The long and the short of it is here in this HBR Article.
The simple solution: Focus on the customer’s timeline, not your company’s. But you’d say, you have a quarter-end deadline and the customer doesn’t. And your reps are already doing their best to match your schedule with the customers! Well...if that were happening, this 27% revenue would never have been left on the table and the HBR article wouldn’t have existed. So, here we are. Let’s agree the problem exists (though we don’t like it). We need a solution!
We know that our reps are already trained to think of the customer’s whats-in-it-for-me (WIIFM). And we expect that they are putting it in play. Sure, I’ll give you that. But what they are NOT trained for is aligning your timing with the prospects’, without leaving money on the table! That is a hard truth, however much we disagree. In fact, if you research your own org, you’ll find that less than 10% of your reps actually align your timeline with your prospects’ and still not lose revenue ordeals. You know them already: they are the ones who hit Club. To gain that 27%, the solution is for ALL your reps to “enter every conversation from the standpoint of providing a solution that meets the customer’s agenda — AND timeline — as opposed to their own,” to quote Ken Krogue from the article. Making this happen every time for every rep on every deal? Not so realistic. Training never sticks for more than 30 days, if that! So, your option is to invest in continuous training and internal change management, costing tens of thousands of dollars at the very minimum!
My esteemed reader, with quarter-end approaching in less than 6 weeks, I don’t want to waste time and pontificate on long-term ideas. While I support and agree with Mr. Krogue’s recommendations, I just don’t have the time for starting more “internal initiatives” when I have a team that needs to produce.
There is a simple systematic solution; something that makes this happen day-in-and-day-out without you or your front-line managers needing to remind every rep every single day to follow this for every deal. More so, this system can unobtrusively monitor and ensure that every deal aligns with the customer’s timeline (and yours) without the pain of CRM work.
I have the honor of leading a company whose technology product exactly addresses this serious problem of revenue loss during EOQ. RainmakerForce is a system that runs on any CRM and specifically ensures a “mutual close” with the prospect, both in value AND in the timeline. Moreover, it monitors tracks and recovers revenue left on the table on every single deal. It also delivers the final punch – every rep will automatically get to cross-sell add-ons to your prospects, adaptively, based on the product being sold.
If you are a sales leader who really cares about the 27% more of revenues, is disciplined and sensitive about Cost of Sales and wants the best for your team, you will also realize that this is not my fancy pitch to you. This is a large, legitimate and serious problem that only you, who have experienced its pain, would appreciate.
Are you now impelled to do something because that 27% more now is just what you need? Hesitate long enough and the problem only worsens because the costs of indecision are also high. I am simply presenting something you must consider. I sincerely hope you will at least want to learn how incredible technology can give you incredible results and beat the Quarter-End rush!