When it comes to landing the big deal, many sales organizations have a blind spot. The “Miller Heiman 2007 Best Sales Practices” study unearths this common flaw. Too many companies chase every possibility without knowing when to say when.
“The dictum of ‘No RFP shall go unanswered’ is not a good idea,” says Sam Reese, CEO of sales training firm Miller Heiman. Because of the time, energy and money involved in responding to an RFP, “If you didn’t spec it,” says Reese, “don’t bid it.”
Among the sales trends:
* Winning sales organizations are twice as likely to have a process for knowing when to stop investing in a large deal; 29 percent of winning sales organizations have such a process, compared with 15 percent overall.
* Is leadership connected to the sales process? The front line and the C-suite disagree. While 78 percent of executives believe they are actively involved in the sales process, only 49 percent of managers agree and just 43 percent of sales reps agree.
Reese suggests companies develop a system to manage CEO involvement in the sales process. Clearly, top brass should not go on every sales call. But at the same time, leadership should not be called in only when there is a problem. Instead, the C-suite should be tapped to participate more closely on the company’s strategic accounts.
March 05, 2007