In many companies and across multiple industries, representatives face enormous pressure to quickly provide their price and present their offer even before having a real conversation with their potential customer. Unfortunately for them, many tend to actually provide these prices, which represents a significant error in their sales process. Thereafter, they often find themselves stuck in a conversation that focuses only on the price and they immediately enter into a negotiation process with their prospect.
Thus, the question is: Is negotiation a step in the sales process? My answer to this question is mitigated. However, as a general rule, if a consultative sales approach is followed and in particular, the baseline selling methodology, a representative should never have to negotiate during the sales process.
In this type of approach, negotiating is not part of an effective sales process. However, if a negotiation is to take place, the time at which it takes place is a determining factor for the profitability of the sale.
Often, when a customer has to change supplier or must make an additional investment, his first impulse is to talk about it to his entire team. This is a frequent situation that puts representatives in a bad position.
In fact, the search for consensus makes the sales process more cumbersome and can even be detrimental to the project.
Here are some ways to avoid finding yourself in such a position.
While we have heard a lot that telephone prospecting was going to disappear in recent years, I have never agreed with these forecasts. Some analysts have even talked about the extinction of the role of representative, nothing less!
Nonetheless, it is true that traditional cold call prospecting has suffered a downfall. In the golden age of cold calls, a representative could make 40 attempts in 2 hours, hope to talk with 10 decision-makers and get 2 or, perhaps, 3 meetings. However, we are far from those numbers nowadays.
A few years ago, Pete Caputa, VP of Sales for HubSpot posted a list of the 3 best sales books that new representatives should read. In this short list figure Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan which is the consultative sales methodology Prima Resource uses for its clients.
You may be wondering what baseball has to do with sales! The purpose of the article is to answer this question by explaining the fundamentals of the methodology.
An undeniable fact of the sales industry is the element of no control. It’s an important element for the simple fact that the salesperson must absolutely make sure every step of the sales process is performed efficiently to ensure a maximum impact on positive results.
If your prospect is qualified and ready to close, it’s usually because you’ve been thoroughly consultative by asking all the right questions and listening more than you speak. In the end, hopefully, this will result in more wins than losses.
In B2B sales, when we talk about competition, we tend to think of competitive companies that offer products, services or solutions similar to ours.
That view is limited, and it impacts closing rates.
There are two other forms of competition. If they aren't taken into account, the sales process is incomplete and ineffective.
Setting up a formal, structured and efficient sales process remains a challenging exercise for companies today. The good news is that in recent years, executives and sales leaders have understood the role a process plays in achieving sales goals. Today, between 20 and 25% of B2B companies have some form of a structured sales process, up from less than 10% a few years ago.
An efficient sales process typically has 5 steps meant to facilitate the salesperson’s progression from hunting to closing. A comprehensive study of your industry will determine what steps are you need to benefit your business.
An efficient and short sales process requires a lot of work and fine-tuning. All the more reason for taking the necessary time to adjust and customize each step of the sales process to reflect the particularities of your industry.
There are many sales problems and, lengthy sales cycles are one of them.
Many small obstacles can hinder your sales process and lengthen the sales cycle. Representatives usually realize at the closing that the process is increasing, but it’s at the beginning that we can see why.
The most critical steps of a sales process are at the beginning; however, that's when companies typically push for speed to get to a demonstration or presentation as quickly as possible. Ironically, this is why sales cycles lengthen and get out of control.
Here are 10 things that can shorten your sales process.