Missed Sales Targets – A blessing and a curse  

Missing sales targets can indeed have both positive and negative aspects, like a double-edged sword.  

How a company handles a salesperson missing their targets can significantly impact morale, performance, and the overall success of the sales team. It’s important to strike a balance between holding salespeople accountable for their results and providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed.  

Here is one example of a situation and what we did to fix the issue QUICKLY! 

Meme about missing targets

CASE STUDY – Technology Product Focused Partner Solutions Team  

Initial situation  

  • Sales teams consistently missing target. 
  • Team of ‘product floggers’ rather than ‘business builders’ or solution sales people.  
  • Successful historically, yet needed to demonstrate to partners and suppliers the value that their proposition brought to their businesses.   

What we did …  

  • Refocused sales team on key activities and work preferences (Hunters or Farmers) 
  • Coached all sales team, in the field and in workshops, in ‘Hearts and Minds’ solution selling  
  • skills.  
  • Implemented LSMFT Value Proposition.   
  • Introduced Partner Business Development Programme to drive “sell through”, not just  
  • “sell to”.  
  • Coached the whole leadership team.   

Outcomes …  

  • 12% increase in sales revenues.   
  • Relationship with major distributor became a true ‘strategic partnership’.  
  • Sales team worked closer with their Distribution Partners.  
  • Wider range of products and solutions sold.        

The above is, in our opinion, the best and quickest way to solve the problem. However, if you have time, some other common ways businesses can address missed sales targets can include:  

Regular performance reviews 

The salesperson’s performance can be reviewed to understand why the targets were not met. This may involve examining sales tactics, customer interactions, market conditions, and other relevant factors.  

As a Sales Manager, it’s a good idea to schedule a time each month to meet with each member of your sales team individually to go over their performance, any roadblocks they may be experiencing and any goals they have set. 

Training, coaching and support 

Sales managers may consider engaging with a Sales Trainer to offer additional coaching and support to help the salesperson improve their skills and strategies. This could involve:  

  • providing a tailored training program  
  • guidance on prospecting techniques  
  • assistance in overcoming specific challenges  

Goal adjustment 

In some cases, if the sales targets were unrealistic or circumstances beyond the salesperson’s control impacted their ability to meet them, the targets may be adjusted to be more attainable.  

Accountability 

While support and coaching are important, there is also a level of accountability for the salesperson to take ownership of their performance and actively work towards improvement. This may involve setting clear action plans and timelines for improvement.  

Learning and improvement  

Missing sales targets presents an opportunity for learning and improvement. A good Sales Trainer will encourage Salespeople to analyse what went wrong, identify areas for growth, and adjust their approach to increase their chances of success in the future.  

Hitting sales targets

Positives of missed targets  

On one hand, it can be seen as a blessing because it presents an opportunity for learning and growth. When targets are missed, it prompts a reassessment of strategies and processes, encouraging businesses to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement. This can lead to valuable insights that help refine future sales approaches and ultimately contribute to long-term success. 

Negatives of missed targets  

On the other hand, missing sales targets can be viewed as a curse due to the immediate negative consequences it may bring, such as:  

  • financial losses  
  • damaged morale among sales teams  
  • loss of confidence from stakeholders  

Additionally, it may also signal broader issues within the organisation, such as ineffective marketing strategies, inadequate product offerings, or a lack of alignment between sales and other departments.  

Ultimately, how a company responds to missed sales targets determines whether it becomes a blessing or a curse.  

By adopting a proactive approach, acknowledging shortcomings, and implementing necessary changes, businesses can turn missed targets into opportunities for improvement and future success.  

Missing and succeeding targets

Contact KONA to discuss how we can strengthen and motivate your sales team. 

Call 1300 611 288 or email info@kona.com.au  


When to walk away from a sale

When should a Salesperson walk away from a sale?

I have walked away from many deals in the past and I will continue to do so if it is not the right fit, or it feels wrong. While writing this I’m taken back to the very first time I walked away from a sale, actually, I actively discouraged the person to buy.

I moved back to Ireland from Guernsey in the Channel Islands in the 1990’s and it was the height of a recession. The only thing I was qualified to do was in hospitality and I could not find any employment. So, I took a job in sales, something I thought I would never do. However, this was not any sale job, this was selling life insurance, door to door, commission only. I thought, “welcome to sales”!!!

Back then we went into the office on a Monday, took out the yellow pages and hit the phones to make appointments, 100+ calls a day to get three, maybe four appointments. On one of these appointments my BIG boss came out with me.

So, we met at Michael Mc—– house (a modest terrace home south of Dublin) and the first thing I noticed was that the outside was very unkempt. When Michael greeted us, he was so lovely, and we were given tea and biscuits. On the icebreaking part of the meeting, it transpired that he knew my father and that was the reason he agreed to meet.

The sales pitch began, and we were on fire… I presented the pack brilliantly and it was going so well, and he was “putting pen to paper”, when his son came down the stairs and asked for (I think new school shoes, I can’t remember) and the response from Michael was something along the lines of “make do as we can’t afford to buy new shoes at the moment”.

At this point I took the contract from him and said something along the lines of “Michael, on second thoughts I am not sure that this is the right policy, based on what you told us I will need to go back and do a little more research.” and we left.

I knew that he was over committing and because of the relationship he once had with my father he felt obliged to continue.

When we were outside my boss “ripped into me” with nearly every expletive you can imagine. He said, “You will never make it in sales as you clearly don’t have what it takes, the killer instinct, you have just ripped up £2,000.” At this I told him to shove it and I went back to London.

When to walk away from a sale

As a salesperson, do you know when it’s time to walk away from a sale?

Walking away can be a tough decision, particularly when you’ve invested your time and energy into building a relationship with a prospect. Having said that, there are some situations where it can be the right choice.

Here are 6 common reasons to walk away from a sale as a salesperson:

1. Ethical Concerns

Ethics in sales refers to behaviours that ensure that every customer is treated with respect, fairness, honesty and integrity.

