The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

01. Why Your Deals Are Taking Too Long w/ John Kaplan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We’ve all been frustrated by a pipeline full of slow-moving deals. The cause typically goes back to a few key areas where we as salespeople or sales coaches lacked focus. It goes back to basic sales fundamentals, but they’re things even veteran salespeople need to remember. 

In this podcast, John Kaplan breaks down three key areas to assess if you have a pipeline full of deals that just won’t close. You’ll learn: 

  • The three reasons your deals are taking too long to close
  • An easy way to execute discovery to ensure you’re going up and down in an organization. 

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

 

Additional Resources: 

You just have to remember as a seller, you're not being negative, you're just asking discovery questions. You're digging deep and getting the customer to stand in their moment of pain. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in vtb sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready podcast. I'm Rachel Club Miller with force management. Force management is a sales effectiveness consulting firm that helps be tob companies generate more revenue per up. I'm joined today by our founder, John Kaplan. Good Morning Rachel, Good Morning John. A quick shout out to our listeners, those of you who have been with us over the past couple years that we've been doing the podcast. Thank you for continuing to listen. You'll probably notice a little more polished in...

...our episode today. We've rebranded the PODCAST and we're really stepping up our podcasting game. In Two thousand and twenty. Yeah, you know, I think it's an awesome time for us, with great feedback from our listeners, and so we're going to be publishing more and bringing you more content that helps you be a better leader and a better sales person. Yes, really looking forward to it, so subscribe make sure you're staying on top of what we're publishing. We've got some great stuff coming for you. Today we're going to address a key point in a lot of sales organizations that a lot of salespeople might be struggling with. Why are your deals taking too long? And, as you know, there's probably a couple contributing factors. Yeah, I think this is a really, really good topic. You know, I'd break it down and kind of the following ways. You know, one, you haven't quantified enough business pain to move it forward. Another scenario is your your attached to the wrong person and or skip some stages in the sale cycle. So let's...

...start with number one. John, you have a saying the person who you're talking to needs to feel like they have a problem so big, so big it can't go one more day without being fixed. Easy to say in a podcast to go find find that problem, but uncovering it takes work. Patients great preparations for those sales conversations. This one really kind of revolves around couple of main issues. The importance of using discovery to big deep, to you find the negative consequences and then getting customers to come to their own conclusion that they've got a problem. Those are kind of like to fundamental skills and unfortunately negative consequences seems to be very, very difficult for sellars because they don't want to be offensive, they don't want to feel negative. So we call it negative consequences. But you just have to remember as a cell or, you're...

...not being negative, you're just asking discovery questions, you're digging deep, you're asking discovery questions and getting the customer to stand in their moment of pain. Again, it's their pain, it's their challenges. You're just getting them to get to that point so they they realize that that they have a problem, and that's all done through great discovery questions. But I find that sell is really really struggle with that. They don't like digging deep for some reason, and the but the most elite sellers, they all get the customer to stand in their moment of pain. And I think one good thing to remember is you can't tell them they have a problem. So the more you tell them they have a problem, the more they're going to resist you. But the more you ask great discovery questions that make them stand in the moment of their pain, the more they're going to convince themselves they have a problem. So it's all kind of your mindset on the discovery question and getting the customers stand...

...in the moment of pain. You're really what you need them to do is convince themselves. I think often when you say, Oh my God, why are my deals taking too long, so many times it goes back to those first sales conversations and whether you stayed in the moment and did more discovery or you moved on, and that just skill that you need. You need to teach and you need to make sure, as if you're a manager and you're listening eating, to make sure you're holding your reps accountable for that. If you're higher up, you need to make sure your team's brought ugly are doing this consistently. Yeah, you know, I think it's for me, it's really just about preparation, good quality discovery questions that guests that get the customer to open up in do you recall we've talked before about ted? Tell me about, explain for me, described for me. So, if you're a manager and your role playing with a wrap, make sure that they're using those open ended questions, that they're very, very specific questions that point at particular...

