Here are the 10 most common things that your salespeople will do when they aren't managed effectively, or, in many cases, when they are only managed on an as needed basis.
- They target who you want but call who they're comfortable with.
- They say they will ask questions but begin by presenting instead.
- They say they need help closing but they don't have enough quality opportunities in their pipeline.
- They say they're on top of everything but the information in their CRM is three weeks old.
- They agree to sell your complete line of products/services but continue to sell only what they're most comfortable selling.
- They tell you they understand and can leverage your value proposition but their strategy nearly always results in trying to win on price.
- Their forecast is what you wanted but the actual revenue always falls considerably short of the goal.
- They talk about finding new business but don't make any new calls.
- They talk about selling more consultatively but their idea of consultative is a list of 50 unrelated questions.
- They tell you they are out making calls when, in fact, they were out looking for a job!
How many of these 10 do you observe on your sales force?
We observe most of these - and more - when we begin working with companies. The scenario that never ceases to amaze me though, is all of the veteran salespeople who put the following challenge on the top of their "I need help" list:
"Getting prospects to return my phone calls"
This particular challenge raises two thoughts.
On the one hand, of course, I'll always help.
On the other hand, I'm thinking, "Are you kidding me? Of all the things we could help you with, you want help getting phone calls returned? How lame! And how long have you been selling?"
It's just one more example of just how much selling has changed in the last five years while most salespeople haven't adapted to the change. Most are still selling exactly as they were five and ten years ago, with the exception that they are relying more and more on email instead of the phone. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Email is great. But you can't have a real-time, meaningful conversation, with both parties understanding each other, via email.