As I watched a commercial for Weight Watchers, a popular weight loss program, I realized that losing weight is similar to effective prospecting and selling.
Weight-loss programs focus on what you put into your mouth to ensure you achieve your desired goal of losing pounds.
Great salespeople focus on what prospects they put into their pipeline to achieve the desired goal of consistent revenue.
But, despite all the great advice, training and tech tools, I still hear way too often that sales pipelines are:
- Fat and full of unqualified opportunities OR
- Skinny with too few opportunities.
Here’s three selling tips to build big (not fat), qualified sales pipelines.
#1. Are you the problem? Yes, I’m talking to you Ms. or Mr. sales manager. Sales managers measure, recognize and reward their sales team for number of opportunities at the top of the sales funnel. pipeline. But how often do sales managers recognize and reward salespeople for disqualifying opportunities? Or give kudo’s during the group sales meeting to a seller that truthfully told a prospect they weren’t a good fit for their company.
You get what you recognize and reward.Are you rewarding your team for fat, unqualified sales pipelines?
#2. Is your sales team focused on selling old problems or solving new ones for prospects? Your prospect’s world has changed and so are the problems they’re experiencing. If your sales team hasn’t re-engineered their sales value propositions, they will not emotionally connect with prospects’ new problems. As a result, no new sales conversations are started, creating skinny, lonely sales pipelines.
Now, more than ever, prospects need and want a salesperson that demonstrates, “I understand your world.”
I recently read an article in The Wall Street Journal that advised parents to buy new chairs for their children during this period of home schooling. The writer pointed out that sitting in a kitchen chair, where little feet dangle all day, isn’t that comfortable and is a distraction to learning.
A new problem to be solved by a company selling office furniture!
#3. Is your sales team competent AND confident? New decision makers are showing up at meetings with new questions, objections and expectations. Is your sales organization investing time in pre-call planning and pre-appointment role playing to deal with this new reality? If not, there’s a good chance your seller is blowing the first sales conversation because they don’t appear competent or confident.
If your salesperson isn’t demonstrating the two C’s of selling, competence and confidence, what would inspire a buyer to pursue a further conversation?
Lose the weight of fat, unqualified pipelines by connecting emotionally with buyers' new problems and decision-making processes.