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Sales Improvement – 6 Ways to Amp Your Sales Results on Zero Budget

Sales Improvement – 6 Ways to Amp Your Sales Results on Zero Budget

What is not having a system that delivers predictable sales results costing your business?

Every firm is seeking continuous sales improvement. They would like to achieve that on zero budget. Every firm seeks predictability and stability.

It’s the Holy Grail because once you’ve cracked that formula for your sales lead generation and closing, then you can simply plug and play and collect the cash. Simply put your sales process delivers great sales results consistently. Primarily due, to a large degree, to you removing many of the failing and costly variables in the sales process variables.

The result? Predictable sales growth, high level of sales stability, fewer peaks and troughs. Plus higher levels of confidence in the future…exciting times? You bet!

And it won’t cost you, because you’ve probably already got all the resources you need…it’s the application of those resources that’s causing the gap.

It why so many firms miss out on implementing the key elements of a predictable sales system!

It’s costing them, and maybe you, fortunes, every single day. Business is sitting on the table or even worse dropping into competitors laps way too easily…and what’s even worse is that margins are being compromised on sales that are landed.

Predictable Sales Results and Continuous Sales Improvement

I’ve completed two quite intense sales audits this month and something struck me as quite odd.

Whilst writing their respective and separate 30 day improvement plans, I saw more than a few common elements between the two firms problems. The common elements existed even though the sales teams operated in different industries, selling different products, each firm operated at different price points and are selling in to different decision maker levels.

What was even stranger was the key common elements existed even though one firm was doing ok, but had plateaued, whilst the other sales function was in a real long term sales dry patch.

Despite all of this the root causes were essentially the same.

The question is; are they the same for your business too?

So What Does That Mean?

Very few firms go from soaring success to total sales nose dive over night. Maybe occasionally if there is some disaster or unplanned legislative changes, so I can can accept that depressed sales performance is a spectrum that can slowly morph from a plateau to a dip to a dive to insolvency…

However, this doesn’t distract from the fact that there are critical success factors. It is the absence of these critical sales success factors that sets of the chain of events that see sales results start to slip and then dive…

Predictable Sales Results – Is Your Sales Function In Danger?

When you look at this list below, just remember that any sales function can address these issues immediately. Remember that providing your take quick action you’ll see some sales improvements.

I hope the list gives you food for thought, and also a cause to take action if you’re seeking predictable sales results and the huge benefits associated with such predictability.

How many of these easy to fix sales improvement options are available to your sales function, and what could your sales results be if you looked at implementing just a few over the next month?

Don’t try to do all of these at once.

You’ll get on everyone’s nerves and be the sales dictator that no-one signed up for. Just pick two or three and see what happens:

  1. Look at your sales management information at least half daily…personally I like hourly because that way there can be no slippage…but half day might work for you. This does two things. Firstly, you get an opportunity to praise high activity/high results success. You get to ask questions and unblock any issues with the rest of the team. Without a decent level of activity, everything else is meaningless. Get on top of activity and stay there. Which does not mean managing the team by numbers – any monkey can do that – look at their conversion rates, look at the meaningful outcomes, look at who is closing, advancing sales and who is simply going through the motions.
  2. Don’t confuse talk time or client facing time with selling time, review the selling process. Are sales execs qualifying hard enough? Closing soon enough? Educating, questioning, advancing the sale fast enough? Are they having an easy chat and picking the low hanging fruit?
  3. Get embedded in the team – the fastest way for any manager to change the sales performance of the team is to start a high intensity side by side sales coaching program. Don’t think you can do 3 or 4 hrs per day sat coaching the team? Of course you can! get your mobile device so you can work any where and simply plug in. Nothing better than someone listening in to really get a sales person to up the game, and you get the chance for immediate 1:1 feedback. Win!
What Next?

The top three issues should bump your sales results considerably…but there are three more I want to share with you:

  1. Pay attention who the sales execs are pitching to…the number of sales execs that pitch to gate keepers in the hope they will put them through is a shocker (but they need the talk time right? of course, that’s why side by side coaching is so important). It’s also important that your sales execs don’t try to be Idiot Converters
  2. Have a performance improvement plan for everyone, (I call it a sales coaching plan) and just as the doctor leaves your notes at the end of the bed during a hospital stay, fill in the daily report card on what needs to improve daily due to your coaching and guess what? You’ll see fairly rapid sales skills improvement, and the inevitable knock on affect of more sales, better quality sales…in less time.
  3. Don’t treat your performers and your non-performers the same…I’m not explaining this further, you’ll know what I mean by this
So Will You Get Predictable Sales Results?

You’ll be well on your way.

Building a business development, lead generation and sales closing system that delivers predictable sales results is not just 6 bullet point.

The points above are 6 key reasons why firms DON’T get semi predictable sales results, and are in a sales slump/dive.

Don’t ignore the obvious.

The market is no tougher for you than anyone else.

The buyers are no more exasperating with you than your competitors

The economy is not penalising you, it’s impacting all.

Don’t listen to it.

