Sales Performance Management

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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

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 Coaching for Ambitious B2B Sales Professionals

Business Development Coaching for Ambitious B2B Sales Professionals

Business Development Coaching for Ambitious B2B Sales Professionals

Business Development coaching is powerful, strategic and one of the fastest ways to bring about a positive change.

Sales professionals will engage in coaching either for themselves or the team for many reasons, but here are some of the most common:

  • The sales results are typically ok, but there are a number of specific areas where sales results are not as good as they good be, this might be a high level of discounting to get the order signed off, poor cross sell/up sell practices, poor questioning techniques…
  • Where the sales person is struggling with some of the mindset frameworks around the art of selling. For example, maybe feeling phased by competitors, not able to challenge the buyers thinking, shying away from asking the tough questions, depressed activity levels and engaging at sub decision maker level…
  • In preparation for a specific meeting, tender, sales presentation…
  • Promotion to a higher level role, typically from sales person to sales team leader or sales manager

Whatever the reason, and the above indicates just a few, business development coaching and sales coaching works because it addresses a very specific issue, it’s results orientated, there is a high level of focus on a specific area. Accountability is high and there is a very specific proven set of interventions used.

No wasted effort. No wasted time. Direct and focused.

Coaching is the SINGLE Most Effective Way to Boost Sales Performance

Time and time again, I’ve proved that sales and business development coaching is the single most effective way to improve performance.

Whether that’s side by side telephone coaching, field based sales coaching, talking through a strategy, role play, or any combination of the above, because there is no doubt that two heads are definitely better than one.

Plus: you’d be surprised how much of our working lives we spend in auto pilot. Unconcious competence is great for short cutting some of the more mundane tasks. Freeing up time to concentrate on bigger challenges. BUT, unconcious competence is NOT so great when it means treating every single sales call or sales pitch as the same thing.

Then unconcious competenece can be a sales killer.

In a coaching environemnt we blast through the barriers that are stopping your getting the sales results you want, need and deserve.

You’ll become aware of those habits and practices that are losing you sales and costing you sales bonus, customers, margin and credibility.

Fast.

Contract Free Business Development Coaching

I don’t agree with long contracts.

Let you and I discuss what needs to change, what issues you need to address and what results you need to get and by when.

Once we’re achieved those goals – and my aim is to get you the results you want ASAP – then we can shake hands and say ‘job well done’

No contracts – just an agreement to work hard, work smart and work fast to make the changes YOU want.

Can’t say fairer than that.

Total Accountability

Any you will be totally accountable. No place to run. All out of  excuses. No place to hide.

You won’t want to shy away from the challenge.

I won’t let you.

I want to see you win. Fast.

Because you’ll be getting immediate, real time feedback. This means you’ll know exactly where you need to focus your attention and efforts.

Your Business Development Coaching Tester Session

Book your free 1 hr taster session. If we get on (and that’s really important) then we cane structure a coaching program to get you the sales and business development results you need.

What are you waiting for…you have nothing to lose. Email or call now to book your taster session.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885

p.s. Regular sales and business development insights into your inbox every week? Perfect for sales meetings, sales training, saily sales briefings…hit the link The Advanced Business Achiever

Three Sales Myths That Cost You Sales – BUSTED!

Three Sales Myths That Cost You Sales – BUSTED!

Sales Insight

Every business leader craves real, meaningful and timely sales insight. If that’s what’s bough you to this page then check this out

Meaningful sales insight is so important, especially since much of the information floating about will leave you mired in superstition and folklore…not so good when you’re aiming for sales improvement.

I’m a scientist at heart. That means all things are semi-predictable and there is typically a cause and effect at play somewhere along the line, you’ve just got to dive in far enough to find it.

That’s why sales myths like this just blow my mind (and not in a good way) so here they are – busted once and for all.

MYTH 1: It Takes 7 Touch Points to Make a Sale…

Sure if you’re THAT incompetent…hell, let’s make it 25 and really over egg the pudding.

