In US Corn crops are planted beginning in April and last into June whereas its harvested in October and is finished by the end of November. Selling is similar to planting and harvesting wherein it follows a defined path beginning with Prospecting, Negotiation, Selling, Billing and finally completing the cycle with Collection. One thing is certain that sale does not happen if you don’t plant the crop.
Having said that there are “7” Cardinal sins of selling that can hurt the sales team and consequently the profitability of business. And they are
- Insulting the measure of discipline: This is the mother of all SINS; neglecting to measure your disciplined performance i.e number of calls per day and your measure of business target achieved on a day by day, week by week and month by month. Get comfortable with number on daily basis.
- Lone Ranger: The sales person hides the size of an opportunity and tries to develop it solo hoping to surprise the management. But surprise is on him because when the deal moves forward, there’s no internal support for the deal. Mr. Lone Ranger closed a large deal and brought it on the table for the finance department to process. Finance department came back that the prospect has already exceeded his credit limit and the prospect was not able to meet the credit approval terms.
- Over-commitment: The sales person gets too involved in the deal and commits to the moon overlooking the risks. For example being an IT systems integrator Company XYZ purchases from principal and supplies it to the end user. In this deal sales person closed the order for supply of Notebook computers valued at USD 10 million to be supplied over the next three years. And he overlooked the stocking and finance cost of deferred delivery.
- Jumping the Gun: The sales team underestimates the complexity of the opportunity and try to close it before working all the customer’s issues. Mr. x was negotiating an order for 200 servers and this was a supply only deal. However when the deal was finally closed, an additional condition was put in to install the operating system at site FOC. And the servers to be supplied at around 20 remotes sites at the customer premises.
- Blame game – Only if: The sales team blames failed opportunities on the reluctance of other teams to support the effort. Consequently bickering develops among the various departments. Only if engineering had agreed to install software on site, only if the trainers would have agreed for two more trainings. Only if.
- Clog in the wheel: The sales team treats other department employees shabbily forgetting that sales success is co-related with quality of their internal relationships. Consequently stores does not entertain working outside their standard operating procedures to meet customer delivery schedule; the engineering adheres to allocated 20 hours and not an hour more to meet the customer expectations.
- And finally Playing DEAF: NOT LISTENINING internally or exrternally