Some common examples of ethical issues in sales include:

  • Selling a product rather than a solution
  • Telling only part of the truth  
  • Lacking accountability

If the product or service you’re selling doesn’t meet the needs of the customer or if it’s not the right fit for them, it’s best to walk away rather than push them to purchase something they don’t need.

2. Unrealistic Demands

If the customer is making demands that your company can’t fulfil or that would compromise your integrity, it’s better to walk away than to promise something you can’t deliver.

Some of the things salespeople should avoid when a customer has unrealistic expectations include: Arguing with the customer, losing your patience, not actively listening, not looking for other options for the customer.

3. Lack of Respect

Occasionally as a salesperson you may encounter a customer who is disrespectful, demanding or who comes across as rude. The old saying “The customer is always right” is not always the case.

If a customer or prospect is disrespectful or abusive toward you, it’s not worth sacrificing your dignity or well-being for a sale, and it’s time to walk away.

Remaining professional when dealing with difficult customers

4. Price Objections

If the customer is solely focused on price and unwilling to see the value in your product or service, it may not be worth your time to continue the sale.

Objections in sales are inevitable, and a tailored Sales Training Program can assist sales teams with effective objection handling techniques that they can utilise when customers raise objections. However, if your customer is only objecting on price, and you have done your best to overcome their objections, it could be in your best interest to walk away from the sale.

5. Unreasonable Expectations

As a salesperson, on occasion you may encounter customers who have unrealistic expectations. For example, they might push for an unrealistic timeline that would require you to cut corners or compromise quality. When this happens, it’s better to walk away than to risk damaging your reputation.

If there’s a significant gap between what the customer expects and what you can realistically deliver, it’s best to be upfront about it and potentially walk away rather than disappoint them later.

6. The Customer cannot see the Value of your Product or Service

It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to show their prospect the value that their product or service will have. If a prospect can’t clearly see value, they will not buy.

When you have made attempts to show your prospect the features, benefits and value of your product or service, and they still aren’t convinced, it could be time to walk away.

A good tip to ensure you are demonstrating value is to reflect on the conversations you have with prospects. This way you can learn from them and improve your value proposition.

Walking away from any sale is never a good feeling. But remember, walking away doesn’t necessarily mean entirely giving up on your customer. It could simply mean postponing the sale until a better fit or solution is found, or referring them to a colleague or competitor who may be better able to meet their needs.

Sometimes as a salesperson it's best to walk away from the sale

Contact KONA today to find out how we can help to strengthen your sales team with a tailored Sales Training Program.

Call 1300 611 288 or email
info@kona.com.au


Pipeline or Perish

The mantra “Pipeline or Perish” takes centre stage in the realm of Sales and Business.

For companies navigating the competitive sales industry, your Sales Pipeline isn’t just a tool; it’s a lifeline, determining the fate of your business in a world where adaptability and efficiency reign supreme.

So, if you want to thrive in Sales, why is it important to leverage your Sales Pipeline? The first step is to understand the Pipeline.

Sales Pipeline Funnel

Understanding the Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is an organised and visual way of keeping track of potential buyers as they progress through the purchasing process.

The sales pipeline is a strategic roadmap that guides your team from prospecting to closing deals. It’s a dynamic system that demands attention, proactive management, and a keen understanding of your customer’s journey.

The stages of a Sales Pipeline

1. Prospecting and Lead Generation

The sales journey begins with identifying potential customers.

An effective sales pipeline starts with a robust lead generation strategy, ensuring a steady influx of prospects.

Without a consistent flow of leads, your pipeline may run dry.

2. Qualification and Engagement

Once leads are in the pipeline, they need to be qualified. This involves:

  • Understanding their needs
  • Uncovering their challenges
  • Assessing their fit with your products or services

Engaging prospects at this stage is crucial for building relationships and moving them through the pipeline.

5 reasons why you should qualify your customers.

3. Proposal and Closing

The proposal stage is where you present tailored solutions to your prospects.

A well-nurtured pipeline positions your team to confidently make proposals that resonate with the prospect’s needs. Closing the deal is the culmination of a successful journey through the pipeline.

4. Post-Sale Relationship Building

The sales pipeline doesn’t end at closing. Post-sale relationship building ensures customer satisfaction, encourages repeat business, and sets the stage for referrals.

Neglecting this aspect can lead to churn and missed opportunities for growth.

Pipeline or Perish

Why use your Sales Pipeline?

Predictability

Your sales pipeline provides a clear view of potential revenue and allows for accurate forecasting. Without utilising this tool, businesses operate “in the dark”, unable to predict or plan for future success.

Resource Allocation

A well-managed pipeline enables efficient allocation of resources. It helps you identify areas of strength and weakness in your sales process, allowing for targeted improvements and optimisation of resources.

Customer-Centricity

By understanding where each prospect stands in the pipeline, you can tailor your interactions to meet their specific needs, ensuring a positive and personalised customer experience.

Meme about providing an excellent customer experience.

Competitive Edge

Typically in sales, speed and efficiency are paramount. Using your sales pipeline allows you to respond quickly to opportunities and challenges, giving you a competitive edge over those who neglect this crucial aspect.

In the relentless pursuit of success, businesses must recognise that “Pipeline or Perish” is more than a cautionary phrase—it’s a call to action.

Your sales pipeline is the key to navigating the complexities of the modern marketplace, ensuring not only survival but sustained growth and prosperity. Embrace the power of your sales pipeline, and let it be the driving force that propels your business forward in the face of challenges and uncertainties.

Contact KONA today to discuss tailored Sales Pipeline Training for your Sales Team!

Call 1300 611 288 or email
info@kona.com.au


Some Do, Others Teach

I do both, but when I’m running a workshop for Salespeople, sometimes I get pushback. I remember once, Sales Trainer Glenn Dobson was challenged with this statement when running a workshop and his response was spot on: “How do you think I got to be here!” I remember once I received a similar challenge as a Sales Trainer when delivering a Call Centre Sales Workshop. My response was to counter challenge. I suggested that we both sit side by side and hit the phone, the person who delivered the weakest result in one hour had to buy lunch for the entire workshop of 10 people, this challenge was declined by the delegate!

