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By admin

How can a long sales cycle be shortened?

How can a long sales cycle be shortened?

timepiece by Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr)

The challenges of closing sales and reaching your yearly target are numerous. Are you under pressure to increase your average sales size? Would you expect an incentive if you achieve this goal, and most importantly, would the sales cycle of your product allow you to do so within the time frame allocated?

Let us explore in the article below some tools that have often proved beneficial.

1.Clarify the target Market

Once you start your research, you will initially need to find the influencers and decision makers you need to help you achieve your goal. Invite them, as well as several prospects, to a 1-day seminar held at your office. There you can explain to them what you do in greater detail and discuss the solutions your company can offer. 

2. Create a mutual action plan to reach your prospect’s goals

Start connecting with every person that will take part in the decision management. Identify their objectives, whether personal and professional. You can then start connecting with employees of the targeted companies that will likely benefit from using your solutions. Build a trusting relationship and recognize challenges that could be solved by working together as a team.  Building a strong relationship with your prospects can significantly shorten your sales cycle.

3. Select challenges you can solve

The correct systems and processes, as well as developing your sales teams’ skills, ultimately all have an impact on the shortening of the sales cycle.  The responsibility lies heavily on the Sales managers’ shoulders as statistics show that only 20% of salespeople have the skills necessary to sell successfully.  

Salespeople need to have a structured strategic approach when they operate. Breaking the sales process into sections allows them to analyze challenges and weaknesses.  The sales process can be compared to a GPS system on a car.  Once we provide the destination post code (goal to be achieved) the GPS provides the route to take (sales process) and the time needed (Sales cycle) to arrive to your destination.

4. Align your activities around your prospects

Establishing a time frame for your next step is crucial.  If you don’t confirm your next meeting or call time with your qualified client, you will find it may extend your sales cycle by an extra 2 weeks.  Be on top of the customers’ mind to maintain the momentum.  Getting the buy in and the “yes” is important at all stages; small yesses are just as significant. 

If you are skipping stages by jumping straight to the end contract or proposal and then face an objection, this means the client didn’t see your value or didn’t understand the full process.  Make sure you ask clearly: “Are you ready for the next stage or do we need to talk through any other details?”. 

5. Monitor your pipeline

Plan your pipeline flow versus your timeline. Is the speed of the qualified and potential deals in line with the date your want to close the deal?

Daily pipeline monitoring is essential if you need to manage prospects: is the size of your pipeline is satisfactory? Are the stages of your sales cycle optimized? Do you have enough prospects to reach your targets?

Answers to these questions will help you prioritize your visits to clients, prepare focused offers and follow up on pending matters with potential clients.

6. Master your self-limiting beliefs

One of the non-supportive beliefs usually sounds like this: “I don’t need to speak with the actual decision maker because my contact will take care of it.”

Our beliefs and emotions may sometimes negatively impact our sale. Thoughts like the following ones are self-limiting:

  • “In the markets I sell to, it is well known that the sales cycle is long.”
  • “The companies I target have long sales cycles.”
  • “The companies I target take a long time to respond.”
  • “Nothing moves fast in our industry.”
  • “New customers need more time to think about how they spend their budget.”

If the salesperson believes it is ok to think it over, analyze and research and accepts that the environment needs time, then the result can only translate in lengthier cycles and delay closing. The salesperson must understand the sensitive nature of the impact of self-confidence and speed on the sales procedure.

7. Deal with managerial pressure

Senior managers will always test their sales leaders’ capabilities and stretch their capacity towards better results every day. To make sure you will be amongst the successful salespeople, you need to create a sales effectiveness process that will insure you reach the required targets. The consultative selling approach has regularly proved highly successful in that respect

If you want to get more information, please access to following the following link. We will be more than happy to assist you.

By admin

Do you get lots of “maybe” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

Do you get lots of “maybe” or “I will think about it” after your first call with prospects?

So far, I have posted a lot of content which tells you about general mistakes in a sales call. Today we are going to talk about the situation when you do everything right but still get a “MAYBE” as an answer.

Most people subconsciously avoid decision making after the first conversation. Every sales guru knows and advises that one needs to adjust their conversation to guide the prospect to come to a decision. This can be tricky as salespeople can become very pushy. So the big question is: how do we guide the conversation while still making the prospect feel like they’re in control?

There is a very simple solution for this: set up an agenda before the meeting. It will align you and your prospect on a plan for the meeting and make sure you’re both on the same page and moving forward together toward one of three outcomes:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Figuring out the next steps – Future meeting date & agenda

By following the above process, you are avoiding a limbo stage. The main advantage of this process is that you are saving valuable time on the lead follow-ups. This can feel awkward at first but if you practice it in your next meeting and make it your own, you will start seeing positive results that you’ll want to use again and again. If you have any specific questions or suggestions about the implementation of this process, we are here to help!

