Sales Manager: How did the call go?
Salesperson: Really good.
Sales Manager: Excellent.
Isn't that a lame discussion? The sales manager can improve it by simply asking, "What made it such an excellent call?"
The salesperson might respond with, "They were willing to talk, they seemed to like me and they said they'd be happy to speak with me again."
Depending on where we are in the sales cycle, our response to that salesperson's answer should be:
Attempting to schedule a first meeting: Unacceptable
Moving from Suspect to Prospect: Uncacceptable.
Moving from Prospect to Qualified: Unacceptable.
Moving from Qualified to Closable: Unacceptable.
Moving from Closable to Closed: Unacceptable.
There must be a win, characterized by meeting defined criteria, not feelings, before one can say a call of any kind was excellent. Yet that hypothetical sales conversation takes place in most offices of most companies on most days. Sales managers should be asking things like, Why were they willing to talk? Why will they talk with you again? What can you help them with? What are they hoping you can do? Why would they want to do business with us? Why didn't you [insert next desired step here], etc.
Speaking of winning, Top Sales World will present awards to the winners in 11 categories in the first annual Top Sales Awards on December 16. Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales World and Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power will be the hosts.
You can see the categories here.
My Blog, Understanding the Sales Force, has been nominated for the Top Sales Blog but I was busy celebrating Thanksgiving and enjoying some much needed time away and failed to let people know to vote for it. So, now I'm a week behind and I need your help to generate enough votes to come from behind, take over the lead and win this thing. But you'll have to help! To vote for this Blog as the Top Sales Blog of the Year, click here - but only if you think it is worthy. I don't want votes out of obligation or friendship...or do I? Sure - I'll take all the votes I can get. You can even ask that miserable brother-in-law that you had to spend Thanksgiving with vote!