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Taking Control of the Sales Process

Sometimes it takes a massive change to produce better sales results. It might take a major overhaul of what you do and how you’re doing it. But sometimes small changes can have a major impact on your sales results. You might be doing most everything right, but something relatively minor causes serious problems, like losing control of the sales process and extending your sales cycle time.

Here are two small changes that can give you back control over your sales process, shorten your sales cycle time, and allow you to create more value throughout the process.

Linking Commitments to Commitments

Sales managers and sales leaders complain about persistently long sales cycles. They have a sales process—even if isn’t given the attention it deserves. Reducing the cycle time would help them produce better results, and it would help their clients to realize the value that they create sooner too.

One simple change can make all the difference in the world. Here it is: never leave a sales interaction without scheduling the next sales interaction.

By never leaving a sales call without another commitment for some activity that advances the sales, you link commitment to commitment and more the sales process along. This little change alone can squeeze weeks out of the sales process, normally those weeks that you spend trying to get your dream client to return your calls, respond to your voicemail message, or return your email messages.

Choosing the Right Medium

Some people insist on emailing pricing to their dream clients. But by emailing their pricing, they lose control of the sales process. Once your prospect has your emailed pricing and proposal, they can make their decision without you. If they have concerns, they can resolve them to their satisfaction—but not to yours.

Email is a poor medium for delivering pricing and proposals, unless your business is seriously transactional, and even then you’d gain an advantage by choosing a more effective medium. Email is also a poor medium for negotiations. It’s more effective to speak face-to-face or by telephone to talk through issues than it is to send revision after revision back and forth with no real dialogue.

The nature and outcome of the interaction drives the choice of medium, not what’s easiest. Maintaining control of the sales process means choosing what’s most effective, not what seems to be most efficient. In fact, the effective choice is the most efficient choice—it’s the one that most quickly gets you the outcome you want.

Questions

Have you ever made small changes to realize a dramatic improvement?

Can one seemingly minor mistake have outsized repercussions?

How do you recognize the blind spots or mistakes you might be making?

Do you ever leave a sales interaction without scheduling your next sales interaction?

Do you ever choose a medium that might not be the very best choice for the outcome you want?


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Comments

comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/dcervelli David Cervelli

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head. It’s a huge frustration to see so often, inexperienced sales people overwhelmed with the success of an awesome initial meeting, only to let the conversation go cold from no follow up. Creating good process really is the magic pill – this one is certainly a keeper!

    • http://www.www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      This one solves a whole host of problems, doesn’t it? If you just keep the process moving, you find your way from target to close. But let up . . .



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