Sales Management

A Sales Management Tip “Two-for” Tuesday

Christopher Tuttle

Two quick hits on some stuff I found interesting:

I.

Craig Rosenberg is generally a pretty smart and insightful guy. As the self-proclaimed “Funnelholic” and Focus.com VP of Products and Services, his extensive background in B2B sales and marketing gives his voice some weight in our space.

So when Craig (@funnelholic on Twitter) recently posted that “Being a B2B buyer sucks,” I snapped to attention.

All four of his points were excellent, so read the article, but I was particularly taken by Point #4:

The ‘contact us’ box sucks. I see that, and I just think black hole. The dropdown you provide doesn’t make me feel like I am going to go in the right direction. When you walk into a good store, someone asks, ‘How can I help you today?’ How about taking that methodology to the ‘front door’ of your buying process?”

Craig, you have no idea how true that is–and the Harvard Business Review proved it.

According to the HBR article, 26% of all online “Contact Us” Web form requests go completely unanswered (our own internal studies show the number can range from 25% to as high 40%). It’s as if the business believes you don’t exist.

Another 25% wait over 24 hours to get back with you, the real-world equivalent of walking into Nordstrom’s and having the cashier tell you, “Come back tomorrow when we feel like talking to you.” Another 6% wait between 12 and 24 hours to contact you.

Is it just me, or is the ridiculousness of this state of affairs beyond description?

Everyone—and I mean, EVERYONE—talks about paying more attention to the customer, treating clients and prospects like gold, because they’re getting harder win and keep. Yet if you’re the average company, nearly 60% of direct Web-generated inquiries—people who come to YOUR Web site and specifically ask to be contacted—have to wait at least 12 hours to hear back from you, assuming you get back to them at all.

I know I beat this nearly-dead horse on a regular basis. But for some odd reason, I keep finding opportunities to address the issue (wonder why).

II.

Loved this quote from Kevin Davis in his article, “Are You Selling Too Fast?” over on the American Express Open Forum:

I’ve been delivering sales seminars for 20+ years. When I ask salespeople to tell me how they sell, they rattle off the steps of their sales process. When I ask how their customers buy, they are stumped.

This disconnect between selling and buying is the root cause of many sales problems.”

It’s easy to park our rear ends in our office chairs and plot our pipelines for the month—but we’re not really thinking about what the prospect is going through to make their buying decision.

The best sales reps know how to get into the customer’s buying cycle, and engage with how the prospect’s decision will be made, not how the product will be delivered.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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