How to Take Control of Your Sales Process
In the realm of B2B selling every deal is different. No two deals are quite the same.
Therefore why would we want our approach on every single deal to be exactly the same? Yes, the similarities may outweigh the differences but recognizing the nuances of every single potential deal is critical to success. Every deal you do needs to have its own game plan and its own road map that makes it distinctly different compared to other deals you may be working. That's a critical first step in terms of how you manage your business. Trying to manage your book of business with a one-size-fits-all template just doesn't work. It may be convenient or simpler, but in the end you will lose more often than you win.
Let's take a look at some of the essentials elements for making sure that every single piece of business has its own game plan.
What does a successful outcome look like?
The answer to that question goes far beyond the dollars and cents to be gained. No doubt that your sales manager will expect that basic piece of information. Will this deal be a building block to getting a bigger deal or a deeper relationship with the client? Will this deal put you in a dominant position relative to your competitors? Most importantly, will this deal be perceived as a win/win with your customer? Every deal presents the opportunity to accomplish more than what’s obvious. Think carefully about what’s not readily visible before moving forward.
How compelling is your story?
As always, the value proposition is the cornerstone of your sales story. How are you supporting it? Does the story you’re offering have a logical flow to a reasonable conclusion? Make sure that you anticipate and address any significant objections in the fabric of your story. Leaving gaps or inconsistencies only invites negative feedback from the buyer. Human beings love a good story that is well told and includes a discernible beginning, middle and end. Make sure that yours does at all times!
What are the key steps that need to be taken to get there?
Orchestrating your attack is incredibly powerful and effective. You may need to bring other team members into the process. Figure out who they are and what role you want them to play. Anticipate your buyer’s moves, and plan your countermoves. Any experience with chess comes in handy! Sales managers are always impressed to hear that his/her salesperson has taken the time to put together a game plan to close a deal. Feel free to get feedback on your plan from your respective manager. A good plan with well-defined steps will pave the way to making a solid deal.
What’s the timetable?
The plan that you’ve put together needs to be time specific. Every step needs to have a real deadline for completion. It’s too easy to lose track of a deal if you don’t know where you are on the clock or calendar. Almost any decent CRM software will help keep you on track. Holding yourself accountable for getting things done on a timely basis will also give you some peace of mind as the deal moves forward. And don’t forget to write down a date certain for closing the deal. That’s the most important deadline of all! Quite often, that date may change, but there always needs to be one.
Salespeople always feel more in control when they can define the “rhythm” of a deal. It reduces the sense of randomness, and builds more confidence in the process. Great salespeople never see themselves as just a “leaf in the wind.” So take the time and make the effort to be in charge of any and every deal that you ever do!
About the Author
Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!
Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com
About Steve Bookbinder
Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.