- September 27, 2023
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
In July, I wrote about Dinger tearing his ACL, and how well the doctor executed her sales process.
Dinger finally had his surgery and while going outside to do his business used to be quick and easy, it currently takes much longer and is more difficult. Prior to surgery, when he asked, we would let him outside, he would do his thing, return, and knock on the door to come inside. It used to take five minutes and when it was raining, less than two minutes.
Following surgery, it rained for four straight days and we were required to take him outside on a leash. He was already accustomed to hopping around on three legs, so that wasn’t a problem. Squatting was a huge problem. He was so uncomfortable that he would just sit there – in the rain – staring at nothing in particular. When he couldn’t hold it in any longer, he couldn’t find a suitable spot. When he did finally identify a spot, he began to squat but changed his mind and begin the process of circling all over again. His discomfort caused a five-minute, self-directed trip outside to become an owner-led, twenty-minute ordeal in the pouring rain.
And that is a great analogy for what happens when salespeople are uncomfortable with certain aspects of the sales process.
For example, we’ll discuss salespeople who are uncomfortable when they need to discuss finances with their prospects.
The table above shows data from Objective Management Group (OMG), which has assessed close to 2.4 million salespeople. The data shows that 43% of all salespeople are uncomfortable talking about money and while the top 10% have no such problem, 71% of the bottom 10% are too uncomfortable to talk about money. Or, to put it in Dinger’s world, they’re too uncomfortable to squat.
These are the 10 things that happen when salespeople are uncomfortable with the finance-specific milestones of the sales process:
- They gloss over it as in, “Is there a budget for this? Yes? Great!”
- They don’t ask anything at all about money.
- When they learn that there isn’t a budget or the budget isn’t large enough they ignore the issue.
- They fail to learn about competitor’s pricing
- When they get asked for a quote or proposal they provide it without knowing if the prospect has and will spend the money
- They are unable to sell value because their their pricing has no context
- They set themselves up for price objections for all of the previously mentioned reasons
- They extend the length of the sales process because of the back and forth that will occur IF they didn’t already lose the business
- They improve their odds of losing the business because they might not get a call or email to review pricing
- Their opportunity may stall because they failed to have the proper conversations when it would have been most appropriate to do so
The side effects of Discomfort Talking About Money are all completely avoidable if salespeople would simply lean into their discomfort and have the conversations despite their discomfort.
Discomfort Talking About Money is one of six Sales Core Competencies found in Sales DNA, the collection of strengths that support the execution of sales process, sales methodology, sales strategy and sales tactics. But when Sales DNA appears as a weakness, it serves to sabotage rather than support the salesperson.
This competency is also one of twenty-one Sales Core Competencies that OMG measures for each salesperson that is assessed. If you are curious, you can visit a free site where you can access the data:
- For all salespeople
- For the top 10%
- For the bottom 10%
- By industry
- See how your company compares
Dinger is doing better, pushing through his discomfort and may require physical therapy. Salespeople need to push through their discomfort and, instead of physical therapy, they should receive lots of sales training and coaching. Reach out to us if you want our help.
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