Many of you have expressed frustration over the significant number of promised orders that just never seem to close.
Long sales cycles not only delay your return on investment, but also increase uncertainty about whether the sale will go through at all.
Remember, closing the sale is simply the opening of the serious relationship.
How does one ensure a faster sales cycle with lower gestation times!
Though I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers,here are a few suggestions that might help lower your level of frustration and raise your Closing ratios.
I am keeping this very basic for this article.
1. Make sure you and your sales leads are calling on the RIGHT PEOPLE.
If not,all the sincere promises and assurances made by the lower level end users aren’t worth a hill of beans. Such promises will only serve to demoralize you and your sales leads.be realistic. If you and your sales Leads arent talking to the right man,forget about it.
2.Turn Existing prospects into Prospective Sure Fire Customers by helping them JUSTIFY their purchase decisions.
Never make the mistake of assuming that your buyers are skilled at justifications and that they will stick their neck out to back you. They are not skilled at creating the right justifications and their purchase request is made with little or no justifications. If the Decision Maker,his Boss doesn’t understand or appreciate the value of the purchase request, how can they make a logical decision to approve it? Unfortunately most requestors are not used to justifying and they will do a rather poor job of it.Also, people do not want to hear a NO. Once a poorly justified bid is rejected by the Decision maker, dont expect him to go back with another request. It may be too late.
Without a clear justification to utilize the budget, most decision makers will usually defer a decision indefinitely.
No one is in a better position to justify the product or a Solution that you want to sell than YOU.
After each sales call, it’s a good practice for the Sales Manager to ensure that the Sales leads have managed and end user agreement on all the potential benefits
DON’T LEAVE THIS CRITICAL STEP TO THE SALES LEADS OR YOUR DEALER REPRESENTATTIVES.MOST HAVE PROBABLY HAD LITTLE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE CREATING THEM IN THE PAST OR PROABABLY WOULDN’T KNOW WHERE TO START WITH.THE MORE THEY SEE THE MANAGER TAKE THE LEAD TO DO IT,THE QUICKER THEY LEARN.
Calculate potential savings and other buyer value using a simple template or a justification worksheet.
Share this with the Buyer and if required, the Decision maker. Get the end user to agree to these facts and ensure that this work sheet is attached along with the purchase requisition. This accomplishes a lot of things. First, it ensures the current buying contact is better prepared to justify the purchase. Second, it guarantees a more complete justification message is conveyed to the decision maker. Third, it trains your sales leads how to justify the Product or Solution that is being sold.
Most importantly your Client contact or the Buyer needs to be portrayed by you as a Champion. This is possible only if help him with the Justification.You need to make sure that HE is driving the idea and not you.He must be seen in the eyes of his Organization as a proactive Employee that has only the Organizations’ Benefits in his mind.There must be a WIN WIN OUTCOME for both.
3. Personally Follow up to check on the status of the Account.
Never call the user to follow up. You must cultivate the habit of meeting the user armed with the cost benefit sheet and more. Use the justification sheet as a point of discussion during these follow up meetings.
Be prepared to meet more Users and Decision makers to re-assure and convince the decision makers
4. The Absolute best way to reduce the stress associated with a particular pending order is to have as many as possible in your sales pipeline. ITS ALL ABOUT NUMBERS.
Its important to have a healthy and qualified pipeline, where atleast 70% of the pipeline has a strong Close Probability.
How do you get more pipeline activity? The simple answer is atleast 3-4 calls/4 days a week.This is the only way to produce a bulging pipeline.If you average 20 qualified and justified sales calls in a month,I can guarantee you will never have to worry about a poor quarter.