In life there is a timeless saying that encapsulates a deep message: “Some do, others teach.”

This simple, thought-provoking phrase captures the intricate relationship between those who actively engage in doing and those who choose to convey their wisdom through teaching.

We will unravel the layers of this idea, examining the connection between action and instruction, and how each informs and enriches the other.

A quote about teaching and learning from Hilda Charlton.

The Doers:

“Some do” – a mantra embraced by those who plunge headfirst into action, tackling challenges, pushing boundaries, and carving their paths through experience. These individuals are the pioneers, the risk-takers, the embodiment of resilience and tenacity. The doers are the architects of progress, the catalysts of change, whose actions shape the world we know.

The Teachers:

On the flip side, there are those who find fulfilment in guiding, shaping, and enlightening others. These are the educators, mentors, and influencers who embody the spirit of “others teach.” They draw from their own experiences, both triumphs, and tribulations, to mould the minds of the next generation. Through the art of instruction, they pass on the torch of knowledge, sparking curiosity and creativity. The teachers play a pivotal role in building a foundation upon which the doers can stand, enabling them to reach even greater heights.

Quote rebutting the notion that those who can't do, teach.

The Relationship Between Doing and Teaching

The dynamic relationship between doing and teaching is not a contrast, but a partnership. The lessons learned in the field, the trenches of real-world experience, provide the substance for the narratives shared in classrooms and lecture halls. Conversely, the insights gained through teaching illuminate the blind spots of action, refining strategies, and filling them with a deeper understanding of the consequences of their choices.

Consider the artist who, through years of dedicated practice and experimentation, perfects their craft. They become both the doer and the teacher, using their mastery to inspire aspiring artists. The entrepreneur who navigates the turbulent seas of business becomes not only a doer but also a mentor, sharing the pearls of wisdom with budding business minds. In this interaction, both realms thrive, each feeding off the vitality of the other. It amuses me when sometimes we get “You charge XXX for one day!” And my response is always the same; “No, I charge XXX for 30 years’ experience and one day delivery.”

“Some do, others teach” represents the ebb and flow of knowledge, wisdom, and growth. The doers and the teachers, though seemingly distinct, are two sides of the same coin, each enriching the other in a perpetual cycle of learning and application.

It is in embracing this paradox that we unlock the true potential of human endeavour, fostering a harmonious relationship between action and instruction that propels us forward on the journey of self-discovery and collective progress.

Quote about the importance of teachers in creating all other professions.

Contact KONA today to discuss how we can help you grow your business.

Call 1300 611 288 or email
info@kona.com.au


Prospecting in 2024.

How can I effectively prospect and find potential customers in 2024?

Sales Prospecting for Lead Generation

Sales prospecting is the process of searching for potential customers and making contact with those who “qualify” to purchase your product or service. Prospecting lays the foundation for the whole sales process as it is the first step of the customer journey.

Lead Contact Ratio

The chances of getting hold of a lead increases 100 times if they are contacted on the date and time with highest response rates since most recipients are active at night.

Multiple contacts and Social Media Dependency

•             Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact

•             3% of sales are made on the second contact

•             5% of sales are made on the third contact; and

•             10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.

Also, 48% of online users rely on social media presence whenever they decide to purchase a product. So, it’s best to reach out to prospects in various ways to get higher contact ratio and eventually close a sale.

Australian Content Marketing Tactic Usage graph.

Delayed buying response

Patience is a key to becoming successful in sales. Why? Around 63% of prospect who requested for information are going to buy for your products or services for the next 3 months. Others might take up to a year or two to actually purchase something.

“55% of B2B buyers search for products or vendors on social media because of word of mouth or referrals “ – Meltwater

Prospecting Techniques

‍There are many prospecting techniques that can be used. These techniques range from researching prospective leads online to cold calling and everything in between.

The choice of technique can depend on the salesperson’s strengths and circumstances. Although, typically the most effective tactics are adapted over time with practice and the right training.

Graph showing how salespeople typically spend their day.

Prospecting in 2024 – 10 effective techniques

Let’s take a look at some prospecting techniques that we think will be most effective in 2024. Keep in mind however, that prospecting in sales is different for everyone, so don’t hesitate to try different things and see what works best for you.

1. Create Buyer-Personas

In sales, it’s important to understand your ideal target customer. By creating Customer Profiles or Buyer Personas, you can increase your chances of prospecting to the right audience and ultimately closing more deals.

This process typically involves:

  • Researching demographics
  • Considering behavioural characteristics of your target audience
  • Narrowing down the details
  • Using your buyer personas in your marketing

2. Do your Research

This step of the prospecting process involves getting a detailed understanding of your potential leads.

This specific information can make your pitch more effective and personal, which will help to make you stand out from the crowd amongst a number of generic pitches.

Research will help you to understand:

  • Who is and is not buying your product or service
  • What motivates your customers
  • Whether or not they are loyal to your brand

3. Utilise Social Media

‍Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful tool when it comes to sales.

Social media allows you to engage with customers, as well as seeing what people are saying about your business.

Social media is great for advertising and running promotions.

Using social media effectively can help your business in many ways. To name a few:  

  • Attracting new customers
  • Getting your brand image out there
  • Gives customers an avenue for providing feedback and reviewing your product or service

Social platforms such as Facebook, and LinkedIn help you gain access to numerous potential leads, and allow your advertising to reach further than other marketing avenues. This makes it easier to connect with prospects in a personal and engaging way.

4. Warm Calling

‍Unlike a Cold Call, Warm Calls are when you reach out to prospects who already know of your business in some way.

Whilst ‍Cold Calling is still a valuable prospecting technique, Cold Calls usually work best when used in conjunction with other strategies.

When prospects already have an idea of what you have to offer, Warm Calls are more likely to lead to successful sales deals.

5. Personalise your approach

No matter your preferred prospecting technique, having a personalised message immediately assists in building strong relationships and beginning the emotional contract with your customer.

Email remains a powerful sales prospecting strategy. And luckily enough for salespeople, in today’s digital world, it is easier than ever to personalise emails going out to your database.

