Only 54.6 percent of sales professionals produce enough revenue to meet quota according to CSO Insights 2015 Sales Compensation and Performance Management Study.
And, it’s the rare prospect that actually wants to hear from a sales rep.
What’s a senior executive to do?
In many cases, the answer to the above double head shaker has been spending good money on tools and consultants to fill your funnels with “Good Leads.” Yet, when I ask leaders if they are closing more business or doing so in a repeatable and intentional way, they answer “NO “ to one or both questions.
What’s going on?  What I have found is that sales reps are not prepared for the rest of the sales cycle.
BEING REPEATABLE AND INTENTIONAL IN SALES means you are prepared to succeed.
In working with clients, I’ve identified three areas of sales preparedness:

  1. Process – the steps to take in an opportunity from first initiation to close;
  2. Messaging – the conversation models or scripts and recap templates utilized within each step of the process; and
  3. Behaviors – the sales actions and mannerisms sellers exhibit in an opportunity that map to the company culture.

And unfortunately, unlike Meatloaf, two out of three is bad.  You may recognize these “two out of three” archetypes on your sales team.
The Auditor follows an excellent process and messaging but doesn’t care to exhibit excellent behaviors.  This seller risks being viewed as robotic, insincere or worse.
Example – The Auditor exhibits poor listening skills increasing the probability that the buyer feels she doesn’t care to “get” them.
Then, there’s the Surfer Dude
This seller talks a great game with excellent messaging and behaviors – everybody loves this guy, but he lacks a real process.  Surfer Dude risks losing his bearings in an opportunity and being out of alignment with buyers. He often fails to qualify or close or even closes prematurely.
Example – By not documenting the buyer’s evaluation process, the seller has a limited view of the buyer’s decision-making steps and timing.
Finally, you may have some Gamblers on your team. The Gambler has excellent process and behaviors but rather than prepare, she likes to just roll the dice.  The Gambler seems to always be winging-it.  They risk missing out on building trust or figuring out the current situation.  By just rolling the dice, the Gambler sometimes gets lucky, but too often loses to “no decision” or a named competitor.
Example – the unprepared seller who forgets to ask questions about the value of their solution to the buyer may discount too much or fail to have the buyer make the purchase a priority.
So, what are you doing to prepare your sales force?   Are you arming them with a best practices sales processes and messaging?  What are you doing to ensure their behaviors are in line with your company culture and values? By not checking on all three components of a professional sales force, you risk enabling your Auditors, Surfer Dudes and Gamblers.

SalesReformSchool Food for Thought

Like it or not, we all have to put together slide decks for sales meetings.  Here’s one of the best posts ever on constructing a winning sales deck.  And here’s where you should sit.

SalesReformSchool Extracurricular

I love to cook.  I dazzled a recent dinner party with these. And impressed at another with these.  Oops, perhaps these two recipes should have been posted above in the “Food for Thought” section.

That’s all for today.
Good Selling (and eating)!

P.S. Did you like this email? Any comments you’d like to share?  Please post a reply at SalesReformSchool or  email me and consider sharing this post!

Through SalesReformSchool, I am available to you for Sales Process Design, Sales Messaging Creation, On-boarding/In-boarding Sales Team Workshops, Keynote Addresses, Facilitation, Group or One-on-One Coaching, Pipeline Reviews and other Sales Management Consulting.