Thursday, 3 December 2009

Is Your Sales Manager An Idiot?

Yes, its true, if you're a sales manager and encourage or require your sales reps to make more than 25 calls a day then I personally think youre completely nuts! Youre crazy and you know nothing about the sales cycle. For you, achieving your sales numbers is all about the quantity of calls, but not the quality of the call itself. You want the best of both worlds, but the reality is you cannot have both.
With "too much" quantity, you sacrifice quality and as a result, you're actually creating limitations on the success of both you and your sales team.
The sales cycle begins with research. Research allows you as a salesperson to engage your prospect with qualifying questions to uncover needs. How can you take a genuine interest in your prospect with the expectation of making more than 25 calls a day? It's just not realistic.
Making more than 25 cold calls doesnt preposition you for sales success, it positions you for sales failure. Such an unrealistic sales goal of 25 or more calls is a myth. It's a belief system that is incorrect. Its a 'DISBELIEF' system. It makes you less effective, leads to job dissatisfaction and contributes to false beliefs that cold calling is an ineffective way to generate new business.
Many years ago, I became a victim to this school of sales thought. It made sense to me. It was my world. I was told that I could not be successful with less calls and that the only way to make my sales quota was to fire up my telephone and make from 50 to 65 or more cold calls a day. If you had told me to make less than 25 cold calls then my first reaction would have been, "Well, its all a numbers game and how can I make my sales quota by dialing less than half the required cold calls?" That was my thought process then, but today, its the reverse. It's a whole different story.
How did I go from one extreme to another extreme?
Its actually a simple answer. I learned the hard way. This article will hopefully be an eye opener for many and you can use this information to speed up your sales success! The reason why I was a former believer was because I didnt have a clear understanding of the entire sales process. I didnt fully understand each stage of the sales process. As a result, I was more focused on the mechanics of picking up the telephone and how fast I could get to the next call rather than on the exchange of engaging dialogue with my prospect. I was not taking a genuine interest in my prospect, but rather, I bought into an unhealthy belief system that started with my sales manager.
This unhealthy belief system (more calls equals more sales) removes the most important part of the sales process and this missing element is called consultative selling. This type of selling requires research, engaging dialogue and makes you put the prospect first. It's a more productive way to earn new business and with the expectation of some Sales Managers that you need to make more than 25 calls a day to make your numbers is just not true. It's not realistic. Don't buy into their misunderstandings and fears. Your success is not about quantity, it's about finding a healthy and realistic balance between quantity and quality.
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