I am a believer that SDRs have the most difficult job on the sales team—trying to break through to busy buyers to get that first “yes”, drawing them into qualifying questions and gaining commitment on the next steps. This stuff isn’t easy. As a sales leader, you have to head ruts off at the pass.
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Plenty of ill-fitting customers will buy your solution if you let them. They are a tempting group, often having velocity in the pipeline. Make no mistake, they are also the devil.
So often reps, and sales managers, are afraid to disqualify a deal and get it out of the pipeline, but all that does is take up space (mental and actual) for the good deals. A prospect who is dark, or a prospect who is not working the deal with—these are just false positives. False hope. And hope isn’t a strategy to hit quota. It’s a crutch that prevents you from working on the skills needed to sell value and sell solutions to business problems.
When I first found myself actually running a sales team (versus running a small band of gypsies trying to sell a pre-market product in a nascent category), I didn’t really have a rudder. Or a culture. Or a process. Or…I didn’t have anything. Just a team of people who wanted to work at our company and sell our product. It was a start. Here’s how I set out to create my foundation.
As a sales leader, can you or should you, expect your sales reps to be ‘always on’?YES. Within reason. That’s the job of a sales person, and we shouldn’t be afraid to expect that of our reps.
Sometimes your team’s deals are flowing in. Ah, rejoice—there is no better feeling. But, sometimes it feels like everything is stuck in the mud and you end each day wondering ‘when are the deals coming in?’
This happens with individual reps you are managing of course, but sometimes it seems to happen across the board as though a pandemic has swept the sales team. When the pipeline is stuck, it’s not that you are losing deals, it’s that they are sitting in no man’s land. Here’s what I do when my team’s pipeline is stuck.
This could also be titled, “Don’t make the same mistakes I made, because I sure screwed it up a lot.” Sales recruiting is getting harder and harder by the day—experienced, talented reps are few & far between and the skill level needed to make a B2B sale continues to increase.
I believe that good sales recruiting is a both art & science.