As a business leader, are these extraordinary times re-stacking your daily priorities and decisions? Does your sales organization feel paralyzed — with activity and results way off, and a pipeline that seems to have vanished?
No doubt, this is a difficult time to be selling. The pandemic impacts people, companies, industries, markets and the economy. And with social distancing, the meeting calendar might have been wiped out.
So, what’s the #1 action your sales team should be taking right now, today? The answer, while perhaps uncomfortable, is not as tough as it may seem: gaining virtual appointments and conducting what I call “re-discovery” calls with pipeline prospects. This goes beyond simply checking in. A re-discovery call takes intention and preparation, and includes the following:
-Leveraging the access your people have earned,
-Conducting fresh discovery with customers on how recent events are impacting their goals, challenges, priorities and decision making,
-Finding (new and maybe different) ways to help.
Why are 95% of your people unlikely to do this? The data on salespeople suggests that all but 5% of them lack the mindset and skill. Surprising? Here is a link to a recent post on the importance of value selling by Dave Kurlan from Objective Management Group that highlights some illuminating data from their bank of over 1.9 million sales professionals, across 130 countries and 200 industries.
How much stronger are the top 5% of salespeople compared to the bottom 50% in several critical areas right now?
-Sales DNA: 10,000%
-Consultative selling: 2,000%
-Selling value: 900%
What does this huge gap mean? The data suggests that, even in normal times, poor mindset and ineffective selling skills prevent most biz dev people from having critical and timely conversations.
How do your salespeople’s mindset and skills compare to the averages above? What should you do as a leader to address this – to navigate the current storm and properly position for the rebound? Let’s talk.