As we continue looking at what every successful sales rep needs to bring to their game daily, we come to one where the title alone should be enough, especially given the elements that proceeded it. Just to remind you quickly PRIDE consists of:
At first glance, this should be a relative no brainer, but as we all know it is not. I would say there are two elements at play here; the first is just the act of doing something, anything; second, is doing it in a decisive straightforward and confident fashion.
I am not sure why there is often a softness and reluctance to act, or more accurately “do”. Most know that specific actions have to take place, but do not do them. Beyond the actions discussed in the previous post pertaining to initiating interaction with potential buyer, this goes more to the obvious actions sales people must do in the course of a sale.
In some ways, it is not a surprise given that we live on a continent where obesity is dealt with not by addressing the underlying issue, over eating and lack of activity; instead, it is dealt with by changing the definition of obesity, lowering standards and setting the threshold to a higher weight. Is it a surprise that we can’t get people to take action in other important aspects of their life, like career in the case of sales.
As with obesity or fitness, the solution for sales people is clear but not easy, mostly because it involves change, specifically behavioural change, very personal stuff. In the end, it seems we love the Status Quo as much as our prospects do.
Much like in fitness, there are miracle cures, they offer up the latest and greatest Abs Machine, and the sales enablement industry offers up magic ways to find more prospects and close sales without effort. However, we all know that momentary improvement realized when adopting one of these things is more the result of actually doing something vs. doing nothing before, rather than any magic to the tool. Get off the couch after five years and you shed some pounds; take a proactive approach to executing your sales plan and the prospects will react and engage. I know it sound straight forward, but I also know I see sales people squander opportunity after opportunity because they will not act.
One example is when sales people fail to follow through with prospects, they say things like “they know I am here, if they want it they will call”. No they won’t, chances are they didn’t call you in the first place, they have others things “to do”, more importantly you have competitors who are calling them, making it easy to act. If you are not “there”, it is hard to transact. This is no small thing and not as rare as you are telling yourself it is right now, I know some of you are moving away from the mirror right now.
I have seen reps work hard to get in front of a prospect, do a good job on Discovery, make a compelling case for their product, earn the right to submit a proposal, and then just sit back, and do nothing but wait. When you ask where things are, I hear things like “I don’t want to be pushy”, or “I don’t want to bother them.” While I am not advocating “pushy”, I do advocate following through, if you are in B2B sales, you are not in a “self serve” environment, you need to pursue thing to the end, not the bitter end, but the end of the sales process.
If you have submitted a proposal, I am assuming you submitted it because you successfully completed a thorough Discovery process; demonstrated the impact vis-à-vis the buyer’s objectives, and the prospect was looking forward to receiving the proposal as much as you were ready to submit it. Anything short of that you should hold off and finish your work before taking the time to prepare and submit a proposal.
It should not be a case of “let’s see how many proposals I can get out and how many will stick?” A proposal should be the culmination of a series of decisive steps taken by both you and the prospect leading to an agreement moving forward. This will not happen if you are tentative in your approach or actions. The goal is to stand out by “being present”, not by “being absent”.
You see this type of tentative vs. decisive behaviour and action earlier in the cycle too. I never understand why sales people say to a potential prospect “I was hoping to get together”, or “I was wondering if we could…”. I am sure when they picked up the phone they wanted, and were not hoping, and that is what you have to project. Softness is not your friend, decisive confident action is; would you want to put your trust and faith in someone soft and tentative or someone decisive.
What’s in Your Pipeline?
Hey, if you liked this post, please subscribe so you don’t miss another post…Subscribe Here to receive posts in your in-box automatically.