Imagine for a moment that you’re shopping for a new car. You go to the dealership, test drive a few of the new models available, experience each vehicle’s unique features and, eventually, pick the one that best suits your needs.
Here’s a situation every VAR salesperson should be familiar with: You’ve identified a lead, nurtured the contact, qualified the opportunity and prepared a proposal you think is fair for both your business and the customer’s. Then, seemingly out of the blue, you get that dreaded call or email. You know, the one in which the prospect reveals they can’t afford to make a change after all.
The other day I was chatting with the executive vice president of Sales for one of our VAR customers, who lamented his sales team’s propensity to let unqualified opportunities linger in the pipeline despite the unlikelihood of them every closing. This executive’s reps were convinced those opportunities eventually would close—they just weren’t ready yet.
One of the biggest challenges salespeople face is getting prospects to move out of their comfort zones. Status quo is a known entity, and it’s often perceived as the safer option when instituting significant change is the alternative.
In sales, much of our focus is often directed toward new client acquisition with prospecting and moving qualified opportunities through the sales process—and, for the most part, it should be. After all, how can you grow your businesses if you aren’t perpetually attracting and closing new customers?
You’ve done everything right. You’ve met with a prospective customer in person, verified that the company has the budget for your managed cloud services, submitted an affordable proposal for those services and convinced the decision-maker to verbally commit to a deal.
With the start of spring now less than a month away, I’m sure most of us are beginning to daydream about the prospect of sunshine and summer vacation, and the (hopefully) final disappearance of the polar vortex. But let’s not throw on our flip-flops and shut down our computers just yet.
Editor’s note: This is the second post in a three-part series on sales motivation. The first post focused on the importance of building competition into your sales team’s everyday activities, and the third post will explore the affect team success can have on motivation.
If you regularly read my contributions to this site, you probably know that I’m an avid skier. I live in Denver, Colo.—a haven for outdoor sports, and a city that’s just a couple of hours from some of the best ski resorts in the country (Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone, etc.).
In almost any context, a well-written customer testimonial can be hugely impactful. In fact, those stamps of approval often replace the need for customer reference checks because they serve as validation of your offerings’ value proposition and confirmation of your company’s capabilities. Simply put, testimonials instill confidence in your prospects’ minds and, ultimately, help you close sales faster.
When you go to a dealership to buy a car, it’s no mistake that you’re presented with myriad options. Want a black car with tan leather, GPS, stow-away back seats, and surround-sound speakers? No problem. Prefer a hybrid vehicle with cloth seats and no frills? You can probably get that, too.
The argument for providing that diversity of options is twofold: It ensures that the customer gets what they want and need, and it takes some of the attention away from price.
In the world of VAR selling, the same is often true.
Email is the new phone in today’s sales world. It’s currently one of the most effective online customer acquisition tools, according to this post from Wired, ranking just behind organic search and paid advertising, but ahead of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
Recently, I decided it might finally be time to buy new car. After all, my 25-year-old Honda Accord—despite still possessing the capability to reliably get me from point A to point B—is almost as old as Mark Zuckerberg.
Last week, the NFL “celebrated” one of its annual rights of passage—Black Monday. On that day (the first Monday after the regular season ends), a handful of coaches around the league often find their heads on the proverbial chopping block, and this year was certainly no different.