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The Killer Sales App


Guest articles > The Killer Sales App


by: Drew Stevens


In speaking with my clients recently all sales managers seem to have the same issue on their mind how to gain more production and profits from their sales staff. With audacious goals this is a grave issue.

Stunted growth still continues to haunt sales teams as organizations continue to sit on cash. Many continue to seek the magic bullet or in today’s vernacular the “killer app” to aid in sales profits. However, while many question where to discover “the secret”, it might very well be in front of them.

During any economic resurgence innovation begins. Such transitions are needed within many sales organizations. The recent recession created a need for organizations to terminate many non-productive selling personnel. Through attrition those that did not meet goals were asked to leave. However this does not decrease the notion that there exist some remaining underachievers.

While many managers continue to seek new talents and personnel there is a dire need to look from within to discover sales mechanisms that harm sales teams. Many do not know they exist and many do not know how to identify them so here is a brief look at those applications killing your sales performance.

  1. Value – Selling today requires a keener look at the value that organizations provide to clients. While this term tends to get as overused as that of “guerrilla” in the late 1980’s there is a dire need for sales professionals to focus on the value they provide. Organizations must strategize and help selling professionals articulate a message that attracts clients and helps manifest the brand. The use of value propositions and audio logs will be helpful here. Forget the “Elevator Speeches” and assist the team with the articulation of value.
  2. Relationship – Just sitting at my desk writing this post I received two cold calls. These are transactional methods that do not work today. Consumers are simply too busy in this world with too much interference. They lack time and attention and will not reply to a cold call from someone “pitching” products and services. Transition your sales team to become less transactional and motivate them to create customer-centered relationships with true buyers.
  3. True Buyer – We all know the power of negotiating with the decision maker but are your sales professionals really speaking with the proper person? More than 86% of sales representatives spend enormous amounts of time with gatekeepers. Sales Managers must ensure sales agents are spending less time with subordinates. Sales teams must only spend time with economic buyers since they control the budget, understand the objectives and realize how your services integrate with the firm’s strategy.
  4. Knowledge – The single most alarming issue for any sales manager is working with professionals that do not know what to say before hello. Similar to an athlete that must practice prior to the competition selling professionals must conduct research or homework so that they have the right questions, are aware of any objections as well as have a “script” to articulate value. Content is king and a lack thereof will kill sales performance.
  5. Behavior - Some sales managers are unclear of their talent. I have been asked many times over the years about the proper behavior for a successful representative. Too many today seek gregarious highly persuasive individuals. Behavior is dependent on the clients. When we speak of behavior there are really two issues the ability to be assertive as well as persuasive. Good selling professionals are good communicators that perform well under duress. While persuasiveness is useful it sometimes hinges on ethical boundaries since being too persuasive can equate to “pitching” products. Sales Managers must simply seek talent that understands the products, can articulate value as well as be assertive enough to generate prospective clients. Look at your team to discover whether the right individuals are sitting in the dugout.
  6. Need – Sales professionals harm themselves and future business when they cannot establish need. The only method to ensure discovery of need is with terrific questioning skills. These questions are based on client objectives, the measurements to ensure success and the value to the organization. These questions should be scripted. True buyers will provide the answers. However the path to success is based on the selling professional that can lead the buyer in a clear direction.
  7. Priority – With the crazy world in which we operate both buyers and sellers are extremely busy. The issue then becomes what is a priority. If sellers want to close business then the actual sale must be a priority to the buyer. When buyers do not see a priority the seller has failed to establish value and meet prospective client objectives. It is vital for every seller to establish value and illustrate the priority to buyers otherwise the sales cycle becomes very long as everything else takes precedent.


Selling today similar to many technological tools requires more innovative concepts. The notion is working smarter not harder. This requires a relentless focus on customer value so as to shorten the cycle and better performance.


2011. Drew J Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

Drew Stevens Ph.D. President of Stevens Consulting Group is one of those very rare sales management and business development experts with not only 28 years of true sales experience but advanced degrees in sales productivity. Not many can make such as claim. Drew works with sales managers and their direct reports to create more customer centric relationships that dramatically drive new revenues and new clients. He is the author of Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the Sales Leadership Program at Saint Louis University. Contact him today at 877-391-6821.

Contributor: Drew Stevens

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Classification: Sales



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