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Sales Myths & Excuses: Santa Claus, Tech Monsters, Quotas & More

Sales Myths & Excuses: Santa Claus, Tech Monsters, Quotas & More

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Benjamin Franklin

At our Roundtables meetings members will sometimes use the term “head trash” and it typically means that an individual has comes up with an excuse, an unfounded thought or a weak reason why they can’t accomplish a goal.

Remodelers often face this type of head trash when managing a team of sales people or perhaps even if they take on sales themselves. Today we take a closer look at the myths, the excuses and the reasons salespeople use to self-sabotage their success.

“Everyone is on vacation”

I am sure you heard this over the Summer and as we get into the holidays you will hear it again. There is no doubt that prospects will be spending less time at the office over the Summer and holidays, however not ALL will be traveling or out of touch. In fact, as we enter the fourth quarter many prospects may be receiving year-end bonuses and contemplating what to do with them.

As you contact and get to know your prospects, ask them about their plans for the holidays… it’s a great question as it not only tells you their schedule (which you should note) but also if they are expecting a windfall at the end of the year. Send a hand-written note before their break and wish them a good trip and give them a travel mug with your logo on it. If your company sends holiday cards or small gifts, make sure they are on the list and in some instances, it might be worth delivering it yourself.

“CRMs slow me down”

It’s true that adjusting to using a CRM, whether for the first time or perhaps a new one your company is using can be cumbersome at first. CRMs can be your best friend or ally if you view them as a tool and not an obstacle. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome as a salesperson is organizing, handling and processing leads. Companies that either don’t use a CRM, or don’t hold their salespeople accountable in using one, lose millions every year in lost leads and lost opportunities. They aren’t organized and lack a process so prospects get dropped, over-looked and missed.

With that said, watch for salespeople getting too buried in their CRM and suffering “analysis paralysis.” Instead of contacting and getting face-time with prospects they are running reports, entering data in the middle of the day or doing “research.” As a sales manager or owner, set your team up for success by getting them properly trained, let them tailor their views and dashboards to their own specifications and keep encouraging them to use it effectively.

“Hitting Sales Quota and Total Sales are Most Important”

If you are a frequent reader of PowerTips you will see many posts dedicated to the importance of Gross Profit (GP). Hitting quota is vitally important for a salesperson but for a business owner or manager, GP is a greater indicator of the health of your company.

Look at your sales for the past 3-4 months; What is your GP? Is your pricing set correctly? Is your sales department and your production team lined up for success? Are you experiencing slippage? Do your sales people have an incentive on total sales or perhaps can you throw in a bonus layer for jobs sold over X% of GP?

“I E-mailed Them…”

E-mail is a great tool for business but can also be a huge crutch for a salesperson. They count an e-mail to a prospect as a “touch” or contact. Or worse, they count your company sending out a monthly newsletter to them as a legitimate contact. A 2015 estimate tells us that the average person receives 121 e-mails per day and I suspect that to be much higher for professionals as we head into 2018.

The likelihood that your prospect is receiving, reading and processing your e-mail message is a long shot. A “touch” or contact should be a face-to-face conversation or a direct phone call… not a voice-mail message. If you are using touches or contacts as one of your KPIs in managing your sales team (and you should be), make sure you define what a touch is and hold your salespeople accountable.

Summary

As an owner or sales manager these myths are just a handful of those you will hear on a weekly and monthly basis as you work with your team. Be aware of these, identify others you run into frequently and get ahead of them with your team. We would love to hear from you! What are some of the myths, excuses and obstacles that your sales team shares with you?

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