Chasing sales quotes, that all important follow up that comes right at the very end of the sales process when you’ve done all the hard work….or so you think!
So, let me ask you this: how much of your very valuable time do you waste chasing sales quotes that just end up being filed as ‘closed-lost?
I mean chasing prospects that ghost you, are never in when you call, are mysteriously in that never ending meeting, seem to have just ‘popped out’ whenever you reach out?
And even more annoying:
How much does it wind you up that you even have to chase sales prospects so hard to return the order once you’ve done all the hard work…and even got their verbal sign off?
I’m guessing, that’s a lot of time that ends up going down the drain?
Chasing Sales Quotes: Why Do Buyers Disappear Post Quote?
Once you’ve gone though the whole sales cycle.
When you know the sales prospect has a reason to buy from you.
When you’ve done a benefits analysis.
Presented their Return on Investment
You’ve closed strong.
Everyone said YES.
You’ve involved all the right people.
Handled the objections
Set next expectations…
Then they disappear.
No response to your sales follow up…
Straight off the face of the earth.
Plus, your sales forecast now looks like fiction.
Even worse, your sales manager is looking at you like your desk belongs to someone else.
Or will do shortly!
All because the buyer didn’t play ball when you followed up your sales quote.
STOP! This is Sales Quoting Gone Wrong!
And it’s not all your fault (some of it is but not ALL of it)
So don’t beat yourself up
We’ve all been there.
It’s a sales reality and a significant pain point for lots of sales people – until they discover how to stop chasing prospects like their live depends on this deal
After all, following up the sales quote should be the easy bit…right?
Nope. Not if you’re deliberately falling into the trap that every buyer will set for you….the buyer doesn’t want to give you bad news, or go through you handling 5 objections, so they buyer just complies with what they know you want to hear…
What you need to hear.
Guess what? You’re complicit in this. You let them get away with it.
Because you don’t want the tough conversation either!
But being complicit with the buyer’s positioning comes at a huge cost to you, a personal cost!
- What percentage of your sales pipeline and your sales forecast just disappear into the sales black hole every month, or every quarter? 25%? 30%? Bumped deals shuffled on from one month to the next, one quarter to the next…deals that really should be killed but if you did your forecast would collapse
- How many good solid deals sales calls do you finish where deep down, you know that the prospect is all talk? This is a tough one, because to answer this truthfully you have to trust your gut instinct and go with your judgement
- And how much time, and how many calls do you make chasing deals you know you should get, if only the buyer would do their bit as agreed? 1 hr per day? 2 hrs per day? Per week? Now…consider what would happen if you ploughed those 20 sales chaser calls into brand new targets – at a measly 10% conversion rate, that’s another 2 deals per week maybe – you can do the maths for you role!
- And what would it mean to you to be able to get rid of this problem once and for all? Mentally, what would it mean never have to kick deals from one month to the next, have to pretend that the prospect is still interested when you’ve not even spoken to them for three months?
And I would be too if I were you, because this is a massive problem.
And it’s a problem that professional, target hitting, high performance sales teams rarely suffer from…
So why are you having to deal with it?
Read on, because….
Chasing Sales Quotes Should Be the Rarity and Not the Norm!
So if you do find yourself being ghosted by your buyer when chasing sales quotes, then something needs to change.
Because the cost of not getting this part of the sales process right costs too much:
It costs you:
- Hard revenue
- Missed target
- Market share
- Competitor growth
- Internal credibility
- Bonus and commission
- Shaky sales forecast
- Wasted time
- Sheer frustration of being given the run around
So, enough reasons to change?
Chasing Sales Quotes: The Truth About Following Up the Sales Quote.
It’s a job you have to do sometimes….it will always be part of the sales cycle with some buyers.
But you should win more than you lose. And while you may be ghosted for a week, that week shouldn’t turn into 3 months!
Chasing the sales paperwork is part of that job, but really, let’s look at how you can legitimately ditch all those phone calls, the emails, the conversations with their reception.
But you know what?
I hate it.
I hate it when a sales person tells me they’ve sent the quote and will chase tomorrow.
Even more, I hate it because at that point I know (and the sales person knows) that the buyer might just go AWOL.
And that the best follow up to the best sales quote might still come to nothing.
Now, ideally, you’d have closed on the day (making the sales follow up redundant), got the order form signed, shaken hands (albeit electronically) and just scanned a copy to the buyer for their files.
That’s how it should be done.
But, sometimes that’s just not possible.
So the buyer has a chance to disappear!
All your hard work hanging there…and you’re still chasing sales quotes, getting zero response, or a small pick up rate at best!
It’s Not Always Bad News…
No, of course not.
- Some sales prospects do really get abducted by aliens.
- Others find a new religion.