First Fact – the longer the sales cycle the greater the chance of the competition joining the party. That what you want?

Second Fact – with more touch points, I guarantee, you won’t be increasing the sense of urgency, you’ll subconsciously telling the prospect he’s got all the time in the world.

Third Fact – who has that much time to WASTE?

Fourth Fact – ok budgets are on hold for specific release dates, decision makers are sometimes wrapped in endless buying criteria cycles and decision making nightmare. BUT…if your sales contact plan is predicated on 7 touches you might be giving the sales cycle just a bit too much time

Sales Insight 1: Understanding the decision making process and the buying process is key to shortening the sales cycle.

To find out how to REALLY SHORTEN the sales cycle, kick the competition out and engage the prospect in the SHORTEST possible time – check this out

MYTH 2: There is Less Competition in the Extra Mile

You’ll all have seen the stats claiming that most sales people give up after 2 follow up attempt. The same stats that claim most orders are placed after 12 follow up attempts. Is this true?

So what do these stats actually tell you?

  • Some sales guys are cut and run merchants?
  • Sales guys are super hot at qualifying and have made a commercial decision to ditch a prospect who’s not worth the time/effort investment?
  • Some ales guys can’t invoke prospect urgency and curiosity in any shorter time frame?
  • Some sales guys are stalkers? (12 follow up calls and I’d be changing my telephone number if I were the prospect!!!)
  • Prospects are just playing the long game?Trying to get the sales guy to panic and drop the price (‘cos that never happens!!!)
  • Sales guys can’t close!

Any, all, some, none of the above could be true.

But, based on 20 years experience let me tell you what I know:

  • Most sales guys don’t know how to shorten the sales cycle, and this is simply because they often don’t think to, which means they don’t ask for the buying criteria or the decision making criteria before they invest their valuable time in the sales process.
  • Sales guys who maybe lack a little focus and who don’t love new business development typically fall in to the Sales Stalker camp. It’s easy there, they feel busy, they can boast about the value in their sales pipeline…
  • Prospects are not always fast to make decisions – that’s why having the sales person create urgency is sooooo very important.
  • Some sales prospects will drag their heels because they just KNOW that it’s the fastest way for the sales guy to get nervous and drop the price (smart prospect huh?)

Do I believe the stats? Maybe…

Do I think it’s good use of a sales persons time to chase 12 times? Rarely…

I’d rather have a process that didn’t rely on that…if you’d like the same process – check this out

Sales Insight 2: Getting in principal decisions/agreements at every stage of the buying cycle/decision making process is critical to ensure your buyer is not simply a chattering head with no intention of committing.

MYTH 3: Sending 20 Sales Emails is as Good as Having 20 Decision Maker Sales Conversations

Internet businesses are springing up all over, telephone numbers are disappearing from websites, everything is done via a contact form or an email.

Why is that important? Well these firms boom, record sales, mega growth and wow. All supposedly on the back of email and online interactions. That’s amazing.

And it’s turning the heads of B2B sales people because they got to thinking that people buy from emails, that people will read 12 page email brochures, that buyers click a few buttons and send the purchase order.

Oh if only.

Sales guys think a great email is as good as a great sales conversation. NO WAY!

I’ve seen good sales people fail miserably because they forget (displacement activity) to pick up the phone every single chance they got. I mean really tanked. Off a cliff tanked.

Likewise, I’ve seen mediocre sales people smash sales targets because they worked the most effective sales channel harder than their email writing, social media surfing, LinkedIn connectors!

Sales Insight 3: Look – both routes work. But neither route works to the exclusion of the other.

Sure, social media is great for research, relationship building, building highly qualified lists of prospects. But it’s the sort of activities that can be done at any time, BUT not during core selling hours and not to the exclusion of picking up the telephone.

So What?

I did a sales audit last week. Some sales guys were spending as little as 20 mins a day on the telephone and the Sales Director wondered why sales results were nowhere near what they needed.