The power of LinkedIn Social Selling.

6. The Power of LinkedIn

Social media is quickly becoming the key to social-selling.

LinkedIn allows you to build your brand profile and establish a reputation with your customers as a trusted expert in your field. And as an effective lead generation platform, LinkedIn is the ideal place to connect with potential customers and build relationships.

7. Using Data and Analytics

Leveraging sales data and analytics is an important prospecting technique as it helps in making decisions, prioritising and measuring the results of sales tactics.

Sales and marketing data can give you insight into:

  • Customer trends
  • Patterns
  • The needs of your customers

Use data to your advantage to enhance your prospecting efforts.

8. Word-of-mouth Referrals

‍Referrals open you up to new opportunities when it comes to prospecting.

Did you know that studies have shown an average of 13% of all sales are due to word-of-mouth referrals.

Establishing trust and strong relationships with your customers can give you the opportunity to ask them for referrals, and reach potential leads outside of your network.

9. The importance of Planning

‍Proper planning and preparation before prospecting allows you to establish your goals and strategies.

This means you will have clarity on how you can achieve your goals and what steps you need to take.

Planning helps your sales team to:

  • Recognise their target audience
  • Establish a business strategy
  • Make prospecting efforts more effective
  • Ensure communication is professional and organised

10. Offer Incentives

‍Offering incentives can be a great way to increase your chances of making a sale.

Some examples of incentives include:

  • No-obligation consultations
  • Limited time discounts and offers
  • Exclusive access to new products or services

The main goal for most businesses is to boost revenue. By offering customers incentives, you can encourage them to buy, leading to increased sales and revenue.  

By trying out these techniques in the new year, your sales team can boost their efforts and optimise their sales strategy. Remember, sales prospecting is different for everyone, so don’t forget to try new things and find out which techniques work best for you.

Contact KONA to kick start the new year for your sales team and have a strong start to 2024!

Call 1300 611 288 or Email info@kona.com.au


How can I effectively prospect and find new customers?

Salespeople prospect to generate new leads and find customers. When done properly, prospecting can create interest in your product or service and form a foundation of trust between a prospect and a business. In sales it’s imperative to know the importance of prospecting to maximise success for your business.  

We will explore what prospecting is and why it is important. We will also discuss the difference between prospecting and selling, and some useful prospecting tips you can use to secure leads.

When you run out of leads, it's time to start prospecting.

What is prospecting and why it is important?

Prospecting is the initial phase of the sales process. Sales reps can use an array of methods to find potential clients or customers who are interested in buying their product or service.

Some widely-used prospecting strategies include:

  • Cold calling
  • Social Media
  • Email marketing
  • Text messages
  • Letter drops

Prospecting not only brings in new clients, but also allows businesses to spark interest amongst leads that may have previously enquired, but haven’t led to a sale.

The importance of prospecting:

  • Helps spread information
  • Generates interest
  • Establishes trust
  • Advertising for your brand

Prospecting vs. Selling

Selling and prospecting are equally important when it comes to the customer relationship. Prospecting is the first contact a company has with a customer. On the other hand, selling involves interaction with clients to pitch products or services and close deals.

Selling involves:

  • Research
  • Personalisation
  • Communication
  • Objection handling
  • In-depth knowledge of the product or service
Sales prospecting.

3 Key Prospecting Tips

Networking: Networking helps people meet others that they typically wouldn’t have met. Sales professionals often use networking, whether in person or online, to generate interest when prospecting.

Power Hour: The KONA Sales Power Hour is a focused and intensive period of time, during which your sales teams dedicate themselves to “hitting the phones” and put their sales skills to the test. The Power Hour teaches your sales team the disciplines and skills to turn calls into sales and hot prospects.

Email Campaigns: Salespeople often use prospecting databases and contact lists to send emails to prospective clients, focusing on advertising a specific product or service.

How to generate more leads

1. Create buyer personas

A buyer persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. Creating a buyer persona requires collecting data and documenting trends and needs. Developing buyer personas will allow you to better understand who your target audience is, leading to stronger client relationships.

2. Tailor your approach to client needs and pain points

Every customer’s needs are different, and their reason for seeking your product or service will vary. However, after creating buyer personas, you may start to notice some trends. You can use this information to customise your approach.

To tell every prospect about every product or service you offer can be overwhelming. By tailoring your presentation to their needs, you are saving everyone time and making the customer feel understood.

3. Personalise communication

Using people’s names or company name is a simple gesture that helps to form a connection between yourself and your prospect.

You can use information from client profiles or previous conversations to personalise your proposal.

4. Utilise Social Media

Social media can be used to your advantage to expand your professional network and spread information to hundreds of people. Researching social media metrics is likely to improve your reach and spark up conversations. Monitoring social media metrics can help you to gauge how well you are accomplishing your goals and where you may need to modify your campaign.

5. Follow up

Follow up is an important part of the prospecting process. If you tell a prospective customer that you plan on following up with them, then you must do so. You can do this through means such as:

  • Email
  • Phone call
  • Text

This will help to build trust, which is important for all professional relationships.

Call Calling when prospecting.

Why use KONA for your training requirements? 

We offer diverse experiences and skill sets, allowing us to match the right trainer, coach, mentor or support person to your needs.

We have real-world experience in the trenches. We truly get you, and we’ve got your back.

Would you like to find out more about how KONA can help your Sales Team reach their full potential?

Call 1300 611 288 today, or Email
info@kona.com.au


Why Activity and Accurate Calculations are Vital

What happens to a sales leader who submits bad forecasting? A POSITION I NEVER WANT TO FIND MYSELF IN!!!

The consequences for a sales leader who consistently submits inaccurate or bad forecasting can vary depending on the company, its policies, and the severity of the forecasting inaccuracies.

Performance Reviews: In many companies, sales leaders are evaluated based on their ability to meet or exceed sales targets, and accurate forecasting plays a significant role in this. Consistently submitting bad forecasts that lead to missed targets will result in negative performance reviews, which could impact bonuses, promotions, or job security.

