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
What does the hit on Netflix called The Queen’s Gambit tell us about how to sell in a virtual setting? Actually, something very important.
Before we break down how this show teaches us the key to virtual selling let’s look at the backstory.
Sales professionals need a mix of soft skills to be successful. While rapport building is often considered the top sales skill, listening is the most critical skill for closing sales, and building long-term client relationships.
Learn 3 crucial tips to closing sales, and why listening is the top sales skill of 2021.
TED Talks have become a go-to example for how to give an engaging presentation from the big stage. They can be informative, inspiring, and often incredibly entertaining. But is the TED Talk format right for a business presentation delivered in a conference room? Probably not — but the skills used by TED Talk presenters definitely are!
Learn how to identify what goes into a successful TED Talk and how to make those skills work for you in your everyday business presentations.
Learn Mandel’s 3-step model for skillfully responding — not reacting — to tough questions with confidence and ease.
What inspires and motivates people to action? Here’s a hint: it’s not a PowerPoint deck filled with data points and analytics. Learning how to share a powerful story can positively influence others and help your ideas become memorable. Perhaps you need to promote a new idea or close that crucial sale. Learn how some of the most successful business ventures today got their start from sharing a powerful story and how you can make your own narrative work for you.
Executive briefings. Big sales meetings. Project pitch meetings. What do they have in common? The stakes are sky high. There’s a lot riding on them for you and your company — revenue, reputation, productivity. Do your people have, both, the presentation AND facilitation skills to ensure their success?
Read the blog to find out and to get your free Discussion Leader Self-Assessment Tool and Facilitator Checklist.
Memory almost full. Imagine that warning flashing brightly on the forehead of every audience member. A successful presentation isn’t just about the speaker’s dynamic energy or their confident manner in front of an audience. Without compelling, easy to follow content, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are in the spotlight. You and your topic will quickly be forgotten. So how do you ensure lasting, memorable impact? Learn how to be remembered by leveraging the ancient, globally relevant, and scientifically proven rule of three to focus your content, motivate your listeners, and make your executive presence shine.
How do you feel about building rapport? Many introverts feel uncomfortable when it comes to rapport-building because they think it means having to make “small talk” with others. If that’s you, fear not. You don't need the gift of gab to build good rapport. And having the gift of gab (or being extroverted) doesn't guarantee success either — especially if you're the one doing most of the talking.
Read the blog to get specific rapport-building tips anyone can use to quickly make a strong connection with others.
Do salespeople and technologists communicate differently? Is one group better at presenting than the other? Can the two ever agree on how to present or what info to share? Corporate Workforce Development expert, high-tech industry veteran, and former Mandel client Suzanne McLarnon shares the secret behind developing both sales and technical professionals into superb communicators.
What’s the secret to wildly productive first-time sales meetings or conversations with executives? Thought-provoking questions. Read the blog to find out why—and how to tell if YOUR questions are thought-provoking enough to make customers want to learn more.
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