Imagine you could optimize your Quote-to-Close Process; what are the measurable benefits you would expect you to achieve?

  • Increase sales rep efficiency?
  • Close deals faster?
  • Reduce/eliminate risk?
  • Shorten cycle time?
  • Increase average deal size?
  • Decrease competitive losses?
  • Decrease no decisions?
  • Increase forecast accuracy?
  • Decrease cost of sales?

When companies examine their pipeline they are surprised by the number of deals that are lost to “no decision”: often the ratios are higher then losing to competition.

So, why do those opportunities result in “no decision”?

The most common reasons I see with the clients I work with are following:

  • Not engaging in a sales process until the customer says, “We have a need.” At that point the salesperson begins to determine how to fill that need as it has been defined to them. What the salesperson doesn’t realize is that when they come in at this stage it is often too late.
  • Pushing product too early, tending to “feature-dump” and spending the majority of the precious little selling time they have spouting features and benefits, and very little time listening and understanding
  • Talking to stakeholders that show interest but do not have the authority to take a decision or buy value.
  • Not understanding how buyers buy: making a purchase is a business decision not product decision!
  • Not facilitating the buying process, business buyers must justify a decision to others in their organisation by understanding and aligning the priorities of each stakeholder.
  • Lack of understanding of the role each person plays in the buying process.
  • Not appreciating what value means for each stakeholder and how they measure success. Or how they perceive the effort and risk involved in the decision and what the perceived advantages are of doing nothing.
  • Often the entire environment that contains the problem and might see value in maintaining it is not understood.
  • Missing what cultural issues need to be addressed before people are willing to change the status quo.
  • Not evaluating whether the client is familiar with the change that needs to happen and how big is their fear of the unknown. Will they seek 3rd party advice?

Here are some tips to coach your sales team:

  1. Track if there is enough activity at the top of the funnel
  2. Coach how they prepare their first discovery call
  3. Focus on the questions they need to ask rather than focusing on the pitch
  4. Is the call tailored to the client’s point of view?
  5. Agree on what they want the customer to do at the end of the call
  6. In field visits emphasise your observation on listening and questioning skills
  7. Post call ask what they have discovered about the client, how clear are they on what the client wants to fix, avoid or accomplish?
  8. How did this customer meeting provide value for both?
  9. Help develop the sales strategy to win!

Sales Interactions remain complex, changeable, and people-dependent activities in most B2B markets. As sales we need to understand how buying really works in order to spur effective selling, profitable growth, and better resource allocation within your company.

According to Gartner, sales interactions influence the purchasing decisions more than anything else.

Register HERE for our customer focused interactions course, it will help your sales, sales managers, product marketers practice superb communication and provide them with a universal framework for managing strategic customer meetings.

All participants will receive:

  • Downloadable software with the Sales Call Plan (Green Sheet) – a practical hands-on tool for advancing every sale toward close
  • 6 months of e-learning: Advanced ConceptsSM for Conceptual Selling® supports the processes and methodologies learned in the Conceptual Selling® workshop to overcome everyday sales challenges. Promoting growth and success, the series presents practical ideas and advice for salespeople and their managers to successfully handle difficult customer interaction challenges that occur in the sales process.