Reprimands and Warnings: The sales leader will receive formal reprimands or warnings from higher management or HR if their forecasting inaccuracies are affecting the company’s performance and financial results.

Loss of Credibility: Repeatedly providing inaccurate forecasts WILL erode the sales leader’s credibility within the business, making it difficult to gain trust.

Coaching and Training: Some companies may offer additional coaching, training, or support to help the sales leader improve forecasting skills (if you are lucky!!!). 

Reassignment: If the forecasting inaccuracies have a significant negative impact on the company’s performance, the sales leader may be reassigned to a different role within the business, potentially with reduced responsibility (if you are lucky!!!!).

Termination: Let’s face it, persistent and severe forecasting inaccuracies that have a substantial detrimental effect on the company’s financial health and reputation most likely will lead to the termination of employment. Aside from the obvious “self-preservation” motives, accurate forecasting is vital for the business. If your sales teams forecasting is not accurate it will have negative consequences for you and your business.

Revenue Shortfalls: Inaccurate sales forecasts will lead to revenue shortfalls if the actual sales results fall significantly short of what was predicted. This will impact the company’s financial stability and profitability.

Overstock or Understock Issues: If you as the leader submit overestimated demand, it can result in overstocking of products, tying up capital in excess inventory. Conversely, underestimating demand can lead to understocking, causing missed sales opportunities and customer dissatisfaction.

Resource Misallocation: Poor sales forecasting will lead to misallocation of resources. For example, if your business invests heavily in production or marketing based on over-optimistic forecasts, it may lead to wasted resources and increased costs.

Inventory Costs: Inaccurate forecasting can result in higher carrying costs for excess inventory or increased costs for expedited orders to fill unanticipated demand.

Customer Dissatisfaction: If salespeople promise products or services that you cannot deliver due to inaccurate forecasting, it will lead to customer dissatisfaction, damaging the company’s reputation and customer relationships.

Cash Flow Issues: Revenue shortfalls due to poor forecasting can affect a company’s cash flow, making it difficult to meet financial obligations.

Strategic Missteps: Poor sales forecasting can lead to misguided strategic decisions, such as expanding into new markets or discontinuing products prematurely based on unreliable data.

Loss of Credibility: If a company consistently misses its sales forecasts, it can erode the confidence of investors, lenders, and other stakeholders, making it more challenging to secure funding or support for future initiatives.

To mitigate these consequences, businesses often invest in improving their sales forecasting processes, utilising data-driven approaches, technology, and regular communication between sales teams and other departments to ensure more accurate and reliable forecasts. Additionally, ongoing training and coaching for salespeople can help improve their forecasting skills and accuracy.

Even the slightest miscalculation or wrong activity can have a catastrophic effect

One degree of latitude equals approximately 364,000 feet (69 miles), one-minute equals 6,068 feet (1.15 miles), and one-second equals 101 feet. One-degree of longitude equals 288,200 feet (54.6 miles), one-minute equals 4,800 feet (0.91 mile), and one second equals 80 feet.

Therefore, if I got on a plane from Sydney, Australia, to London, England and the pilot was out by one degree, where would I end up? It’s 10,559.57 miles or (16,993.98 km). 

If you were one degree to the north of your intended course, you might end up in a location somewhere to the north of London, such as Scotland or another part of the United Kingdom. If you were one degree to the south of your intended course, you might end up in a location to the south of London, possibly in France or another part of Europe. 

Sydney to London Travel route.

Consequences of a slight miscalculation: 

Miscalculations can be disastrous. From bridges collapsing, buildings leaning to one side, machinery malfunctioning, and significant financial loss, the consequences of miscalculations can be catastrophic. 

Importance of accurate calculations: 

  • Essential for the safety and reliability of products
  • Fix small issues before they become major problems
  • Avoid issues arising
  • Avoid financial losses 

Some Notable Examples of Slight Miscalculations having Catastrophic Effects 

Mars Probe Lost due to simple Mathematical Error

NASA lost its $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter because spacecraft engineers did not convert from English to metric measurements when exchanging critical data before the craft was launched. 

A navigation team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory used the ‘millimeters and meters’ in its calculations, while Lockheed Martin Astronautics, who designed and built the spacecraft, provided vital acceleration data in the English system of ‘inches, feet and pounds’.

Due to this, JPL engineers confused acceleration readings measured in English units of pound-seconds for a metric measure of force called newton-seconds. 

Mars probe lost due to mathematical error.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill 

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a catastrophic failure that had long-lasting effects on the environment and livelihoods of thousands of people. On 20th April 2010, the oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and causing one of the largest oil spills in history.

The cause of the disaster was traced back to faulty cement used to seal the well that was being drilled. The cement was not strong enough, and oil was able to flow through the well and into the ocean. The disaster was worsened by inadequate safety measures and equipment failure.

This disaster acts as a reminder of the importance of safety measures and high-quality materials. The use of lower quality materials, combined with insufficient safety measures, can result in catastrophic events with long-lasting consequences.

Oil spill acts as a reminder of the importance of safety measures and high-quality materials.

The NASA Challenger Explosion

The Challenger explosion was another devastating disaster in the history of space exploration. On the 28th of January, 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members.

The cause of the Challenger explosion was traced back to a rubber O-ring that failed to provide a proper seal in one of the solid rocket boosters. The design of the O-ring was flawed, and NASA had been warned about the danger of a devastating failure before the launch. Still, the launch went ahead, leading to the disaster.

The key takeaway from this disaster is the importance of proper design and thorough testing. If the O-ring was designed correctly, or had NASA listened to the warnings, the Challenger explosion could have been prevented. 

Catastrophic challenger explosion.

It’s important to recognise that while slight miscalculations or errors can have negative consequences, they are a part of the human experience and can often be corrected or mitigated.

It’s essential to learn from these mistakes, take corrective actions, and implement safeguards to minimise the likelihood of future errors. In some cases, attention to detail, quality control measures, and simply double-checking calculations can help prevent miscalculations and their potential consequences. 

