When Did Prospecting Become Optional

Maybe you haven’t noticed. Maybe you have ignored the signs. The lack of new opportunities. The passivity. The waiting. The belief that opportunity creation belongs to someone else, like marketing, like SDRs, like anybody else.

Maybe, because you can’t see that your sales reps have been spending way too much time with their existing clients, you haven’t recognized the fact that there aren’t enough prospects being moved into opportunities. It would be one thing if there were so many opportunities being created inside your existing clients that you fear outstripping the capabilities of your operations team, but it’s nothing like that.

Perhaps you listen in on pipeline calls where salespeople share the same two or three opportunities they have been sharing for more quarters than make up a single year. When you here the stories, it sounds convincing, like there is a real opportunity, and that you are getting closer to a won deal. The total value of the pipeline more than covers what you need to generate this year, so what could wrong? What could go right?

You don’t want to be some old luddite, asking your salespeople to pick up the phone when you know that “modern” salespeople use the new technologies to develop opportunities. Sure, it takes a lot longer, but you don’t want to come across as old school, out-of-touch with this new millennial generation. They are our future after all, aren’t they? Soon they’ll be buyers and everything will change, right?

What used to be what salespeople do every day is now something they rarely do, if at all. What used to be reported weekly is not reported at all. What used to make salespeople salespeople is now something to be avoided, and something sales managers and sales leaders no longer require.

If you want to produce better results than your peer group, prospecting will provide that result. If you want to create more opportunities and win them at a much higher rate than what comes to you through inbound marketing, prospecting will provide those outcomes. If you want enough coverage to ensure you make your number? Right, prospecting.

If you are a leader, prospecting cannot be optional. If you are a sales manager, prospecting must be required of your team. If you are a salesperson, level the playing field with those who are smarter than you, who have a better territory than you, and who have advantages you only wish for by out-hustling them on this single activity.

Salespeople prospect. It’s what we do.

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