You’ve heard that message before, and I’m certain you recognize its importance.
In your quest to differentiate your organization from the competition, you must find the people with problems that need solving and those who are looking for ideas to fast track their growth objectives.
That means your salespeople need to be skillful in getting past the gatekeepers and gaining an audience with the people who can benefit the most from your products and services.
The key question is, are they consistently doing that?
Are your salespeople successful at reaching decision-makers? Do they even know what to say when and if they reach them?
If you’re shaking your head “no”, you’re not alone.
Many salespeople -- yes, even the veterans -- are reluctant to call on decision-makers.
They spend the vast majority of their time with “influencers” and “screeners” and, as a result, waste an enormous amount of time and suffer from a closing ratio that is much lower than what they are capable of.
What exactly is happening?
The answer has to do with something called Sales DNA, the innate traits and competencies that either support or sabotage a salesperson’s ability to truly be successful.
When a salesperson’s DNA is strong, they are capable of getting decision makers involved in the sales process, effectively qualifying sales opportunity, shortening the sales cycle, and maintaining margins. When Sales DNA is weak, well, not much really happens.
Object Management Group says that a strong Sales DNA Score is the greatest predictor of sales performance, and the DNA score is comprised of 6 things: the need for approval, the ability to control emotions, supportive beliefs, a supportive buy cycle, comfort discussing money, and the ability to handle rejection.
When it comes to the failure to reach decision makers, it’s the need for approval that’s most often to blame.
The need to be liked is a huge hurdle for a lot of salespeople. Approximately 58% of all salespeople have this weakness and, on average, salespeople score 76% in that competency. Elite salespeople have an average score of 87%, and weak salespeople have an average score of 69%.
That alone is startling data, but OMG did us a favor by further filtering that information by the need to be liked, and they’ve come up with some very interesting results:
Do you see what’s happening here? Salespeople who don't need to be liked scored 47% higher on their ability to reach decision makers! Those same “don’t need to be liked” salespeople are also 51% more likely to close the opportunities in their pipeline and score 42% higher in the Consultative Seller Competency.
Why is the need to be liked such a problem? Because the need to be liked prevents salespeople from having meaningful “business conversations” that result in qualifying sales opportunity and selling value. Typical weaknesses are:
In short, the salesperson that needs to be liked is just too afraid of the prospect not liking them to ask the hard questions!
That includes persuading a “screener” of the benefits their organization will realize by introducing the salesperson to the actual decision maker.
Can a salesperson who suffers from a weak DNA be helped? YES!
You can train your salespeople to overcome this weakness.
It’s not easy or quick, but it can be done. We can help you do it. Shoot us an email, and we’ll be happy to give you some insights into the actions you can take to turn this situation around.
Sales management expert Duane Cashin has lead award-winning sales organizations and trained sales teams for companies of all sizes. He’s earned membership in Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, successfully built and sold his own multi-million-dollar business, and enjoys sharing his passion for sales.