Negotiation is one of the most difficult, and in my opinion, poorly understood aspects of the sales process. If there's at least one thing I've learned about leading sales reps, epecially less experiences ones, they do not know how to negotiate effectively. Even if they run a flawless sales process, they give up loads of value after having created so much in everything they did prior. While the customer ultimately gets the better end of this deal, it's not effective for building a business over the long term. Heavy discounting erodes margin and eliminates a business's ability to invest back into their own people, which in turn, limits the quality of the total customer experience.
You know those prospects who just "yes" you to do, then tell you they need a few days to think about it? The ones that give you buying signs the entire way through your mutual exploration and then... they just go dark?
Imagine the following world if you're a sales leader:
I was just talking with my manager -- our Sr. Director at HubSpot -- about an age old challenge that anyone practicing inside sales or inbound selling faces. The CONNECT call. Many new reps struggle to build a healthy pipeline because they cannot even get someone to answer the phone for the first time, or agree to take a call with them.
As a sales leader I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes some sales reps successful, and makes others fail. Having managed my own team for quite some time now, I've made good hires and bad hires and any sales leader will tell you that they're always on the lookout for new "A Players". Well, it's easier said than done.
Before you swipe to the next article, I know what you’re thinking… “Ugh, something about baseball. SO boring.” Well this article isn’t really about baseball, it’s about a single lesson I learned through playing baseball over 20 years that I now apply to sales every day. I’ll go ahead and take the rabbit out of the hat now. That lesson is, “ACT LIKE YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE.”
If you've been working in sales at all for the past few years, you've probably noticed that the sales environment is more challenging than ever. And if you've been working in the sales world for ten years or more, you know the traditional model has been completely stood on its head. Buyers are in control today!
As we know from Corporate Executive Board research, over 60% of the buying process has already been completed before a company speaks with a sales rep. If this statistic is old news to you, here are a few more data points for you to chew on.
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