In my ongoing series discussing salespeople (see prior blogs), I would like to again discuss the personal disconnect many sales teams regularly make every day and why they aren’t more successful.
We all understand sales is a game of percentages. You’re not going to win every pitch, far from it. In fact, you’re an all-star if you win 25%, and you’re a super-star if you bag 50% of your potential clients. So, I completely understand having to go after the masses to bag a few, but what I find frightening is how loosely some sales teams run and are allowed to run.
For instance, I am in the midst of an ongoing pursuit by an IT/ web development company, based in the states and India. Since we work on multiple sites for various clients, it’s something I always keep an eye on. We’re always in search of quality talent that can assist us when the loads are too heavy, or the timelines are too tight.
However, this one company in particular has already sent four different sales reps via email my way. They are all using the exact same email, with absolutely no variation or personalization, except to change their title blocks and signatures.
In the meantime, I accepted a call with the first rep, (we’ll call her Joan) but she hasn’t replied or scheduled a meeting with me. All the while the next rep comes out of the gate, sending me another duplicate email, exactly like the last one, attempting to use the “maybe you didn’t see my first email’ trick, when in fact they never sent me an email before. It’s one of the oldest and may I say, lamest tricks in the book!
But now I’ve decided just to have fun, so I respond to each one of them and explain that I am waiting for the first rep to contact me, who I agreed to speak with.
Instead of saying something to “Joan” or offering to pick up where Joan left off and have the meeting themselves with me, they either continue to either ignore my response or don’t contact me again!
Think hard about what I just said. I have been contacted by four reps from the same company. I accepted the first one’s invitation, but she hasn’t schedule anything with me. I have told three other reps about it and none of them have pushed her to contact me or offered to have the meeting with them instead!
Impersonal, it’s all becoming too impersonal! Their emails are off the rack, their style is off the rack and their responses are off the rack! And, while sales is a game of numbers, what is the sense in playing if you don’t pick up the pennies in front of you? Sales is a “people” business. It’s building relationships and creating a trust with your potential clients. AI may be able to accelerate your sales leads but it’s not able to make the call, and win the job, at least not yet. I think these teams are being taught all the wrong methods to win work and it’s probably because they have bad teachers.
Maybe it’s me but if my sales team is offered an opportunity to speak and connect and they don’t follow through or if several of my sales team members don’t follow up on a dropped lead, then they better already know where they are working next, because they aren’t working for me much longer!