Unfortunately a huge amount of time and energy is wasted during the prospecting phase of the sales process. Too many eager sellers are randomly smiling and dialing. Do they really think clients are sitting by the telephone excitedly waiting for calls from salespeople to hear them pitch their products or services?
For most companies, the need for profitable revenue growth never stops. Unfortunately, the growth of salespeople does. As reported in Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin: “Extensive research in a wide range of fields shows that many people not only fail to become outstandingly good at what they do, no matter how many years they spend doing it, they frequently don’t even get any better than they were when they started.”
You may have heard a rumor that cold calling is history. I’m here to tell you it’s still very much alive. I know, because I get numerous cold calls at my office every day from people inviting me to webinars, offering me CRM tools, telling me about hiring techniques that get the best employees, and so on. The most interesting ones are from sales people who want to teach me to cold call more effectively! Not to mention the incessant calls I get at home from telemarketers. I don’t believe cold calling will ever go away.
Recently, I was asked to lead a day-long focus group discussion with technology buyers from Fortune 100 companies. There were two senior executives from each participating company. The topic we explored was how they felt about sales and sales professionals and what might be the ideal buying experience.
Sales Professionals often fail to ask enough solution or consultative questions to appear interested in their client’s challenges, objectives and outcomes they are looking to achieve.Many sellers still ask “leading” questions that point to one of their solutions, rather than having broader conversations and asking true “no agenda” questions which will help get a wider perspective of their prospective customer’s environment. This behavior means that they often miss opportunities to sell more holistic solutions (leaving money on the table or smaller deals).
Have you noticed that the overwhelming tendency of most sales professionals is to rush to a solution? It's in our nature. We want to solve our client's problems and we usually have the products and services to do it. So, what's the problem? We’re in the business of providing solutions; It’s what we do! So, why aren't our prospects just thrilled when we come knocking?