Why Your Salespeople Need a Personal “Fitness” Tracker

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fitness tracker for salespeople?

Just like a fitness tracker monitors your physical activities, helps you identify areas for improvement, and provides personalized recommendations, what if there was a way to track individual sales performance deal-by-deal—uncovering hidden gaps in sales skills and offering tailored training to optimize results going forward?

The reason this would be so helpful is that 53 percent of buyers say that lost deals were winnable if the losing salesperson would have done something different.

Your sellers will tell you they lost those deals due to something beyond their control—a lack of product features, or your price was too high.

But actual buyers tell a different story.

We’ve analyzed prospect and customer feedback on over 100,000 B2B purchase decisions, in more than 500 companies across 50 industries.

It turns out that “missteps in the sales experience” is the number one correctable mistake that buyers cite that could have changed the outcome from a loss to a win—even above product features or price.

53% of buyers said losing vendors could have won a deal. The top three reasons given were first was missteps in the sales process, second was product features, and third was price.

Given that every deal is sacred these days, it’s even more frustrating knowing that more than half of losses could have been wins with better deal execution.

Top 3 Sales Miscues That Lose Potentially Winnable Deals

Deal coaching could help, obviously, but what should you be coaching on? While each rep probably struggles with different sales skills impacting different parts of the buying experience, we’ve been able to identify the three top miscues turning potentially winnable deals into losses.

  1. Poor needs discovery and solution alignment. By a factor of 3x over other issues cited by buyers, a seller’s inability to gain agreement on the problem statement, and then a lack of alignment between the buyer’s needs and the proposed solution, is the number one reason for unforced errors when it comes to losing deals.
  2. No differentiation between the current approach and competitive alternatives. The second biggest reason for missing out on winnable deals is when sellers struggle to show clear competitive differentiation. Buyers say 79 percent of sellers are unable to present a clear distinction or compelling point of view that separates them from their existing vendor or other choices.
  3. Lack of timely response in fulfilling buyer requests. The third highest-ranking cause of losing winnable deals, according to buyers, is a seller’s lack of responsiveness to their requests for information or answers to questions. This creates the perception of a lack of interest in the buyer’s business, which clearly penalizes the tardy seller and their company.

The most common missteps sellers make (that are fixable with coaching) include sellers presented little or no competitive difference, sellers did a poor job of needs discovery and lack of solution alignment in response, and sellers lacked timely response or interest in fulfilling requests.

Cracking the Deal Coaching Code

Despite knowing these common, correctable, and coachable missteps, it’s still difficult for managers to precisely pinpoint each seller’s deficiencies and provide meaningful, timely intervention. It’s especially challenging at scale across expanding team sizes and more accounts due to cost-cutting in sales teams and leadership.

Conversation Intelligence (call recording) systems were supposed to help, but it turns out they produce an overwhelming amount of data and provide little direction for managers who don’t have time to sift through it, especially when it comes to accurately identifying skills problems and missteps that have an actual cause and effect on positive or negative outcomes.

The volume of call recordings and ambiguity of the recommendations put managers in an even deeper hole when it comes to knowing when, where, or how to coach a specific seller.

This is about to change.

In a couple of weeks, we will launch what can be described as a “fitness tracker for sales.” The new system will:

  • Automatically reach out to buyers after every deal to capture their feedback on the experience with your seller and company.
  • Convert that feedback into insights regarding each seller’s specific strengths and weaknesses.
  • Push the seller custom, research-backed skills coaching to improve in those identified areas.
  • All of this without requiring the intervention of a manager.

The system will also integrate with your call recordings to find and clip the exact sections in a conversation that match the moments where the seller and buyer were engaging in the skill in question during the actual deal process.

When you provide your sellers with a replay of their performance that they can review as part of the real-time learning experience, you give them valuable examples to show exactly what they need to correct.

The combination of intelligence gained from actual customer conversations, combined with prospect and customer feedback captured immediately after their decision, and paired with just-in-time tailored training content promises to crack the deal coaching code that has plagued sales management, enablement, and learning professionals since the beginning of time. Stay tuned!

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Tim Riesterer

Chief Strategy Officer

Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, is dedicated to helping companies improve their conversations with prospects and customers to win more business. A visionary researcher, thought leader, keynote speaker, and practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Riesterer is co-author of four books, including Customer Message Management, Conversations that Win the Complex Sale, The Three Value Conversations, and The Expansion Sale.

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