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One of the most common questions I am asked in the sales sector currently is how to remain
solution-focused when times are tough. The answer is trust. Let me explain…
A key challenge I notice in my work as a fractional sales leader, is sales leaders focusing only on
outcomes, ie. lag indicators, or dollars. Think of a lag indicator as a rearview mirror; it reflects past
results and outcomes.

Process-driven indicators, ie. lead indicators, are the activities and behaviours of sales teams that
directly influence the outcomes. By focusing on, and coaching salespeople towards prioritising, lead
indicators, sales leaders empower sales teams to be proactive.

By encouraging your salespeople to shift their attention towards lead indicators, they will be
proactively taking measures that will enable them to be more control of the sales process. And they
will be better equipped to recognise, adapt, and make changes if this is veering off course. This
proactive, lead indicator-centered approach encourages accountability within your sales teams, builds
a solid foundation of trust and paves the way for success.

Another challenge I am seeing in sales frontlines, is a reluctance by salespeople to get back out on
the road to meet customers - old and new. Whether your sales team is prospecting new leads to
build your company’s sales pipeline, or meeting with existing customers, the benefits of in-person
conversations cannot be overstated. They help establish genuine human connections and, when
delivered well, forge valuable, lasting, positive impressions.

Face-to-face meetings not only enable us pick up on nuances that are lost in written or verbal
communication, but they also give us a deeper understanding of our clients on a personal level. This
means we can tailor our approaches, address any concerns more effectively and build trust. In a
digital world, we are wise to remember the power of a firm handshake, a sincere smile and direct,
in-person eye contact.

My final suggestion here, to boost your sales team’s performance, is the art of asking for referrals.
This is not just a simple request; it is a potential gateway to a realm of untapped opportunities.

Satisfied customers who have experienced the value of your offering firsthand possess insights that
can lead us to new prospects with similar needs. By asking for referrals, we harness the golden
power of word of mouth; leveraging the trust established by existing relationships to open doors
that may have otherwise remained closed.

Referrals are the most valuable endorsements. They smooth the path for initial conversations to
take place, with the backing of lived experience and credibility. The trick to securing a glowing
referral is to gain the trust of your customers, trust in their willingness to provide one and trust in
your confident delivery to ask for it.

Keep trust as your number one goal - among your team and with your customers - and trust your
outcomes will speak for themselves.

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