Strangely no-one could really identify where the rest of the day went. They just knew that it went. The figures showed that wherever it went, it wasn’t on generating sales, feeding a pipeline or creating value that prospects were prepared to pay for…so, go figure.

We need to understand what sales channels work best, and work those, because that’s where the sales results are.

The Sales Improvement Workshop is designed specifically to get the juice back in to talking to prospects. Get the sales function having proper sales based conversations. Sharing sales insight. Delivering business development and sales techniques that will destroy all the myths that are leading to sales people losing focus.

This course can be delivered internally or it’s run monthly in Sheffield. Just call or email to discuss which option is better for you, contact details are below.

What Next?

Book Your Sales Audit. If you’re looking to improve your sales results, then before you do anything, book your Sales AuditIt’s the fastest way to identify all those areas that are stopping you getting the sales results you deserve. Delivering sales insights that allow for targeted and focused sales interventions…instead of buying into the the sales folklore and myths currently derailing your sales results.

Book now.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com 0779 002 1885

p.s. You can also subscribe to a free weekly sales insight and business development newsletter. I’s great for supporting daily sales huddles, internal sales training and sales coaching sessions. Subscribe here – The Advanced Business Achiever 

 

 

Relevant Sales Activity and the Equal Odds Rule

Relevant Sales Activity and the Equal Odds Rule

In Sales YOU have as much chance of winning as losing.

Where you engage in meaningful and relevant sales activity…

You have as much chance of getting a customer as getting a rejection.

You have as much chance of succeeding as failing.

Your chances are equal.

Need more proof?

The Equal Odds Rule was published by a Harvard psychologist, Keith Simonton in 1977.

Check out James Clear for more information.

Here’s my 3 line take:

  • Sales is actually a numbers game.

So get dialing! Get talking! Networking! Profile Building!

  • You have to be in it to win it!

If you’re not dialing, talking, networking, profile building you’re not in it!

  • Your chance of failure AND success increases with your level of activity

Extra dials, the more rejections you’ll suffer, therefore the more success you’ll enjoy.

So What?

The Equal Odds Rule is simple. You’ve as much chance of success as failure, and it’s really that complicated, or that simple, depending on how your brain is programmed.

BUT too many sales people aren’t even in the game, not at all. They just think they are, and that’s where it’s dangerous, for them, their employers and their sales forecasts.

They don’t believe that the harder the dial, the more they dial, the more people they speak with, the more people they meet with, the more networking they do (online and offline)…they just don’t get the Equal Odds Rule and it’s predictor of their fate… or their success

Cutting to the Chase

It’s not about saying no to maxing the level of activity, it’s now about just one thing…

Maxing Out the Level of Relevant Sales Activity

Activity = Failure/Success can be replaced by Relevant Activity = Failure/Success

What Does Relevant Sales Activity Look Like?

What’s your WEEKLY relevant activity schedule look like? For example…

How much time do you spend

  • talking with customers to get referrals?
  • with customers building relationships?
  • engaging with prospects?
  • with influencers in your industry?
  • encouraging dialogue and courting referrers?
  • nurturing relationships in your LinkedIn Groups, Facebook communities, Twitter sphere?
  • scouring LinkedIn and other such data sources to build comprehensive family trees of suitable organisations with relevant contacts?

Plus:

  • What efforts did you invest in working towards being recognised as a ‘go to expert’ in your industry?
  • How many educational posts did you put out this week?
  • Count the people in your personal/professional network your helped this week?
  • How much goodwill did you create via referrals/introductions across your network?
  • Did you spend enough time leveraging your personal network for your benefit and for the benefit of people who know you?

It’s not my job to point the finger and tell you what you should do or even what your Relevant Sales Activity should be, because I have no idea about you, your ambitions or how you currently work, instead I’d ask you to reflect on how you spend your time and how you could better spend your time to make sure you weight the odds in your favour in the Equal Odds Rule.