Take control of what you can control (click here if you’re totally out of control or heading that way…) and you’re well on your way to predictable sales results…

Happy Selling

Carol

0779 002 1885

carol@mortonkyle.com

P.S. Want to receive a regular feed of sales improvement and business development tips? Then simply claim your weekly free (and span free!) subscription to The Advanced Business Achiever. It’s great for sales meetings, in house sales training, daily coaching and daily huddles…

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a way to create your own internal sales and business development system to predictable sales results…you can find that here TurboCharged Sales 

And if you want to book your very own Sales Audit – hit the link here for more details. Or give me a call for a confidential chat 0779 002 1885

So, lots of ways to get predictable sales results…let me know how you get on

Why an Accurate Sales Forecast is the Key to Monthly Sales Success and Predictable Sales Growth

Why an Accurate Sales Forecast is the Key to Monthly Sales Success and Predictable Sales Growth

Any accurate sales forecast is a guaranteed gift towards your bank balance, your sanity, and your stress levels!

A truly accurate sales forecast means you know where you’re going, and how you’ll get there. Easy sailing…

So why do so many sales people and business owners fail to use the sale forecast to their advantage?

An Accurate Sales Forecast – Urban Myth or Unicorn?

I genuinely believe no-one really subscribes to the actuality of an accurate sales forecast.

This is simply because both you and I have all seen great sales forecasts fall apart. We’ve seen them fall apart probably on more than one occasion. Often just one week before month end! That happens.

So, you might suspect that when you drop a prospect in the sales forecast that it’s a best guess…because that’s what lots of sales people do.

And that’s where it starts to go wrong. An accurate sales forecast is not a best guess.

It’s a document of record.

I guarantee if you start to think about it as such, you’ll find a huge difference in terms of you being able to predict your sales success. This means you’ll find it easier to hit your target and predict your sales growth…and take control of your earnings.

What Does an Accurate Sales Forecast Look Like?

Confirmed Order Details w Decision Maker Uncovered Specific Needs Solution Agreed Prices Agreed Budget Available Date to Sign Off Agreed Delivery Date Agreed Contract Sent Purchase Order Received Invoice Date Order Value
Acme Limited  √  √  √                
Jelly Bobble Inc  √  √  √  √  √  √    √      
APV Ltd  √  √  √  √  √  √  √        
dtx SA  √  √  √  √              

I like this format because it focuses the sales persons mind, and also, it’s easy to see the solidity of the deal at a glance.

I’m not only advocating this template as a formal document, I’ve seen it used very successfully as part of self management. It’s a great self reality check for how solid a deal is, but that’s not the most powerful part of this template.

By far the most valuable element is that it forces you, as the sales person, to ask those sales based questions that can often just pass the sales person by.

But, you see, it’s these very questions that make the difference between a sales forecast and an accurate sales forecast.

And that means the difference between solid stable growth, predictable sales performance and a stress free sales environment and a hand to mouth, peaks and troughs sales sea saw…no, which would you rather have?

Building an Accurate Sales Forecast = Asking Structured Questions

You might want to check out some of the recent BANT articles I’ve written here about how to qualify prospects…Why Sales BANT is Not Enough and Has Anyone Seen My Buyer? because they’ll give you a broader understanding about the value of asking those qualifying questions that are critical at the end of the sales process.

Good Quality Questions Create Accurate Sales Forecasts

Here are some of the key questions you mighty consider.

It’s important to look at the format, the detail and the accountability you are conferring to your prospect to work with you, honestly, openly and with a high level of transparency:

  • So following the template above, when you’re thinking about creating your accurate sales forecast it’s perfectly acceptable to ask and re confirm the following, through all the stages in the sales process:
  • You’re the person who will make the final decision on this? Will that decision need to be signed of by anyone else? Who holds the budget for this purchase?  What part do they play in deciding who to buy from?
  • We agree that the costs associated with doing nothing provide a clear and definitive ROI using our solution/product/service?
  • That if, as discussed we provide you with the solution/product/service as discussed at $£X then you are happy to buy from my organisation?
  • And that budget is available now? /And that budget for this purchase will be signed off by dd/mm, so you can get delivery by dd/mm then we can agree I can go ahead and raise a contract so you can send me a purchase order by dd/mm…?
Why is this Important?

It’s important because you as the sales person gets to see where the variable or undecided factors are, most often this will be around timing, but not always…

Using these questions and the template above you know exactly how solid a prospect is, and what detail you need to chase down to convert a prospect to an order.

What Else Contributes to Inaccurate/Accurate Sales Forecasts?

Think about these factors and reflect on the impact they could be having on your sales forecasting ability…

  1. Qualifying is not a one time event. Qualify and re-qualify as often as you need but especially when there are changes taking place. Be that shifts in time scales, new people entering the discussion, shifts in agenda etc
  2. Don’t rely on your sales CRM to forecast for you. In the main I’ve found sales CRM sales pipeline generation and management the cause of much distress and false hope. Use it, but have the reality check on high alert.
  3. Use your judgement. If a deal wobbles a few times, starts to drag, the prospect avoids your calls, then read the signs. You need to get involved and re-assess. Trust me, a great prospect is never that busy to return a call.
  4. Honestly is critical in your sales forecast. If you insist on fabricating, padding or listening to your ego, then you’ll find people losing faith in your pretty quickly. Your judgement is flawed and your word’s not to be trusted. That’s not a rep you want.
  5. You need to get smart about new business development. That way you’re not tempted to hang on to dead deals, and chasing prospects who’ve died on you.
  6. Accountability – state your numbers, commit your focus and own it. No shirking. Don’t be that sales guy!
  7. If things are going pear-shaped – go talk to someone. Don’t put your head in the sand…get a 2nd view and draw up an action plan. Don’t panic, or start discounting or give up…
Now Consider This

Dropping a prospect out of your sales pipeline is acceptable. It’s much better to do that than cloud a picture where you need absolute and razor sharp clarity.

