It's one of the most important questions a CEO can ask. Why does our sales team lose potential sales? One of the companies I work with, Chorus, listens and analyzes sales calls to provide insights to heads of sales and account executives. Chorus explored the reasons account executives lose sales opportunities.
Set aside losses from competition. Of the remaining lost opportunities, 48% of prospects lacked budget. A further 38% demonstrated no urgency to buy. The remaining 13% of prospects didn't have the buying authority.
This is great news. These problems are simple to resolve. Each of these three objections should be a prospect qualification question. Your team may use MEDDIC, SPIN, or any of the other 6 sales methodologies. Each of them focuses on identifying the budget, the buyer and the urgency.
The best run sales teams are disciplined qualifiers. They identify unlikely prospects early. The team will spend much less time on prospects that won't convert. The funnel becomes more efficient and the team earns more.
In The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande explains the benefits of simple lists on human performance. There are two reasons we fail at work. Ignorance: not knowing. Ineptitude: failure to apply knowledge. Most of the time, we fail to do the things we say we should. Checklists solve that problem.
What is needed, however, isn't just that people working together be nice to each other. It is discipline. Discipline is hard–harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. We can't even keep from snacking between meals. We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at.
MEDDIC is a checklist: Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify the pain, Champion. Learning MEDDIC or any framework is the first step. More important is the daily discipline of identifying the six criteria in each call. Engender that discipline to win more business.