- Some win the lottery
- Some even (I know this is tough to hear) will go with another provider…
But the truth is the disappearing buyer is such a pain because it’s cost so much to get the buyer to that stage of quoting.
You see, the buyer is bailing at the wrong end of the sales funnel.
The expensive end!
By the time the sales prospect is at this stage in the sales cycle they have cost you a small fortune, plus lost time and, depending on your average sales order value and the duration of your sales cycle, they may also have cost you an unidentifiable sum in terms of opportunity costs…
It’s a nightmare.
And stressful as you see your bottom of funnel sales forecast crumble with no time or opportunity to make it right again!
The Solution – Qualify Your Prospect Hard and Early
The skill – to save time, sanity, money is to get the buyer to bail early on!
That way, if you are following up sales quotes then you know your dealing with serious buyers, professional buyers who are on the same page as you, respectful of your time and efforts.
The second nugget…is give yourself the choice to decide the sales prospect is not of good character, likely to disappear, and fine tune your sales actions accordingly.
And make these decisions early.
The earlier the better.
Right at the beginning of the sales process ideally.
That way, you’ll know, that by the time you have the buyer at the chasing sales quotes stage, that you are actually both on the same page.
And you might not even have to do any chasing at all!
It may seem negative or even fool-hardy – but not all opportunities are created equal and not all buyers are serious…weed out the time-wasters fast.
You can do this by the quality of your questions and the detailed nature of your questions – a great discovery call will kill time waster prospects dead in the tracks – check out B2B Sales Structure for more information on what this looks like
Qualify hard and qualify fast because this is a key area where sales people create their own living hell.
Stuck in a loop of following up sales quotes, chasing sales prospects who are avoiding you, distracting you from filling your sales pipeline, progressing good prospects through your sales funnel.
And, you can avoid this pitfall so easily, just by giving yourself sales information and choice.
For example, some sales people, not you obviously, take sales prospects through the whole sales process, investing heaps of time, money and wisdom, when the prospect REALLY should have been rejected at the beginning of the sales process.
Yep, some sales people don’t ask the tough questions at the beginning of the sales process. The tough but fair questions that would define the QUALITY of the sales prospect.
For some reason, they feels it’s ok to load all the hard sales graft until the end of the sales process…crazy!
Don’t put all your focus on having a great sales quote follow up process right at the end of the interaction. That is way too risky and should be avoided at all costs.
Qualify that sales prospect in or out the sales funnel. Right at the very start of the sales process. Before it’s too late.
Don’t be one of those hit and run sales people
Get comfortable with asking deep and probing questions.
Don’t be afraid to use BANT
If you don’t like BANT – find another sales qualification technique you do like… and use it!
Because you know what?
A serious buyer is expecting you to ask those questions in BANT!
As well as many other information gathering and sales profiling questions. A serious buyer will get in the detail with you. A solid prospect will help you work out the best solution for them, because they know the more detail they share, the more value they’ll receive.
You know who won’t get into the detail with you – a tyre kicker. A time waster. That’s your first clue.
So – load up on those sales discovery questions and go deep and hard on getting to know who you are selling to!
Plus….and a lot of sales people forget this…you lose heaps of credibility with the serious buyers and prospects when you DON’T ask those questions.
If you’re not asking those qualifying sales questions of the prospect, you’re telling him you’re not serious about your role, so you’ve given him permission to not be serious either!
Think about that. You’ve given the prospect permission to yank your chain and mess you about!
You’ve given him permission to ignore you when your following up the sales quote.
Why would you do that?
At the very minimum, the absolute minimum, you should use BANT.
Sales people who don’t BANT, or they BANT weakly, which means just checking the prospect has a pulse! (for more details on BANT hit this link – More About BANT), typically complain the most about their buyers going AWOL during the sales process.
Lack of BANT and lack of solid discovery questions leaves you wide open to being given the run around.
Sales people are masters of their own fortune…if only they chose to exercise that right!
And that doesn’t mean chasing sales prospects who don’t think you even deserve a response!
Look, even when some sales people that do BANT, uncovering a less than perfect prospect, they will often put up with less than perfect answers because they fear what will happen if they get stringent with the sales criteria they use….oh no, an empty sales pipeline!!!
But have some self respect here.
Protect you, your time, resources, skills.
So, instead of a nightmare instead I prefer to look on it as a blessing, because now we know that, we all focus our time and attention on Perfect Prospects and leave our competitors to pick up the ‘almost fits’.
Let the competition take the costly risky prospects and try and make them fit.
Let your competitors waste their time chasing prospects who ghost after the first call or quote….
But some sales people see being choosy about who they sell to as bad news.
I just see it as now I have free resource to invest in worthy prospects…
In a nutshell…if your prospect is going AWOL after you’ve done the hard work, then the buyer was never really a buyer.
The prospect was never really serious about buying. And, all you’ve done is educate him, and give him permission to treat you badly.
