How to Successfully Build Sales Processes

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit By Landslide Technologies © Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www...
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How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit By Landslide Technologies

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

INTRODUCTION If you are reading this document, you have at least an interest, if not a complete commitment, to the value of process centricity in BtoB consultative selling. You are open to the concept of treating sales and selling as a science – predictable, repeatable and measurable – rather than an art which only a gifted few possess. The fact that a company’s sales cycle can be broken down into a systematic selling process that is clearly presented to everyone on the team is no longer debated. Research studies by industry experts such as Accenture, FORUM Group and CSO Insights as well as sales training masters like Neil Rackham, Michael Bosworth and Rick Page has shown time and again that sales teams that follow consistent sales processes for working sales opportunities experience a measurable and meaningful increase in revenue compared to teams that depend on the native talent of individual sales persons. The CSO Insights’ annual Sales Performance Optimization report also shows that companies with higher levels of process execution consistently achieve higher levels of quota achievement. Some of the measurable benefits of implementing and adopting selling processes include:

• Higher consistency of sales performance • Reduction in gap between A, B and C players • Greater visibility leading to double digit improvements in forecast accuracy • Competitive advantage derived from having a world class sales organization However, despite this awareness, the number of companies where sales teams consistently follow defined sales processes continues to be small. There is a general belief that defining and implementing process takes too long to produce results. The three main stumbling blocks in the definition and adoption of selling processes have been the perceived difficulty in:

• Easily defining a meaningful selling process; • Getting it shared and adopted; • Measuring and revising sales process for continuous improvement. This Sales Process Builder Kit is designed to equip you with:

• Key steps to overcome each of the three hurdles defined above and the best practices associated with each step.

• A free Sales Process Builder tool to enable companies/teams of any size to successfully define and implement effective sales processes. © Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

• Relevant content from leading sales experts that highlight the direct value your sales team can get by following a consistent sales process.

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

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OVERCOMING HURDLE #1 - EASILY DEFINING SALES PROCESS/ES Sales process definition has traditionally belonged in the realm of sales consultants requiring complex study and analysis. Companies committed to having a process-centric sales organization invest heavily in process consulting only to find that the processes developed after long engagements – 6 months or more is typical - are not flexible enough to evolve over time and require continued investment to keep them current.

Enterprise Software Sales Process

As long as sales process definition continues to be a complex and costly exercise, its adoption will remain limited to a small group of companies. This is the case no more: Landslide Technologies now offers ProvenPath Sales Process Builder - the first free tool that allows any sales professional to quickly and simply define a meaningful sales processes complete with clear selling activities, durations, Confidence Intervals and goals for each activity.

Enterprise Hardware Sales Process

To get started, you can build your own sales process from scratch or customize one of the following sales process templates available within ProvenPath:

• Enterprise Software Sales Process • Enterprise Hardware Sales Process • Consultative Selling Process Consultative Selling Process

• Government Sales Process • Consulting & Services Sales Process ProvenPath allows you to easily define a comprehensive sales process that can then be printed out and shared with the rest of the team. Just using this free tool gets you to the point of having a documented and clearly laid out selling process.

Government Sales Process

Just getting a formal selling process defined is progress but to build a truly processdriven sales team, you need to build process into their daily activities so they execute all opportunities against it. To get to this level, we suggest you check out the Landslide’s online, hosted Sales Production System offering. Best Practices for Defining a Killer Sales Process:

• Do not try to build the ‘perfect’ sales process – this is an iterative process. Focus on

Consulting & Services Sales Process © Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

getting started. Selling process/es should be living, evolving entities, not fixed or static. The focus in initial process definition is on capturing knowledge about best selling practices, effective positioning strategies and successfully overcome common objections into a sales process template.

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

• If your business model or product line dictates, define different processes for different situations. You can have a selling process by product line, sales channel, selling style (hunting vs. farming) etc.

• Define a sales process that goes beyond marking stages or phases of sales cycles to actually defining HOW the selling phase should be completed. Most process definition stops at telling the salesperson to “Qualify” a lead or prospect. An effective process would also provide the activities needed to qualify leads effectively so the entire team is consistently qualifying leads to the same criteria.

