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Sandler Training in Calgary | Calgary, AB
 

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Hamish Knox

As a sales leader one of the best ways we can support our team members is to give them tools for reducing friction in their sales cycle. A powerful tool to share with our team is proactive roadblock identification early in an interaction with a prospect or client.

Creating a consistent, repeatable, scalable sales function means we need all of our salespeople to interact consistently with prospects and clients.

We’ve forever been steeped in a “hunter / farmer” mindset when it comes to building our sales teams. Even the Sales Development Representative/Account Executive/Account Manager model (with Pre-Sales Engineering, Implementation and/or Customer Care mixed in) follows this mindset with additional bodies taking certain parts of the “hunter” or “farmer” role.

Sometimes when we’re qualifying, we hear an “I don’t know” (IDK) response to a question we need to get answered to determine if the prospect we’re talking to is ideal.

Because our brain is an energy pig, we like linear thinking. Whether heuristics, biases or other mental shortcuts that follow a linear path from “if this, then that,” linear thinking can help us burn fewer mental calories, but it can also kill our changes of creating full funnel freedom.

David Sandler said, “our emotional attachment to an opportunity increases exponentially the longer it’s in our funnel.” This emotional attachment can send our sale sideways, especially if new people enter the process when we’re close to the finish line.

To support a consistently full funnel one mindset to take is thinking of our clients as prospects. By shifting our mindset that way we create two primary payoffs.

Our prospects have been trained, by salespeople seeking to get their needs met at the expense of rather than in service to their clients, not to trust salespeople so they developed mechanisms to reduce the “influence” that salespeople have in the buying process. One of the most common is to put up a (virtual) paper wall by requesting a proposal/quote/information from us before we’ve even gotten to “hello.”

Our clients are smart people who sometime, like us, make bad decisions. They could be using bad data, misinterpreting good data to fit their hypothesis or relying on a heuristic for a mental short cut.

Percentages in sales funnels suck.

They are typically meaningless, and they create problems up and down the sales function from front line salespeople who over/under estimate their true chance of closing the deals in their funnel to the sales leaders who are held accountable to guesstimates entered by their salespeople.