Utilizing Predictive Selling Models To Maximize Win Rates, Sales Performance

Published: July 15, 2008

That is, a small group of the sales organization are “A” players, most are “B” players and a small percentage are “C” players. In spite of all the technology available to sales leaders, why do organizations look essentially the same and have the same mediocre results?

When we think of successful selling, we can’t deny that there are critical basics that are needed. We need an effective methodology, process, performance based training, SFA tools, product/solution knowledge, effective account strategy, motivation, desire, will to win and other success related behaviors. But after 25 years of analyzing the conundrums around sales performance, we see there is something looming much larger as to why an “A” player achieves more success than his/her counterparts.

We have realized that “A” players have the unique ability to read a situation and then shift and adjust their style, behavior and approach from situation to situation and circumstance to circumstance. They are exceptional at reading, analyzing and then persuading each prospect. In other words, peak performers conduct a series of successful interactions (effective sales calls) much more often than “B” and “C” players. Inevitably, these successful interactions lead to high performance levels quarter after quarter.

Sometimes these expert “readers” are weaker than the other sales professionals when it comes to product knowledge, process, methodology, etc. It’s fascinating as these sales stars make it look so easy even though they may not have all the company rituals in place.

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Now I’m not advocating the rebel sales style. When I ran sales organizations domestically and globally, rouge sales professionals were a constant challenge. But I was amazed at the Peak Performer’s ability to “bob and weave” with a prospect better than their lesser performing counterparts. They know when to love a prospect and when to fight with one, when you hold back product details and when to overload the prospect, when to use references and when not to, when to shut up and when to talk, when to place others in the spotlight and when show brilliance. It was almost like they were able to read the mind of the prospect. But not for what the prospect wanted, but more importantly for what the prospect needed to make a decision. They reminded me of expert psychologists as these sales professionals often knew their prospect better than they knew themselves.

Separating The A Team
Here is the sad truth. The “B” and “C” players THINK they are as good at reading and adjusting to the prospect. When the “B” and “C” players lose, they often think it was product, price, the company, or some other “not me” reason. The truth is they usually lost because they were out-sold by another sales professional who adjusted to the prospect better and faster. The competing sales professional did a better job reading and adjusting to what the prospect needed to make a decision.

Most organizations overload the sales team with product specs, positioning statements, training, methodologies, collateral, reference guides, case studies, new products, promotions, etc. It’s no wonder so many of them lose sight of the most important part of selling….the successful interaction. They have so much to think about with each prospect that they miss the critical nuances of the sales call…the behavior of the prospect and what it reveals.

What if there was a way to help the “non-A’s” achieve Peak Performance results more often? A way to get them to read and react to prospects more like the star sales
professionals do? What if we could get the lower performers to identify important behavioral tendencies that reveal how this prospect needs to be sold? What if we
could help your sales organization predict how the prospect processes information, prefers presentations, wants to collaborate, how they will object, negotiate and makes decisions?

Then imagine if we can layer in the salesperson’s natural and automatic selling tendencies with the prospect’s buying tendencies to identify where they will be in positive alignment and where the sales person’s natural approach will sabotage the sale. If we can do this, then we can predict where the sale will probably go south and most critically, prevent misalignment from happening. Once you have the ability to predict these outcomes, your sales team will incrementally win more business.

Through our work, we have identified very specific behavioral attributes and competencies that impact alignment. Alignment is the behavioral linkage behind all
successful sales interactions. As such, successful outcomes are nearly always tied to optimized alignment between sellers and prospect.

Predicting The Future
The profession of selling is very competitive. The performance trends are alarming and top line results are in jeopardy. To survive and prosper, leaders need to get the “B” and “C” players to perform more effectively. Running a high performing sales
organization is very challenging.

By using predictive technology and applied behavioral sciences you can finally help your entire sales team sell more effectively and make your job easier. You can predict specifically where a sales campaign can go sour and now can proactively to prevent it from happening in advance.

For more information on integrating the art of selling with predictive technologies, you can email me at sdangelo@springlaketech.com or visit our website at www.springlaketech.com . I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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