You have as much chance of winning as losing…you just have to be in the game.

To what extent are you really in the game?

Here’s the Truth about Relevant Sales Activity

Whether you believe the Equal Odds Rule or not, just think about it, there is an inevitable fact.

The more you are out there as a proactive sales person, the better you will get at your craft, the greater your skill, the better your professional profile, the higher your status, the better your sales skills will be.

You’ll get all of your ‘failures’ out of the way, by default, you’ll improve your chances of winning.

Work the Equal Odds Rule because you can’t lose.

You can take control of your own sales career now and focus on the absolute and critical sales success factors, and create your own relevant sales activity – just hit the link here – tell me more

Not Demonstrating ROI? You’re Throwing Business Opportunities Away…

Not Demonstrating ROI? You’re Throwing Business Opportunities Away…

Demonstrating ROI is Critical

Demonstrating ROI is really that important?

Yes, it really is critical.

If your business, your sales team and their sales pitch can’t demonstrate ROI, then you’re leaving business on the table, and most certainly you’re leaving chunks of cash there too.

Without demonstrating ROI, you can’t demonstrate value, explore risk or maximise margins

And, if you can’t do these three things, then any attempt at a close is likely, at best, a shot in the dark.

(If you’re looking for insights into how you can build a strong relationship between value, risk and price then pop over here, and if you’re looking for insights into creating value hit the link here)

What Happens When ROI is Not Explored?

Yes, you’ll lose business

Yes, you’ll lose margin

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because you’ll also see:

  • A longer than necessary sales cycle
  • Competitor growth
  • High sales acquisition costs
  • Increase in performance management
  • Over staffed, therefore costly, sales units
  • A messy, inaccurate and out of control sales pipeline
  • Pie in the sky sales forecasts

Nothing fun about that list is there?

Here’s How to Demonstrate ROI

You and the buyer go in deep.

Stop talking about benefits, features, case studies, research, testimonials etc, those things are the bare minimum to be sat at the table, the minimum cost to be in the game…demonstrating ROI is where the magic starts to happen.

Demonstrate ROI in the simplest way brings clarity to your sales pitch, gives the prospect the opportunity to view your product/service in terms of real financial and cost context, and also means that the close is a very natural event, rather than a twisted fumble when the sales person sort of asks and the buyer goes into avoidance mode.

The prospect has to demonstrate, clearly, logically and with the full cooperation the financials and costs involved in making the purchase and the financials involved in NOT buying the service…now, to get to that stage takes skill, tenacity, trust, research, industry knowledge…in a nut shell, hard work.

Most crucially, the figures and the cost assessments have to come from the buyer, else they mean nothing and your sales pitch is built on sand…conduct the Sales ROI with the agreement of the buyer, and you’re home and dry before you ask for the order, because that shows buyer commitment.

Big time!

Seems too easy, once you know what you’re doing, the stages, how to frame the tough questions, how to deal with the wary buyer…of course it does…it’s so simple and so basic that most sales people can’t, or don’t, do it!

Look, it takes some highly consultative selling, some excellent questions and questioning techniques plus a real insight into the problems that your product/service solves and the cost of the problem in the context of your buyer’s business.

You also need to understand that when I reference ‘cost’ above, this cost is not just the financial cost. There are all kinds of costs to take into consideration.

BUT, the good news is that you really only have to learn to demonstrate ROI once. After that it’s a skill that will repay you many times over. In fact, if you’re anything like me, it’s one of my first go-to’s when I’m in any client sales environment and I want to improve the performance of their sales team.

You can get a great insight into how to demonstrate ROI on any of these courses

Fixed Price Sales Training

TurboCharged Sales

The Sales Improvement Workshop – Open Course and In house Program

Closing is Easy Once You’ve Demonstrated a Robust ROI

Many sales people think closing is the hardest part of the sales process. That’s why most sales people are scared to ask for the order.

