One of the biggest frustrations I hear coming from sales managers is that they want their sales team to make more sales calls. Even though more calls does not necessarily mean more sales, sales activity is often the limiting factor in terms of end results and productivity.
So why don’t salespeople just make more sales calls? After all, its their job, it is what they are employed to do. They even get a bonus and commission if they do if particularly well. From the outside, there is no reason why salespeople would even want to spend a single minute off the phones.
But they do. And according to sales managers everywhere, getting salespeople to make more sales calls can be like herding cats.
Ok, so maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but I am sure you can associate to this situation. Even successful, experienced salespeople can hesitate when it comes to picking up the phone, and they have done it thousands of times before.
So why don’t salespeople make more sales calls? It comes down to five possible reasons.
Fear of Rejection
This is especially common for newbie salespeople, but even those with experience don’t like to hear the word ‘no’. Fear of rejection is natural, as more people will say no to you than say yes, but it shouldn’t be allowed to impede your sales activities. Find a way to get over your fear of rejection and pick up the phone.
Make Problem Too Large
There is a lot to think about when making a call, and if you try and think of it all at the same time, it can get overwhelming, especially early on. Remember learning to drive? You didn’t try and do everything all at the same time in your first lesson. First you mastered steering, then changing gears and then you got onto the road. Break your sales process down into smaller chunks as well. What are you going to say immediately? What are three important steps you need to go through during the call? How are you going to close the call? Make the call simpler, rather than too complex.
Not Confident In Offering
Does this person need what I have to offer? If you can’t answer that before the call then you have two choices. Firstly, question the marketing or whoever sourced the leads for you. Salespeople are continually blaming poor leads for poor results, so if this is the case, find out how the leads are sourced and use that knowledge to craft your opening. Alternatively, call the person and ask this question up front. Don’t waste time pitching someone who has no need, so be upfront with the purpose of your call and identify any possible needs early on.
This is a major frustration of mine with salespeople, especially when it is so simple to fix. Personal productivity is so important in sales, especially when each and every minute has the potential to contribute to your commission cheque. Being disorganised means you will make fewer calls and these will likely be less productive and less impactful than they potentially could be. Spend time preparing your leads, get your admin out of the way before you make your calls and squeeze every drop of productivity from the time you spend on the phone.
Finally, if your motivation is not clear, you aren’t likely to take much action at all, let alone make more sales calls. Understanding your motivation and goals will help you to connect your action steps and activity with the end results. After that, every sales call you make is taking you one step closer to your goal, no matter what the outcome. What are your goals, and can you see how improving your sales performance will help you achieve these?
If you or your sales team are not making enough calls, identify from above which reason is causing this challenge and go to work to fix this.