You’ll find the clarity especially when it comes to working out your Sales Recipe

How to Generate an Accurate Sales Forecast
Gaining clarity in this area and generating an accurate sales forecast is the key to turbo charging your sales results and your sales bonus

If you can get clarity in this one area, you’ll find your ability to fully turbo charge your sales efforts, and therefore your sales results, and therefore your sales bonus!

So, in summary, an accurate sales forecast is neither an urban myth or a unicorn, but it is magical in terms of what it can mean for your business, your bonus and your sanity.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

P.S. Get easy read sales and business development training tips directly into your inbox once per week – all spam free – great for you in house training, your sales coaching, daily sales huddles and business development drives…register for your free subscription here – The Advanced Business Achiever

 

 

 

Anyone Seen My Buyer?

Anyone Seen My Buyer?

Chasing Sales Quotes

Chasing sales quotes…how much times does that waste? But you have to do it because it’s the last thing you need to do before you get the order.

You’ve done all the hard work, you just need to clear the paper work and get the signature.

I hate it. I hate it when a sales person tells me they’ve sent the quote and will chase tomorrow, I hate it because at that point I know and the sales person knows that the buyer might just go AWOL. It happens.

Now, ideally, you’d have closed on the day, got the order form signed, shaken hands and just scanned a copy to the buyer for their files. That’s how it should be done.

But, sometimes that’s just not possible.

So the buyer has a chance to disappear!

All you hard work hanging there…

It’s Not Always Bad News…

No, of course not, some buyers do really get abducted by aliens, find a new religion, win the lottery and some even (I know this is tough to hear) will go with another provider…

But the truth is the disappearing buyer is such a pain because it’s cost so much to get the buyer to that stage.

You see, the buyer is bailing at the wrong end of the sales funnel.

The skill – to save time, sanity, money is to get the buyer to bail early on.

The earlier the better.

That way, you’ll know, that by the time you have the buyer at the chasing sales quotes stage, that you are actually both on the same page.

How to Avoid Having to Chase Sales Quotes

It’s simple…make the prospect so committed to buying from you that chasing the quote is never an issue.

See…but you knew that all along…

So how about this, and listen up because this is a key area where sales people create their own living hell.

And, it could be so easily avoided.

Some sales people, not you obviously,  take sales prospects through the whole sales process, investing heaps of time, money and wisdom, when the prospect REALLY should have been rejected at the beginning of the sales process.

Yep, some sales people don’t ask the tough questions at the beginning of the sales process. The tough but fair questions that would define the QUALITY of the sales prospect.

And you know what?

A serious buyer is expecting you to ask those questions!

Sales people who don’t BANT, or they BANT weakly, which means just checking the prospect has a pulse! (for more details on BANT hit this link – More About BANT).

And, when sales people that do BANT, find a less than perfect prospect, they will often put up with less than perfect answers because they fear what will happen if they get stringent with the sales criteria they use….oh no, an empty sales pipeline!!!

Some sales people see that as bad news (I don’t, I just see it as free resource to invest in worthy prospects) but I know sales people who think ‘Nightmare’.

Look at it this way, what would happen if a sales person ended up rejecting a chunk of their sales prospects because they weren’t worthy of time/effort investment?

I will leave that to your conscience.

In a nutshell…if your prospect is going AWOL after you’ve done the hard work, then the buyer was never really a buyer.

You made a bad prospect call and you’ve wasted your time.

Oh, and your sales pipeline is falling apart around your ears (sound familiar?)

Sales Winner Don’t Waste Time Chasing Sales Quotes

Sales Winners close hard on the day and then leave it.

Why would you want to sales stalk a prospect who had no interest in engaging with you?

Sales Winners read the signs and move on.

But you can only do that if you’ve closed hard all along the sales process.

A sales close doesn’t happen at the end of the sales process.

Closing a sale happens all through the sales process – from the first interaction and in every interaction.

You can only do a hard close if you’ve made one unshakable decision. You’ve decided and committed to qualify at every stage of the sales process.

Have you?

Do you?

Chasing Sales Quotes and Winning

This process of continual qualification relies on you knowing the following very early on in the sales process

  • That your buyer is the sign off guy and not the influencer/referrer
  • Where your buyer has budget that is available, or needs to be signed off by another
  • That the buyer has a need that is associated with a painful problem
  • Where they need to sort a solution
  • That they have an ideal time frame for solving the problem, and satisfying the need
  • When they have shared the decision making process with you
  • So that you understand the stakeholders involved, their agendas, the potential competitors, and any external factors that could disrupt the buying process
  • Where you understand the criteria your solution will be judged against…and buy whom
  • That you understand what event could disrupt the buying/decision making process

Here’s a sobering thought…if your buyer is not prepared to share this information with you, then you’ve got yourself a tyre kicker. You deserve everything you get if you pursue the sale…

If you haven’t got the bottle to ask the tough questions…again, you will suffer the consequences of that course of action, so see above

Disappearing Buyers Go AWOL For a Reason

Don’t let the reason your buyer goes AWOL when you’re chasing the quote be because they used your proposal to batter down the quote from their incumbent. Or they used you to yank their current supplier back into line, just wanted to pick your brain. Or maybe the buyer wanted to pass your quote to a competitor. Maybe even worse, just thought it might be interesting for you to pull together all the info they needed to inform the board regarding what solutions are out there…

If you’re investing in the buyer and the buyer process, make sure it’s not all one sided and you’ll never need to chase a sales quote ever again.

