After my final workout of 2009 this morning I was talking to a fellow gym member who is in software sales. I asked how his year closed and he replied he still had a few deals that could close today. He mentioned he lost a high probability prospect yesterday because the decision maker could not convince the board to fund the deal. He lamented that the prospect could clearly benefit from implementing his product, budget did not initially appear to be an issue and he was dealing at the decision maker level. My comment to my friend when I heard the story was that this was not a qualified opportunity.
He agreed but said “I can’t help it if a prospect is not honest with me when I ask the right qualifying questions” The discussion morphed to how the sales process has changed over the last few years and the influence the internet now has on buyers’ ability to research, gather information and vet solutions without having to engage a sales person. I suggested that this new Sales 2.0 environment was not a phenomenon and would continue to gather momentum.
His response… “I know and I hate it!”
As we enter a new selling year companies that continue to sell using outdated processes and methodologies will lose ground and market share. It is critical that a better process be put in place and a new sales culture established.