Browse Tag

qualifying a prospect

How Targeting Improves Win Rates and Shortens Sales Cycles

This week’s blog comes from guest blogger, Dave Kurlan.  Dave is a top-rated speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and highly regarded sales leadership expert.

SQC smallNow that we are nearly 3 weeks into the new year, have you changed anything with regard to goals, strategies or plans?  How about targets?  A few small tweaks to your targets can have a huge impact on revenue! read more

Set the Trap… for Yourself!

SQC smallProblem: Jack had been with the company for only two years, yet he was considered their most technically competent salesperson. He was the “go to guy” when the other salespeople needed someone to talk to about solutions, specifications, and competitive information. He was an expert when it came to product knowledge, yet he had the worst closing rate and was the lowest paid salesperson. read more

Begin With the End in Mind

SQC smallProblem: The biggest challenge salespeople face is closing more business.  Typically, the problem is not the lack of closing skills per se, but rather the job they’ve done prior to the presentation and close.  Would anyone disagree that the better the prospect is qualified, the easier the close will be? read more

Let the Deceased Rest in Peace

SQC smallProblem:  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from our clients, “If I just had more time, I’d be able to sell more.”  In fact, time management and follow-up skills are frequently cited as major challenges sales managers tell us their salespeople face.

Yet we find that salespeople often sabotage themselves when it comes to management of their time.  Salespeople are notorious for trying to keep a “prospect” alive when it’s obvious that the “deal” is dead.  They continue to try to “resurrect the dead.” read more

Wimping Out

SQC smallProblem:  As trainers, we see this scenario played out time and time again. Salespeople seem to have lost the ability to close!

Analysis:  Selling, from a technical/skill perspective, has gone through a major transition. Years ago, salespeople were taught what we might call the CHAOS System of Selling, the Close Hard And Often ystem. Pound away until you get the order, be extremely persistent, manipulate if necessary, and use one of the many canned closes that worked so well back in the 1950’s. (“If I could show you a way, would you buy it today?” is a typical example of an outmoded close.) read more

Qualifying Proficiency Determines Closing Efficiency

SQC smallProblem:  Salespeople spend far too much time preparing proposals and close far too few.  Of course, closing rates vary but closing only 15-20% of the proposals is not uncommon.  This is obviously very inefficient and causes time management problems as well as feelings of rejection, futility and despondence.  Furthermore, it results in reduced sales and lower commissions. read more

Leave Your Agenda at the Office

SQC smallProblem:  Alligator Software had just introduced a major revision to their software but, in spite of tremendous initial enthusiasm, sales fell far short of expectations and management started to receive complaints about the conduct of their overzealous salespeople.

Analysis:  Alligator was proud of their latest upgrades, so much so that management was convinced that they were finally in a position to overtake their primary competitor who owned 60% of the market.  A national sales meeting was held and the entire forty person sales team converged on San Diego for a quick one and a half day meeting to introduce the “new product.”  After the proud techies got their chance to demo the software, the marketing department spent a half-day helping the salespeople understand all the features and benefits and how the new product would help their prospects reach new levels of efficiency. read more

Early Warning Signs

SQC smallProblem: “What am I doing here?” Robert said to himself. He was twenty minutes into the initial meeting with this prospect, and he was clearly fighting an uphill battle. All his attempts to develop rapport were met with apathetic, almost frigid responses. His questions, simple and innocuous though they were, received little more than one or two word responses. “What’s going on here?” he wondered. This guy won’t even crack a smile and yet he gave me the appointment. Is he just having a bad day, or do I have a hygiene problem? He just couldn’t figure it out, yet he kept at it, trying to pump some life into this dying appointment. He wanted to quit, but his ego wouldn’t let him; he felt he should be able to breathe some life into this situation. read more

Close the Sale Before You Present Solutions

SQC smallProblem:  Since closing rates are in the 15-20% range nationally, one of the biggest concerns that management and salespeople alike have is a desire to increase closing rates. Although there are several reasons for this problem, one of the most overlooked is the tendency for salespeople to make proposals without knowing what will happen when the prospect gets the proposal. This is like rolling the dice and hoping for the best. read more