Early in my career I had a sales manager who would always ask me, “Did you have a good conversation?” when I dropped off a call. I always said, “ABSOLUTELY—it was awesome.” He never asked another question, nor did he pull our calls. So, my conversations were always great because I would call my buddies, and we would talk about what we were going to do that night! When I became a sales manager, I never asked that question, but I would pull calls and would burst out laughing when I heard some of them. However, there was no laughing when I pulled in the salesperson and played back the call of him asking the local TV station for the time and weather.
Most salespeople are smart, and they will always choose the path of least resistance, so if you tell them to make 100 dials a day, they will, but be prepared for what you’ll hear when you pull the call.
Making sure your team members are calling the right people and having the right conversations is part of your job as a sales manager, but understanding why they are not making their calls or overcoming reluctance is where we are able to help our clients.
Looking at Objective Management Group data, we know there are four root causes of the disease we refer to as CALL RELUCTANCE in salespeople:
• 62% have a need for approval.
• 38% have difficulty recovering from rejection.
• 34% are perfectionists.
• 21% are unwilling to prospect.
These factors are the reason why some of your people or even your entire team may exhibit signs of the disease. Combine these factors with the distractions of social media or sales managers who may not be doing their job (they need to do more than asking, “Did you have a good conversation?”), and it’s no wonder your salespeople are not meeting goals, your forecasts are wrong, or you’re not meeting your revenue goals!
If your compensation is directly related to the success of your sales team, these figures might make it a little more depressing:
• 71% of salespeople have at least one of the four factors listed above.
• 29% have at least two of those four.
• 13% have at least three (PETP.
• 1% have ALL FOUR (PETP!!!).
What are PETPs? People for the Ethical Treatment of Prospects. We all have them hiding in our sales teams—the ones who are too nice, too delicate. But these poor souls who have three or more of the factors that cause call reluctance are the ones who hold the sales organization back.
You can easily correct sales managers who are not doing the job of holding their team members accountable. But just telling your sales manager to have the team make more calls won’t correct the issue. If you want to make a real impact on your organization, you need to understand why salespeople are not making the calls and knowing which salespeople exhibit one or more of the reluctance factors. Identifying the PETPs in your organization is crucial.
If you want quantifiable and actionable data that will help you meet your sales goals, then TruCore can help. Give us a call for an in-depth conversation about your sales team.