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:

  1. They say No, often without understanding what your solution is about.
  2. They love talking with vendors and acting as though they have power.
  3. They ask for a lot of busy work, more research, demos, competitive analysis, etc.
  4. They ask lots of questions; most of them are really good questions and most require additional legwork on your part.
  5. They really like your product/service and they get it. They know how it fits in and how they would implement it.
  6. They insist that vendors only speak with them, and they discourage any contact with their boss.
  7. They usually don’t like to give their boss’s name, and assure you that they are your main contact.
  8. They complain about not having any budget.
  9. They stall and ask you to call back next quarter.
  10. 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. 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.”

  • Conversation3Translation: 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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