Is your sales team deserving of “treats” this season, or are they brewing up some scary habits that could be negatively affecting your organization’s bottom line? Here are some rather spooky sales behaviors that need to be slashed ASAP…
- Sucking the wrong contact dry. You see it all the time. A deal looks like it is nearing toward the final stages, and then BAM! — the main point of contact comes clean that they are not the actual decision maker. The question needs to be asked of your sales reps: Did you really ask the right questions in the early stages as to WHO else would be involved? Or is this a classic case of having “happy ears” and believing that the champion is actually the one that would be signing on the dotted line?
***A sign that your rep isn’t actually working with the decision maker: the contact is resistant to confirming the summary of the conversation that your rep sends to him/her following a meeting/call. As the manager, ask for these email confirmations if you are doubting the legitimacy of the contact.
- Going dark on your opportunities. Many of my recent blog posts have pertained to this exact topic — nurturing opportunities. Why? Many sales teams at the expansion stage suck at it. A common mistake that I consistently see sales reps make that is that they spend all of their time on the low hanging fruit and ignore the opportunities that have future pipeline-potential. This needs to be driven home: don’t count on your marketing team to do all of the nurturing! For every enterprise B2B sales rep, there are likely 10-15 accounts that aren’t quite in a buying position yet, but NEED a human touch point (not to be confused with touching base!) every so often because they will likely be “ready” next quarter or the quarter after, and your product/service need to be top of mind.
- Digging a shallow grave with key prospects. Your prospects are busy people, just like you and me. They don’t have time for check-in calls from desperate sales people. Your sales team needs to be have a purpose for every touch point that they make into key accounts. Sharing valuable, insightful content?… great reason to reach out. Requesting feedback from a proposal that was delivered a week ago?… absolutely. But boring “touching base” emails/calls are just going to annoy the living hell out of decision makers. Stop wasting your prospects’ time and get to your point. Start your calls with: “The reason for my call today is…” Looking for a direct way of getting commitment level from your prospects? Here is Trish Bertuzzi’s suggestion from a recent Q&A.
Have a safe, and happy Halloween!