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Many Sales professionals are afraid for their future in sales. Will their jobs be replaced by chat GPT? Sadly, the answer for some is yes. Those who are doing the bare minimum, yes a robot could also do these tasks.
Those top performers who continue to work on themselves upskill, role play, hone their craft, and apply the coaching from their managers, these folks will continue to thrive and cut through the noise. But what are some of the things they are doing? There are many, I am highlighting the top 3 I come across regularly as I coach sales reps.
1) Multi-threaded - The last Gartner report suggested up to 11 decision-makers make up the team/committee. These folks can be ABL (Above the Line) and BTL (Below the Line) members.We need to understand their role, motivations, influencers, experience with the buying group, resistances etc. Some companies I have worked with have added fields in their CRM for a minimum of 3 contacts within the account before it is recognized as a valid opportunity. What are the risks of dealing with one person? Putting all our eggs in one basket?
We are dealing with a single point of failure. If they don’t get back to us, we have no plan B. If they leave the company or role there is no history of our work, conversations, or business interactions.
You are only getting one perspective, one view of the problem. What other departments do this or will this impact if left unattended? We need these people at the table to agree on the problem and prioritize the problem as one worth solving now. When we leave stakeholders out it only stalls the deal later. Ensure you are going deep, high and wide within your account.
2) Social Proof - From Matt Dixon’s work we know 56% of deals are lost due to indecisiveness, FOMU. Fear of messing up. Nobody wants an egg on their face and are not willing to put their neck on the line. Our role as sales professionals is to help them make a decision. To do this, we must provide reassurance that they are not alone in this journey. Share experiences of how others felt the same way and how they are performing now as a result of working with you. We can name-drop, and logo-drop with a few caveats.
a) The companies are similar in size, revenue, objectives etc. We are comparing apples to apples.
b) You are sharing the successes through the lens of the past client. XYZ bank claims that the post-implementation support they received from our team is what allowed them to exceed their customer satisfaction targets. Let the customer be the hero, not you.
c) When we first started speaking with XYZ Bank they felt the exact same way as you did. They were wondering if they were choosing the right solution for their team and if the solution would address their churn issues. What put them at ease was… "I would be happy to share X with you as well."
After hearing they are not alone, we normalize their feelings of uncertainty and overwhelm. They may not need to see what put them at ease. Knowing they are not alone in their feelings may be enough. Allow them to feel heard.
3) Transparency - We can’t be everything to everyone. Our products won't solve all problems and sometimes we are just not a good fit. When sales reps cannot loosen their grip on an opportunity that is not a right fit or not right now it increases the chance of indecision. How can we detach from the outcome? Let them know maybe you don’t need 500 licenses, why don’t we start with 100? Get some small wins and invest elsewhere. Once we see success, we can look at rolling it out to the rest of the team. Be upfront and honest with our prospects. Putting their needs and best interest above ours invites them to disarm, it builds trust and compresses the sales cycle,
If there are slight nuances or gestures of uncertainty, call it out.
Don’t miss cues that are moving you towards indecision. Pick up on these early on and question them. “I just want to make sure when you said, “I think so”, that you have all the information and aren’t holding back any questions. Is there something I haven’t mentioned that you were looking to learn about?"
In my coaching practice what I see regularly with the high-performing reps is their consistent use of Multi-threading, Social Proofing and leading with transparency.
I encourage you to start by adding one of these into your sales motions and see the difference it will make with yourself and your prospects. If you need help getting get started, please reach out.
For 20 years Karen has been specializing in the art and science of sales and communication her passion and experience are helping technical sales professionals become more confident and to disrupt with value.
Her dedication to developing and delivering customized sales training programs provide her audience practical, relevant tools that can be used immediately to break down the barriers in a competitive landscape and separate themselves from the noise.
We encourage you to take the first step towards change.
There are so many areas of business out of our control, yet we continue to invest in them and hope for a different outcome. What about your people? You have control over them and their development pathway. The ability to build a positive learning culture, improve their level of confidence and increase bottom line revenue.
Invest in them. Hone their sales skills to attract your most ideal clients, gain the required commitments through discovery, engage authentically and create an enjoyable repeatable experience for your clients.
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