Whilst some members of your team may feel four weeks is ample time to get the results you’re looking for, we all know how quickly time flies. The last thing you want is a stressed team, desperately trying to win business and jeopardising great relationships a week before the end of the quarter.
On the other side of the scale, if you have sales team members gloating and feeling very relaxed as they’ve already met their targets, it’s really important you encourage them to start building their pipelines for Q2. Consistency and discipline is the key to sales success.
Around this time, we find a lot of salespeople telling their CEO and/or Sales Directors, they’ve had lots of great calls, they’ve sent out a good number of proposals and they are waiting to hear back…
RED FLAG ALERT!
I guarantee, when you drive into their conversations, you’ll find the pipeline isn’t as strong as they’ve made it out to be. And, there’s a high probability, they’ll still be waiting for a good number of deals to come over the line this time next week.
This isn’t to say, they’ve not worked hard or that they are lying to you…
It’s just in our experience, if you’ve sent out a lot of proposals from initial conversations and you haven’t used the right approach, it’s very likely that your salesperson is getting ghosted by their prospect.
So why does this happen, and how can they prevent this from happening moving forward?
1. Your salesperson lost control of the sales process
Is this what happened?
It’s really important you spend the time understanding your prospects’ real pain or desire. And this may take 2-3 conversations before they start bringing down their barriers and trusting you enough to be open and honest.
Here are some questions your sales team can use to probe beneath and surface-level when fact-finding:
- You mentioned XYZ being a big problem, how have you tried to overcome this challenge?
- Tell me more about the journey you’ve had to fix [X] problem so far?
- What challenges or blockages were you running into?
- How is this impacting your business?
- How will it impact you personally if we are sitting here this time next year with the same problem?
For more questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share at least another 30 bespoke questions you can use for your audience!
2. Your salesperson didn’t build up enough trust
The prospect may have asked you to send a proposal but that doesn’t mean they are really keen to use your services.
- Have they clocked up enough time with you?
- Have you shared lots of insights and value?
- Do they genuinely believe and trust your company will 100% take their pain away or get them to their promised land?
3. The odds were stacked against your salesperson from the start
This goes back to the triage or sales qualification process. Essentially there’s no point in sending out a proposal if your salesperson isn’t convinced this is a good match.
Have they asked enough questions upfront to determine whether the prospect is your sweet spot customer?
We encourage salespeople to grade their prospects based on a series of questions. We call this the sales qualification criteria and it includes a set of 14-18 Yes/No questions which will allow the salesperson to identify how “hot” the lead really is.
Example things to assess:
- Is fixing [X] problem or getting to [Y] a priority for them?
- Does the prospect match our values?
- Do they have the resources to move things forward?
- Does their decision-making process seem complicated?
- Have they tried to fix their problem using other service providers?
- Do they value the work/time involved to fix the problem or are they looking to put a plaster over the problem for now?
Again, I can share 20+ sales qualification criteria questions bespoke to your business. Simply email me to let me know you’re interested: email@example.com.
Above are 3 of the biggest reasons salespeople get ghosted. And whilst these may not be the only reason (there are at least another seven more), it’s a good place to start when you’re reviewing pipelines and getting feedback from the team.