• Have a firm understanding of what you are starting with (a qualified lead, warm lead, cold lead etc.) and what you are ending with (signed contract, purchase order, verbal agreement etc). This will determine the various phases of your sales cycle.

• Identify the three or four most important activities that are critical get a deal closed (Site visit, ROI presentation, Demonstration to Executive team etc.) This set of activities is generally well understood by senior execs in the team as well as the ‘A’ players; the goal is to make this knowledge available to everyone on the selling team. Assign the highest confidence levels to these important steps. This will not only clearly highlight milestone activities but will also help generate more accurate forecasts.

• Stay customer-centric. Your selling process should take into account the prospects’ buying process. A common mistake when building sales processes is to define the steps the salesperson needs to close a deal only from your company’s perspective. This often ends up ignoring key buyer activities that need to happen to successfully move deals forward. For example, consider the step of sending a prospect ‘a statement of next steps’. If this activity is considered only from a sellers’ perspective, a company may end up defining this as a ‘key milestone’ and giving it a high CI. However, in reality, just the act of sending this doc over is not the critical milestone; it is getting the agreement of the prospect to the ‘Next Steps’ that keeps the opportunity moving forward. So, the process step needs to be “Get agreement to Next Steps’ rather than ‘Send Next Steps to prospect’.

• Always define ‘micro closes’ in your sales process to keep deals moving forward predictably.

• Always incorporate the following activities in your process: • Identify Decision Makers, Buying Horizon and Budget • Identify Prospect’s Buying Process • Research the company and its industry before the first call • Incorporate the talk tracks used by your best sellers

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

OVERCOMING HURDLE #2 GAINING CONSISTENT AND WIDE ADOPTION OF SALES PROCESS A truly effective selling process should serve as the sales roadmap – it not only shows you where you are headed to but also how to get there. Salespeople will follow a defined selling process only when it directly helps them close more deals at a faster pace. Sales managers will adopt selling processes when the visibility of a well-defined and comprehensive process leads to measurable improvements in forecast accuracy. This is where traditional approaches to defining sales process fail as they only show the high level phases of the sales cycle. They fail to show the salesperson what is needed to effectively complete each selling phase. Knowing that a prospect is in the ‘Qualify’ phase may be of interest to a sales manager looking for a pipeline view of an opportunity but it provides little help to the salesperson in moving that deal forward. This results in the classic adoption challenges companies face when trying to implement processes. For consistent adoption of a sales process by your team, your selling process needs to go beyond defining the top level phases to also show them what to do next and how to complete each phase in your sales cycle successfully.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

Multi-tier sales process including selling activities and embedded job aids

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

This is only accomplished when your sales process definition tool lets you define the goals and activities for each selling phase AND allows you to embed the right content or job aids to complete these goals and activities. For example, with Landslide’s Sales P3 System, you can embed questionnaires that show exactly what questions to ask various stakeholders such as CTO, CFO, IT manager involved in the deal. With this approach to process definition, your sales people adopt it voluntarily as it provides meaningful help and saves them measurable time as they work on their opportunities. Best Practices for Ensuring Adoption of Selling Processes:

• Educate – The concept of ‘sales process’ often creates the suspicion in the sales team that their freedom and creativity in closing deals will be limited by a sales process defined in black/white. Make sure your sales team understands that a clearly defined sales process is designed to help them, not limit them. Completion of each and every activity in the sales process should not be required but should be discretionary.

• Collaborate – To ensure buy-in from your sales team make sure you capture their input when defining a sales process. Let your entire team and not just the ‘A’ players or senior executives provide input into the selling activities that are critical to closing a deal.

• Present – Once defined, your sales process should be visible and available 24x7 for your sales team. It is not a document that becomes hidden away in some training folder and never referred to again. Today, with tools like Landslide’s Sales P3 System (LSP3), companies of all sizes have access to an affordable, easy-to-use sales management system that is built around a comprehensive sales process at its core. A web-based, hosted offering like the LSP3 System can be easily made available to your team without requiring dedicated IT resources.

