The race is on. It’s the time of year when sales professionals work on two goals: Hitting their 2021 sales target and setting up a successful 2022.
Achieving these goals takes focus, energy AND two critical emotional intelligence skills: reality testing and delayed gratification.
Reality testing is the ability to size up a situation without turning a blind eye to problems. Delayed gratification is the ability to slow down, and put in the time and effort to earn the reward. That means not being in such a rush to close a sale out of desperation, and taking the time to truly analyze selling scenarios. This will enable you to figure out the problem they’re hoping you will solve.
The reality is that it’s time for sales managers to take a hard look at everything your sales team is doing to see if it’s actually producing sales results. Slow down and apply delayed gratification skills. Stop confusing being busy (instant gratification) with being productive. Take off those rose-colored sales glasses and examine two important areas that may require some “sales housecleaning.”
#1. Sales pipeline. Not every prospect deserves to enter or stay in your sales funnel.
Your sales funnel is not a hotel! Look objectively at opportunities and see which guest is overstaying his or her welcome.
Did the salesperson identify a business problem? If so, that’s great. But is it one that the prospect is committed to solving? There are a lot of prospects that are professional complainers but not doers.
What is this business problem costing the prospect’s organization? If the salesperson didn’t uncover the financial impact, there’s a very good chance you will end up in the price-shopping or do-nothing game. If the salesperson didn’t uncover the strategic impact of the business problem, they may not be meeting with the right decision maker. They lose to the salesperson that did meet with the strategic buyer and because of that intel, presented a more comprehensive solution.
#2. Sales activity. This is where salespeople and sales managers fall into the old busy-but-not-productive trap. Salespeople are busy executing the sales metrics. Sales managers are busy tracking them.
So why aren’t sales quotas being achieved?
It’s because no one is slowing down long enough to analyze the sales metrics. Successful sales prospecting requires analyzing the quantity and the quality of outreaches.
It’s great that you have 100 “likes” on your LinkedIn post. Did any of those “likes” convert to a conversation? Business? Congratulations on achieving vanity metrics but “likes” don’t pay the bills.
Sales organization are enamored with many of the sales-technology tools that allow you to send automated messages on Day 1, 5 and 9. These tools help help salespeople execute a consistent prospecting cadence. But is anyone slowing down long enough to analyze the sales messages being sent in this prospecting cadence? I just received an email asking if I was interested in starting a business. I’ve owned my own business for over 20 years!
As a colleague of mine said to me years ago, “We are just speeding up the amount of crap we are sending out!”
The race is on. Achieve your 2021 and 2022 sales goals by applying the EQ skills of reality testing and delayed gratification.
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