Monthly Archives: January 2014
Quarter-end Contracts Slip-sliding Away? Check Your Sales Process!
Negotiations went well. You made your case to your buyer, and you have their assurance that the deal will close by the end of the quarter. You update your forecasts and just sit back and enjoy. Nothing can go wrong. Or can it?
There is a term you should know … slippage.
Fast forward now to the second-to-last week of the quarter. Your buyer still hasn’t returned the signed contract, and you’re feeling the heat to get it signed. You call to get a status update, and you learn from the buyer that IT still needs to complete its security audit. You’re in the queue. A week goes by, and there is still no signed contract. Now, your buyer tells you that a purchase of this size will need to go through procurement, and the CFO will likely need to sign off personally. The problem is that the CFO is on vacation and doesn’t share your sense of urgency to sign the deal by the end of the quarter. Now, your deal and your forecast are in serious trouble. At this point, there is little you can do. You can pray that the slippage is just temporary, that the whole deal has not gone south, and that your forecasts are not just off but gone. Otherwise, it is just damage control.
The best way to avoid the need for damage control » Continue Reading.
How to Stop the Spoon Feeding and Start Coaching Sales Reps to Remove Obstacles for Themselves
What’s preventing your sales reps from being successful? Are sales coming slower than expected or being blocked altogether? What obstacles are standing in the way of your sales reps, and how can you help overcome them?
Obstacles get in the way, slow you down, and force you to change direction, settle for less, or flat-out stop in your tracks. In short, they prevent you from achieving your goals. In business, these barriers to success can be physical, but they are more often process-oriented, procedural, or behavioral in nature. What obstacles are in the way of your sales team, and how can you help your sales reps to overcome them? How much revenue are you losing from obstacles due to slow, low, or no sales?
Why Selling is a Joke
A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Listen,” the CEO said, “this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my assistant has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?”
“Certainly,” said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the CEO, as his paper disappeared inside the shredder. “I just need one copy…”
Prospecting Procrastinators: How to Better Manage Your Prospecting Time, Activity, and Focus
“Your timing is perfect!” are words we probably don’t hear often enough. In sales, particularly when trying to connect with prospects, those words sound wonderful because they imply that the prospect is interested in talking to you.
Sales reps can’t survive on luck when trying to get prospects on the phone. You can’t just block out two hours of your day to make your cold or warm calls because it suits your schedule. If that’s your “strategy,” then you’ll likely emerge from your office having left a series of voice mails and messages that have a slim chance of ever being returned.
Are Your Sales Reps Taking a “Show-up and Throw-up” Approach to Sharing Insights?
Leverage our Insight Blueprint to Engineer Your Path to Success
“The antithesis of selling with insight,” as one of my colleagues so colorfully describes it, “is to show up and throw up.” This negative metaphor illustrates the tendency to join a call or meeting with a prospect (or in trying to broaden an existing relationship) and overwhelm the listeners with information about your business and capabilities, which may or may not be of interest or even relevant to the purpose of the meeting.