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5 Ways Our Salespeople Screw Up Ideal Sale and How to Correct Them

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This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with. Funnel freedom. Welcome to episode five of the full funnel freedom podcast.
I'm your host Hamish Knox. In this episode, I'll be sharing ideas and insights on the five ways that our salespeople can screw up an ideal sale and how to support them in avoiding that. The first mistake that our salespeople can make when attempting to qualify an ideal sale is they take the first issue or problem that their prospect throws on the table and they run with it, whether building a whole proposal, booking a demo.

And the fact of matter is that's a very quick way to be commoditized because. Who else says we can fix that to our prospects, every other salesperson that that prospect talks to. So if our salesperson hears, we've got a problem with the reporting function in our software platform, or we're struggling with getting on-time delivery of the products we order, and they say, well, let me tell you about that.

Or let me come back and show you a proposal on that. Now they've just been commoditized and we all know where commodities end up in terms of pricing, practice and coach your salespeople to get at a minimum two, ideally three or more challenges that our prospect is facing. Also understand, you know, what are the payoffs to the business and to them personally, for fixing those and also understanding what is the dollar value cost of either the loss that they're experiencing, because the problem exists or the gain they're missing out on, because they haven't realized that opportunity.

I know I used to forget when I was in sales, that my prospect isn't just talking to me and they don't go into some sort of cocoon as soon as I leave them. Are waiting for me to bring back my proposal. No, they're looking to solve their challenges all the time, whether it's through internal resources or they're talking to competitors.

And I don't know if the first thing that they bring up to me when we're having a conversation is the most. Topic or issue for them to solve. Maybe one of their team was just in their office, yelling at them about the delivery moments before we started our conversation. And so that's why it was brought up top of mind.

So when we coach our sales people to really dig underneath the surface and find out how. Relevant that issue is and how recent that issue is. We really start to understand whether or not this is actually a sale that we might be able to close. The second mistake that salespeople will make with an ideal sale is not getting a clear next step.

Every time they interact with their clients and prospects, especially if we are in a long, former, an enterprise type sale, if our salespeople are ending their conversations with, well, yeah. I'll get you that information and we'll connect in two weeks. Right? Well, the prospect is going to say, yeah, sure.

Sales person, you can call me in two weeks. I don't know if I'm going to be here. I don't know why I would want to talk to you. You haven't differentiated yourself from any other sales person that I've talked to about this. One of the ways that we can differentiate on how we sell instead of what we sell, which by the way, what we sell as a commodity in the minds of our prospects anyways, is by always getting that clear next.

In our prospect's calendar and in our sales person's calendar. And this is a key question for us to ask in our sales funnel review meetings is what is the next step? Because if our sales person says something like, well, I think, or I hope that opportunity gets eliminated out of the sales funnel. Take the hope out of your sales team when someone's has I hope what they're really meaning is I've got not a good answer.

So I'm going to tell my boss what I think is going to make them happy. So they'll stop bugging me, always have that clear next step. Otherwise it's not a qualified opportunity. The third way that our salespeople will screw up ideal sales is they don't reconfirm commitments that our prospects make to us.

Our prospects will make commitments, whether it's to show up for a scheduled appointment or whether it's to get us some user data that we need in order to build out our proposal. But it's okay to lie to salespeople. Right. We lie to salespeople all the time. It's absolutely okay to lie to salespeople and still ascend to whatever afterlife you happen to believe.

So when one of our salespeople get a commitment from a prospect, whether that's to see them next Tuesday at eight 30 for a demo, or whether it's to get some user data to them by the end of next week, it's on our salespeople to say to that process. In the first case, what's going to come up between now and next Tuesday, that's going to cause us to move or cancel, or I appreciate you getting me that data by the end of next week.

If I haven't seen it by the time I get in the following Monday, what would you like me to do? Because that really tests our prospects commitment. We're really using the scientific method for selling here where the hypothesis is that our prospect is going to keep their commitment. Our experiment is a question.

We get data back and we test it. Now from my own experience, I once had a conversation with a CEO of a large chemical company. It was a cold call. We had agreed to meet the following Friday. I said before we left kind of curious, what's going to come up between now and next Friday, it's going to cause us to move or cancel.

And they said, hold on, let me look at my calendar. Oh, I'm in an old days. Off-site strategy session that day. I said, well, would it make sense for us to reschedule now? And they said, absolutely. Which, by the way, built up my credibility with them. We ended up having the meeting. If I hadn't of said. At worst, I get ghosted at best.

I get a message from them or their assistant that says, Hey, we got to reschedule and who knows? Maybe we do. But the biggest cost of sales is missed appointments. When I worked in downtown Calgary, there was a coffee shop on a right in my building. And I would often have meetings with my prospects. But if a prospect ghosted me, I didn't just rush back up to my desk and start prospecting all over again.