Happy Selling

Carol

0779 002 1885

carol@mortonkyle.com

P.S. you can subscribe to our free Advanced Business Achiever. You’ll get weekly sales and business development insights directly into your inbox (all SPAM free). It’s great for sales coaching, sales mentoring and sales training, daily briefings. Just try it out, just hit the link, there is an unsubscribe button if it’s not for you…

P.P.S. if you’re looking for sales training or sales support to increase your sales team results – call for a confidential chat…

 

Higher Sales Performers use Sales ROI – Do You?

Higher Sales Performers use Sales ROI – Do You?

If You’re Not Using Sales ROI….

When Sales ROI is such a powerful sales tool…then you are a fool! I wish there was an easier way to say this, but well there isn’t and if you’re offended then great. Hopefully you’ll be offended enough to do something about it.

If not, well…

What is Sales ROI?

Great question. Forget about all the hot leads you wish for, the warm prospects, the incoming calls and the warm word of mouth referrals – unless you flex your Sales ROI muscle, you’ll convert fewer than you should/could, you’re sales cycle will be longer than it needs to be, your margin will most definitely be lower than it should be AND you’ll waste so much time, forget about reaching sales targets early, if at all.

Get used to the month end stress of shredding your sales pipeline just to get a zero margin deal in before month end!

Selling £1 Notes For 10 Pence

When I first started in sales, I quickly found out that some people just don’t want what you’re selling, on that day, in that way, in that colour, with those terms blah, blah, blah…you know that type of buyer.

Those prospects who wouldn’t consider buying a £1 note for 10 pence an ok deal…you notice I said ok and not great.

So, I decided I wanted to avoid those sales prospects as often as I could.

I wanted to find serious prospects ASAP, because those guys I could convert, fast, with a high margin and with a total win-win solution…they respected the value I bought to the table and I understood what they needed…happy days.

All I needed to do was to realistically prove that buy buying my service/product they would earn more money than they would ever spend with me.

The faster I got that sum out the way, the faster the close.

And guess what…as an added bonus, hardly anyone queried my prices.

Sales ROI can do that.

56% of buyers claim that one of their key requirements for buying is that they enjoy the sales process.

Sales ROI ticks that box too…it’s the easiest and fastest way to engage the buyer in the process.

It ticks the logical box, it gives evidence to support their emotional decisions.

Why wouldn’t the buy?

You know, that is EXACTLY what my buyers used to say too!

Why Doesn’t Every Sales Person Use Sales ROI?

I’ve seen lots of sales people simply not be able to get their head around doing it…primarily I think because they don’t like talking about money (don’t ask)

Other sales people, well, they’ve told me they like selling how they are selling and that’s good enough for them. Good enough is such an interesting turn of phrase don’t you think…I guess their salary is good enough too, and they life, and their car, and their house…just good enough…

But let me tell you this.

The sales professionals that get it, try it, adopt the Sales ROI sales structure as their own, those guys that have some fun with it, that use it to reduce buyer defenses and so get rid of objections and boring and long sales processes, well those guys just never look back…AND their customers love them.

Discover Your Sales ROI

Come along to any of our sales training course – all through the UK – in house and open – just fill out your details and email me carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885…let’s have a chat.

Happy Selling

Carol

p.s. You can check out our online sales program TurboCharged Sales, or come along to one of our monthly Sales Improvement Sessions where we show you exactly how Sales ROI works for you…

p.p.s. Hop over here and collect your free subscription – Hot Sales and Business Development Tips – straight to your inbox weekly – perfect for feeding weekly team meetings, daily huddles and coaching sessions – it’s free and spam free too

Business Development Workshop

Business Development Workshop

Join us now – just one day to boost the sales results in your business, increase sales conversion rates, shorten sales cycles, and ultimately increase turnover and sales margin – just hit the link – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield 

Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Ask any business leader about the relationship between the business development skills of the sales team and the sales results of the business.

You’ll not find a single sales leader able to disagree. They’ll all tell you there is a very direct, very important and ultimately business success defining relationship between the strength and level of skills of the business development effort, turnover and margin.

Here’s another thing they’ll tell you…if they could fully realise the extraordinary sales potential that exists within their team then they could dominate their sector, and smashing target would never be an issue.

You’re probably the same?

All that sales potential. Sat in your offices. All costing you a small fortune. Some performing. Others performing not so much.

All that sales potential, just waiting to be set free.

What would that look like for you? For your business? Your industry reputation?

Find out here – start your journey – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Just 1 Day – Improve Your Sales Skills and Sales Results

Spend just one day attending the Morton Kyle Limited Sales Workshop and discover everything your need to DO to make sure sales targets are smashed, sales conversion rate goes through the roof and you’re no longer having to discount to get the order signed.

If you really want to find out how much you could really bill if you fully realised your sales potential then this is the sales and business development training course for you.

You see, sales potential is great to have but it won’t get you very far. Whether you’re a sales person, a sales team or a business, your sales potential will never make you rich. At some point you have to release that potential. You have to DO something with it…

Here’s your chance – reserve your seat now – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

Monthly Business Development Workshops – Sheffield

Don’t wait! This course is run monthly. It gets filled quickly.

