In our second blog post focusing on increasing sales in 2020 and beyond, we discuss the differentiating factors between "elite" salespeople and the rest of the pack.
What do elite salespeople do that makes them elite?
In this post, we help answer this question, while providing advice for sales managers to help guide their salespeople into greatness.
What do 11% of elite salespeople do that differentiates them from the remaining 89%, when they are faced with difficult questions, stalls and objections?
According to Dave Kurlan at Objective Management Group (out of every 100 salespeople):
- 70 rush back to the office to begin work on a proposal to tell their bosses that their large opportunity is very promising, because all 3 prospects in the meeting were "very interested"
- 19 leave the call and make 2 entries in their journals - "propose" and "follow-up" - and they'll do both eventually
- 11 are still at the meeting, asking more questions
Going back into our archives of the Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis, we find that those 11 salespeople that are still at the meeting have a pipeline that looks like the chart you see to the right.
Those 89 that rush back to the office and/or make entries to propose and follow up with their prospect have a pipeline that is represented by the chart you see below:
The difference is that the elite salespeople do a great job of meeting people and qualifying them to a point where the prospect can be defined as qualified and closeable, based on specific criteria, or they can be identified as not qualified, or not closeable.
Weak salespeople on the other hand, when asked to score the same "closeable prospect", criteria questions fall considerably short of having a robust, and closeable pipeline.
Normally, we find out that these salespeople:
· Have not met with decision makers
· Failed to uncover compelling issues to make a change or purchase
· Do not have a timeline
· Did not create urgency
· Did not get an agreement on budget to be spent
So, the question becomes; “How accurate is your pipeline – really?”
If the pipeline volume for your entire team reads $4,000,000 over the next 90 days, but only 11% of that actually has a chance to close, then you shouldn’t be surprised that only $440,000.00 shows up in sales. (when compared to the $4,000,000).
The solution to the problem isn’t “run faster”; also known as “see more prospects”. The solution is to get your people to schedule qualified appointments and then make sure they are capable of discerning between a suspect – someone that is thinking about buying – and a qualified prospect – someone that has made the decision to solve a problem.
To more effectively help your salespeople as a sales manager you must:
1. Understand WHY they won’t qualify
2. Get a complete understanding of their skills set for consultative skills, asking questions, creating trust and confidence and presentation skills
3. Put less emphasis on closing skills and more emphasis on qualifying skills
4. See how comfortable they are with having fierce and direct conversations
5. Observe their commitment and willingness to do everything possible to succeed
6. Understand their motivation to succeed and attain personal goals
7. Gather data about their execution of the milestone centric sales process so that you can provide intentional coaching based on choke points.
The challenge(s), should you accept them are:
· Find out exactly what the capabilities of your sales team are
· Build and implement a milestone centric sales process and imbed that process in your CRM
· Make sure that your sales managed environment includes the following elements:
- Performance Management
- Coaching for Success
- Hiring Better Salesperson
- Motivation that Works
- Coaching an Effective Sales System