Frequently salespeople are all too happy to produce proposals for anyone who is interested. It is common that those same salespeople are avoiding truly qualifying prospects before producing the proposal. It has become apparent to me through years of working with sales teams that much of this behavior is due to the belief that if they just put the information in writing they will avoid having to explain or address any concerns a prospect might have. It is really a form of conflict avoidance.
Unfortunately, we allow salespeople to spend time producing pages and pages of proposals without truly understanding whether or not the prospect is even truly interested, and qualified. My advice is that you slow your salespeople down. Make sure they truly understand the compelling reason for the prospect to do anything let alone anything with your company.
The salesperson must fully understand the impact of the prospect NOT using your services before they can demonstrate value to the prospect. And finally, it is critical that your salespeople understand not only who will make the decision but the basis upon which they will make it. Get your salespeople to learn why the prospect would choose you or some other provider. Help them better qualify their proposals by getting them to learn how the prospect is going to make the decision. And finally, make certain that the salesperson has agreement from the prospect on what the process is going to be to enable them to make decision, including timeline.
If you can convince your salespeople to take their time and fully qualify the prospect BEFORE rushing to provide a proposal, your salespeople will close a higher percentage of proposals, but more importantly they will save time, effort and money by not wasting time on unqualified prospects, freeing them up to move on to more promising opportunities.
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