CEOs and Sales Leaders! If the customer testimonials on your website are from VP, Dir, or Mgr job titles, then your salespeople are prospecting and selling too low.
How do I know?
- Your new business salespeople will not be self-generating enough new meetings. You will be worried that you haven’t got enough “@bats” or top of the funnel opportunities to make your number.
- You will have a low proposal to win ratio. Circa 10% to 20%.
- Sales cycles will drag.
- Your salespeople are having to drop price to win the deal.
Sound or look familiar?
And, you’re not alone. Your sales force isn’t broken.
It’s just that they are perpetuating prospecting and selling dysfunctions that have been handed down from generations of executives and sales leaders (and weak sales gurus). Let me be clear. This is an executive and sales leadership issue.
You have an opportunity to break the cycle of dysfunction and be a “transitional” leader – someone who breaks the cycle and evolves their salespeople to a different level of performance and quality of life.
Doing these three simple things differently will help you get more and faster new business results.
- STOP your salespeople from prospecting and selling to VPs and below job titles to the exclusion of the executives above them. You need to engage buyers whose motivations are to do more and who actively seek a competitive advantage. That’s the C suite. VP and down are vested in STATUS QUO (they don’t want to change what they’re doing today as that will interfere with their day job). START your prospecting and selling motion at the CEO – engage them or get referred down. Either is a positive outcome. That way you loosen the grip of the Status Quo. Become your own trigger event.
- STOP sending out solution, service or product-based prospecting messages. No one cares about that. If your message acknowledges a challenge or objective and articulates the results that other companies have achieved – and these are companies that the recipient admires or aspires to – that will get attention. START 180°ing your message away from solution led language to outcome, impact and results messaging (ideally with specific and measurable results, % and $).
- STOP hoping that your new and experienced sales hires will figure out how to message to senior decision makers. Even if their CV says that they’re “proficient at prospecting and selling to the C suite,” trust me when I say, most aren’t. If I had a $ for every CV that I’ve seen that on…(and CEOs would do nothing all day but take calls from salespeople). That’s because they haven’t been taught how to message correctly and effectively. Were you ever taught how to write a prospecting email to a CEO (very few leaders answer yes to this question)? So, if this is the case, is it any wonder why salespeople prospect to mid-level management with feature/function focused messages? It’s because they’ve not been taught “how” to do it properly and in a way that gets meetings with senior decision makers – from CEO down, in seconds, minutes, hours vs. weeks, months or never.
Want an impartial view of your salespeople’s prospecting messages – or their proposals?
Send me some examples and I’ll send an email critique of what is good and what needs work.
And, if you found this article helpful, please forward it to one executive or sales leader in your network who would appreciate it. Or share on LinkedIn.
If you want to learn more, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +1 647-402-2096.
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