How Customer Objections are Sales & Marketing Tools

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Many people who are new to Sales think that if a Customer does not ask questions or raise Objections during a Sales call; the Sale is moving forward. They find themselves surprised when the customer does not want to buy when they ask for the order. This assumes the Sales person has the courage to ask for the order.

Why Customer Objections are Sales Tools

When the Customer does not ask questions about a product or service it demonstrates a lack of interest. Sales objections are sales tools because the customer shows interest by asking questions. These questions allow the Sales person to build rapport and trust with potential customers. They get to demonstrate their product knowledge and expertise. Without any customer objections or questions, reps have no way to measure their progress during the sales call; making it impossible to pivot. This makes it hard to make sales and build a relationship with the customer.

Why Customer Objections are Marketing Tools

There are certain things that come up when customer raise objections. Over time, Sales people will be able to see patterns of these objection. Objections are raised about pricing, bad past experiences, budgeting, being happy with a competitor and product inferiority. While Reps need to be able to handle objections; if they keep losing the sales for the same reason, they need to share this information with the marketing and product development teams.

How Marketing can Help Sales

Based on the feedback from Sales, Marketing Teams can Create and improve Sales/Marketing Collateral to address potential objections.

On issues of one product being better than another, the product team can: see how the product can be improved, or help provide Sales with Market researchposition materials to illustrate how the product is better.

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Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools because they provide customer intelligence that can be used to sell more/improve products.

Do you think Customer objections are Sales and Marketing tools? Comment and share how you have handled and used customer objections.

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Steps to becoming your own Sales Manager with Activity-Based Selling

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In order for Sales Reps to be successful in sales, they need to think like a Sales Manager. To be able to do this they need to be able to track their own numbers and activities in the Sales pipeline. Using a system such as Activity-Based Selling, it is now possible to see your numbers in real-time along with pending deals and actions needed for the next step. This kind of Sales analysis will help you be successful.

There are five tasks in the Activity-Based Selling system that you need to master to become your own Sales Manager which includes: 1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota, 2. Creating and implementing a daily sales plan 3. Prospecting for new leads and customers, 4.Turning in timely reports, 5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing the above.

Below, we will see each of these steps in more detail.

1.Meeting and Exceeding your Monthly quota

To be successful as a Sales Rep, it is imperative that you meet your monthly sales quota. In order to meet this quota or goal it is important to know what it is. To achieve this goal it’s important to have a conversation with your manager about how you will be evaluated and what numbers you will need to hit.  The monthly sales quota that you receive may seem overwhelming at first.

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Therefore, you should break it down into smaller parts. For example, a $100,000 per month quota divided by 20 working calendar days means that your sales must be a minimum of $5000 per day on average. To exceed the monthly goal, double the daily goal.

Now before you can dive head first into calling on customers and prospects you’ll need to have belief in yourself and the products you offer, product knowledge, competitive analysis of how your product measures up to competitors and at least a basic understanding of how to handle objections; if you are new to sales.

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Common objections voiced by prospects include: pricing, loyalty to a competitor, bad prior experience, not being the decision maker and wanting to think it over.

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2.Creating and Implementing a Daily Sales Plan

 Once you are assigned a Sales territory, it is important to understand its demographics. As a Sales Rep in a new territory, you want to know: the number of prospects, the geography of the territory and the locations of prospects on a map. Using this information, the next step would be to divide the number of prospects by the 20 calendar working days in a month to come up with the amount of daily calls needed to visit everyone in the territory. Use a map to determine the order of people you will call on. As a Sales rep, you will want to call on people near one another to manage your time effectively. Write this plan out and go over it with your manager and most importantly make sure to use it every day.

3. Prospecting for New Leads and Customers

 

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Now that you are executing your sales plan, it’s important to get in front of the people who could say yes to your offering. To be able to do this effectively, it is essential to be able to handle objections during sales calls. To have success, handling objections are the key to obtaining more sales from appointments. As you hone your selling skills, you will find it easier to make presentations and ask for the order. Once Sales are made it is important to make sure customers are satisfied with their purchase. You have earned the right to ask for more business, testimonials and referrals only after the sale and successful implementation of the product.

4.Turning in timely reports

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As a Sales Rep, it is easy to get lost in the details when you are running a sales territory as there are many things to manage at once. However, you are still responsible to turn in your reports and update your records for customers and management; incomplete records can hurt your sales and your performance evaluation.

5.Using Sales CRM to aid in accomplishing all of the above

Sales CRM software allows you and your Manager to track all Sales pipeline activity which allows you to make informed decisions on all actions for all required interactions on pending deals.

Sales CRM enables Sales Reps to become their own Sales Manager, tracking their numbers and comparing them to other time periods gaining valuable insights on what is going well and what they can do to improve. This kind of Sales analysis and reflection enabled by Sales CRM is essential for sales success.

Major Sales CRM providers are:

Salesforce,

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ACT!,

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Oracle and

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HubSpot

You can sign up for free trials and/or product demos by clicking the links above.  

What Sales CRM are you using? Comment and share your experience below.

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. HubSpot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 15,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 10,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full-time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

 

 

Close Sales during Cold Calling with the Colombo Technique

In previous articles, I have discussed how to overcome objections and make cold calls successfully as referenced below.

“In sales, everyone has to be able to overcome objections in order to be successful. The best way to overcome objections is to prevent them. This can be done by providing a thorough sales presentation that covers all the information about your products and services. Also it is imperative that you address any questions the prospect has immediately. However, objections will come up from time to time. Some of these objections are real buying signals and others are just stalls to put you off. As a Salesperson, you need to be able to tell the difference.”

During some cold calls to dental offices, I was not able to obtain the information that I needed to overcome prospect objections. This occurred because the person I was speaking to was not the decision maker. As a result, they were reluctant to talk for fear that they would say the wrong things or give away to much information on their bosses business. Despite their reluctance, I would continue to talk with them, build rapport and bond. I would ask to speak to the decision maker but many times they were not in the office; or the person I was speaking with would not want to disturb them for fear of getting reamed out when I left the office.

When this was the case, I would use the Colombo technique to get the information that I needed. I would turn to leave the office, put my hand on the doorknob and ask who their supplier was or when I could catch the boss. Usually the person I was speaking with would provide me with a lot of information about the prospect. Even more than I expected! This is because the person that I was speaking with put their guard down because they thought I was leaving the office so one last question didn’t seem so bad.

During other cold calls, I was able to speak to the decision maker. I would build rapport with them and try to obtain as much information as I could to overcome their objections. Many times the prospect would be reluctant to give me information; stating that they were happy with their supplier or they were too busy to speak to me. When they used the supplier objection, I would employ the Columbo technique; turn to leave and ask who their supplier was. Many times they would tell me and I would ask them for few moments of their time to show how my products were better. I would get the time and close the prospect on giving me a trial order. I developed some of my best customers this way. Other times, I was able to obtain a follow up appointment with the prospect.

The key to the Colombo technique is to get prospects talking. Even if it’s about things not related to their business at first. You want to make them comfortable talking with you. Next, you want to save the question you really want to know for the end of the conversation because the prospect will most likely answer it thinking you are going to leave their office. In other words, their guard is down.

The Columbo technique is a great way to close sales and obtain information.

How have you employed the Columbo technique?