For those of you who have been leading a sales team or selling since Pre-2008, a similar phenomenon occurred. Sales professionals may have noticed a more complex decision process from prospects over the past few months compared to the past 10 years. Why is that?
One of the most obvious influencers boils down to risk. Many organizations tightened up the reigns when it came to dollars and only focused on true priorities at hand. When risk is perceived to be higher, more people have a tendency to get involved to ensure nothing is missed. In today’s environment of the virtual world and furloughs, this has also added another wrinkle to the mix. More people (due to increased bandwidth required) are now getting involved in projects to help pick up the slack and communication may take longer if everyone isn’t in the office at the same time.
This leads to one major issue when selling. Sales professionals have pressure to hit goals and when goals aren’t being hit, panic sets in... and when panic sets in, traditional salespeople have a tendency to push harder and harder to get a yes (lets remember a key rule: the harder you push for a yes the more “positive lies” you get in return from people). Why are they pushing so hard? It’s all about them, not the prospect. And then they wonder why deals take longer to close.
Here is classic example….. Prospect A mentions “they have not yet made a decision”. Traditional Sales Professional B then responds with “when do you expect to have it made by?” How does this help the prospect??? This is 100% selfish and a cry for help from the prospective client.
How good is your team/are you at understanding the decision process prospects go through?
Can you influence that process?
Do your prospects know how to buy you or are there many assumptions made?
Can we influence criteria or help the prospect build criteria to drive to a decision?
How good is your team/are you at truly helping a prospective client decide if it makes sense to do something and if they should do something with you??
Decisions don’t have to be complex, unfortunately most traditional sales reps don’t help their prospects through the process. Instead, they want to know who is making the decision and when so that they can update their pipelines. This doesn’t drive value and with no value it becomes a price game. It’s time to slow down and help the prospect, both people will be happy in the end.
For more information on this topic or topics similar to this one, or if you have any questions on how to navigate this process, connect with one of our consultants below!