• Easily Update – To ensure high adoption, the sales process needs to be easy to update as process steps are completed by salespeople. If updating a process is cumbersome and time consuming, your sales team will be inclined to skip this step resulting in lost visibility and productivity.

OVERCOMING HURDLE # 3 – EASILY MEASURING & REFINING SELLING PROCESSES A sales process needs to be dynamic for it to be effective. Think Kaizen for continuously tweaking and improving your sales process so that it always reflects the selling reality and is constantly contributing to shortening sales cycles and increasing close ratios.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Some of the key metrics to measure and refine include items such as:

• Selling activities – Finding just the right mix of selling activities and goals is important to track and measure. If you add too many selling activities to the ‘path-close, your sales team will either start spending too much time completing the non-critical activities or will start skipping many of these. If you define too few, you miss most of the value the process definition provides.

• Durations – The amount of time each activity is benchmarked to complete. Track if the baselines you started with are realistic, too aggressive or too easy. If your sales team is consistently behind the pre-define durations or ahead, you need to tweak the timelines. Landslide allows you to get as granular (duration for every selling activity) or as high level (defined durations at the top phase level only) as needed.

• Confidence Levels (CLs) - This is probably the single most important element in improving your forecasting accuracy. The process definition with Landslide’s ProvenPath allows you unprecedented granularity and visibility into your sales process by dividing it into clear, measurable activities. Over time, track and measure if the assigned Confidence Levels match with the way your deals are closing. You may find that you gave an activity too low a CL yet all the deals that closed had this activity completed. On the other hand, you may have an activity with a high CL yet most deals are closing without salespeople completing this activity. This type of information lets you constantly tweak and refine your selling process to wring out additional effectiveness gains. Best Practices for Measuring & Refining Sales Processes

• Stay focused – Do not get trapped in the ‘analysis paralysis’ paradigm. Focus on no more than 3-5 selling phases and 10-15 selling activities that are most critical to closing a deal i.e. demo of product, agreement to Next Steps, ROI analysis - and ensure that these activities are being completed in the most effective and customer-centric way possible

• Be disciplined – Set up and follow a regular time table for review of existing sales process.

• This is the most difficult item to accomplish as teams get busy trying to hit targets. • Identify owner – Assign an owner or leader responsible for tracking and recommending changes to the sales process.

• Define clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – Define upfront the key metrics that are most relevant for your sales execution; track and revise these regularly.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

BUILD A WORLD CLASS SALES ORGANIZATION – Take the first step Check out the free ProvenPath Sales Process Builder today and take the first step to becoming a process-centric sales team. Then check out Landslide’s Sales P3 System at www.landslide.com to truly start building a world class sales organization. Want to learn more about the value of mapping sales processes? Check out these insightful articles from leading sales experts on various aspects of implementing sales processes.

Landslide Technologies offers the industry’s only offering that combines a powerful yet easyto-use and comprehensive sales process software with Web 2.0 Sales Performance tools and live, personal assistants to directly increase the volume, value and velocity of your sales. Landslide’s unique focus on increasing sales production rather than sales reporting has earned it recognition from industry experts from Gartner Group, Frost & Sullivan, CRM Magazine and Selling Power. Learn how Landslide can help you build a world class sales organization by visiting www.landslide.com, emailing [email protected] or calling us at 1-866-450-8522.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Articles

