One of the famous Wallenda’s will be back on the highwire tonight, this time crossing over Niagara Falls. Local historians aren’t pleased by the hoopla, but it’s definitely piqued my interest. Anyone with a competitive spirit or a flair for the dangerous will likely tune in to see the outcome.
Unfortunately for some sales leaders, you might be watching several tightrope acts going on within your own organization. We are approaching the end of another quarter and it’s safe to assume many sales reps out there are navigating a narrow wire, in this case a thin B2B sales pipeline, to quota achievement. One false move or unlucky circumstance and – whoops! – that magic number is missed.
With only a few weeks left, we need to act now to determine if the opportunities that remain are winnable. Otherwise, our time is better spent getting a start on next quarter. Here are three questions you should be asking your prospects now to get a grip on the situation:
1. “Are we currently winning your business?”
We are all guilty of hearing what we want to hear. If you want to know if you’re actually winning your prospect’s business, you need to ask. If the answer isn’t a positive, it’s time for an immediate triage or time to remove it from your forecast.
2. “What will prevent us from finalizing the agreement this month?”
So your prospect says going to win…but when? This question is vital. Your prospects will often times reply with answers that surprise you. Best to get bad news now rather than at 5PM on the last day of the month.
3. “Are the key people available for the rest of the month?”
You might have won over the business, but the deal doesn’t close until it’s closed. All you need is a review of the contract from legal and a signature. Meanwhile, your prospect’s boss is sipping mojitos on a beach. You’ve gotten a head start on the next quarter, but missed the mark for this quarter. It’s worth asking your prospect if all the key people will be around to close the deal.
Watching a performer walk the highwire without a net might be a thrill, but none us want to walk a tightrope in our daily sales pursuits. Get a solid footing with your active sales pipeline by asking these kinds of questions.
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