This blog from LinkedIn caught my eye for a couple of reasons - the intro paragraph is something I'm all too familiar with. I've felt the stress of sales pressure come through to marketing. The whole organisation is targeted with "closing deals" and "accelerating pipeline". If you're not doing that you're not doing your job.
I get the stress. I get the pressure. But seriously, is hitting the road, knocking on doors and running adhoc marketing campaigns a sustainable answer?
The LinkedIn blog is right. Prospects sense your desperation. They may even hold out for improved discounts. They'll make you sweat because they know you need to hit target.
I've been scarred by seeing this behaviour for 20+ years and am absolutely adamant that we will not run Tribal in that way.
Our primary purpose (and passion) is to to support our customers. It sounds cliche but I mean it. Sure, we need to do that profitably but it can also be done in a sustainable and helpful way.
It's at this point in the LinkedIn blog post that I get turned off because LinkedIn often doesn't practice what it preaches. It pitches a product (in this case Sales Navigator Deals) as the answer but I've seen too often that tools aren't the only answer. Behaviour change is.
I've always advocated for moving away from building a pipeline of revenue and to start thinking in terms of building a pipeline of relationships that will convert when the customer is ready.
So, is hitting the road and knocking on doors in a last ditch attempt to close a deal the right way to spend your time?
Or is learning a new modern approach to sales (Social Selling) that will probably set you up for your next few rolling quarters of pipeline the best way to go?
Sales leaders know end-of-quarter stress all too well. Nothing’s worse than the VP or the CEO breathing down your neck, asking about all the deals that were “likely to close.” You can picture the scene: You frantically provide guidance to the reps working those deals, hoping they’ll be able to bring them home. As your reps scramble to push deals through, your prospects can sense their desperation. In some cases, you extend discounts that eat into profitability. In others, you make buyers so uncomfortable that you ruin the chances of closing a deal that would have otherwise come through eventually. Either way, this reactive approach isn’t good for you, your reps, or your company.