In this blog, we discuss why prospects object when it comes down to buying time, and why we can't always blame the prospects in these situations. Overall, salespeople must ask better questions to help increase sales, build better relationships, and help uncover their prospect's compelling reasons to buy.
On the other side, their sales managers must be present for their salespeople at the beginning, middle and end of every sales opportunity, sales meeting, and coaching session.
I’ve been working on growing sales for over 30 years. It’s been about 25 years since I heard David Sandler say,
“There’s no such thing as bad prospects, just bad salespeople.” Not bad as in character, morals or integrity; just bad at selling.
But as I read Dave Kurlan’s blog about choosing between bad salespeople and bad sales management, it got me thinking about what Sandler said those many years ago and what we continue to hear from salespeople today when discussing opportunities won and lost. Let’s take a look at what’s happening or not happening.
List of reasons for a salesperson not getting the sale:
- The prospect had a long-term relationship/the incumbent matched our proposal
- The decision maker wasn’t involved in the selling process
- Our pricing wasn’t competitive/ we didn’t have the right products for them
- The timing wasn’t right
There are many, but in a nutshell, the overall question (from a sales manager) to a salesperson would be;
“When you asked them (the prospect) about, discussed, made sure that...(fill in the blank with any of the reasons listed above) What did they say? What was their reaction?”
If you read this as a salesperson you might be thinking one of a few things:
- I’m not asking those questions
- Those are good questions to ask
- I should be asking those questions
- I would never ask those questions
If you are thinking #4, then your reasons for not getting the business are never going to change! That is what Sandler and Kurlan are talking about when they discuss bad salespeople. You cannot blame the prospect for having objections to buy. Heck, you have your own set of objections/reasons every time you decide not to buy or change.
But what about the sales manager? Where does that person fit into the equation? They fit in at the beginning, middle and end of every sales opportunity, sales meeting, and coaching session.
Solution #2: Pre and Post Call Sessions and 1-on-1 Coaching
- What buying process questions will you ask? (These are questions about compelling issues, stages in the buyer’s journey, options they are exploring, other solution providers they are exploring, etc.)
- What answers do you anticipate?
- How will you handle those answers?
- What questions are you anticipating?
- What will your response be?
- What objections, delays or stalls should you anticipate?
- What is your response?
Unfortunately, what we do know from the thousands of sales managers assessed for coaching skills, is that less than 10% of them have adequate skills to be effective at developing salespeople.
What does this all mean?
- To eliminate bad prospects, eliminate bad salespeople
- To eliminate bad salespeople, eliminate bad sales management/ lack of sales coaching
- To eliminate bad sales management, hire people that have the skills to be effective in the role
- Don’t use sales management as the next step in the career path for successful salespeople
- Provide the training, development and coaching your managers need to be effective
Need further assistance with the post-call session? Click HERE or the button below to view our Post-Call Debrief Analysis Worksheet.