O'Reilly logo

Sales EQ by Jeb Blount

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

14Stalled Deals and Next Steps

Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps.

—Saul Bellow

This is dialogue from an actual pipeline review:

Me: “So what's the next step?” [I'm pointing to the 11th deal down on the sales rep's pipeline report. Not one of the previous opportunities we'd discussed had a solid, scheduled next step.]
Sales rep: “Um, well, I'm calling her back next week.”
Me: “What day and time is your appointment?”
Sales rep: “She just said to give her a call.”
Me: “You mean ‘Call me maybe’? How is that a next step?”
Sales rep: “Well, she seemed interested in getting a proposal.”
Me: “Okay, let's keep this real. Out of the 17 deals in your pipeline, how many do you have a set meeting with on your calendar and theirs?”
Sales rep: “Maybe three of them.”
Me: [Staring back incredulously.]
Sales rep: “You don't understand. It's not like that.”
Me: “Like what?”
Sales rep: “In my industry people won't set meetings.”
Me: “Really? That's interesting. You mean on our calls this afternoon—the ones you scheduled meetings with on the phone—if we were to ask to schedule a follow-up meeting to present a proposal, 100 percent of them would tell us to go pound sand because they don't schedule meetings.”
Sales rep: “Well, no. That's not what I'm saying. It's just hard.”
Me: “Okay, let me ask you a question. Be honest. When you schedule the next meeting, what is your close rate?”
Sales rep: [Thinking…] “I guess pretty high.”
Me: “And when they don't schedule the next ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required