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This week I received a cold call from one of the worst salespeople ever.
I get to see the Sales DNA and Sales Competencies of more bad salespeople than anyone on the planet so I know bad when I see it or hear it. Objective Management Group (OMG) has assessed salespeople and when I compare percentages between the beginning and end of the last ten year period, not much has changed. 74% of all salespeople still suck and I get to see just how bad they suck. Once in a while I get to experience sucky salespeople up close and personal. What I am about to share is just such a story.
The caller said she was from [ABC Systems] and asked if I was the person that handled such things.
Yes, the very first thing she said, did or ask was to qualify me as the decision maker. No pleasantries, no preliminaries, no questions to see if we had any issues, not anything except, WAS-I-THE-PERSON? BANT is an ancient qualifying acronym with A standing for authority. But it shouldn't be used THAT soon in the call! Even if they were using the ancient BANT method, I was only 25% qualified at that point. That didn't seem to matter to her though because upon learning that she had a decision maker, she stated that she would like to send a rep over to talk with me about it. I guess she believed that if I'm the guy, then I must be qualified enough to meet with a salesperson. I said I was happy with our current system and thanked her for trying. In an effort to salvage the call, she said, "I can assure you that we can save you 40-50% off of what you are currently paying." So much for credibility. She didn't know what I was paying for my current system. For all she knew I might have even been using her system. I do know this: 40-50% savings is a promise she simply can't make.
She was working the top of the funnel as an appointment setter. Those roles are important in a company but if she does make an appointment, can you imagine the poor outside salesperson who shows up for that meeting? It doesn't matter that it's with the decision maker. If the field sales rep can't save the decision maker that 40-50% he was promised, the salesperson will fail to meet expectations! And what other expectations can there be after a cold call like that? The decision maker will not care how it works, how it's different, or how it's better. The expectations were set: How much will this cost? A sale cannot be any more transactional than that!
So what did she do well? She made the dial, got me on the phone and got me a tiny bit qualified.
What did she do poorly? Everything else. If she had been evaluated or assessed by OMG, she would have scored OK only as a Hunter, but horribly as a Consultative Seller, a Qualifier, a Closer, an Account Manager or a Farmer. She wasn't even fun to talk with. She didn't have any intangibles whatsoever. She shouldn't have been in this role.
Everyone has sucky salespeople - it's just a matter of how sucky they are. Companies tend to put these junior/inexperienced/ultra sucky people on the phones to do lead generation/inbound/appointment setting/top of the funnel work and this is a great example of everything that is wrong with that. Why do companies do this? It costs too much and is too distracting for their highly paid salespeople to be making these calls. But salespeople are the very ones who can convert these conversations. Salespeople are the very ones who want to schedule a quality call, as opposed to an awful call. Salespeople have a vested interest in the outcomes of these calls. If only there was a way to have salespeople in the conversations, but not waste their time trying to reach decision makers perhaps once or twice every few hours.
Oh wait. There is a way! ConnectAndSell has an amazing service that does exactly that. As of this morning, the dashboard at the top of their website showed that they had delivered nearly 3 million conversations for their clients. It really works. Check them out here.