Ten Timely Tips for Mastering The Complex Sale By Jeff Thull

Evaluating Your Selling Process: Changing Your Belief System By Paul McCord

Understanding Threshold for Pain in the Buying Cycle By Michael Nick

How to Regain Control of a Sales Process That’s Out of Control By Bill Caskey

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Ten Timely Tips for Mastering The Complex Sale By Jeff Thull 1. Every sale is not a good sale. About 35% of all sales are bad sales. In one way or another, they leave the customer disappointed or the seller with excess costs and diminished returns. Often salespeople are so concerned with “getting the order” that they write business that is not good for themselves, their company or the customer. Walking away from a situation that is not profitable for anyone is the right thing to do. It requires that the salesperson become comfortable with both hearing and saying “no” and moving on to the next opportunity. When professionals move on, they open themselves more quickly to higher levels of opportunity and success. 2. Spectacular success is always preceded by unspectacular presentation. Traditional selling maintains that if the salesperson is clever enough to say all the right “sales stuff,” he or she will be successful. This is far from the truth. Sales professionals know that the preparation put into understanding the customer and his or her industry is vital to success. Understanding the customer’s critical issues and dissatisfactions—and recognizing the business opportunities that arise from them—takes research time and dedication. 3. Do not allow the customer to self-diagnose. This is not to say that the customer isn’t intelligent, it’s just that he or she doesn’t make a decision regarding your products and services very often. A customer may only make such decisions once a year or even far less often. Sales representatives, on the other hand, continually diagnose customers with similar situations. The successful sales professional takes on the role of valued advisor or business consultant. 4. You have competitors. Your customers have options. When you’re with your customers, don’t refer to your competitors as competitors; for example, by asking a question like “Who are some of our competitors you’re considering?” It conveys a very traditional sales image of concern about the competition in the sales process verses concern over the customer’s situation. A better question would be, “What are some of the options you are considering?” 5. Never ask for the order. If you have to “ask for the order” it should be clear that your customer has missed something, and it’s your fault. If the diagnostic protocols have been followed, and the customer has recognized problems that can be eliminated by the solution you offer, the decision to buy will come as the next step in a well-executed quality decision process. The arm-wrestling of the traditional selling process is replaced by the acknowledgment that a mutually beneficial business relationship is developing.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

