Over the last 6 weeks I have had the privileged of chairing 10 separate sales meetings for different sales organisations. Some of these have been in smaller organisations and others have been with global sales organisations of large international businesses. What’s interesting is that in every case, when a sale is won there’s been no shortage of people who claim all or a share of the credit. However, when the sale is lost, or when the pipeline is thin, or when margins are discounted away with free consulting, I only hear excuses that ultimately blame the prospect or the competition and never ourselves. Can this really be true – when we win it’s because of our expertise yet when we don’t win it’s not our fault or it’s beyond our control…?
- If we choose to give away some free consultancy, is that because the prospect doesn’t acknowledge our value?
- If we decide to discount our solution is that because we have decided to take ownership of our customer’s budget being reduced?
- When reviewing our pipeline, if we are not 100% clear on the next step is it because the prospect is controlling the sales process?
With these common scenarios or excuses, can we hold the prospect or our competitors accountable for the outcome? Is it not our poor selling that didn’t do a good enough job of demonstrating the value of our solution or that allowed the prospect to control our sales process?
So how can we test whether this is happening in our business? Perhaps we should be honest and ask some tough questions of ourselves…
This is not to say that taking a quick look around is going to uncover a diamond mine underneath your sales floor – making changes that lead to a more mindful approach to sales takes time and consistent application, that’s why Sandler’s book “You Can’t Teach A Kid To Ride A Bike At A Seminar” carries such a mouthful (and true statement) of a title. It’s also why I think consciously investing in creating a better understanding of the psychology of sales is so important for a business – with every revelation you get closer to being able to influence whether you win or not.
To help you with this endeavour, Microsoft are supporting Partners through the Incredible Sales Academy – an ongoing sales programme aimed to increase sales results for participants and their organisations by building new selling skills, goal orientated mind-sets and effective behaviours that are sustainable.
Our Next Sales workshop
Date: 4th May 2017
Time: Starting at 9am
Length of workshop: 2.5 hours
Location: Microsoft North Ryde
Event Details: Join sales experts Rebekah Tucker & Luke Debono to hear some fresh ideas and perspectives on the world of selling, and how to overcome some of the common challenges that result from the misplaced psychology of the sales person, and ultimately cost your business. This workshop is a practical, no-nonsense look at dealing with the roadblocks that hold sales people back. These include:
Failing to uncover the truth from prospects
- Lacking the guts and skill to prospect effectively
- Wasting time on opportunities that are dead end
- Getting wishy-washy outcomes to meetings, and not knowing where you stand
- Being pushed around by prospects wanting free consulting
- Not recognising negotiating games and discounting too readily
- Forecasting is inaccurate and hopeful
- Not getting access to key stakeholders- too comfortable with middle management
- Making the same mistakes regularly and not learning from them
- Making excuses for mediocre sales performance or deal losses
- Not uncovering the real reasons why the prospect should choose you