July 19th 2010
I am reading a very good book on learning about your customer before you ever talk to them (Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling) . This is in part based on what is also in People Buy You. Customers buy a solution to a problem they have. Your job as a sales person is to learn beforehand what problems appear to be occurring, so you can speak about their company and not yours. Doing anything less, means you are doomed to the losing sales numbers game.
The sales numbers game, if you do not know.(Where trickle down is not pretty).
- Corporate sets a target of 10% more sales this quarter ( We never know where this comes from)
- Each sales guy realizes with his 10% closing rate, that a 10% increase is multiplied by ten. thus he needs 10 times f2f presentations.
- Inside sales realizes that with a 5 % response rate to prospecting, their outbound calls have to increase by twenty times – and there is no more staff.
- The entire department is already busy – they are not sitting around
This is a losing game, because it does not address the huge losses embedded into most sales systems. Sharon Drew Morgen, Mitch Gooze and Michael Webb all are up in arms about the tremendous wastage in sales, where such low rates are common. A few process trainers have ideas about bumping up the percentages a bit with different behaviours. But that is just icing a flawed cake
No one in senior management recognizes that this is a much bigger issue (yet fairly logical to address). If you present a solution that solves a real customer problem, that he can recognize easily, your sales cycle shortens. You need to start to remove the obstacles to selling that you have created yourself.
In using our sales and marketing framework Rocket Builders find big self made linked obstacles/inefficiencies in many places in companies, such as:
- product management
- marketing management
- channel management
- executive management but
- rarely in sales management
The blind spot is that if an executive does not know what they do not know, where would they find out? In your company, do not be content with accepting long sales cycles and a decreasing return based on using the numbers game. You have created these yourself and you must find the root causes (Its your job as CEO) . If you are on a Board of Directors, you should be asking lots of tough questions. Do not know the questions to ask? Give me a call!
- Knowing What to Do vs. Doing It: Successful Selling Requires Knowledge AND Action (thecustomercollective.com)
- Selling Gets Harder Every Day (frontofficebox.com)
- People Buy You. The real secret to what matters most in business. Jeb Blount (regnordman.com)
- Video: Why Sales Fail (customerthink.com)
- The Zero Turnover Sales Force. How to maximize revenue by keeping your sales team intact . Doug McLeod
- Slow Down, Sell Faster! understand your customer’s buying process and maximize your sales. Kevin Davis.
- Time to look for a new sales job? New and seasoned sales guys????
- Zero-Time Selling. 10 Essential steps to accelerate every company’s sales. Andy Paul
- Everybody Lies. Dr. Greg House (Hugh Laurie) 2005
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