One of my current projects helps a sales team shift more of a ‘new’ product. It was first released a couple of years back, but no-one sold it (another sales substitution story). I spoke to one of the reps. I must have caught him at a low time. He wasn’t exactly joyous. He said he had to reach a £1.9m quota from his 400 customers and that it was tough, meaning he didn’t see the need to focus on a small-value new product when he’d get his backside kicked if he did and then inevitably failed to reach his number.
How anyone gets to keep that many customers in today’s sales environment is another mystery. Perhaps an ‘expansion territory’ is in order? Wonder who would appreciate a new patch with 200 of those punters to work on…?
He went on to explain, with the delivery of a chap that had said this more than once before, that there were only 4 cicrumstances under which any customer would consider change. If none existed, he’d quickly move right on by.
I’ve met many a rep in such mood. It always goes against the grain, the one that says reps are only successful if they are optimistic. Yet there was something contrarily intelligent about what he said. Here’s the 4:
- right place, right time (new firm, move, new project)
- cheaper product
- better product
- current service annoyance (present supplier messing up)