Here you sit staring at the computer screen. Perhaps looking at a bad month, or a bad quarter, or concerned about how the year is going to finish.
So you send an email off to your team telling them they need to bring orders in TODAY, call and get all the POs you can, or some such nonsense.
I’m not going to go off about how if your “pipeline” or “funnel” were full this wouldn’t be a problem (that would take your boss’s tone). I’m not even going to suggest that speaking with people about deals and dates isn’t an important part of your job (because it is!).
Here is the thing; you can’t one day tell a salesperson to be all about the prospect/customer and the next tell them to push for the order.
So what is a sales leader to do?
Here are three options:
Option #1 – Leave the deals you know are coming in alone! I didn’t say the options were going to be easy. This is the money that you can count on, your salesperson WON and is just waiting on paperwork (or some such thing).
The only exception to this rule is if there is a customer deadline (not your deadline THEIR deadline!) looming and their salesperson can call to have a time frame conversation. See how I turned around asking for the PO into a customer driven conversation?
Option #2 – On deals where you are 50/50 that you are going to earn their business AND there is money to be spent (that and is really important!). Sit down with the salesperson working the deal, to determine what trigger would push the deal in your favor.
I’m a “price, but…” believer, try and not fall into the trap of thinking they will buy from you if you’re cheaper. Although it may be true – instead get creative (we’ve all lost deals where we were cheaper and won some when we were higher priced).
Option #3 – Create a resource for your team. Most inside sales organizations have lots of data; what pieces could you pull to help your salespeople have a few quick successes – they will feel better and so will you!
Depending on what data or information you have here are a few things I have seen made into call lists:
* people who have credit on account
* their existing customers who haven’t purchased in the past (insert appropriate time for your business here)
* trigger event listing of some kind
* lost deal follow up lists
* product specials tied to specific accounts that would be interested
Of course I would love to hear what other ideas you have! Those three are only a start, I’m sure there are a lot more options out there.