We’ve all endured painful sales calls, but as marketers, the last thing we want is for our own sellers to be the ones behind such bad calls. Losing forty minutes to someone who promised they only needed five is bad enough, but when you slowly realize that someone on your own sales team might be doing the exact same thing… that’s when the real horror sets in. Might such cursed closers be undermining your own marketing and demand generation efforts from the depths of your funnel? To help you keep your sellers in your prospects’ and customers’ good graces, we’ve identified the seven sellers you meet in sales call hell, and how to avoid having them on your team.
The Mumbling Monster: Silent but deadly on the phone, the mumbling monster preys on prospects’ time and patience by carrying out sales calls in a quiet or incoherent voice. Originating from states of self-consciousness or confusion, mumbling monsters generally aren’t confident in what they’re pitching, or are unclear on the value they’re aiming to convey. To prevent your sellers from becoming mumbling monsters, equip them with confidence-building content and communications that are backed by data and measurable results.
The Faux Friend Fiend: The faux friend fiend is an in-your-face assailant famous for getting way too up close and personal. A product of a simplistic understanding of business relationships or social media, the faux friend feigns familiarity to afflict its victims with unclear objectives and elusive value propositions – spending more time selling its own friendliness than its actual products or services. To fortify your sellers against being faux friends, equip them with proven social media best practices and emphasize the importance of delivering real value.
The Name Dropping Demon: Taking off on the cliché “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” the name dropping demon bombards its victims with a barrage of its own contacts or cohorts – often for no apparent reason. Born out of a lack of faith in its own organization or brand, the name dropping demon relies on its victims’ awareness of other influencers or figures to make its case. To ground your sellers against becoming name dropping demons, you can equip them with customer testimonials and other market-validated content to reinforce their faith in your brand or organization.
The Jargon Jabberwocky: The jargon jabberwocky lives on a gluttonous diet of buzzwords, catch-phrases and business speak. Spawned from a sparse knowledgebase of its market or industry (apart from the lingo), the jargon jabberwocky will offer to help you “leverage an innovative, game-changing solution for synergistic win-win high level paradigm shifts from the ground up…” even if it’s just selling copier paper. To avoid having jargon jabberwockies on your sales team, equip them with the key words, long tail topics, or specific pain points that measurably matter to your customers.
The Aggressive Apparition: Coming out of nowhere, often at over 100 miles per hour, the aggressive apparition actively hounds and absently haunts prospects with fast paced pushy pitches to buy now or forever lose the opportunity it presents. Void of any real knowledge of the buying process, the aggressive apparition rises out of urgency, fear and impatience. To prevent your sellers from becoming aggressive apparitions, train them on multi-touch nurture communications and equip them with valuable content to share in helpful, timely sales touches.
The Uninformed Urchin: Coldest of cold callers, the uninformed urchin’s prickly ignorance of its target, as well as its own objective for reaching out, makes for extremely sticky situations. Resulting from a lack of access to sales enablement tools, CRM or Marketing Automation data, or social selling best practices, uninformed urchins are creatures of habit who assume information they can’t immediately find is insight they don’t actually need to use. To immunize your sellers from becoming uninformed urchins, insure that they have access to informative tools while emphasizing the value of being subject matter experts or resources to their target buyers.
The Boastful Beast: A giant of over promising, under delivering, and making outright bias statements, the boastful beast relentlessly pushes its products or services as the best things since man first harnessed fire. Children of overconfidence and inflated market perceptions, boastful beasts are often out of touch with the actual needs and pain points of their target audiences. To keep your sellers from ballooning into boastful beasts you can equip them with market research or third party insights that level set on both your organization and your role within your industry.
As fun and informative as we hope this post is for you, we couldn’t have added the unique visual flair you see for each seller without the design help of Marilyn O’Dowd. To see more of her work, you can view her online profile here.
For more information on effective Marketing and Sales alignment, download Aberdeen’s free report, Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Primer on Successful Collaboration.
Have you encountered any of these sellers in your own experiences? Please share your story or insights in the comments below.