But, the truth is, if you can effectively and efficiently demonstrate ROI, then the close looks after itself.

It really is that simple because you create a ‘NO-BRAINER’ situation for the buyer. You prove to the buyer that there is no way he can legitimately say no.

Demonstrating ROI

It’s the fastest, easiest, simplest, most effective way to increase sales close rates.

Don’t miss out.

Learn the basics and you’ll never struggle to close quickly and efficiently.

This is one of the key training points we cover on all of our sales training courses. If you’d like to discuss our bespoke sales and business development training solutions call Carol on 0779 002 1885 or email carol@mortonkyle.com

Happy Selling 

Carol

Plus: you can subscribe to our weekly (non-spam) Sales and Business Development insights newsletter. Great for sales team coaching sessions, sales team training and practical sales improvement. Get you email subscription here – The Advanced Business Achiever

Don’t get caught napping. Demonstrating ROI is the easiest way to immediately boosting sales performance, close rates as well as protecting margin.

 

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

Your Sales Conversion Rates: Your Very Own Sales Crystal Ball

Your Sales Conversion Rates: Your Very Own Sales Crystal Ball

Sales Conversion Rates: The Ultimate Sales Metric…or is it?

Lots of sales leaders and sales people monitor their sales conversion rates since it’s a good top line indicator as to how things are going…from staying steady to gently increasing or, heavens forbid, heading south.

But, I also know some firms who don’t pay that much attention to it at all. Personally, I think that’s a huge mistake and hopefully, soon, you’ll agree with me.

Here’s why…

Sales Conversion Rates, whether you are a sales person or a sales leader, informs you how you are using your most precious money making commodity….time.

Plus: anything that allows you to predict future performance in sales is worth watching.

Very closely.

Sales Conversion Rates: Where do I measure them?

Your sales process, documented and detailed, rigid or flexible, will have certain gates in it.

If you subscribe to my idea of a Plug and Play Sales Model – see here – then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

But, for the sake of speed, let’s assume you don’t.

You’ll know (or should know) how many sales calls you make in a day. How many of those convert to opportunities – meetings (that’s one gate) or quotes (that’s another gate)…or declines, or call backs, or deadlines…(these are all gates too)

You’ll know how many of those meetings turn to quotes. how many convert to orders immediately. How many decline and how many pipeline for another time (that’s another 4 gates). Even more gates will you consider monitoring sales cycle times also.

From your quotes, you’ll get another series of sales gates….

And at the end of that, you’ll get a final, maybe monthly, weekly or daily overall sales conversion rate based activity during that period.

It’s all about knowing what gates to measure

What gates to pay especial attention to and how focusing on the quality of interaction at each of those sales gates can dramatically improve the sales conversion rates for the individual gates as well as overall sales conversion rates.

Further sales metrics that drill even further down into the sales process is you’re serious about really improving your sales performance are detailed here. Just hit the link for your free guide – instant download – The 7 Sales Metrics to Measure, Manage and Monitor.

You see, measuring just one overall sales conversion rate is just not enough…it doesn’t give you a detailed enough picture.

And certainly you won’t be able to do the sales improvement diagnostic you need if you’re serious about really boosting those sales figures…

Sales Conversion Rates: The Fastest Way to Predict the Sales Future

Once you know the metrics at each of your selected sales gates, you’ll have your sales recipe. If you’re struggling as to how to calculate this – see here.

Your sales recipe is the formula, which may fluctuate slightly, allows you to judge sales performance, manage sales resources, predict sales performance, optimise sales resources and most certainly is the first step in creating any scaleable sales model.

It’s also the crux of real sales or performance management program.