Contact KONA today to discuss how we can help you avoid a miscalculation and keep your sales team on track! Call 1300 611 288 or Email info@kona.com.au


Common Mistakes During a Negotiation and How to Avoid Them

Why did the bad negotiator bring a ladder to the meeting?

Because they wanted to reach a “higher level” of agreement!

Don't let poor negotiation skills leave you in check.

Negotiations are complex and often challenging. The pressure in a negotiation can cause even the best negotiators to make mistakes. All successful managers and salespeople need to negotiate at some point or another, and it won’t make your job any easier if you don’t know how to negotiate effectively. For instance, you may be unable to solve problems that other negotiators can solve easily.

Negotiation Training can benefit your sales team by equipping them with the skills to secure better deals, build stronger relationships, improve profitability and avoid negotiation mistakes.

 We will look into 6 common mistakes made in negotiation and how they can be prevented.

Poor Preparation

As the old adage goes, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.”

Just knowing what you want going into a negotiation is not enough. You need to plan and prepare. 

Going into a negotiation well prepared will make you feel more confident, and will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic.

Not to mention, you will be less likely to forget something if you are prepared.

A good rule of thumb is to include everything in the negotiation from the beginning. It’s a lot more difficult to add new conditions or demands once the negotiation has already taken place.

  • Practice your pitch
  • Clarify your reasons or arguments 
  • Think about what the other party is likely to say
  • Consider what you’re prepared to compromise on
  • Bring your notes with you

Failing to Build Rapport

Building rapport with your opponent in a negotiation is a strategic move that can significantly impact the outcome. It paves the way for more productive and cooperative negotiations.

You’re more likely to reach a mutually beneficial agreement if you establish a good relationship early in the negotiation process.

If you are unable to build rapport in a negotiation, you are less likely to be able to:

  • Establish Trust
  • Have open communication
  • Reduce Tension
  • Solve Problems
  • Overcome Deadlocks
  • Persuade

Poor Listening Skills

Poor listening skills in a negotiation can have detrimental effects on the negotiation process and its outcome.

To be a successful negotiator, you have to listen to the other person.

Avoid things like:

  • Interrupting
  • Ignoring what the other person is saying
  • Rushing or impatience
  • Being defensive

Good listening skills in negotiation can help you to learn what the other person wants and verify how far apart your positions are.

Not Establishing Your BATNA

Your “BATNA” or “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement” should be established before you enter into a negotiation.

Your main goal in negotiation is to get what you want, but you also have to determine what your next-best alternative would be. This way, you can ensure you know when it’s best to walk away.

Having a BATNA means you can push harder during a negotiation, and potentially even get a better outcome than expected, because you’ve stayed open-minded.

Sellers BATNA and Buyers BATNA.

Making Assumptions

Another common mistake in negotiations is to make assumptions.

Making false assumptions in a negotiation can lead to:

  • Misunderstandings
  • Biased Decision-Making
  • Inflexibility
  • Missed Opportunities

Instead, go into a negotiation assuming that nothing is off the table – this way, you will have more options.

Focusing only on Price

Going into a negotiation focusing only on price is a negotiation mistake, because you risk backing yourself into a corner.

Of course, many negotiations, especially in business, have a monetary aspect. And price is important, but often, it is only part of a deal.

So, what else could you negotiate? Consider other factors such as:

  • Adding additional services
  • Improving contract terms
  • Timing
  • Quantity or Volume
Value vs. Price in a negotiation. Focus on value.

Successful negotiations require preparation and a clear understanding of what both parties aim to achieve.

Although you want to secure the best deal, negotiations are not just about winning. There are many other factors that come into play.

Next time you need to negotiate, consider if you could be making a negotiation mistake that may cost you your desired outcome.

How much is poor negotiation costing you? Contact KONA to discuss tailored negotiation training for your sales team.

Call 1300 611 288 or Email
info@kona.com.au


6 Good and Bad Assumptions made by Salespeople – Updated

In sales, assumptions should be used as starting points for understanding the prospect’s needs and situation. However, it’s vital for salespeople to be adaptable and willing to adjust their assumptions based on the information they gather during the conversation. There are key skills salespeople can work on to help them make better assumptions and build stronger relationships with their prospects.

Too often people assume that in Sales, assumptions are bad. That itself is a bad assumption. A poor Sales assumption at that.

Assumptions are great. We need to make assumptions.

Assumptions assist us in setting a direction, they give us something to aim for or a place to go. But indeed, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is, we must remember, there are two types of assumptions in Sales. Positive and False.

An assumption is something we take for granted, and when this turns out to be false, we call it a false assumption. There are numerous false assumptions people in sales might make. For example, a salesperson might falsely assume that a client’s problems are easy to fix. Not to the client they are not!

So, with both positive and false Sales assumptions in mind, here we have gathered for you a list of 6 Good and Bad assumptions made by Salespeople, and how to turn those assumptions into result driven activity with serious ROI!

If you’d like to discuss how KONA can help you improve your Sales Team,

you can reach out about working with us here.

Positive Sales Assumptions

My Best Price Really is my Best Price

 When a client asks the question, “Is that your best price?” why do we reply, “Let me see if I can do better”? In KONA’s Negotiation Skills Workshops, we do an exercise where 80 percent of the participants caved when asked that question. You need to go to the negotiating table with the assumption that you are presenting your lowest price. But then again, why are you selling on price? Why aren’t you selling solutions? Make things happen!

Making assumptions can be a positive thing in sales.

This is going to be a Great Day

Eternal optimists are indeed wonderful to be around.

Everyday has something good in it! Why would you get out of bed if you did not believe this assumption?

“If I sell hard this month, it will grow my sales three months from now”. True. There is very little you can do to affect your sales this month. It is what it is. But what about the next few months?

You should be working on your sales three to six months in advance. String together three months’ worth of hard prospecting and combine it with the above “This is going to be a great day” assumption and you will have something to look forward to. That is, Sales! Make things happen!