6. You will gain more credibility through the questions you ask than through the stories you tell. Every prospect expects salespeople to say good things about themselves and the products they sell. Thus the stories you tell are rarely taken seriously and are frequently discounted. What is taken seriously is the concern and knowledge you display in learning about the customer’s situation. Ask thought-provoking questions which will help you to understand the customer’s unique situation and will help you and the customer to manage quality decisions. When the customer hears your question, he should say to himself: “She wouldn’t be asking that if she didn’t understand our business.” 7. Always be leaving. Customers have learned through annoying experience that a traditional salesperson won’t take “no” for an answer. They hang on to their customers like a bulldog on a postman’s leg. Consider that the customer’s view could be valid. Displaying a willingness to accept the customer’s view will greatly reduce the tension and cause the customer to be more comfortable in expressing his or her real feelings. This relaxes both of you and helps build an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and trust. 8. Don’t get emotionally involved. Salespeople don’t have problems, their customers do. As you perform your diagnosis and lead the customer through a quality decision process, “yes” is not a problem and neither is a “quality no.” The customer who is losing $1M in sales due to inability to get a finished product passed by QC has a problem. It is only when you feel the need to get the order now—when you come across as “too hungry”—that you run into problems. The professional operates with an objective and clear mind and methodically unravels the customer’s challenges so both the salesperson and the customer can come to a mutually beneficial understanding of the problem and the alignment of the solution. Being emotionally involved is being defensive and biased toward your needs. 9. People never say what they really mean . . . at first. People learn from a very early age that saying what is really on their minds can have negative consequences. As a result, they are cautious to express their real feelings until they feel “safe enough” with another person. The professional salesperson “peels the onion” to allow the customer a feeling of safety, which allows for the free expression of thoughts, opinions and feelings. 10. You can’t sell a group. A guaranteed prescription for failure is to present to a group without having first identified and appealed to the critical perspectives of its members on an individual basis. By the time you present the solution, there should be no surprises to anyone. Everyone should be aware of how the proposed solution will impact them, and enough support should exist to guarantee that the group decision will be a mere formality prior to implementation of the solution. © Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Evaluating Your Selling Process: Changing Your Belief System By Paul McCord Your beliefs--both conscious and unconscious--rule your life--both what you do and what you fail to do. Your thoughts will dictate your ability to succeed or your destiny to fail. Once a belief has become rooted in your mind, it is very difficult to change it--but it can be done. What you believe can be changed because you have a brain and willpower. You can reason; you can analyze and think; you can determine to make the changes you must make to become successful, and your brain can be reprogrammed with new thoughts, goals and beliefs. But, unfortunately, these changes won’t be overnight. It takes time and considerable effort. What Needs to Be Changed? Negative, self-defeating, and self-doubting beliefs must be changed if you want to be able to grow to your full potential. Going back to the over-achiever example, the over-achiever’s primary strength is his or her belief that they can, no matter the obstacle, reach their goal. Their belief isn’t illogical. They recognize their shortcomings, whatever those may be. They simply have determined that despite their shortcomings, they will find a way to correct or work around their shortcomings and accomplish their goals. Look back at the list of questions from the last newsletter. Which of those questions did you find relevant to yourself? Is it that you don’t find your occupation honorable? Maybe you don’t have the confidence in your knowledge of what your are doing? Maybe you feel inferior because you have only been in your position a short period of time? Or, maybe you don’t believe you deserve to succeed? Maybe you have trained yourself to expect to fail? Worse, maybe you simply don’t have the desire and commitment to succeed. If you are typical, you may find several of the questions ring a bell. All must be dealt with-and changed. And rooting out and eliminating self-defeating limiting beliefs is a lifetime task, as we all have them and they have a terrible habit of continually finding their way into our thinking. The limiting belief may change--or reoccur time after time, but there isn’t anyone who is immune from the fight. The toughest to deal with are the desire for success and commitment to succeed.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Desire is the want--the burning passion to be successful. A desire so strong that it feels almost all consuming. But desire alone isn’t nearly enough. Desire must be combined with commitment to be effective. Many desire success but are unwilling to pay the price in time, energy and hard work. And sales is a particularly difficult profession if you lack commitment. We all face far more rejection than success. Without the commitment to overcome whatever comes your way, the rejection will quickly sap the desire right out of you. Change to What? So, you have to change your negative and self-limiting beliefs. But to what? Are starry-eyed “positive” thoughts and beliefs enough? If they are, mental institutions must be full of people with incredible sales potential. Again, changing your internalized beliefs doesn’t mean that you don’t recognize your personal limitations, but it does mean that you don’t allow those limitations to rule your life. Once you have recognized a limitation, you find a solution to work around or eliminate the limitation. You find the training and mentoring needed to build your skills to deal with your limitations. But your overarching belief system about what you are capable of doing, what you deserve, and what you value, want and aspire to is a much more difficult thing to change. Those beliefs are the ones that take real work to overcome. Those overarching, life affecting beliefs are the ones you must address in more unique ways. To recognize that you lack sufficient skill in a particular area is easy to deal with--you get the training and mentoring you need. To recognize that you have unconsciously believed you were incapable of performing a skill or incapable of performing above a certain level or simply do not deserve to succeed is more difficult to address. Yet, these overarching beliefs are the beliefs that will more directly determine your level of success and personal satisfaction than the mere skills required to do your job. Turing your negative and self-doubting beliefs into confidence, determination and a belief that you are not only capable of succeeding but will find a way to succeed--along with the commitment to do so requires you to reprogram you brain.

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How to Change Your Belief System: Below you’ll find a number of resources that deal with various aspects of becoming mentally and emotionally prepared--to change how you view yourself and what you think and believe about yourself. These resources come from a variety of philosophical positions--some, such as Napoleon Hill are of older vintage and come from a time when psychology and psychoanalysis was becoming in vogue, others are quite modern and evolve out of modern psychology and New Age theory. Some I think are right on, others I question. But since there are a variety of personalities and philosophies reading this, I’ve chosen to give a fairly broad spectrum of resources.