And for a short time we’re running the following promotion

  • Send 3 people and only pay for 2.
  • Enter into a draw to win 6 weeks of 121 sales coaching – winner drawn on the day

Here’s how you sign up to reserve your seat now – The Business Development Workshop – Sheffield

If you want to run this course for your sales team internally as a closed course – hit the link – Fixed Price Sales Training 

If you want to discuss a bespoke sales improvement and business development course for your sales team, then email carol@mortonkyle.com or call 0779 002 1885

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885

p.s looking for regular Sales and Business Development hints, tips, training, success stories and how to fact sheets straight into your inbox (all spam free) weekly? Check this out – The Advanced Business Achiever 

p.p.s. If you’re looking for a Sales Improvement Program to embed in your sales team and your business – check out TurboCharged Sales – the 21 day step by step guide to boosting sales performance on a rinse and repeat cycle.

Sales Training For Colleges, Apprentice Scheme Providers, Work Programs and Funded Learning

Sales Training For Colleges, Apprentice Scheme Providers, Work Programs and Funded Learning

SALES TRAINING FOR COLLEGES

Business Development and Sales Training for Colleges Selling Apprentice Schemes, Work Programs, Apprenticeships and Full Cost Training

Sales Success – More Sales, Shorter Sales Cycles, Higher Margins, More Referrals, Stronger Pipelines

Sales Training For Colleges: Aims:

Highly consultative – this program is designed to increase sales performance over a very short period by simply focusing on the key sales points that have a direct relationship with success.

  • What Does Sales Success Look Like?
  • Identifying Ideal Prospect Targets
  • Dealing with Sales Prevention Staff
  • What Are You Selling?
  • Why Should The Buyer Listen To You?
  • Psychology Of Buying – The Buyers Perspective
  • What Is The Buyer Looking For?
  • Sales Call Structure – The Holistic View To Consultative Selling
  • The Objection Free Pitch – Selling The Solutions
  • Meaningful Questioning Techniques – Questioning To Understand Their Needs And Motivation
  • Responding To Different Resistances To Change
  • Creating Urgency In The Sales Process
  • Checking and Reinforcing Commitment To Buy
  • Understanding The Money Question
  • Cross Selling And Up Selling
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Testing The Pitch
  • Create And Use The Buying Signals
  • Summarising Your Understanding
  • Selling Their Motivations Back To Them
  • Handling Prospect/Customer Questions
  • Trial Closes
  • Gaining In Principal Decision To Commit
  • Selling The Price
  • Asking For The Order
  • Price Negotiation
  • Using Influence and Persuasion Skills
  • Building Referral Networks
  • Using The Sales Pipeline Model
  • Gaining Success With Different Buyer Types
  • Creating Certainty In The Sales Cycle/Forecast
  • Self Motivation/Goal Setting
  • Creating Winning Sales Proposals
  • Getting The Purchase Order Signed

Sales Training for Colleges: Course Outcomes

Having attended this program you will be able to:

  • Quickly establish common ground with key influencers and decision makers
  • Have a compelling, persuasive and logical sales presentation
  • Conduct a commercial sales based conversation with any targeted prospect
  • Quickly establish if there are any commercial opportunities, when, budget, process
  • Move from sales person to trusted industry expert
  • Build rapport and gain the confidence of the key buyer(s)
  • Structure logical and relevant questions
  • Work with the buyer(s) to establish and explore the scope of their current service provider
  • Identify points of weaknesses in their current provision
  • Guide the buyers(s) thinking towards blue sky solutions
  • Explore the cost and impact of the current weaknesses and gaps
  • Structure relevant solution(s)
  • Challenge the buyers thinking
  • Use influencing skills to trial close
  • Deal with the budget question without causing a negative impact
  • Sell your propositions based on the value delivered
  • Speak knowledgeably about the life value of the product or service, not just the cost
  • Explore costs and value as part of the same conversation
  • Fluently establish the costs of remaining with the current provider
  • Sell the price
  • Handle objections
  • Deal professionally with incumbent relationships
  • Ask for the business
  • Gain an in principal decision to buy before you leave
  • Create urgency in the sales process
  • Build networks
  • Seek referrals from all prospects/customers
  • Build, maintain and account manage a sales pipeline
  • Create certainty in your sales forecast
  • Design and deliver sales proposals that will make it easy for the buyer to say yes

Sales Training for Colleges: Duration

This is a 1 day program delivered on site at your offices.

Price on application

0114 236 3658 or carol@mortonkyle.com

p.s. Check out Free Sales Improvement Guides by Morton Kyle Limited

p.p.s You can receive sales and business development insights into your inbox weekly – subscribe for our sales e-guide The Advanced Business Achiever here

How to Close Profitable Sales

How to Close Profitable Sales

How to Close Profitable Sales – What Do You Need To Know?

Discover how to close profitable sales and it saves time, turnover, profit, reputation, resources and sanity.

Get it wrong and welcome to inaccurate sales forecasts, deals left wide open for the competitors to walk into and pick up, profit drains, instability and poor ability for forecast.

Knowing how to close profitable sales could be the difference between a high stress low margin sales environment and a solid, stable sales machine.

How to Close Profitable Sales?

Golden Rule: Always be prepared to leave a deal on the table.

Any exceptions to this? Not that I can think of.

Let the deal mature. Keep in contact, keep it warm, but hold the line.

Just because the buyer hasn’t snapped your hand off on receipt of the proposal, just because they haven’t got back to you when they said then would, and just because they haven’t responded to your email….

Just hold fire.

None of this means the deal is dead.

Avoid falling into the trap many sales people will happily dive head first into given the first sign of coolness from the Buyer.

