Sales Process Produces Consistent Sales Results
Today more and more companies are finding it harder to sell against price. So how do they get to this place? Was it a shift in the market? Do companies lose their edge in the marketplace? What do all companies have in common experiencing this challenge to sell against price? I would say with a high degree of certainty — it is their sales process.
Does the lack of a sales process accelerate the price problem?
If a company’s sales process is reactive, then the answer is yes. The problem is accelerating because of buying habits and a need for companies to lower cost through procurement. If a company’s sales process is disciplined and procedural with sales gates, then the answer is no.
Reactive Sales Approach
A sales person gets a call from a prospect indicating they have an interest in their products and ask the sales person to have a meeting to review the project and get a quote. Similar situation – the sales person makes a cold call and gets a first appointment with the goal of getting a quote.
The Traditional Approach
With the basic sales approach
1. A sales person goes to the meeting and reviews the “specs” and requirements. And tries to form a relationship.
2. Ask some qualifying questions. Such as, what kind of qualities are you looking for? They don’t want to waste time with a small opportunity that doesn’t fit the profile.
3. Develops a quote and emails the quote (may deliver – but rare).
4. Call back to follow-up that usually ends up with a response “your price is too high”.
Outcome: Low conversion rates around 20% to 30% at best (typically around 10 to 15%). See cost of poor conversion rate
Disciplined Sales Approach
As above same situation:
A sales person gets a call from a prospect indicating they have an interest in their products and want the sales person to have a meeting to review the project and get a quote.
In a disciplined approach the sales person starts with not following the buyer’s price process. It requires redirecting the sequence of events. In this system, you control and use your sales process versus the buyer’s process. To accomplish these goals will require sales gates to move the sale to an ROI impact model — eliminating price.
With a disciplined sales approach:
1. Tells the prospect that quoting is not the best way to determine if the company is a match.
2. A sales person asks tougher questions to get to the pain or real reason why they need a quote. Suggests a meeting to determine a fit and match.
3. Spends time preparing for the visit
4. Examine the company via internet and determine what’s important to their business strategy.
5. At the first meeting, identifies and explores the emotional pain.
6. Sells the prospect on a process to encompass a discovery meeting that then leads to an evaluation that has ROI impact with cost improvements that meet the prospect’s objectives.
7. Develops an account strategy.
8. Sells the methodology and processes used to achieve an ROI impact.
9. Prepares and ROI proposal based on impact not price
10. Acquires commitment through a letter of intent or P.O. to begin phase one development
Outcome: The closure rate increases to 80%.