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We believe a sales career is an excellent one – demanding, results focused and rewarding.
We believe all sales people should strive for the highest standards of professionalism in their selling skills.
We believe the guiding ethos of the profession is to consistently create an excellent customer experience by helping customers buy what is in their best interest to buy.
We believe sales professionals take responsibility for delivering their sales targets by actively managing their opportunities.
We believe sales people can be very successful for their organisations and themselves if they sell in this way.
For these reasons, we have created a free “open source” self- assessment for sales people. Take the test today, and see how you fare against the standards.
You are free to use the content in any way you want.
Please rate yourself 1 to 10 in the following 15 domains. Your results will show up on the graph at the end.
10 = being fully in line with the behaviour
1 = being absent in applying the behaviour.
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For each question, score yourself between 1 and 5 to give your organisation a total score out of 50.
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We believe excellence comes from consistent application of effective routines every day. Here are some ideas now you have “looked in the mirror”:
And don’t forget to invite your colleagues to benchmark themselves too!
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Positive influence Q1a. You take being on time for client appointments very seriously, always in the reception area at least 5 minutes before the set time.
Positive influence Q1b. You pay close attention to your personal image; clothes, case, PC, documents, business cards. Perfection is your goal.
Positive influence Q1c. You take great care in managing first impressions, eye contact, handshake, and personal introductions. You have researched their role & interests before your meeting.
Positive influence Q1d. You commence all your meetings with a clear agreement upfront concerning objectives and timeframes.
Positive influence Q1e. Your written communication is prompt, accurate, and clear and answers what your customer expects. It uses direct, active language and is reviewed and spell checked so they don’t pick up errors.
Preparation & research Q2a. You have researched your customer’s organisation & objectives well.
Preparation & research Q2b. You write down the questions you need to ask to understand customer needs.
Preparation & research Q2c. You plan in advance what the next steps could be that you would like your customer to agree to.
Preparation & research Q2d. You do personalised document / presentation preparation to ensure you can clearly communicate your message to customers.
Preparation & research Q2e. You plan the structure of the meeting so you can effectively lead it.
Listening & questioning Q3a. You master fully the use of open and closed questions.
Listening & questioning Q3b. You are adept at finding exactly the right question to understand your customer’s issues.
Listening & questioning Q3c. You listen actively, focusing 100% on what is important to your customer, allowing them to finish their point without interruption.
Adaptive selling / customer orientation Q4a. You are highly sensitive to your customer’s changing emotions and needs.
Adaptive selling / customer orientation Q4b. You tune in to the way they prefer to give and receive information, and adjust your approach to fit, for example modifying the amount of detail and mode of presentation.
Adaptive selling / customer orientation Q4c. You adapt your selling approach according to the expressed needs & ambitions of your customer.
Managing objections Q5a. You anticipate the likely concerns your customer could have before meeting them.
Managing objections Q5b. When customers raise objections, you acknowledge them without being defensive, and ask further questions to make sure you truly understand the objections, BEFORE responding.
Managing objections Q5c. You regularly research what your competitors offer, so that you can easily help a client see why your offer is to their advantage.
Committing, closing and creating actions Q6a. During customer meetings, you make sure you clearly summarise and write down any actions that emerge, so that it is clear to your counterpart that the action will be followed up.
Committing, closing and creating actions Q6b. You make sure all your customer meetings have concrete next steps, which are written down, and either dealt with in a short time frame, or sent to them by email within 24 hours.
Committing, closing and creating actions Q6c. You take care to follow up on all actions, and where delays occur, you update the customer, living by the principle, “Do as you say you will.”
Committing, closing and creating actions Q6d. When you have made proposals to customers, you follow up quickly to confirm / close the sale.
Opportunity management Q7a. You track all your sales opportunities and update them at least weekly, using the list to prioritise what actions need to be carried out.
Opportunity management Q7b. You are active in managing your sales pipeline, by finding new leads, following up on proposals, replacing “drop outs” and ensuring there is sufficient overall opportunities to meet targets.
Opportunity management Q7c. You manage your pipeline actively without intervention from above; you see it as a core part of your role.
Time management, planning, personal organisation Q8a. You have regular “time management meetings with yourself”, defining important goals for the week, month, year.
Time management, planning, personal organisation Q8b. You are disciplined and work diligently on the important tasks in your sales role, without getting distracted.
Time management, planning, personal organisation Q8c. You prioritise and drive the important activities that will contribute to meeting targets.
Time management, planning, personal organisation Q8d. You respond to all customer communications in less than 24 hours, so they have the feeling you are delivering excellent service.
Time management, planning, personal organisation Q8e. You optimise your travel arrangements with a high level of discipline to avoid wasted hours.
Presentation skills Q9. If asked to present to a group of customers, the presentation you give will be very well received by them, because it is tailored to their needs, easy to follow and lively.
Drive and persistence Q10a. You do what sales work needs to be done, even when it is hard going, or means eating into social time.
Drive and persistence Q10b. You are tenacious with opportunities, calling back several times when customers do not reply, finding new ways to approach customers, rather than giving up and moving on.
Drive and persistence Q10c. You are never satisfied with the status quo, always looking to find new leads, new opportunities, networking events, or simply increasing the chances of success on projects in progress.
Political sensitivity Q11a. You make enquiries early on in sales encounters to understand who might influence the decision to adopt your products / services.
Political sensitivity Q11b. You carefully influence your prime contact to help you meet other influencers, adapting your approach according to the differing roles.
Political sensitivity Q11c. You take care to understand and work with organisational politics as you navigate around organisations.
Political sensitivity Q11d. You use your allies to help you convince sceptics.
Product knowledge Q12a. You make sure that you know your products / services / solutions inside out, so that you can offer true value to customer in discussions. There is definitely value in meeting you above what customers can find out from the web site.
Product knowledge Q12b. You do your homework to ensure you fully understand what value your products / services offer to your customers.
Internal influence Q13a. When you have to drive internal changes to serve customers better, you have the ear of senior people.
Internal influence Q13b. You often find yourself lobbying for changes internally to help the organisation be more customer focused and win more business.
Internal influence Q13c. You respect reporting needs of internal staff, giving them the information when they need it, without having to be chased.
Social media competence Q14a. You regularly manage your own on-line profiles / visibility so that any customers & prospects searching for you would see a competent industry specialist who is motivating to meet.
Social media competence Q14b. You contribute regularly to on-line forums where your customers are active to raise your / your organisation’s profile.
Social media competence Q14c. You are vigilant in monitoring on-line communities where your customers are active to spot and follow up on.
Negotiation and ability to defend offer Q15a. You prepare well when you expect to negotiate aspects of the sale.
Negotiation and ability to defend offer Q15b. You negotiate confidently with customers and work hard to preserve the relationship while defending your organisation’s margins.
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