Sales Persistency is a Management Issue - By Jordan Wolf
What do I mean by sales persistency? It is the ability to continue to pursue an outcome even though it is proving very difficult (or complicated) to do so. It is the proverbial ‘dog with the bone’ mentality that follows up every sales lead to its logical conclusion – won or lost. Giving up because the prospect is being difficult, or hard to get to, is not an option!
How do you know if your sales team lacks sales persistency? Firstly, look to your opportunity pipeline and find all those promising sales leads that have simply faded away and eventually disappeared from conversation. Discover how many there were, and what percentage they made up of the total opportunities created. If the count is high (15 to 20% or more) then you most likely have a persistency problem. Get into diagnostics overdrive and question the sales heads responsible to find out exactly why each of these opportunities has died a death? Expect to hear some innovative reasons why the opportunity in question fell to the wayside, and remember we are investigating ‘sales persistency’ so make sure to ask relevant questions to get relevant answers.
If it turns out that sales persistency is a challenge within your sales department, then the likelihood is that problem lies within the management of your sales team. “People respect what we inspect” was one great piece of advice I was lent whilst heading into my first management role. This simply means that the necessary actions we, as managers, place emphasis on are the ones mostly likely to get consistently done. By reverse, the actions we do not emphasise (inspect regularly) will inevitably be left aside and undone. Especially, if these actions are uncomfortable and way outside the current comfort zone of your sales team. So, what next?
(1) The most important action to remedy this is to consistently hold individual weekly one-to-one sales reviews.
(2) If this is not happening right now, then make it your next high-priority action.
(3) Individual weekly sales reviews allow managers to hold people to account for the ‘next actions’ that are deemed necessary for sales success and being persistent is the holy grail in making this happen.
(4) If we beat the drum on ‘persistency’ and carefully monitor each opportunity to make sure they do not fall away for the wrong reasons. I can assure you that managing (inspecting) sales persistency will increase your sales productivity exponentially.
Persistency management equals agreeing structured opportunity ‘next actions’ to drive the sale forward and making sure they happen within the agreed timeframe set. As the quote goes, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, or a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will”. True story!
Get in touch with us if you want to chat through how to make your sales organisation more persistent.