5 Things To Think About With Sales Conversion Rates

  1. Too high and it could mean you’re pricing too low, or at least it’s an opportunity to reconsider your offer, your pricing, your route to market, how you package your product/service, and how you compete in the market place.
  2. Too low and it could be an indicator that you need to look at the prospects your chasing and the offer your proposing. On the whole this presents a huge amount of opportunity for positive growth (Click here to find out how one company went from 1:25 sales conversion rate to 1:3, and tripled their average order value)
  3. A sales conversion rate that stays the same (as long as it’s healthy) could mean many things, but on the whole it means you’ve got a solid test bed for testing out some new sales initiatives; namely – testing out new pricing, new positioning, different sales techniques.
  4. A sales conversion rate that’s in rapid decline should set all alarm bells off very quickly. Are you under competitor attack? Is it dissent in the sales ranks? A change in product? A raft of customer complaints? (A branding issue? Pricing problems? Quality issues? Read here about poor customer service nearly killed one firms new business efforts).
  5. A sales conversion rate that’s increasing dramatically – well first thing you do is celebrate…obviously, the second thing you do is monitor customer complaints…and then refer back to my first point.
Sales Conversion Rates: The Sales and Business Thermometer

Sales Conversion Rates are gold to me. At a glance I know who is performing and who is not. I know where to focus my efforts and what to leave well alone.

I know who’s on fire and who needs a fire setting underneath them.

Sales Conversion Rates tell me what types of customers my clients should avoid. What types they should hunt for, what to charge in what sectors, how to pitch and present in those sectors, as well as when to actively hammer a region as well as when not to waste time.

Monitoring sales conversion rates works.

It’s very effective and takes no time at all to set up, and it’s the certain route to optimising sales resources and minimising costly waste.

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

779 002 1885

P.S. To check out more sales improvement insights and business development strategy, then check out our blog  

Plus: to receive weekly sales and business development support, directly into your inbox, just hit the link. Claim your free subscription to the Advanced Business Achiever

Sales Pipeline or Sales Plug Hole?

Sales Pipeline or Sales Plug Hole?

10 Ways to Get the Most From Your Sales Pipeline

Sales Pipeline Abuse!

Let start off by explaining what a sales pipeline is, it is:

Your pay check for the next 12 months and beyond.

The difference between you going on holiday or having to explain to the family why it’s another staycation.

Choices and options –  do you spend your birthday in NYC or Rotherham…

You see where I’m going with this don’t you?

Why?

Do you treat your sales pipeline so shoddily when it’s so important?

Fill it full of half-baked, second rate, tyre kickers?

So many that the good, healthy, profit generating sales prospects either get lost totally or struggle to get the attention they deserve in order to prosper.

It’s because of this one single thing…

Being busy is more important that being effective…chasing a lead is chasing a lead, whether it’s a waste of time /effort or not…

Disagree with me?

Great…it means you know better.

So, this is NOT about time management, it is about how you manage your sales pipeline.

What is a Sales Pipeline – REALLY?

Some firms will map their sales pipeline so that it matches the buying process of their buyers.

Some firms have their own loosely structured sales pipeline.

So, to generalise between those two extremes, you can think about your sales pipeline as your sales forecast in motion.

The sales pipeline can represent a series of stages in the sales and buying process.

At the top of the sales pipeline the sales prospects are relatively unqualified…the nearer those sales prospects move to the end of the sales process the more details become attached and the higher the level of qualification as the discussions turn from possible sales to discussing prices and potential delivery dates.

You can see how it works.

Some firms will attach very specific qualifying criteria to each stage in the sales pipeline. Other firms are much more fluid around what happens at each stage.

In the former, you’ll see prospects held back in the sales pipeline until the sales person can qualify certain information – it may be around budget, sign off date, understanding/mapping the buyer process, meeting the key decision maker or some other business critical insight

Sales Pipeline – Understand This!

A sales pipeline is a flowing source of information.

It’s organic.

It moves often, maybe daily, maybe several times daily, weekly, monthly, depending on your sales cycle duration, order value and sector.

Either way, the crux is, it moves.