You see, a regular jobbing sales person will get scared.

At the first sign of coolness from the prospect, they’ll simply assume the deal is being made with a competitor and they’re missing out.

It’s not always the case.

In fact, it’s often NOT the case.

Not Every Sale is a Good Sale!

A sale at any cost is just a race to the bottom.

And, typically the first reaction to a ‘cooler’ buyer is to start panicing, and try to cut a deal.

Any deal.

The first thing to get a hair cut is the price…margins get stripped out in exchange for a speedy signature on the dotted line.

WOW…savvy Buyer who uses that trick…stall a few days and watch the price crumble…first lesson in Purchasing School.

But what if the Buyer then accepts your lower price and STILL drags his heels?

You’ll knock the price back up to the higher, original level?

Good luck with that…please write and let me know how you get on.

The truth is – panic, negotiate and you’ll drop credibility and the business loses profit…and you’ve got to work hard to replace what you originally had, or could have had.

Congratulations, welcome to the Hamster Wheel….start running!

Lesson? You know the lesson….hold the line.

Want to Improve Your Profitable Close Rate?

Get a great deal to the table, lock it in and leave it there.

Here’s how.

Of course, make sure you keep in contact with the Buyer, make sure the Buyer has everything needed to make their decision in your favour.

But, the cast iron opportunity to REALLY protect yourself from this panic driven desperation, that costs you your reputation, credibility, pipeline, margin, commission and self respect, is to look at what’s happening during the sales process and how you interact with the buyer.

Closing Well Means Nothing If Your Sales Pitch Stinks!

Think about this…because it matters a lot if you want to discover how to close profitable sales

During your sales demonstration, you will have been careful to build a strong relationship with the Buyer, to do this you’ll have:

  • Checked and double checked you’re dealing with the decision maker because your time, expertise and insights are too precious to waste.
  • Checked budget and budget availability because you don’t want to spend time with the wrong person or zero budget prospects
  • Mapped the decision making process with the decision maker because that’s how you keep track of where you both are.
  • Uncovered the buying criteria because you need to know their expectations and buying pathways.
  • Uncovered the date the decision will be made by, based on when the product/solution need to be in place, because this will help you track the deal though your sales funnel and sales pipeline
  • Gained the prospect’s trust and asked detailed questions around implications associated with the purchase because you need to understand motivators and pain points.
  • Explored the extent of their relationships with your competitors and potential substitute solutions, or work arounds, because this tells you how much they need/don’t need your product/service
  • Investigated possible hurdles too because you need to explore these thoroughly and early on in the sales pitch
  • Coaxed out explicit and implicit objections and dealt with them because you NEVER want to have these bite you right before signatures are due.
  • Been able to provide some kind of financial indicator, maybe not an absolute figure, but a range; and in doing so you’ll have been able to assess, respond to and justify your costing in a totally transparent way because a robust ROI is one of the biggest closing techniques you’ll have access to.

You’ll have done all that won’t you?

If you haven’t then check this out….How to Sell.

As a result you’ll also have formed a relationship of value, integrity and openness, for both of you.

These are the very basics. Miss any of these elements out at your peril.

With all that done, have some faith.

Will all that in place how to close profitable sales just becomes a question of timing, not skill.

What Else Can You Do To Close the Sale and Get the Order?

Hold the line….BUT keep this in mind:

The In Principle Decision

 The order’s not in until the signature is on the dotted line, but that doesn’t stop you asking for an in principle decision, such that your buyer gives you a ‘yes’ pending agreeing a date to get the actual order signed and back to you.

Own It!

It doesn’t stop you being highly assumptive.

I see a million sales a year drop through the cracks because the sales person is way too reticent in claiming ownership of the order and letting the prospect know that they have claimed responsibility for the order and getting it to order completion.

Own it! Push it!

Make it Easy for the Buyer to Say YES!

Your aim through this whole process is to make it as easy as possible for the buyer to say yes.

Take all the pain away, all the admin, all the responsibility to getting the order signed off, such that all the buyer is required to do is to email you a P.O.

Make Friends with the Decision Making Family

Make sure you’ve got all the influencers, all the referrers, all the other decision makers lined up and in agreement with your solution.

Sure, this is hard work…it takes time.

It costs a lot, but it’s worth a lot.

Having done all of that here’s what you don’t do.

What You Don’t Do If You Want To Close Profitable Sales.

You Don’t Panic

Silence is NOT a coded message from the Buyer for you to think ‘Let’s call the prospect and halve the price’…unless that’s how YOU interpret and YOU react.

You’d be surprised how many sales people have that very strong connect in their head.

It’s deadly.

You Don’t Assume – ASK!

You’ve build a good relationship with the Buyer, you can ask some direct questions.

What’s the hold up?

Is there any other information you need from me?

Do I need to meet with anyone else to expedite this through for you?

Are you going to place your order with my business?

Has anything changed since we met?

Is there anyone else involved that I’m not aware of? 

How to Close Profitable Sales and NOT Panic

So, here are a few things you can do to ring fence the times when you may be left hanging, and to prevent radio silence from the prospect:

  • Put an expiry date on all of your proposals.
  • Make sure you get a firm ‘yes’, even in principle, before you leave the meeting.
  • You must ask for the business as part of your sales demonstration.
  • Don’t leave the meeting without closing. Closing with the promise to send an email proposal will make you a busy sales person, not a rich one.

