Your sales process only serves about 20% of your prospects. The rest are just beneath the surface, ready to be converted into appointments.
It Starts With Management: It’s up to managers to thoroughly review the pipeline with sales and BDC reps. Reps tend to focus on what’s in front of them (fresh leads, phone ups) but customers that are non-responsive or “not ready to buy” are viable prospects and require a multi-step PROCESS for nurturing those customers.
It’s natural to overlook the pipeline. When you turn on a faucet, do you think about the hidden pipes below the surface or behind the wall? However, that’s where more than 80% of your prospects are. Some of your best customers are the prospects who need a little more time, want to think about it, decided to wait, or are still shopping around.
Most of a customer’s objections are nothing more than conditioned responses that could easily be avoided with the proper rapport. Sales reps are often more focused on the sale than the customer, missing the crucial signs that could convert to an easy sale. A good manager can easily overcome some of these objections. In order to do so they must GET INVOLVED. When managers get involved, things happen. The prospect that wanted to wait or think about things is an easy close for a manager. Questions like “What are you waiting for?” uncover obstacles easily overcome with a little creativity. The truth is, these leads have little chance of maturing to a sale without the manager’s involvement.
Managers working in the pipeline with employees is valuable engagement. When managers help sales and BDC reps with their pipeline it is coaching in it’s simplest form. Giving reps tips and brainstorming together allows them to learn and grow. Each time you go through the process, employees are a little better than the last time. You can then build on skills and techniques until the rep has a similar skill set as the manager. This leads to better results and even better coaching opportunities because you’re coaching on improving successes, rather than correcting failed tactics or strategies. That is how salespeople learn to close deals. When salespeople listen to managers close deals, they learn how to close deals on their own.
Two Heads Are Better Than One: When managers get involved in pipeline management, the reps are more likely to hit their goals. Plus, when it’s time to review their performance and their pay sheet, the manager is invested in the outcome. Because the manager is invested in the reps performance, the manager becomes a partner in setting new goals and working harder, as well as smarter, all within the pipeline.
The Manager’s “Midas Touch”: When we do phone blitzes in dealerships, managers regularly set twice as many appointments as salespeople and BDC reps. Even with the same number of calls in the same amount of time, it is clear that two things are happening: One, the manager is a “closer” and knows how to overcome objections and set solid appointments. Two, the title “manager” has a magic effect on customers, giving managers the “Midas Touch”.
- Make time to review each rep’s pipeline with them. Make it a process, not just something you do when you are behind sales targets.
- Allow plenty of time. Managers who spend more than 4 hours a month managing pipelines sell as much as 25% more cars.
- Start with leads that have been contacted. Make some calls and help your rep set appointments. Use your Midas Touch and powers of persuasion. Your reps will learn what you teach them, not by what you tell them.
- Dig deep into the rep’s actions. Read their emails, listen to calls and offer coaching. Focus on what they may have done better but more importantly, come up with a strategy to move customers through the process and into the showroom.
- Don’t forget the Hot Leads! This is the perfect time to look at the rep’s hot leads too. Help them find a deal and they will see the value in the process.