For many of us, the start of a new year is the perfect time for reflection on the decisions we’ve made over the last year. What didn’t work? What did? To meet this year’s goals, what should we continue doing and what should we cease? Since you may be in the midst of such reflection yourself, I thought I’d provide a bit of advice that has kept many a sales team on the right track.
FIX THE RIGHT SALES PROBLEM
Does this sound too obvious? Perhaps it is. But all too often executives get overly busy and don’t have (or make) the time necessary for the diagnosis and pinpointing of the exact exact problem they face. Not having your finger on that exact problem or, worse, not knowing that you don’t know the exact problem inevitably leads to wrong conclusions. You’ll find that addressing the incorrect issue is expensive, time consuming and is often the direct cause of missed opportunities.
For example, a business owner recently confided to me that he was planning on firing a 2-year veteran salesperson at his company. Why? There weren’t enough closed deals. I then asked him why it was that more deals weren’t closing, and he admitted he didn’t know. Rather than standing by and watching him endure the financial impact of possibly solving the wrong problem, I shared with him him the diagnostic process we utilize with our clients for pinpointing an exact sales issue.
We uncovered two areas in his sales process that were stalling deals. The first one dealt with a key objection received during initial prospect meetings, the standard response to which was simply not strong enough. The second was that their proposal was so complex and lengthy that prospects routinely set it aside for “later review.” Later, however, didn’t arrive often enough. The first issue stopped the sales process and the second issue unnecessarily elongated the sales process. While both led to a lower-than-desired close ratio, changing the salesperson wasn’t going to fix the problem. The business owner followed our recommendation to work with his seller to craft an objection answer that worked, as well as to revise the structure (and delivery) of the proposal so prospects could more easily say “yes.” The result was a dramatic increase in their close ratio as well a dramatic decrease in the time it took to close sales. In addition, the business owner avoided the time, expense and risk associated with hiring a new salesperson and possibly STILL facing the same problems.
As business leaders we are all moving so fast and have so much on our plates. We need to make decisions so we can conquer the next challenge. While it may take a little longer to do this diagnosis or it may cost a little more if you hire an outside consultant to help you do it, you will never be sorry. Fixing the right problem will pave the way for you to maximize revenue and profit this year.
Pipeliner CRM empowers you to accurately fix the right sales problems. Download a free trial now.