THE PESSIMIST SAYS ½ Empty THE OPTIMIST SAYS ½ Full THE SALESPERSON SAYS “Let’s talk about the benefits of ice”

I don’t know everything

The sooner you acknowledge that, the smarter you already are. You can always, always, learn something new and improve your sales efficiency. No matter how well you are handling your time management, there is always time to grow your knowledge. There is always fat on that bone. However, this assumption is a curse every bit as much as it is a blessing.

"I am always doing that which I cannot do in order that I may learn how to do it. Pablo Picasso #Learn #Quote.

Just because you could work harder does not mean you should. As much as it is important to “not just sit there, do something!” it is also important to “not just do something, sit there!”. Everyone gets the same number of hours in a week. If you are being outsold by a competitor or even by someone in your office, a part of the reason why comes from the fact that the other salesperson is more efficient with their Sales time or is trying something new that they learnt. Go and make new things happen!

Negative or False Sales Assumptions

A bad assumption is a bad strategy.

My Customers aren’t happy with their business

Wrong. If they were not, they would have already changed. Your job is to help them see why it is worth doing things differently. Focus only on what is relevant, actionable, and valuable to your prospect.

Help them envision how your solution will get them to their goals with greater ease. Leverage what you already know about your customers to ask better questions, deepen conversations, and establish credibility. Build that Effective Communication!

Through Effective Communication, that is Quality Questioning and Active Listening, you can demonstrate familiarity with your prospects’ business, processes, industry, issues and challenges to set yourself apart from the competition. Experiment with creative ways to get your customers saying, “Hmmm, that’s interesting. I’d like to learn more.” Make things happen!

There’s no point leaving a voicemail message

Here is an eye opener – voicemails actually hold a lot of value. For many, voicemail is considered a black hole of selling and a waste of time. But you in fact can gain a lot by leaving a professional message. Instead of thinking that your words are falling into the abyss, why not make the assumption that you are auditioning for the job? Every word, every inflection, every nuance is being scrutinised. Now, instead of leaving a bland voicemail message or worse, just hanging up, you see voicemail as a chance to demonstrate your selling skills as well as your persistency. Better preparation yields not only a better sales call, it also results in a better voicemail. Make things happen!

Voicemails lead to call back statistics.

I hope I fill my Pipeline this week

Hope is Not a Sales Strategy! Nor is it a business strategy. Or a success story strategy.

It is not a strategy for anything that requires a result.

There is only one strategy for Sales, business, success, results – and that is ACTIVITY. Activity drives results. That is it. It is that simple.

The cost of follow up calls graph.

The more active you are the bigger and stronger your pipeline. The FOUR specific activities you need to look at immediately for your pipeline growth:

  1. A clearly defined Sales Process
  2. Spending at least three hours per month on Pipeline Management
  3. Training Sales Managers on Pipeline Management
  4. Implementing Power Hour
The old adage says when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”

So, pick your correct assumption and make it work. The old adage says when you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” – that is crap. That only happens if you do not validate the assumption before you act on it. If you validate it, there are no asses, rather there is just two people (you and your customer) on the same page ready to make things happen.

Now go make things happen – start by getting your team ahead of the competition!

Contact KONA today on 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation or

email info@kona.com.au


The Best Australian Sales Training Providers according to Google

Google, Google on the wall, who is the best Sales and Leadership Trainer of them ALL?

A great deal of research is conducted into many industries, but the Sales Training industry seems to be left to its own devices.

Unless the “unsuspecting” business leaders do the research that I have done below, they are potentially hiring people with no background or track record. Also, there are no governing bodies to help them.

Many so called “sales trainers” are people who couldn’t cut it and then decided to set up a “training” business. Most only last a few months, but long enough to do real damage to an important industry.

Determining the best sales and leadership training company can depend on your company's needs.

Determining the “best” sales and leadership training companies can be subjective and may depend on specific needs, preferences, and the industry you’re in. However, I can provide you with a list of 14 reputable companies in Australia along with some reasons why they are well-regarded:

KONA has a 5 star google rating with 25 reviews.

1. The KONA Group Australia – 5 Star Google rating with 26 reviews

www.kona.com.au

The KONA Group is Australian owned and is known for its 20+ years heritage of providing highly tailored Sales, Leadership, Negotiation, and growth effectiveness methodologies with real life experiences with fortune 500 companies.

2. SWISH Sales Coaching Sydney– 5 Star Google rating with 16 reviews

www.swishsalescoaching.com

SWISH sales coaching in Sydney claims to teach you the secrets to sales success using the techniques and strategies employed by the world’s top 1% of salespeople.

3. FranklinCovey Australia – 5 Star Google rating with 6 reviews

www.franklincovey.com.au

FranklinCovey is known for its time-tested leadership and personal effectiveness methodologies, such as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

4. PD Training Australia – 5 Star Google rating with 4 reviews

pdtraining.com.au

Their purpose is to help your organisation provide training and development to its people that is on target, fun, retained and above all helps them achieve their goals.

5. Healthy Business Builder – 5 Star Google rating with 2 reviews

www.healthybusinessbuilder.com.au

Build a reputation on experience in business giving customers access to proven marketing and sales strategies that will grow a healthy business.
The main objective is to help/guide business owners to stay focused and remain on target, build networking and business skills, manage time more effectively, reduce stress and increase profit. Mandate is to give your company more direction in setting strategic goals.

6. SalesStar Australia – 5 Star Google rating with 1 review  

www.salesstar.com

SalesStar specialises in sales training and coaching, offering programs that aim to boost sales performance and revenue.

7. Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) – 5 Star Google rating with 1 review

managersandleaders.com.au

IML offers leadership development programs and resources and is known for its commitment to promoting ethical leadership.

8. Dale Carnegie Australia – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.dalecarnegietraining.com.au

Dale Carnegie has a long history of providing leadership and sales training, with a focus on interpersonal skills, communication, and self-confidence.

9. Leadership Management Australia (LMA) – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.lma.biz

LMA offers a comprehensive range of leadership and management programs designed to develop practical skills and drive organisational success.

10. AIM (Australian Institute of Management) – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.aim.com.au

AIM is a well-respected institution that provides a wide range of management and leadership courses, along with networking opportunities.

