Sales Insight – Do You Have It?
Every business leader craves real, meaningful and timely sales insight.
If you’re still struggling with this then check our Sales Insight Audit out.
If you’ve got your sales management information all sorted and relevant then carry on reading, because, quite simply, you’re on the fast track to continuous sales improvement.
And that’s a very good thing.
I’m a scientist at heart.
That means three things:
- All events are semi-predictable.
- There is typically a cause and effect at play somewhere along the line.
- All data tells a story – you’ve just got to dive in far enough to find it.
That’s why sales myths like the ones below just blow my mind (and not in a good way) so here they are – busted once and for all.
MYTH 1: It Takes 7 Touch Points to Make a Sale…
Sure if you’re THAT incompetent…hell, let’s make it 25 and really over egg the pudding.
First Fact – The longer the sales cycle the greater the chance of the competition joining the party.
That what you want?
Because you know what a competitor will do on your deal don’t you?
You’ll be justifying prices and scrambling like crazy on something you could have bagged three weeks ago at a nice margin.
Second Fact – With more touch points, I guarantee, you won’t be increasing the sense of urgency, you’ll subconsciously telling the prospect he’s got all the time in the world.
Third Fact – You don’t have all the time in the world to close a sale.
You’re in sales, the more time you spend closing slow business, the less time you’ve got to do the other business and sales critical jobs like qualifying new leads and cross selling.
Plus, your pipeline needs a velocity that can be predicted. If you’ve a slow moving sales pipeline, you’re at risk. Even worse if you’ve got a bulging pipeline.
Fourth Fact – ok budgets are on hold for specific release dates, decision makers are sometimes wrapped in endless buying criteria cycles and decision making nightmare.
BUT…if your sales contact plan is predicated on 7 touches you might be giving the sales cycle just a bit too much time
Sales Insight 1:
Understanding the decision making process and the buying process is key to shortening the sales cycle.
To find out how to REALLY SHORTEN the sales cycle, kick the competition out and engage the prospect in the SHORTEST possible time – B2B Sales Training – Fixed Price
MYTH 2: There is Less Competition in the Extra Mile
You’ll all have seen the stats claiming that most sales people give up after 2 follow up attempt.
The same stats that claim most orders are placed after 12 follow up attempts.
So what do these stats actually tell you?
- Some sales guys are cut and run merchants?
- Sales guys are super hot at qualifying and have made a commercial decision to ditch a prospect who’s not worth the time/effort investment?
- Some sales guys can’t invoke prospect urgency and curiosity in any shorter time frame?
- Some sales guys are stalkers? (12 follow up calls and I’d be changing my telephone number if I were the prospect!!!)
- Prospects are just playing the long game?
- Prospects are trying to get the sales guy to panic and drop the price (‘cos that never happens!!!)
- Sales guys can’t close!
Any, all, some, none of the above could be true.
But, based on 20 years experience let me tell you what I know:
- Most sales guys don’t know how to shorten the sales cycle, and this is simply because they often don’t think to, which means they don’t ask for the buying criteria or the decision making criteria before they invest their valuable time in the sales process.
- Sales guys who maybe lack a little focus and who don’t love new business development typically fall in to the Sales Stalker camp. It’s easy there, they feel busy, they can boast about the value in their sales pipeline…
- Prospects are not always fast to make decisions – that’s why having the sales person create urgency is sooooo very important.
- Some sales prospects will drag their heels because they just KNOW that it’s the fastest way for the sales guy to get nervous and drop the price (smart prospect huh?)
Do I believe the stats?
Do I think it’s good use of your time to chase 12 times?
I’d rather have a process that didn’t rely on that…if you’d like the same process – we cover it here – B2B Sales Training – Fixed Price
Sales Insight 2:
Getting in principal decisions/agreements at every stage of the buying cycle/decision making process is critical to ensure your buyer is not simply a chattering head with no intention of committing.
Screen in fast, screen out faster, Lead quality and lead selection criteria change at every stage in the sales pipeline. Someone who started off as a grade A lead can quickly default to a grade C as the sale progresses. Keep evaluating and screening for fit.
MYTH 3: Sending 20 Sales Emails is as Good as Having 20 Decision Maker Sales Conversations
Internet businesses are springing up all over, telephone numbers are disappearing from websites, everything is done via a contact form or an email.
Why is that important?
Well these firms boom, record sales, mega growth and wow.
All supposedly on the back of email and online interactions.
And it’s turning the heads of B2B sales people because they got to thinking that people buy from emails, that people will read 12 page email brochures, that buyers click a few buttons and send the purchase order.
Oh, if only.
Sales guys think a great email is as good as a great sales conversation.
I’ve seen good sales people fail miserably because they forget (displacement activity) to pick up the phone every single chance they got.
I mean really tanked.
Off a cliff tanked.
Likewise, I’ve seen mediocre sales people smash sales targets because they worked the most effective sales channel harder than their email writing, social media surfing, LinkedIn connectors!
Sales Insight 3:
Look – both routes work. But neither route works to the exclusion of the other.
Sure, social media is great for research, relationship building, building highly qualified lists of prospects.
But it’s the sort of activities that can be done at any time, BUT not during core selling hours and not to the exclusion of picking up the telephone.
I did a Sales Insight Audit last week.
Some sales guys were spending as little as 20 mins a day on the telephone and the Sales Director wondered why sales results were nowhere near what they needed.
Strangely no-one could really identify where the rest of the day went.
They just knew that it went.
The figures showed that wherever it went, it wasn’t on generating sales, feeding a pipeline or creating value that prospects were prepared to pay for…so, go figure.
We need to understand what sales channels work best, and work those, because that’s where the sales results are.
Get the sales function having proper sales based conversations.
Sharing sales insight.
Delivering business development and sales techniques that will destroy all the myths that are leading to sales people losing focus.
This course can be delivered internally or it’s run monthly in Sheffield. Just call or email to discuss which option is better for you, contact details are below.
It’s the fastest way to identify all those areas that are stopping you getting the sales results you deserve.
Delivering sales insights that allow for targeted and focused sales interventions…instead of buying into the the sales folklore and myths currently derailing your sales results.
If you’ve already mastered the sales management information you need to accelerate your sales performance and drive continuous sales improvement and are simply looking for modern, effective and practical, results focused sales training – you can find details here – B2B Sales Training
firstname.lastname@example.org 0779 002 1885
Free Sales and Business Development Newsletter – You can also subscribe to a free weekly sales insight and business development newsletter. I’s great for supporting daily sales huddles, internal sales training and sales coaching sessions. Subscribe here – The Advanced Business Achiever
The clarity you have around your sales management information and sales insight data will tell you everything you need to know about how to drive sales improvement and boost sales results.
Sales insight guides your business and your sales team to sales success.