August 6, 2010

Stop Over-Qualifying!

Sales team having too many appointments? Didn’t think so.

I hear a lot about the importance of properly qualifying prospects. And I am confused.
I’ll admit it right up front; I am probably an extreme contrarian on this topic. Here’s why: if we’ve done our job strategically selecting Target Prospects, then why in the world wouldn’t we want to be face-to-face with the appropriate contact at that prospect?
For most B2B sales organizations, face-to-face sales calls with target prospects is a critical key performance indicator. Name one company whose sales team can’t get to all its hot leads because it’s people are wasting time calling on unqualified prospects? I can’t. Not one.
When we build target prospect lists filled with accounts that look and smell like our best clients, then I want my team in front of those accounts. If early in our sales process we discover that they’re happy or under contract or don’t have the budget room right now, I still want to be proactive and get in front of them. This season my 14 year-old’s baseball coach was getting more and more frustrated with the kids taking too many pitches. He started telling them good things happen when you swing the bat…good things happen when you put the ball in play. That applies so well to new business sales. Good things happen (or at least they might) when you get in front of a target prospect.
Until someone can prove the opportunity cost from seeing too many prospects or that we’re continually flushing travel expense dollars down the toilet, then I’m sticking with my theory. Pick the right targets and work to get in front of them – all of them. The Math Works, work the math!
  • Are your people hyper-qualifying and looking for The Perfect Storm before attempting to get in front of target prospects?
  • So flush with qualified opportunities that a few wasted appointments would hurt your results?
  • What wonderful and incredibly productive things are you doing with the time saved by strictly qualifying target prospects before meeting them face-to-face?