Recently, I spoke with the CEO of a company who grumbled about the dozens of calls he receives from salespeople each week that land in his voicemail. He told me, “They clearly don’t even understand what business we’re in” and “They should know that their subject was for a person three layers below me.” When conducting a workshop on aligning their sales force with executive buyers later the same day, it was interesting to discover that this company’s own inside sales team has a performance metric of making a minimum of 100 outbound calls to targeted executive buyers per rep per day.

Does your company understand your buyers and how they want to be engaged?  

When your salespeople are good enough — or lucky enough — to gain a meeting with an executive-level buyer, it’s a precious opportunity to create a revenue opportunity. Yet executive buyers tell us that only 20% of the salespeople they meet with are successful in achieving their expectations and creating value. Only one in four of these salespeople get agreement from executive buyers to meet again. Following are executive buyer responses to the question, “Are vendor salespeople frequently prepared for your meetings in the following ways?”:

Are vendor salespeople frequently prepared for meetings with executive buyers?

Given all of the vendor noise buyers must filter out in the course of getting their jobs done, it’s understandable that buyers are cautious — if not skeptical — about taking meetings with salespeople. What’s surprising is that reps aren’t being better prepared to create value for buyers during these precious opportunities. For example, salespeople who can only communicate in terms of products and services will see their message resonate with procurement-level buyers, but they will fail to hit the mark with executives.

How To Align Your Salespeople With Your Buyers

In my new report, Why Buyers Don’t Want To Meet Your Salespeople And What To Do About It, you’ll discover a powerful framework for aligning your salespeople to the buyers they sell to. If you’re in sales management, sales operations, sales training, a marketing role, or in human resources or talent acquisition, you’ll gain a set of criteria to more effectively hire, train, develop, and support salespeople for accelerating sales growth. Once you’ve understood this framework, go access our new interactive Salesperson Development Tool through the Do Your Salespeople Meet Your Buyers’ Needs? report.   A Salesperson Hiring Tool will also be published in the coming weeks, all utilizing this framework and supporting criteria.

Understanding your buyers is only the first step toward optimizing your selling system; you must also understand the competencies of your reps and appropriately map them to your buyers’ needs. It’s time to retune your sales organization so that buyers want to meet with your salespeople to help them solve problems and, ultimately, buy from your company.  I’m working with companies every day to apply these frameworks to help improve sales force performance and  would be delighted to discuss how to apply this this framework and our hiring and development tools within your organization to help your organization.  Let’s help your salespeople have greater success with your buyers.