St. Patty’s Day Mythbusters: Does “Luck” Have a Place in the Sales Process?

Sales reps who close a large deal right before the end of the quarter or win a sales contest in the last 10 minutes might say they were blessed with the luck o’ the Irish. But was there more to it than just plain luck?

The harder I practice, the luckier I get.

                                 -Gary Player, Golf Hall-of-Famer

Gary Player was on to something here. Don’t let “luck” take the credit away from your sales reps, or even from your own sales management efforts. There is no easy secret to sales success – the truth behind it is hard work and preparation, daily discipline, and great use of tools and resources.

Preparation

The degree of your “luck” your sales reps have in their next sales call or forecast will be a direct result of how well they prepared. Your reps need to get ready for every sales call, every customer objection, every price negotiation. They must anticipate challenges to opening or closing each of their deals.

It is your job as a sales leader to give your reps the tools they need to succeed – and one of the best ways to help your reps always be prepared is gathering materials and putting them together into a Resource Library.

Practice

Selling requires a unique set of skills – skills that anyone with passion, the will to succeed, and the discipline to learn can be taught and can improve with practice. Sure, you could argue that selling comes more naturally to some people than others. But, truth be told, any of the attributes that contribute to great selling can be honed through practice.

With the importance of practice in mind, think about ways you can help your sales team improve their skills. In a group setting, they can practice through workshops, role play activities, and individual assessments. Tools like sales scripts and rep scorecards will help them practice independently.

Visibility

Giving your sales team unlimited visibility into their individual and team performance metrics will motivate them, keep them on track with their goals, and encourage them to practice on their own. Don’t limit this information to the leadership team and the board until your weekly one-on-ones – make performance data transparent and accessible to all levels of your team at all times.

You can apply data transparency throughout your team either by putting up a leaderboard ranking your reps using up-to-date performance data (like our Free Leaderboard app on the Salesforce AppExchange), or by making all of your performance data transparent and accessible via a secure log-in using an analytics software that connects to your CRM, like InsightSquared.

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Help your reps prepare by coaching them and putting educational materials in one place, set up workshops to help them practice, and utilize apps and software that help them gain a clear understanding of their pipeline and performance.

 

Luck can be a factor in rare cases – and is certainly welcome! – but most of the time, you have to make your own luck. Even on St. Patrick’s Day.

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