It doesn’t bulge out of control…at every one of the sales stages – there is a chance to decide if you keep that sales prospect in the sales pipeline and progress them to the next stage or if you ditch the prospect or simply take them back to a previous stage in light of new information.

Your sales pipeline directs all your daily activity.

Not enough sales prospects in your sales pipeline due to drop at a certain stage? Better get on with topping up the sales funnel then.

To many sales leads dropping out? Maybe need to tighten up the sales qualification criteria at the start of the sales process.

Sales prospects dropping out due to one factor? Maybe need to look at how expectations are being managed earlier on in the process.

Inaccurate sales forecast? Maybe a tighter sales pipeline with more specific criteria.

Your sales pipeline and the sales forecast it creates is vital to your business…it’s the resource planning, funding, operational blue print, so accuracy, management, maintenance are all vital.

So…

To Get the Best From Your Sales Pipeline:
  1. Refer to your sales pipeline daily to direct you most urgent sales activities, your sales pipeline should direct your day, what do you need to create today? More appointments? More quotes? Are you chasing existing clients today or closing deals? What’s your activity? Your sales pipeline will show you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to push for the information you need at all stages in the sales process…a serious buyer will be happy to answer your questions as best they can….or tell you why they can’t.
  3. Pension sales prospects off if they have stagnated for unexplained reasons i.e. the prospect has stopped returning calls/responding to emails…don’t be a sales stalker.
  4. Understand the difference between being busy and being effective, some business will never be worth chasing.
  5. Allocate your resources carefully to protect yourself and your resources – beware of prospects just wanting a price, or those who are just at the ‘thinking about it stage’ and seem happy to stay there…
  6. Check the next stage in the buyers mind to ensure you’re always on the same journey, together and with the same map…otherwise you’re not partners in the process as you’ve different understanding of the situation
  7. Make sure you’ve done a very thorough fact find and be mindful that facts can change, i.e. another referrer/influencer needs to be convinced, the late entry of a competitor, a change in budget, change of delivery date…keep checking the important questions
  8. Credit check the sales prospects in your sales pipeline…you may check then at the beginning, but you should be checking them periodically though the sales process too…you don’t want to get to order sign off stage and find the prospect lacks credit worthiness.
  9. Be scrupulously honest with yourself when you’re working your sales pipeline…don’t delude yourself…if things in your sales pipeline look shaky then the sooner you take remedial action, let someone know and get additional support, the greater your chances of success…head in the sand is not a good tactic for remaining successful in sales…
  10. Neither is relying on blind luck…the great thing about an active sales forecast is it lets you work out what your very own sales recipe is. How many cold calls:meetings:quotes:orders do you need to hit your target? Once you know this you know everything you need to know to optimise your sales earnings…learn what this recipe/formula is for you ASAP and work on the leaks continually…
The truth is – your sales pipeline is either a major asset or a wasted money making opportunity…which is it?

Also, consider this, rejecting or ejecting unworthy sales prospects early on saves a mountain of time, money, resource…because dragging an unwilling and unqualified prospect through to the sales close at which point they reject your proposal is dangerous and it’s a money pit with no end in sight…actual costs plus opportunity costs all start to mount up.

Be diligent about the sales leads you progress early on. It may cost thousands to get a sales prospect to the end of the sales process, if the chances of conversion are low, ensure you qualify hard at the start of the sales process.

Look out for a new blog on sales conversion rates tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a selection of free guides to help you create a robust sales pipeline. They’ll  help you create a profit generating sales funnel – free instant download – just hit the link.

How to Generate High Quality, High Converting Telephone Sales Appointments

Only Dead Fish Go With the Flow

10 Steps to Out Sell the Competition

20 Ways to Price Like a Pro! – Creating Hungry Sales Prospects

Just hit the links above and the reports are available for instant download

Happy Selling

Carol

carol@mortonkyle.com

0779 002 1885

p.s. For free weekly insights into what’s new in sales, business development and profit creation – sign up to the Advanced Business Achiever – it’s free.