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Sales Process

As sales managers, we’re all familiar with the conversation. One of your sales reps is making the case to pursue an opportunity and you question why. “It’s a big deal” is the response, “It’s right in our power swing”. Or perhaps, with candor entering the room, “I really need to win this”. And these are all reasons, of course. But what do they really mean? What’s the real business sense for your firm in pursuing the deal? And what’s the business risk?

Technology and the sales process have always been besties—the telephone, the typewriter, and the GPS were old friends of the traveling sales representative. Today's buyer's journey has evolved into online-heavy research and marketing, but technology—just a different sort—is still crucial to the sales process and its success.

If your closing rate is suffering or it’s taking longer than it should to close sales, you may be sabotaging your own efforts. Take a close look at how you interact with your prospects and make sure that each interaction adds value to the relationship, is focused on defining the opportunity, and keeps the selling process moving forward.

Do you think it would be possible to actually sell more and sell more easily? Could you actually spend less time, money and energy on business development and enjoy more revenue and profit? When you stop trying to sell to everyone, you can actually invest time and effort to build real ideal client relationships with qualified prospects. You can work smarter instead of harder.

As a buyer, what comes to mind when you think of the word, "Salesperson"? Usually what comes to mind are things like… used cars, polyester suits, briefcases, and flip charts or PowerPoint presentations. Many people dislike dealing with salespeople, and some even shudder at the thought of being one. Few, if any, children grow up dreaming of being salespeople, yet it is the most common profession in the world. Why is that?

Got a trade show coming up for your company? The common attitude is that you need to ramp up with lots of zip and swag to attract people and get them to buy. This is the wrong approach. Here are some tips on why and how to make your next show far more valuable.

As salespeople who work with homeowners, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that our most important job is to create quotes. We may decide to do as many quotes as possible, email those quotes and leave lots and lots of messages—all in the hope that prospects will hunt us down and tell us they've decided to buy. Instead, our job is to start conversations that generate decisions—small decisions at first, and bigger decisions as the sales process moves forward. That's the objective of effective follow through: to create more conversations that lead to a clear decision. If you can do that consistently, and monitor your progress toward your income goals as you do, then your numbers will be on track. If you don't, they won't be.

Imagine the following scenario.  After a few meetings with a prospect during which you examined his current situation and analyzed his needs and future goals, you developed and presented a four-step approach for what you believed to be the best fit solution to meeting his challenge.  The investment necessary to obtain and implement your solution is $12,800.  The prospect, while impressed with your solution, commented, "That's a bit more than we expected to spend.  We were hoping that we would be looking at something around $10,000."   What would you do?

If your selling process ends with a close, you're doing it all wrong. "What!?! That makes no sense," I can hear you saying. "Closing is the ultimate success." All true. But you can close more (how does 80% sound?), see fewer clients and, best of all, make even fewer presentations. In the process, you'll feel more essential to your clients, more motivated, and more in control.

Understanding the importance of various accounts helps sellers sort customers and prepare for the next appropriate step in a relationship with the client.

Salespeople tend to be focused, driven, and almost single-minded when it comes to closing a sale. While this attitude can bring about great results, it can also prevent a salesperson from considering alternative ways to approach the sales relationship. Does the client prefer frequent phone calls to check in, or would your sales process run more smoothly with scheduled email follow ups? Take the time to re-evaluate your sales team's focus. Try these seven tips to drive new revenue and improve your sales game.

The infamous summer sales slump may be in full swing in your business, but it's time to turn things around. By rethinking your summer sales plan, you can use a slower market to your advantage. Follow our guide to building a sales plan that withstands summer slumps and turn these notoriously slow months into productive and profitable opportunities.

To be a great salesperson, you need to have more than charm and a positive attitude. Today's sales environment requires you to utilize advanced tools in your sales process. We dug deep into our sales tool belt to provide you with some of the most advanced and highly rated programs and apps. Try out a few of these tools if you are looking to become a stronger, more competitive salesperson in your industry.

The explosion of social media has created lots of new opportunities for your company when it comes to sales prospecting. Utilizing the tools available to you can expand your business and be a source of continuous lead generation. Or it can cause a very embarrassing publicity nightmare. Here are five rules you should follow to cash in on social media opportunities and become a successful sales professional:

Think back on your sales appointments over the past two weeks. How often did you use each of the following: "is there anything…" "could you…" "would you…" "can I" "I'll follow up on… does that work for you?" Each of those questions creates an automatic reflexive (Pavlovian) response in our prospects. The response to the first four is typically "no" and to the last one is "sure (but I won't answer)"

You're meeting with a prospect. You've asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect's problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, "No problem. I have exactly what you need." Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, "Thank goodness," and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm's version of the story, but not in the real world. Why

A sales template is defined as the step by step set of interactions you want your prospect to go through because it will give you a clear competitive advantage or otherwise increase the chances of you winning the business. An efficient sale system enables you to consistently achieve a desired outcome or set of outcomes without wasting time, energy, money etc. The most effective sales templates are basic enough to accommodate for change (focused on each stage of the sales meeting).

Have you ever killed a sale by bringing up an irrelevant feature to your prospect? Something you, or probably your marketing department, thought you prospect should know about before they signed up? At Sandler, this is known as "painting seagulls in your prospect's picture." Unfortunately, your seagull can quickly turn into an albatross. Traditionally trained salespeople who sit through hours of product training before being let out in front of prospects can't wait to share all their product knowledge when they get in front of anyone, qualified prospect or not

Practice makes perfect. Just like pro golfers, sales experts can't expect to improve without putting in rounds. Listen as Sandler CEO Dave Mattson explains the similarities between Sandler trainers and pro golfers.

Sandler Training's Karl Scheible explains Sandler Rule #46: "There Is No Such Thing as a Good Try." At best, "try" indicates intention, but not commitment. If the outcome of an action is important, don't "try." Commit to it.

Sandler CEO Dave Mattson discusses why Sandler isn't just your typical sales training seminar. Sandler is more than just a couple of sales tips; it's a proven system based on continual reinforcement and incremental learning that results in a permanent behavior change. To see how there's no "quick fix" to sales, leadership and management training, visit sandler.com