Stop Working for Zero Reward

If you’re serious about closing profitable sales then this is an absolute must, which you can choose to ignore this at your peril.

How and when you set this up will either make you a busy admin gofer, or will make you a fortune.

You pick!

Let me ask you:

What’s the one question you could ask, once the Buyer has told you that you’ve got his business ‘in principle’ that would indicate to you what the buyer’s real intent is?

Just one question…

Do you know what it is?

Any idea?

It’s this:

That’s great Mr Buyer, I’m so glad we’ve got this opportunity to work together, now, do you have your diary for next week, I can come back in on Wednesday or Thursday to go through the paper work with you, explain the quote/conditions in full and answer any questions you have, and the you can place your order. Now, which one of those days is better for you?

That’s it.

One question.

Will save you a fortune in time, selling time and admin time, it will save you chasing quotes that won’t fall in your favour, it will prevent you forecasting a deal that’s never going to materialise… it will tell you if you’re dealing with a buyer who is actually willing to do business with you.

Just one questions – the guess work and the mystery falls away.

Panic gone.

You know!

If you ask for an opportunity to come back in to present your proposal and the Buyer says ‘no’ then you have a very strong idea of where his intentions are.

That’s very useful.

Truly, very valuable.

It’s an opportunity for you to re-pitch, to re-explore, to challenge and re-close , or to move on.

So, having asked and secured the opportunity to come back and present the proposal, you can be confident that the only reason you are being accepted back to present a proposal is that the Buyer is sufficiently engaged and excited by what you had to say the last time you met.

And that the Buyer is ready to do business with you.

The Emotional Dip

But still, here’s what will have happened since you last met with the Buyer:

  • As time has passed his excitement will not have increased – it will have diminished and it will have diminished rapidly and steeply.
  • Plus, he may have seen your competitors, spoken with nay-sayers within the business, come up with a whole different list of potential objection or questions.
  • He may have ruminated on some of your words, some positively, some negatively, but the end results is that his thinking may be lacking the clarity it had when you last met.

The Second Meeting to Sign the Order – It’s Still a Sales Pitch!

In going back with the written proposal you have a chance to remind him of what his issues are, what the cost of not addressing those issues is, why he needs to get serious about addressing the issues now and why he should select you.

This is not a duplicate visit of the first meeting.

This meeting is a chance to reinvigorate, regenerate, re-engineer and revitalise the Buyer and get a signature.

You must walk through the door believing, acting and talking as if you’ve already won the business.

This is a highly assumptive pitch meeting and NOT a fact check.

This is about understanding how to close profitable sales…every Buyer contact is an opportunity to maximise your chances at getting the price you want and the order signed as fast as possible. To do that you must make every single Buyer interaction high value from the Buyer’s perspective. Otherwise you’re just one of the many push sales guys out there who have yet to discover how to close profitable sales with skill and mastery!

What to Tell the Buyer About the Second Meeting

When you book this meeting you must let the Buyer know that you will be returning to confirm the solution, answer any questions and get the order signed.

Get comfortable in using this language; in fact you should use this language.

Be absolutely clear with your language and your intent.

You’ve done all the hard work, this is not the time to be reticent and hang back.

This is the time to be confident.

After all, if the Buyer was going to reject you, he wouldn’t have given you all the information you need to generate a proposal.

Plus, being clear, succinct and direct when you book the second meeting, then everyone knows what is required of them at the next stage.

If you have the deal, the Buyer will easily agree to this request.

If you haven’t got the deal, and the Buyer, doesn’t want to tell you directly, then (if they are like many Buyers) they will decline or possibly accept then send you an email to cancel the second meeting. That’s how cowards behave.

The conversation might go something like this…

I’ll prepare the proposal based on my research to date and our conversations, specifically considering your challenges, timescales and budgets, so our next meeting can focus on moving forward, getting the order signed and what happens when we start supplying you. Is that ok with you?

Should it scare the buyer?

Not really.

What it should do is to focus the Buyer’s mind.

You need the Buyer to understand that you are there because you want to do business with him and are serious about working with his firm.

And that’s ok. He should be too.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In learning how to close profitable sales, it’s only to be expected that the Buyer might well push back a little, because he can see what his decision should be, but that doesn’t stop him fighting against it which means he may well end the meeting by asking you to give him time to think.

Here’s what you do:

You ask the following:

  • What is it specifically you need to think about, I’d be happy to help you work it through….
  • Can you give me some insight into what you are thinking, your initial reaction, at this moment?
  • Is it you think that the business/board won’t support you on this?
  • How viable is this proposition?
  • Does it seem viable and reasonable to you?
  • What are the further concerns I need to address?
  • Ok– is next Tuesday or next Thursday better for you, I’ll come in, answer any questions and collect the signed paperwork…

Couple of things you may be thinking here:

Are You Being Pushy?

Maybe.

A little back bone at this stage means that you should know exactly where you stand before you leave the Buyer’s office.

You know whether to spend any time on the proposal because, after all, writing proposals can take up huge amounts of time.

But more importantly the Buyer knows what you expect of him!

You are not just going to let him off the hook…drift off into the sunset and chalk this one up to ‘nice chat’ or ‘maybe sometime’

Especially not after you’ve done a thorough sales investigation, mapped out solutions, shared your expertise and vast experience, presented additional insights he’d not considered as well as help him work through the reality of his challenges and pathways to success….

If you have done your sales investigation and needs matching correctly then you have a right to ask these questions.

