Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Did You Sell Today?

This is the question everybody asks a salesperson, every day. They may not ask it directly, but they all want to know. Peers, Sales Managers, Directors, VPs, Presidents and CEOs all want to know what you did to make the company successful today and you'd better have an answer. In the current B2B selling atmosphere in the US, you cannot rely on your talent alone. You must be organized and busily networking.

Successful salespeople move suspects, prospects, and customers through the Sales Funnel every day. I learned early on in my sales career that you have to sell something every day to be a success. Now, this can mean as little as moving a sale forward in the process by getting a concept across or actually closing a sale with a signed order. In complex sales that have many steps, it is nearly impossible to close an order every day, but if you move the sales cycle to the next level every day, you will have accomplished this goal.

So, how do you move suspects, prospects and customers through the Sales Funnel? You must complete the steps of the sale, which will weed out the unqualified prospects and make it much easier to move the real opportunities through to completion.

In my experience in high tech Sales for over 30 years there is a sales process that never fails. If you adhere to it, you will be successful; if you don’t you will struggle. Here are the steps to follow once you have leads:
  1. Research & Qualify
  2. Set The Appointment
  3. Meet with the Prospect
  4. Qualify the Opportunity
  5. Conduct a Technical Assessment
  6. Create the Solution Proposal
  7. Trial Close
  8. Present a Final Proposal
  9. Close
  10. Set the Deliverables Expectations
There are many sub tasks that make up these steps, but if you can move a prospect through these steps to a satisfactory conclusion and repeat it over and over again, you will have a successful sales career.

As a Salesperson, your job doesn’t end with the close. You might say this is just the beginning of the relationship you’ll want to build with the customer, but that’s another lesson.

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