas we just covered give you a starting point for how to utilize your current resources to their fullest potential. If you need any help with your strategic or systems analysis, contact me at (281) 817-7391  or adam.vital@avbgs.com.