Numbers are important in sales. Our goals are based on the numbers. KPI’s are based on the numbers. We claim to be numbers driven.
And, too often, we miss the numbers. We don’t hit our revenue goals, we don’t have enough pipeline, we aren’t getting the results from our prospecting.
There’s the easy, universal answer to these challenges. It’s what most managers do. As sales people, we know what the manager is going to say before we even walk into the “coaching” session.
The universal answer is “do more!”
To solve quota problems, we need to chase more opportunities, we have to fill our pipelines, we have to do more prospecting.
So we chase more, we focus on activity levels. We leverage technology to help us do more. Send more emails, make more dials, leverage social channels.
And, we might get slightly better results, but…..
Our poor customers are the recipients of the “do more” sales strategies. It’s not only us doing more to them, it’s every single sales person interested in pushing a product inflicting more on each of them.
Customers are fed up! They are shutting down! They are overwhelmed, particularly when do more isn’t helpful to them and what they are trying to do.
Somehow, we seldom look at the issue that, rather than doing more, what if we did better with those things we do? What if we got better results from each opportunity we qualified? How do we get more out of every 100 emails or phone calls, rather than just upping them to 1000?
I’m constantly stunned by the mediocre performance and results I see from too many organizations. Win rates in the teens. Average deal sizes that could be improved by focusing on what the customer wants/needs to achieve, rather than getting a PO. Rather than narrowing our focus on our ICP, we chase everything we can, straying far outside our ideal customers. Rather then investing more time in working with the customer helping them understand, learn, achieve their goals, we are so busy with so many “customers,” we can’t invest the necessary time in any of them. Rather than understanding their business strategies, challenges, and helping them make high quality decisions, we focus on becoming living breathing product brochures, providing no value, mindlessly reading our scripts, wasting what little time we and our customers have.
What if we changed our approach to doing better? How do we increase our win rate? How do we increase the average deal size? How can we help the customer decrease their buying cycle so they can accelerate their ability to achieve results? How do we help the customer accomplish more in each interaction–consequently enabling us to accomplish more in each interaction?
Doing this, then changes our pipeline dynamics. If we do better on each deal, we don’t have to find and qualify as many deals. But we have leverage there, as well. What if we focus more narrowly on our ICP and on those that have a compelling need to change? We increase the quality of the opportunities we pursue and, by the way, win more, more quickly.
And we can look at how doing better ripples back into our prospecting. We find we don’t have to do more, we have to be more impactful–and those outreaches drive higher responses from our prospects because they stand out as meaningful and important.
When I start talking about this to sales managers, sometimes I get push back. “But Dave, we are making our numbers! Why change? Volume works, it’s the answer, it’s ‘perfectly predictable.’ We know the formula and it’s achieving our goals. Why change?”
My response, “Have you ever thought, if you do better, you can actually do more? You can and should be performing at much higher levels than you currently are.”
Think about that for a moment 😉
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