It seems to be human nature to look for the secrets to success—the formula, if followed, will lead every sales person to the pot of gold at the end of every deal or opportunity. I know what that secret is, I’ve resisted revealing it, but have decided it’s time.
What would you do if you knew that in every opportunity you did certain things, and that if you did those things the probability of winning the deal is very high? You’d probably do those things.
What would you do if you saw data that showed, if you do these things, you would probably lose the deal? You would probably avoid those–after all there is no sense in doing things that you know will fail.
What would you do if you found the formula to maximize the value of each deal? What if you knew how to minimize discounting, maximize your margin?
What would you do if you had a tool that would help you reduce your sales cycle—every time?
Finally, what would you do if you found the secret to make your number more easily, to free up time to do whatever things you wanted to do–maybe sell more, maybe spend time on the golf course, maybe doing something else. Most people would clamor for this secret, snapping it up as quickly as possible.
These are things every sales person constantly looks for. It’s the formula that maximizes our success. We know it’s not a lock, but it’s as close to a lock as we possibly can manage.
I’m going to bestow a gift on all sales people today. I’m going to reveal this closely guarded secret, the result of working with over 100,000 sales people over the past 15 years. Today, I’m sharing it with the community, hoping everyone will snap it up and discover the secret for themselves.
Drum roll please…….
The secret that enables every sales person to maximize their odds of winning each deal, to minimize losses, to improve deal value while reducing sales cycles………
Can you guess what it is?
I need to build suspense and anticipation. This secret has enabled me to generate millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars in sales — for my company and the companies I have worked for.
The secret to sales success is now revealed to all, it’s free for every sales executive and sales professional. The secret to sales success is the Sales Process — actually, it’s a Sales Process that is aligned with customers’ Buying Processes.
Feel let down, disappointed? You shouldn’t, because this is the secret to sales success. All the data, all the market surveys confirm this—sales people using a sales process, organizations that have a well defined selling process are not just a little more successful than those who don’t, they are MUCH more successful.
The answer is simple, it’s supported by data, yet too many reject it, they push it away, they’ll spend all sorts of money on hucksters promising their own secrets to success, but they’ll reject what has been proven time and time again to produce success.
Or they’ll reject it because it “limits creativity,” “my markets and customers are too complex and different,” “it’s too difficult,” “it doesn’t work.” These are excuses. Those same people will have an endless supply of excuses for each deal they lose—our products didn’t fit, our price was too high, our competitors had a better relationship. These same people will also have excuses each year for not making their goals, for falling short of the number.
The data is there, a strong Selling Process, makes you win more, more profitably, more quickly! Why ignore it and push it away, why not embrace it and exploit it.
There are some things important to having the Right Sales Process. Some people are reluctant to use the sales process because they have had bad past experience with using the sales process. That’s fair—a bad sales process makes things worse. A sales process that has not continued to be updated based on past successes, that doesn’t reflect how your customers buy is probably worse than not having a sales process.
A sales process that is generic–the standard sales process in your CRM system, that has been copied from a book, or is the standard methodology from a vendor’s sales training (methodologies are important–but they aren’t Your Sales Process!) won’t get you there. They’ll leave you short of your goal.
A sales process that is too prescriptive won’t get you there either. It will slow you down, it will lead you down some false paths.
The sales process is unique to the organization–it may even be unique to a product line or a market. It is based on the organization’s best practices and success in engaging and winning customers. Competitors will have different sales processes–even if they are selling similar products to the same customers. Each will have a different experience of what causes them to be successful.
Developing the sales process is not rocket science–though lots would pretend that it is. Examine your wins and losses—really look at them objectively. Look at what was done in each, look at what was not done. Look for patterns and commonality. Watch what your top performers do–they use a process, even though it may be unconscious. You’ll see some commonalities in what they do. Examine how your customers buy–again, you will start to see patterns.
Develop the process—keep it simple. Avoid the tendency to be overly prescriptive. Remember, the sales process is a roadmap. It shows you how to get from point A to point B, but it doesn’t tell you the road conditions, every twist and turn, or what traffic may be.
Then finally–Use It! Use It, Tune It, continually refine it.
There it is, the secret to sales success. It’s been in front of you all the time. Try it.