11. Sales Ethos – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.salesethos.com.au

Sales Ethos focuses on sales training and consultative selling techniques to help businesses improve their sales processes and results.

12. RedSeed – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.redseed.com

RedSeed specialises in retail sales training, with a focus on e-learning solutions and improving customer service skills.

13. The Sales Edge – No Google reviews to refer to.

https://the-salesedge.com

The Sales Edge provides practical sales training programs that help sales professionals close deals and build long-term customer relationships.

14. ProSales Connection – No Google reviews to refer to.

www.prosalesconnection.com

ProSales Connection offers a range of sales training and consulting services, with a focus on lead generation and pipeline management.

The reasons why these companies are considered among the top sales training companies include:

  • Their track record of success
  • The quality of their training materials and methodologies
  • Experienced trainers
  • Their ability to tailor programs to meet the specific needs of their clients

Additionally, client reviews and testimonials play a significant role in determining their reputation in the industry.

Google reviews can help you to choose a training provider.

How do you choose a supplier?

To find the best fit for your organisation’s training or professional development needs, it’s important to conduct thorough research, consider your specific goals, and possibly consult with representatives from these companies to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Choosing the best sales training and leadership company is crucial for the success of your sales team and your business. Here are some steps to help you select the right sales training provider:

Identify Your Needs:

Before you start searching for a sales training company, assess your specific needs and goals. Determine what areas of sales you want to improve, such as:

  • Prospecting
  • Closing deals
  • Objection handling
  • Customer relationship management

Define Your Budget:

Determine how much you can allocate to sales training. Consider both the direct costs of training and the potential returns on investment (ROI) from improved sales performance.

Research Potential Providers:

Start by researching potential sales training providers online. Look for companies or individuals with a strong reputation in the industry.

Check Credentials and Experience:

Evaluate the credentials and experience of the trainers. Look for trainers who have a track record of success in sales or extensive experience in sales training.

Some testimonials about Training from the KONA Group.

Read Reviews and Testimonials:

Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients. This can provide insights into the effectiveness and quality of the training programs.

Request References:

Ask the sales training company for references from past clients. Contact these references to get feedback on their experiences and results achieved through the training.

Assess Training Content:

Review the content of the training programs offered. Ensure that the training materials align with your specific needs and goals. Look for a comprehensive curriculum that covers all relevant aspects of sales and leadership.

Delivery Methods:

Consider the delivery methods used by the provider. Some training programs are delivered in-person, while others are offered online or through a blended approach. Choose the format that suits your team’s preferences and logistics.

Customisation Options:

Determine whether the training can be customised to address your unique challenges and industry-specific requirements. Customisation can make the training more effective.

Evaluate Support and Resources:

Inquire about the post-training support and resources offered by the provider. Will they provide ongoing coaching, access to materials, or additional resources to reinforce the training?

ROI Measurement:

Ask the provider how they measure the ROI of their training programs. A reputable provider should be able to provide a clear framework for tracking and evaluating the impact of the training on your sales team’s performance.

Conduct Interviews:

If possible, conduct interviews with the trainers or representatives of the potential training provider. This will give you a chance to ask specific questions and assess their expertise and communication style.

Compare the costs of different training providers.

Compare Costs:

Compare the costs of different training providers while considering the value and quality they offer.

Don’t simply choose the cheapest option, as quality and results should be the primary considerations.

Seek Feedback from Your Sales Team:

Involve your sales team in the decision-making process.

Get their input on the potential training providers and programs to ensure that they are comfortable with the choice.

Make a Decision:

Based on your research, evaluations, and budget considerations, make an informed decision on the sales training provider that best fits your needs.

Remember that the success of your sales training program depends on the quality of the provider and the commitment of your sales team to actively participate and apply what they’ve learned. Keep communication open and continually assess the effectiveness of the training to make necessary adjustments.

Things to be aware of when choosing a supplier:

The effectiveness of sales training providers can vary widely, and what is considered the “best” provider may vary depending on your specific needs and goals. However, here are some general pros and cons to consider when evaluating different sales training providers:

Be aware of pros and cons when choosing a sales training provider.

Pros:

Improved Sales Performance: Effective sales training can lead to improved sales skills, better closing rates, and increased revenue for your organisation.

Customisation: Many top sales training providers offer customised programs to meet your specific industry, company, and sales team needs.

Experienced Instructors: The best providers often employ experienced sales professionals and trainers who can offer valuable real-world insights.

Comprehensive Curriculum: Leading sales training providers typically offer a wide range of training topics, from basic sales techniques to advanced strategies.

Measurable Results: They often provide tools and metrics to track the effectiveness of the training, allowing you to measure the ROI.

Networking Opportunities: Some providers offer opportunities for sales professionals to network with peers and industry experts.

Continuous Learning: Many top providers offer ongoing training and support to ensure that sales teams continue to improve over time.

Cons:

Cost: High-quality sales training can be expensive, especially if you opt for customised programs or top-tier providers.

Time-Consuming: Sales training often takes time away from selling activities, which can impact short-term results.

One-Size-Fits-All: Some providers may have a rigid curriculum that doesn’t fully align with your unique sales challenges.

Resistance to Change: Sales teams may resist new training methods or approaches, leading to slow adoption and implementation.

Lack of Follow-Up: Even with excellent training, if there’s no ongoing support or reinforcement, the initial benefits may diminish over time.

Limited Industry Knowledge: Some providers may not have expertise in your specific industry, which can limit the relevance of their training.

Overpromising: Be cautious of providers who promise miraculous results or quick fixes, as sales improvement often requires ongoing effort and practice.

When you are looking for the best sales and leadership training provider, it’s essential to consider your organisation’s unique needs, budget, and long-term goals. Research, reviews, and referrals from other businesses in your industry can help you identify the best fit for your sales team. Additionally, make sure to assess the potential provider’s track record and success stories to ensure they can deliver on their promises.

Contact KONA today to discuss what we can do for your business. Call 1300 611 288 or

Email info@kona.com.au