If you haven’t done the sales investigation and needs matching correctly then you’re not in a position to ask these questions.

Don’t even try, because you’ll sound like the worst kind of shiny suited wide boy because that just won’t wash with the buyer.

So, How to Close Profitable Sales…

Just remember, hold the line because after you’ve invested all this time and uncovered a viable prospect, it’s what you must do.

Getting comfortable with being in charge of the sales process, which means getting comfortable with the sign off stage because that’s how you close profitable sales, since it takes practice and backbone, learn to hold the line because it’s worth it.

For ongoing weekly insights into how you can boost sales, drive business development and accelerate your sales growth just hit the link here because it’s the fastest way to work on improving your overall sales skills.

How to Close Profitable Sales is just one blog of our articles – check out more insights into building a solid and stable sales pipeline, accelerating sales growth and closing good quality business, quickly by hopping over to our blog http://www.mortonkylesalesimprovement.com use the search function to find whatever you’re looking for.

You can check out some of our additional Sales Improvement Reports here:

How to Generate High Quality Sales Prospects

10 Steps to Out Sell the Competition

How You Can Increase Profits by Avoiding the Commodity Gap

How to Fill the Diary with High Quality Sales Appointments

How to Recruit the Best Sales Talent into Your Business and Reduce the Costly Risks

How to Close Profitable Sales (c) Morton Kyle Limited

The Relationship Between Risk, Value and Price – Know the Implications

The Relationship Between Risk, Value and Price – Know the Implications

Risk, Value and Price

Risk, Value and Price, and how your explore these areas with the buyer are the cornerstones are sales success. Or sales failure.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the buyer/prospect is complex.

That’s a fact.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the sales person is not always as well defined as it might be. In fact it is often confused and assumptive.

That’s an observation…based on extensive research.

For a win-win sale to be made there needs to be clear line of sight in the buyer’s mind in terms of the financial outlay versus the value received from the purchase.

This is closely related to the risks involved in both making that purchase and NOT making that purchase.

For the sales person, that’s a lot of things to uncover, explore, define and incorporate as part of the sales process.

That’s why the quality of the sales persons and their ability to openly explore  risk, value and price with the buyer needs to be razor sharp.

Some sales people do better than others.

Refusing to Explore the Risk, Value and Price Relationship Costs Sales

Some sales people will ignore the exploration to a large degree, hoping that the features and benefits will sell their solution easily enough.

This breed of sales person won’t exists for much longer. They create little value, they treat their product/service like a commodity and invite the buyer to do the same.

Often this leads to a no sale or low margin sale…and no-one really wins.

Some sales people will conduct a low level discovery around the issues associated with risk and value, maybe erring more on the value side than they ought. Quite often they’ll lose sales because they are simply selling the ‘positives’

According to Cialdini, an expert on influence and persuasion, people will invariably do more to escape pain then they’ll do to seek pleasure…and so now you can see why just selling the positives will stifle your sales conversion rates.

What’s the Buyer Really Thinking About?

A typical buyer, hearing a typical sales pitch will, primarily, rarely be focused on all the good things your solution will deliver. That’s a given. A tick box exercise completed before your appointment was dropped in his diary.

Instead, your typical buyer’s mind will be reaming through the endless list of risks involved. That’s the list the ambitious sales person concerns themselves with, because that’s the list that needs taking to pieces.

These risks will typically revolve around what happens if he takes your solution and pays your price.

BUT, there is a much bigger area of risk that buyers often pay scant attention to, even though they acknowledge it exists.

Some sales people, in their efforts to keep away from anything overly contentious, will avoid this MUCH BIGGER area of risk completely, and therefore deprive themselves of one of the most powerful sales tools, that, if only they could capture and use this, would almost certainly lead them to close more sales.

YET, still they stay away. Head in the sand. Ruled by fear.

So? How Can Uncovering this Unexplored Area Help You Get the Sale?

It is exploring this much bigger area of risk where the sales person can be of greatest value to the buyer. And in doing so can also positively and ethically help the buyer arrive at the most suitable solution.

The key element that is the missing link for many under performing and mediocre sales people is simple. It’s the discussion around the ‘cost of doing nothing’. The cost of not buying. The risk, value and price of NOT buying from you.

Whilst it’s crucial to remember that demonstrating value is the minimum entry level focus of the sales exchange, the sales person will rarely achieve the sales they could without consideration and balanced exploration of value against price and risk, both in the areas of ‘buying’ and ‘not buying’

What many forget, to their loss, is that there are two opportunities in a well defined sales process to explore pain.

Two opportunities to explore risk. Two opportunities to understand the buyer’s perspective on both.

Using both risk laden opportunities to their fullest extent, helps you and the buyer to shorten the sales cycle. Helps create raving fans. Helps you protect/defend your margins in instances where there is price resistance.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the buyer/prospect is complex. Unraveling it for the buyer has a high level ROI. It’s more than worth the effort.

The relationship between risk, value and price in the eyes of the sales is often ill defined. It is often lacking clarity and focus. That alone is costing business, orders, margin and market share.

It needn’t be that way.

Discover how you can gain razor sharp focus in exploring risk, value and price during sales exchanges, because it’ll make the biggest difference to your sales conversion rate, your sales pipeline and your sales acquisition costs.

Just hit the link – Tell Me More

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

p.s. You can check out Free Sales Improvement Guides from Morton Kyle Limited here.

p.p.s Subscribe to our weekly sales improvement and business development guide here – The Advanced Business Achiever

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