10 Reasons Why Sales People Fail
1. Lack of follow up
2. Poor focus pre and during the sales process
3. Inconsistent record keeping
4. Chasing every lead and prospect that comes in as if they are all equally imprtant
5. No being able to let go of ‘dead’ business prospects
6. Selling too cheaply
7. Mismanaging prospect expectations
8. Talking about inconsequential things during client meetings
9. Not asking enough relevant questions
10. Fear of success – yes really!!
Yes, I know – we could add another 20 reasons here ….. and another 20 if I gave you another 5 minutes…And maybe that’s the problem.
There are a million reasons why sales people, the good, bad and the mediocre, fail to get deals they should have been able to close, so perhaps the reasons are more fundamental than the ones we could all jot down in a heartbeat….
The following, when applied can quickly make a difference to the sales pipeline, conversion and close rate:
1. The sales person HAS to put the prospect at the centre of the discussion
Sales people should ideally be allowing the prospect to talk for at least 80% of the meeting/call time. Any time that the prospect is not speaking about their issues/problems/concerns and possible solutions is wasted sales time. The job of the sales person is to demonstrate their expertise and how they can help the prospect by asking the right questions in order to help the prospect clarify their own thoughts on this issue. Without this information, a sales proposal is, at best, a shot in the dark.
Solution; ask more structured questions that allow the prospect to identify issues, the scale of those issues and the potential cost of not resolving those issues by buying your products or services
2. Poor Planning
Send an agenda through pre meeting, set a time, detail what you would like to discuss (even in very broad terms) and what the ideal outcome will be for both parties. Tell the truth – you want to work with the prospect company. Let them know that – as soon as you can.
Solution; do your research, person research, company research, competitor research and let the prospect know and see that you have identified ways in whcich you could potentially help them before the meeting
What is the purpose of the call or meeting? Ask you sales team this question and see what comes back. I know many sales people who will say it’s a fact find so we can generate a quote. If the objective of the call/meeting is to generate a quote that’s fine – however I would say the chances of signing the business would be greatly increased if the focus of the call would be to get a ‘YES’ to doing business together… and if that’s not possible, then gaining a firm agreement to move through to the next stage of the sales process on the basis of full disclosure by the sales person of what the final intent is…not an implied intent, an explicit intent.
Solution: ask for the business, understand what the budget is, timescales, establish if there is any reason they can think of why they WON’T be going ahead with you, close the business in principle and subject to being able to agree on prices.
To what extent does the sales person start to think like the prospect? See the issues through the prospects eyes? Research the market? Look at the competitors? BEFORE the purchase order is signed? I would wager that the commitment between the sales person and the prospect is lowest pre signing – and that’s just the time when the commitment should be highest. It’s wrong to expect that the commitment should come from the prospect, it has to come from the sales person. But rarely does.
Often sales are lost not by what the sales person does – its what they don’t do.
Solution: having done your research then apply the knowledge gained – stop thinking about what you can sell them and start thinking about how you can help them, think about what problems or issues they may have, and the consequences of not addressing those concerns on a short, mid and long term basis, then you can start to get inside the prospects head, then you can start to think about how your products and services could best serve their needs….but not until you have spend a fair amount of time in the buyers head…
Just 4 very basic ways to increase sales conversion, close rate and profit … to understand more about how to improve your sales team performance call Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a chat.Add a comment to this post