Research is Key to Successful Sales

Sales is the lifeblood of business success. Research is key to sales, yet few salespeople dedicate the necessary time and energy towards understanding the buying influences, the ideal customer profile, the value proposition and the pain points that their product or service is designed to improve. Companies are easily and often frustrated with traditional transactional selling, pushy salespeople, and wasted time on sales calls.

In contrast, companies respond favorably to salespeople who adopt consultative selling methods that help business owners identify a solution to their business headaches in order to establish efficiency, cost-savings, or another form of value. How can you integrate research methods that promote effective consultative selling and high sales performance in your company?

Finding the Right Salespeople

It starts with your hiring process. Sales requires a specific type of personality that matches your company culture, your customers, and your business strategy. To attract and retain that person, you must design the job description to incorporate the skills, motivators, and accountability metrics required for the sales position.

RVR is a proponent of behavioral assessments, such as Predictive Index (PI), to build job descriptions and understand the profile of a successful salesperson. The results are almost disturbingly predictive of employee performance and longevity in the position. Employees who align with the company culture, work environment and position requirements demonstrate higher job satisfication and lower turnover. PI has been a successful hiring tool for both internal and external use.

Once the job description is finalized, you must develop the compensation structure and pay mix. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could compare salaries with the market and competitor rates for that position? Well, you can. Research tools, such as WANTED Analytics and Payscale, reveal the supply and demand for a sales position and the target total compensation ranges for that position, given your location, industry, and company size. Through our experiences we feel comfortable recommending these tools because they each have added value to our process and improved our ability to serve our clients.

Social media has provided another way to gather information on your sales candidates. There are endless opportunities to learn more about your employee’s work experience, personality, and interests through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other online research Before interviewing a job candidate, you should view his/her online accounts to verify this person is a good fit for your company.

Keep in mind, the internet and social media are also an excellent way for potential candidates to research your company’s reputation and opportunities. A website that many employers are not aware of is Glassdoor is an example of a website that publishes salary information, company reviews, and job posts that are accessible to anyone and document first-hand positive or negative job experiences. It important to be proactive in monitoring what information is out there regarding your business. For This online transparency further supports the importance of hiring the right people and managing your company’s reputation.

RVR Consulting can assist your company in any stage of the sales development process.

We can help you:

Develop your sales profile and assessment tools
Improve your hiring process
Implement research tools
Train your new and existing salesforce
Monitor and track your salesforce
Build accountability metrics
Create sales compensation packages
Review the online presence of your business

Published on 11th January 2013 by Jessica McKeeby
Categories: Strategy

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