No, I sat at the coffee shop, had a coffee flipped through my social media. I felt bad about myself. So reconfirming prospect commitments, whenever they make a commitment to us is a crucial component of successful. Creating full funnel freedom because it means that our opportunities are both qualified and they're not likely to grift too far off pace.

The fourth mistake that salespeople make that screws up ideal sales is they don't clarify ambiguous statements from their prospects. In fact, early on in conversations with my prospects, I will say. I'd like to make sure there's no ambiguity between us. So if I hear something that I think is a little unclear to me, I'm going to ask you a question that to clarify.

So we're both on the same page. Are you okay with that? And I can see in my prospect's eyes, that again, my credibility is going up when I'm doing that, because. They don't want ambiguity. No one wants ambiguity. Human beings are really okay with a little bit of ambiguity. You know, for example, if my friend says, Hey, let's meet at this coffee shop at noon tomorrow.

Well, and if I show up there and it's noon and my friend's not there, well, it's a little ambiguous, you know, did they say, you know, 12, 15, or maybe they're delayed or whatever, but ambiguity quickly turns into anxiety. And if it's now 10 after 12, A little anxious and I'm going to start messaging my friend.

Where are you? I might have the right coffee shop. Did you say today? And anxiety eventually turns into fear. You know, if it's 1230 and I've got no response from my friend and they haven't shown up at the coffee shop now I'm really afraid mostly for them. I don't know. Did they get in an accident or are they all right, but human beings do not necessarily like a lot of ambiguity and when our salespeople do not clarify ambiguous statements, like yeah, you know what we think this looks good or the budget will be available when we find the thing that we have.

Well, those are ambiguous statements. I have no idea what that means. So we want to coach our salespeople to clarify those ambiguous statements. And it's a really easy, simple role play that you could do with them because we hear these ambiguous statements from our prospects all the time and the last way that our salespeople will screw up an ideal.

Is they don't address roadblocks or speed bumps? Well, in advance, human beings are great with the past because everything was better than the past. They're okay with the present, but they suck at the future. So because. Our prospects buy our stuff less often, theoretically than our salespeople attempt to sell it.

They may not be aware of some of the common speed bumps or roadblocks that happen in a sale in our process. But our salespeople do because they've had the experience where another department pops up at the last minute, because they've got some of the budget authority and they want to have a say in who's going to get selected.

Or we're not sure how we can pull all of the people who need to be trained on our platform out of their day-to-day jobs to get trained without affecting our client's day-to-day operations. So when our salespeople early on in the sales process, after we've done a little bit of qualifying, this is not necessarily something that we lead with, but as we've started to go down the path of qualifying our ideal sale, we might say something like prospect.

It may not happen here, but my experience is that at some point we're going to have to figure out how we pull everybody out of their day-to-day roles to get trained on the platform without affecting your operations. When we get there, how do you want to handle that conversation? Because I don't want it to be a potential roadblock for us working together.

If we choose. No one else is saying that to our prospects. They're just hoping that the prospect is going to close their eyes, plug their nose and point at the Victor, and then everything will happen on the backend. And by the way, that's not the salesperson's problem. Cause that's delivery's problem, which as we'll address in future episodes, not necessarily a great way to create full funnel freedom in your organization, because if sales and delivery are fighting, that's going to be a big problem.

For all of these mistakes that our salespeople make and to review the first one is only taking the first problem that our prospect gives us and building an entire proposal or demo around it. That's a quick way to get commoditized, not getting a clear next step. Every time that we interact with a prospect at every stage of our sales process, number three is not reconfirmed.

Prospect commitments. And what happens if the prospect doesn't deliver on that commitment? Again, people past, present and future. We want our present self to address what our future self might want to do when there's not a lot of emotion attached. Number four, our salespeople fail to clarify ambiguous statements that our prospects make.

And. The fifth one is they don't bring up potential roadblocks or speed bumps to getting the sale across the finish line and successfully implemented. Cause they're just hoping that the prospect won't notice or that that's another department's problem for all of these really critical to practice with your sales team, by which I mean role-play.

On a consistent weekly basis. And we'll talk about role-play more in a future episode, but coaching and role playing and field support visits going on, ride alongs or the new buzzword zoom alongs with your sales person. Not to be part of the sales interaction, but to observe and record real data in the field is a critical, critical component of making these mistakes go away.

My friend, Antonio has a great book called the 21st century ride along that if you want to know more about doing those field support visits, I'd highly recommend that you check out. This has been episode five of the full funnel freedom podcast. I'm your host Hamish Knox until we connect with you on the next episode, go create full funnel freedom.

Thank you for listening to full funnel freedom with Amish knocks. If you want to increase your sales with. Go-to full funnel,