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Most sales teams produce a small fraction of the sales they need. This does not necessarily mean they are slacking—they simply may not have the right tools to do their job. If you’re looking to boost sales, the first thing you must do is educate your sales team—and that means developing better sales materials with improved content. Second, train your sales team to answer and ask the hard questions that drill down to the customer’s need. Third, make sure each part of your sales process supports the sales team. Many companies have built-in rewards for assists, but there also should be consequences when sales members harm the company. Over-promising or misrepresenting the product, for example, often results in returns or cost overruns (depending on the business), so you need to track these to make sure team members are selling the products properly. Again, this is a matter of education.
Most important, put these steps into practice. Don’t just think about it. Intentions are great for about 30 seconds, and then the doing must be done. After all, healthy, growing sales numbers are what attract investors.
Marilyn J. Holt, CEO
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