...pain points and allow the customer to really kind of stand in their own moment of pain. It's never accusatory, it's never telling the customer they have a problem. It's really getting them to realize their own problem and the more you realize your own problem, the more urgency you'll have in fixing it. So again, preparation for me is is typically the key. Yeah, the challenge with both of these points that you've made on and really talking about great discovery, that you can do great discovery and made all this progress, but you still may not be talking to the right person and that may be another reason why your deals are taking too long to close. Yeah, it's a really good point, right. So, and I people often ask me, you know, like the right person, and in today's world I don't think it's much about the right person anymore. I think it's about the right people. Just the way people make decisions today are tipical there's more people involved. Our solutions tend to be more collaborative, they tend to be more impactful and side...

...of organizations there's more people using them, there's more people involved in decisionmaking. So I want you to think about really less about the right person and more about the right people. So what that means is we've got to be really, really good at going high, wide and deep in an organization. We need to get to the people who own the problem and to the people who own fixing the problem, and sometimes those aren't the same people. So you know, you need people are actually politically capable of fixing it or getting it fixed, and you offer me people that can do a really good job of explaining the problem to you. Right, that's a keen understanding what whatever you're trying to solve. I didn't mean to interrupt their but I know that this concept we have in the blog. We have a post that I'll put in the show notes, but we did bar up from a customer. It's this concept of making an M with your conversations or making a w it's either going up or going down. Yeah, I love this. I think we learned...

...it from our friends that turbinomics. They talked about this concept of having an m and a W and. So when you think about it and you took about these letters, you know, just think about how you draw an M, for example. You know you typically start in the lower left hand corner. Your pain moves up, then it comes down, then it goes back up. And if you look at the W, is the kind of the reverse of this starttie. It goes down and it goes up. And I think we can get the point of what I'm trying to say here, is that, you know, you have to be proficient at all levels. Today and if you want to think about, you know, the lower part of the M, for example, let's talk about the the users. The middle is the management level, in the top of the letter is the executive level, and I think that it doesn't matter where you start. You have to complete the letter and I think that the you know, elite sellers do a great job of completing the letter. You start low, in some cases you...

...involve the management level and the executive level, sometimes you start high. The point is, the most elite sellers on the planet, they all are proficient at all three levels. So it's less about the right person and it seems to be more and more about the right people. So the M and the W really help us with that concept getting to more than one one person. I think the the last point we want to go through today is when you're thinking about your deals and if somebody saying comes to us and says that their deals are taking too long, the first place sometimes we look is that sales process and what they're doing to advance it. If your deals are stalling or taking too long to close, ironically, you probably haven't spend enough time in those defined stages. You need to spend more time in the process. Yeah, this is an interesting one because a lot of times, though, when...

I talk to people, they say to me, Kaplan, you know if I do all this that you're that you're asking me to do. Ask Great Discovery Questions, talk to them more than just you know one person inside the account, it's going to Elongate my sale cycle. And I disagree and I think that most of us that we're just privately reflecting will all disagree with that. You know, the reality is it's like a golf swing. The slower and more deliberate your back swing, the farther and more accurate you will hit the ball, and so it's really, really similar in purposeful discovery, following the stages, following the process. My belief is is that you have a better, more accurate, more deliberate sales campaign and I bet you if your time it, it'll be faster. And at the same time, I know that we teach medic and that's a great easy tool to account for those key triggers that force you to wait until till you have a specific information to move...

...the deal forward. Yeah, I mean, you know, it kind of goes to the earlier point that you know, not moving a deal forward until you have quantified pain and you've gone up and down, you know, high, wide and deep in conversation. At same time, qualification methodology like medic can give your repsent and easy tool to account for key triggers and the sales process things like, you know, decision process, metrics and champions that ensure that you just you don't have surprises along the way. Surprises can add a lot of time to the process. Yeah, thank you, John. Let's wrap up. Give us a give us our bottom line here and why our deals are taken too long. Hey, so I think you know, I think a good wrap up. The bottom line is always attach yourself to the biggest business issues, for pain points for your prospect get comfortable helping your prospects stand in the moment of pain with really, really good, open ended discovery...

...questions. Be Relevant at all levels in an organization, executive management level, in the user level, and just remember the M and the W, and you'll be great, all right, great selling everybody. Don't forget to check out the show notes for those additional resources, and thanks for listening to the audible ready podcast. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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