Urmas Purde Posts

6 Deadly Mistakes Great Salespeople Avoid

Every now and then I meet salespeople who are extremely creative in developing lists of excuses. You know the ones – the economy’s still bad, our prices are too high, and so on (there’s actually a neat little list up at Fearless Selling). We’ve previously talked about what makes a successful salesperson.

But after hearing these excuses over and over again, I decided it was time to turn the subject around and talk about what kind of mistakes great salespeople avoid; how and why do others lose their potential sales, and how is all of this connected to our conception of what sales success is.

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How to avoid the trap of “making sales people busy”?

We recently launched Sales Pipeline Academy to help you improve your sales (pipeline) skills. We’ve received several good follow-up questions, here’s one from our customer George:

“Many companies drive number of visits by their sales people. But this can drive the wrong behavior – lots of random meetings. Don’t get me wrong – it’s important to be in front of the customer. But it needs to be in front of the RIGHT customer — one that has a good fit with the product. /…/ 

What do you encourage companies’ management to monitor to prevent this trap of making sales people busy on the wrong kinds of visits?”

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How to build a sales pipeline? The 4-step guide.

build a sales pipelineIf you’ve ever looked at your diary, notebook, sticky notes, and Inbox in the middle of a busy sales period and thought ‘this isn’t working’, then you’re not alone. I used to try to organize my thoughts and ideas without structure and the result was that I kept missing opportunities and sales forecasts. Then, I found the answer – the concept of sales pipeline. I now had order where there had been chaos; I could take the initiative and take control of the entire sales process. Here are a few of the ideas that worked for me when I was building my pipeline.

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Is Your Sales Pipeline Healthy? Here’s a Useful Guide

Those with some sales experience under the belt know that sales is a numbers game. But how come sales results change so much even after you’ve defined your sales stages and calculated your conversions? How do you tell if your pipeline is ‘healthy’? Apart from the obvious ‘Am I hitting my sales target?’ here are 5 key questions to ask yourself:

sales pipeline health

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Deal ‘rotting’ – or how to keep your deals moving in Pipedrive

We’ve been hiding a secret from you. Not in the worst kind of way, it’s just that we rolled out a new feature some months back which we haven’t yet told you about. But first a bit of background.

Why do deals sometimes go ‘rotten’

I’ve sold big-ticket trainings for a good chunk of my career. We hadn’t built our own CRM system Pipedrive then, and our “CRM” sucked big time, so I visualized my sales pipeline on my office wall, using orange post-it notes. It was on the wall facing the sun, so in summer the color of the post-its started to fade after about 2-3 weeks. Incidentally, this coincided with the maximum length of a healthy deal. If I hadn’t closed a deal in 3 weeks, I had a very slim chance of closing it at all. The deals on faded post-it notes had gone ‘rotten’.

Deals sometimes go ‘rotten’ when intent and circumstances on the buyer side are weak, but more often than not they go bad when a sales person doesn’t do the job of following up very well. This may mean asking qualifying questions like “do you have all the information to make the decision this week”, or simply failing to pick up the phone at the right time.

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