Do you get paid for being an advice line? Is that how you earn your sales bonus?
You made a bad prospect call and you’ve wasted your time…and you won’t get bonus.
What more incentive do you need to change your mode of operation and get wise to the time wasters in your sales funnel.
Oh, and your sales pipeline is falling apart around your ears (sound familiar?)
Well, it just adds insult to injury.
How to Avoid Having to Chase Sales Quotes EVER!
The best possible position to reduce the number of times you need to chase sales quotes and improve the likelihood of you getting the paperwork back when you do invest time in chasing the quote….
Check this out. It’s our Sales Improvement Workshop
Because it’s the fastest way to discover how to avoid putting yourself in a situation where the buyer can give you the run around. Ever again!
Sales Winner Don’t Waste Time Chasing Sales Quotes
Sales Winners close hard on the day and then leave it.
When sales winners close hard, they know that the buyer is onside and is serious about buying.
Plus, when sales winners close hard, their buyer is expecting them to close hard. The buyer is serious too, he expects the sales person to be the same.
Chasing sales quotes excessively is for losers. Just remember that.
Why would you want to sales stalk a prospect who had no interest in engaging with you?
Are you a Sad Sales Stalker?
Sales Winners read the signs and move on.
But you can only do that if you’ve closed hard all along the sales process.
Following up each of your prospect contacts with some level of mutual advancement towards the logical conclusion. An order.
Because a sales close doesn’t happen at the end of the sales process.
Closing a Sales Happens All Through the Sales Process
Closing a sale happens all through the sales process – from the first interaction and in every interaction. Moving commitment on at every step, sales advancement at it’s best (as opposed to ‘just touching base’)
You can only do a hard close if you’ve made one unshakable decision, and then repeated the process.
You’ve decided and committed to qualify at every stage of the sales process.
This alone means you’ll never be left with handfuls of sales quotes to follow up.
Have you been closing hard all through the sales process?
Do you close at each stage so that the buyer understands what you’re doing, and why?
Chasing Sales Quotes and Winning
This process of continual qualification relies on you knowing the following very early on in the sales process
- That your buyer is the sign off guy and not the influencer/referrer
- Your Buyer will line up the budget he needs to buy from you
- The buyer is suffering from a problem you can solve, and therefore has a big need
- That you have the skills and backup to solve this problem better than anyone else that the buyer is talking to
- That the buyer’s need is sufficiently painful for him to invest money in having you provide a solid solution
- Where they need to sort a solution within a predicted time span because the cost of not doing this would cause even more pain and increased financial cost
- That they have an ideal time frame for solving the problem, and satisfying the need
- When they have shared the decision making process with you
- They’ve shared the buying criteria with you
- So that you understand the stakeholders involved, their agendas, the potential competitors, and any external factors that could disrupt the buying process
- Where you understand the criteria your solution will be judged against…and by whom, and when
- That you understand what event/s could disrupt the buying/decision making process
Are you Selling to a Time-Waster?
Remember! This is a sobering thought…if your buyer is not prepared to share this information with you, then you’ve got yourself a tyre kicker. You deserve everything you get if you pursue the sale…feel free to wrap up as much wasted time as you like in following up worthless sales quotes
If you haven’t got the bottle to ask the tough questions…again, you will suffer the consequences of that course of action, so see above
Disappearing Buyers Go AWOL For a Reason
Don’t let the reason your buyer goes AWOL when you’re chasing the quote be because…
- They used your proposal to batter down their existing price from their incumbent.
- Or they used you to yank their current supplier back into line
- Maybe, they just wanted to pick your brain.
- Or maybe the buyer wanted to pass your quote to a competitor.
- Maybe even worse, just thought it might be interesting for you to pull together all the info they needed to inform the board regarding what solutions are out there…
Now if you fell for any of those buyer tricks – you really do need to better protect your time!
Get yourself booked on The Sales Improvement Workshop
If you’re investing in the buyer and the buying/selling process, make sure it’s not all one sided and you’ll never need to chase a sales quote ever again.
0779 002 1885
Final chance – The Sales Improvement Workshop
Instead spend your time chasing sales quotes that are worth it, and get rid of following up sales quotes just because you didn’t qualify hard and fast at the beginning of the sales cycle.
Hi, thanks for visiting….if you’re looking to increase or optimise your sales results, then please book a call to discuss how I can help you (use the links at the end of this box for direct message options) If you need a few more details, then here you go…. I’m an experienced data-driven, analytical sales trainer and sales improvement specialist. Proud to design sales training and sales improvement solutions that stick! Happy to share some insights if you want a quick steer – just book a call, especially if you’re not seeing the sales results you’d like, you’re struggling to know what to do next, or you’d really like to give your competitors something to worry about!
What’s you sales challenge?