Top 10 Reasons Salespeople Struggle to Get Decisions

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 07, 2012 @ 07:03 AM

stuckIf you were to remove the easy "yes" and "no" decisions that your salespeople hear during the course of the year, 80% of the opportunities that have been stalled in your pipeline would still be there.  Why is it so difficult for your salespeople to get decisions made on those opportunities?

The simple answer, the one you already know, is that those prospects aren't ready to buy.  Here are ten reasons why your salespeople have them in the pipeline:

  1. Happy Ears
  2. Salespeople want to look like they have lots going on
  3. Safety Net
  4. The prospects showed some interest
  5. They are an attractive account to have
  6. It's a large potential account
  7. Good relationship was developed
  8. You targeted the account for them
  9. Hoping Christmas will come early
  10. They're buying the stuff now so why not buy it from you?
The real reason these "opportunities" are in the pipeline is that your salespeople did not accomplish some or all of the following 10 milestones and/or criteria:
  1. Did not uncover compelling reasons to spend money
  2. Did not uncover compelling reasons to buy from you
  3. Did not effectively differentiate themselves and your company
  4. Did not create enough urgency
  5. Did not thoroughly qualify on timing
  6. Did not thoroughly qualify on commitment
  7. Did not thoroughly qualify on competition
  8. Did not thoroughly qualify on willingness to spend more to do business with you
  9. Did not thoroughly qualify on decision-makers, process and criteria
  10. Did not thoroughly qualify on desire to buy from you
I'm sure that you've asked your salespeople to accomplish at least half of the 10 milestones.  Why aren't they at least accomplishing that?  Weaknesses!  Their weaknesses neutralize whatever skills and tactics they have by making it very uncomfortable for them to ask the questions they need to ask, when they need to ask them.
Coaching - the difficult balance between helping salespeople develop skills, use tactics, and manage their weaknesses - makes up most of the sales management role these days.  There are two upcoming events that can help you become much better at this:
  1. This is the last week to register for EcSell Institute's April Sales Management Coaching Summit.  I will be speaking at this great Objective Management Group-sponsored event.
  2. If you can't make that event, I'll be hosting Kurlan and Associates, Inc.'s annual 2-Day Sales Leadership Symposium in May.  The registration page isn't ready yet, so for now, you can send an email if you're interested in attending.

sales leadership event

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, Sales Coaching, sales pipeline, sales development

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for nine consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave

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