October 23, 2009

The 9 Deadly Sales Prospecting Sins

The slowdown has accentuated the underlying problems that exist with respect to sales prospecting in many organisations. We call them the 9 deadly sins of sales prospecting.

1. Sales leads appear as much by accident as by design, leaving the company is vulnerable to a slowdown in enquiries, prospects, or sales, or to the loss of a major customer, or prospect. Where there is active prospecting it is sporadic, triggered by an imminent sales need, or crisis.

2. Salespeople regularly complain about the shortage of leads and time spent cold calling. From time to time management expresses concern about the conversion rate of sales to leads and proposals.

3. Poor quality leads waste a lot of time for salespeople, with regular complaints about ‘tire kickers’ and a desire to only meet people who are interested in and able to buy.

4. There is over-optimism regarding the status and prospects of sales leads, while patchy sales prospect information, makes accurate sales forecasting difficult.

5. The names on target and prospect lists roll over from month to month, with little cleansing of old names, or elimination of cold leads.

6. If a sales person leaves his prospects and leads are lost and there is an over-reliance on enquiries, personal contacts, or some primary source of leads.

7. There is an over reliance on cold calling is, but results are patchy and the burden is still with salespeople who complain about the challenge of balancing prospecting with selling.

8. Leads are seen as the responsibility of sales, while the role of marketing is not clear. Where there is marketing, it is a set of discrete and sporadic activities (trade shows, ad campaigns, etc.) isolated from prospecting.
‘The slowdown has accentuated underlying problems with respect to sales prospecting.’

9. Systems, including databases, contact management, or sales automation tools, are lacking, or under-used. One of the implications is that the follow-up of leads by sales people is not systematically tracked, with some leads just disappearing ‘off the radar’ without explanation.

1 comment:

Sales Leads said...

This is a great resource and many of these deadly sins in sales are actually left unnoticed by many companies.