Customer meetings are a “moment of truth”
One of the most preventable causes of pipeline mortality is poor performance in the multiple customer interfaces during the sales cycle. Each of these many customer meetings is a moment of truth that can either advance… or stop… the sales cycle. If your sales people are not moment of truth ready, you’re at risk of losing deals by being out communicated by your competition or by being unable to move well-qualified buyers to action. According to Forrester Research, this is happening far too often. They found that 87% of sales meetings fail to achieve their goals.
Failure is costly
When you consider how many customer meetings happen every day and the potential dollar size of each, this can be very costly to an organization. Poorly executed customer meetings can result in indifferent initial meetings, the unique value of your solutions going unrecognized, and even failure with executive decision makers late in the sales cycle. This in turn impacts your overall sales outcomes: sales cycles can get longer, solutions can get commoditized, and deals can be lost. Which in turn drags down the business: revenues decrease, margins get squeezed and market position is lost.
Practice is the key to the cure
To reduce your pipeline mortality rate, you need to identify the key moments of truth in the customer interfaces in your sales cycle. Then you need to invest in the skill building and resources needed to ensure that your sales people are moment of truth ready. And the secret sauce to making it work is practice. My good friend George O’Meara, whose sales organization grew from $800m to $6B under his leadership, likes to say “Sales people by nature do not like to practice, yet everyone has to practice somewhere, so it happens in front of the customer.” And George would be the first to tell you that this approach is not going to help reduce your pipeline mortality rate.
Interested in learning more about why sales conversations fail? Join us for a complimentary webcast, The 5 Deadly Customer Interface Fails: http://mandel.com/mandel-webcast-registration
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