In my position as a sales development thought leader and expert I get to hear what many salespeople in many industries are encountering for resistance. In the last few weeks I've heard way too much about deals getting suspended due to spending freezes. Have your salespeople been hearing this?
I've also been hearing about deals that have been delayed, requests for lower prices, appointments cancelled because projects were being put on hold, and closed deals getting cancelled. What have you been hearing?
The worst part of hearing a lot of this talk is that it doesn't take long for B and C players to believe it, become demoralized and expect to fail. You can't allow that to happen. All of the discussions with your salespeople must be positive, must be about what you can control, and must celebrate something. Is the economy lousy? Sure. But business is still being conducted, and even in companies where there are spending freezes, they are still making purchases. In reality, there is no such thing as a spending freeze except for being something that top management tells bottom management.
While some of the things your salespeople are listening to are conditions that can't be countered, most of the things your salespeople are hearing can be! How much of what they are hearing is convenient, easy excuses, something prospects hope your salespeople will understand and buy into? How many of the prospects are simply bluffing? How many of these stalls, put-offs and objections can be overcome with more effective sales processes, better strategies and more powerful tactics? How many of your salespeople are actually equipped to sell in an economy as difficult as this one?
While it's easy to fall into the trap of telling your salespeople what you need them to do, most aren't capable of doing more than they've done before, against greater competition and resistance, without changing something. So what would need to be changed? You'll have to evaluate the sales force to find out but there isn't a better time to do that!
What is your opinion?
(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan