- August 8, 2022
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
If your car was manufactured in the last few years, you probably have a rear camera that helps you see your surroundings when you need to back up, back into a parking space, or drive backwards on the interstate at 65 MPH. Okay, maybe not the last one. Somehow, my Genesis GV80 always knows to display its rear and overhead cameras when I’m pulling into the garage. Not backing into the garage, but driving forward into the garage. That is helpful because I can pull in just far enough to leave the maximum amount of room in front of the car, but still clear the garage threshold enough for the garage door to close without hitting the back of the car. If the car could speak, it would be saying, “Dave doesn’t know what he can’t see back there but he needs to see it right now. So I’m going to turn off the map display and instead, give him the two-camera intelligence he needs.” It’s crazy!
Pivot to sales. Wouldn’t it be great if salespeople had the equivalent of two camera intelligence to see what they don’t know they need to see?
Two-camera intelligence for salespeople is probably science fiction – a pipe dream – but it would have a bigger impact for sales success than how the view of the garage threshold assists with my parking!
The two-camera rear view would allow salespeople to:
- Inspect whether the answers provided by prospects truly answered their questions
- Learn whether there is truly enough budget available and whether the prospect will spend more to do business with them
- Learn who the real decision-makers are, why they are hiding, and how to get them engaged
- Uncover the prospect’s most compelling reasons to buy from them
- Learn which of their competitors the prospect is talking with and how they compare
- Discover the criteria (reasons) on which the prospect will make their decision
- Discover the process (steps) by which the prospect will come to a decision
- Uncover the timeline for a decision
- Determine the prospect’s level of commitment to solving their problem and moving forward
- Understand exactly how they can be a perfect fit for the prospect
- Determine how to improve their relationship with the prospect
- Connect the dots to create a perfect needs and cost appropriate solution
Two-camera intelligence for salespeople would provide visibility into the 12 most important qualification criteria. Interestingly, the best salespeople already have this intelligence in their tool bag. 87% of the top 5% of all salespeople – the very best salespeople – have visibility into these criteria because their high-quality, value-added conversations easily uncover this information. By comparison, only 1% of the bottom half of all salespeople have that visibility. Just 1%. The group in the 50th-80th percentile aren’t much better as only 19% of them have the Qualifier competency as a strength. The Qualifier competency is just one of 21 Sales Core Competencies measured by OMG’s sales candidate assessments and sales team evaluations. You can see all 21 Sales Core Competencies here.
All salespeople are told to qualify. Some are trained to qualify. Fewer are coached to qualify. Most don’t know how to properly qualify or they skip past it entirely because they fear that their opportunity won’t qualify (they’ll have to hunt for a new opportunity) or they fear that their prospect will become upset at them for asking the questions (their need to be liked). If they plan to ask these questions like a survey, or like a game of 50 questions, then they should be afraid. Qualifying doesn’t work that way. Salespeople must first build a case so that their prospects have an incentive to qualify themselves. If the case hasn’t been built, there isn’t a prospect alive that would willingly subject themself to a dozen qualification questions. The best salespeople know how to simply make this part of a wonderful two-way conversation that won’t raise prospects’ resistance.
Building a case is accomplished by taking a consultative approach to selling. While weak salespeople are just as inept at consultative selling as they are at qualifying, only 49% of elite salespeople have mastered this competency. Taking a consultative approach is clearly the achilles heal of the sales profession.
Obviously, I won’t send my car on my next sales call but most salespeople would fare better if they had my car’s intelligence.