August 28 by Josiane Feigon
The Ultimate “No-Po” Translator
Sales funnels are full, but not much is sticking. Deals are being lost to “no decision.” And today’s unpredictable customer is having a huge impact forecast accuracy.
Managers, if this has been your experience, you’re far from alone. A recent survey conducted by Apttus and Adode that identified the “5 Blind Spots in the Sales Process” found that 20% of sales forecasts are chronically inaccurate, while another 50% of forecasts are occasionally inaccurate.
What’s going on? You’re stuck in the No-Po Zone, along with some of the most seasoned salespeople and managers around.
No-Po’s are the prospects who have No Power and No Potential, and No Purchase order will ever come out of them. These powerless time-wasters are a huge problem for new business development outreach efforts. Here are the 10 signs you may have a No-Po on your forecast:
- They say No, often without understanding what your solution is about.
- They love talking with vendors and acting as though they have power.
- They ask for a lot of busy work, more research, demos, competitive analysis, etc.
- They ask lots of questions; most of them are really good questions and most require additional legwork on your part.
- They really like your product/service and they get it. They know how it fits in and how they would implement it.
- They insist that vendors only speak with them, and they discourage any contact with their boss.
- They usually don’t like to give their boss’s name, and assure you that they are your main contact.
- They complain about not having any budget.
- They stall and ask you to call back next quarter.
- They schedule meetings and reschedule them at the last minute because something more important took priority.
A sleazy car salesman, Con man, retro suit wearing man with crazy smile and dark eyes. Harsh shadows for more sinister look.Here are some No-Po translation tips to help you decode their messages:
No-Po:“I want to take this proposal and review it with my committee.”
- Translation: Your proposal will help me set up and build criteria for how we will evaluate all vendors.
No-Po: “I can secure budget by next quarter.”
- Translation: I haven’t had access to budget since the early 80s.
No-Po: “Our meeting has been rescheduled for two weeks.”
- Translation: The higher execs never give me time, they have their own problems, and I’m staying out of their way and under the radar.
No-Po: “I make all the decisions in this department.”
- Translation: It’s just me in this freakin’ place. No one really has any clue of what I’m doing all day.
No-Po: “It’s no point trying to contact him, he’ll just ask you to call me.”
- Translation: That’s all my boss needs is to deal with slimy salespeople and vendors all day. That’s my job here.
No-Po: “Your product is spot-on with the market and our needs. Very impressive! You guys are way ahead of the curve on your products.”
- Translation: Can you get me a job with your company?
For more information on how you can improve your forecasting and other critical sales processes, download the survey report “5 Blind Spots in the Sales Process.”
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