By admin

What happens to a prospect when they go dark and getting to the real objection

When I first started selling, I often experienced the following scenario.

I’d have a meeting thinking I totally nailed it, only for the prospect to go dark after my attempts to follow up.

What the heck was I doing wrong? Well there were a few things, I’d made a classic error: I’d fail to uncover the secret objection my prospect still had at the end of our conversation.

Unless you directly ask, it’s easy for a prospect not to reveal their actual objections to buying. Not only is it too hard for a prospect to pin down the objection on their own, but there’s a stigma associated with rejection, and they don’t want to feel like a bad person by doing it to you.

Also, although the prospect realised both a pain and solution, they were still stuck with an existing process and habit which is hard to break.

On my side, there was still a lot of work to do if I wanted to consistently move these deals forward. The way you can motivate someone to make a change is to continue to play investigator. A few questions I like to use are:

  • Do you want to change this? (sounds simple, but no one asks this)
  • Where would making a change like this sit on your priority list? (get specific, are you in their top three or bottom three? you can learn a lot here. maybe you can solve other priorities and they don’t know it yet)
  • How committed are you to changing this in the next ______? (this gives you a sense of timeline to close/implement assuming you’re on their priority list)

These questions sound basic, but surprisingly very few have a habit of explicitly asking them.

What is your strategy to face this situation? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

By admin

Have you faced this situation in a sales call?

 

Have you faced this situation in a sales call? 

(Source: Flickr)

Here I am with another live experience and a valuable lesson and situation that sales people face on daily basis. I experience this scenario every other day.

Sometimes a prospect will try to push you into giving a demo early in a conversation – we’ll talk about how to avoid this later in subsequent posts in details, but if it happens, here’s a quick fix.

Let’s say you’re selling an amazing product to a prospect over the phone:

PROSPECT: “We need a new system and are evaluating options. Can you show me a demo?”

YOU: “Happy to do a demo. I want to make sure I show you the right parts of our system so do you mind if I ask you a few questions first so we can make the best use of our time?”

PROSPECT: “Sure.” (Most of the time)

Instead of getting straight into the demo, frame your first questions in a way that shows you’re trying to help them get the most for their time (which you will be) and they’ll appreciate it. Also make sure to note down every response and write down corresponding product solution points with your prospect’s responses.

I call this process “earning the right to pitch.” Next, I’ll walk you through a verbal tactic you can pair this with to close deals faster and more consistently.

Have you or someone on your team started selling the solution before you’ve ‘earned the right to pitch’? 

By admin

14 reasons why your sales force is losing business to the competition

If your sales force is losing business to the competition because of the recession, lack of sales management or lack of sales force performance, you know that avoiding the decreasing trend becomes challenging and not an easy task any more!

Statistics show that in last few years the percentage of businesses that close their door is incremental and the way of doing business is changing drastically.

Nothing is more frustrating than losing business to your competitors – specifically  when you there is great solutions to avoid it. frustration growth when your sales force is telling you that it is this close to get the deal but didn’t. Why did you lose it?

Our learning experience In most companies and for most salespeople show that losing business  comes down to one or more of the following several factors :

  1. Sales force don’t listen
  2. Sales force assume too much
  3. Questions weren’t tough enough
  4. Sales force did not differentiate the company effectively
  5. Compelling reasons to buy were never identified and addressed
  6. Poor qualification
  7. Poor relationship
  8. Lousy job of putting the value proposition into prospect’s context
  9. Premature proposing, quoting and presenting
  10. Lack of questions about the competition and/or incumbent
  11. Selling at the wrong level or to the wrong people
  12. Ineffective differentiation
  13. Sales force present features instead of benefits instead
  14. They were outsold

Identify why you are losing business to the competition and tell what can be done to fix it. All types of companies can use these solutions to their needs whatever they are small, medium or corporations. Solutions that should address their specific problems and needs.

For example, a typical company have in general , 20% of its sales force that achieve the sales targets while the remaining 80%  are facing difficulties or performing poorly. the first thing that we need to know what is holding my team back?

Ground Zero Skills Assessment become a must to have answers to  address them in the shortest time possible:

  • can they achieve what I want to achieve?
  • do they have the potential to grow?
  • are they trainable? are they resistant to change?
  • do they have the required skills to success?
  •  etc…
Based on the results you will be able to design an action plan. A multi-plan is designed. like skills development, coaching on the grounds, sales territory adjustments,  and sales approach…

you are  invited to take the following test to identify what it the best for your company

Let me know your comments?

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What happens to a prospect when they go dark and getting to the real objection