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

But one thing they all have in common--you must be proactive in changing yourself to reach your goals. Here are some techniques that I have found to be effective: Visualization: The whole concept of limiting beliefs stems from a belief that we are or become what we believe about ourselves. That our brain controls our actions and abilities to the extent that it drives us to become exactly what we believe we are. From that we can take a further step to we become what we spend our time thinking about. If that is true, and since we are naturally capable of visualizing what we are thinking about, visualizing ourselves performing at the level and gaining the accompanying rewards seems to be an effective method of reprogramming our thinking process. Positive Self-talk: We all carry on a constant conversation with ourselves. Whether our conversation is about work, play, family, or any number of other subjects, we are constantly communicating with ourselves. These conversations are, of course, often translated into visuals. We see ourselves telling our boss off or winning the downhill at the Olympics. Much of our self-talk tends to be negative. We beat ourselves up after a poor presentation, we kick ourselves after losing a sale because we failed to return a call, we are down on ourselves because we didn’t know the answer to a prospect’s question that we should have known, or we browbeat ourselves because we didn’t think of the perfect answer to an objection until we’re in our car driving back to the office. Rather than being a positive analysis of our skills that allows us to grow and learn, for many of us this negative self-talk is the primary communication we have with ourselves about ourselves. Eventually, we are convinced that those negative thoughts accurately reflect who we are. Changing our conversations from the negative to the positive can and will have the same effect--they will change our view of who we are. Put it in Writing: Putting your goals and beliefs in writing tends to make them more real. Reading them every morning and every evening--and thinking about them during the day--etches them on our brains. Simply a variation on self-talk, writing gives both verbal reinforcement as you hear the words as your read them and visual as you see your goals and beliefs on paper.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Confide in Someone: Like putting your goals and beliefs on paper, confiding them in someone also tends to make them more real in your mind. They have ceased to be your secret and have become public knowledge. You’ve voiced them to someone who now knows what you are aiming for--and will know whether or not you reach your goal. You have committed yourself more fully to your proposed change since it is no longer yours alone. Resources: Of course, there are other, more sophisticated methods, as you’ll find in the resources below. The above is simply a short list of methods that certainly seem to work--over time. Changing your belief system is the major task you will probably face in moving from the realm of the average or slightly above average to superstar producer. This short article is simply a broad overview of the sales process and isn’t intended to address any of the subjects fully. So, I encourage you to take a look at these (they are in no particular order): Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie The Inner Game of Selling, Ron Willingham The Quest for Authentic Power: Getting Past Manipulation, Control, and Self Limiting Beliefs, G. Ross Lawford The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, Brian Tracy Making the Impossible Possible: Think It! Act It! Become It!, Jason Borcyke Life’s Missing Instruction Manual: The Guidebook You Should Have Been Given at Birth, Joe Vitale The Power of an Hour: Business and Life Mastery in One Hour a Week, Dave Lakhani.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

Understanding Threshold for Pain in the Buying Cycle By Michael Nick Sales professionals typically follow a process broken into phases or steps. Those of us in sales management use these phases or steps for many reasons including forecasting, resource planning and productivity tracking. Each step in the sales process comes with actions, counteractions, deliverables, and impact measurements. This complex system of checks and balances represents the mechanics of selling. Often this is the behind the scenes stuff we don’t want to talk about in public. These checks are what careers are made of, and ironically the primary reason many in sales management don’t hang pictures on their walls. The keys to a successful career in sales and sales management is not only the ability to sell well, but the ability to predict what and when you are going to sell something. If you work in sales for a publicly held company, then you probably understand this better than anyone else. Buyers are actually like sellers in this sense. We (the sellers) just don’t realize it. Here is the point. As a seller it is your responsibility to collect among other things the following information:

• Identify issues, pains or goals • Capture and calculate current cost of the issues, pains, or goals • Extrapolate the cost over a 3-5 year period Threshold for Pain = Time to Buy If you are able to capture this information and obtain agreement from your prospect, then you are able to predict threshold for pain. The threshold for pain is the point at which a buyer decides the pain is too much and they need to make a change. Or better said by your prospect, “It is time to buy!” I had a client that was working with a large multinational corporation and laid out their ROI plan. A major point in the plan included the reduction of ten (10), $150,000 FTE’s—a savings of $1.5 million. My client was very proud of the fact they could save their prospect seven figures. When they presented the ROI plan, their prospect laughed. They said that they have over 200,000 employees and ten headcount is insignificant to them.

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

I am telling you this story to help you realize, what may be of significance to you is sometimes insignificant to the buyer. It is a critical step in your sales process to review the issue, current cost and on-going cost so you may then ask the question, “At what point along this 5 year assessment of cost are you going to want to make a change?” We are talking about the risk factor. In other words, if you choose to do nothing what is the risk of loss over the five year assessment. Costs will continue to rise and so will the risk of loss. Graphically Illustrate the Threshold I strongly urge you to use graphics to illustrate the current and on-going cost over the three to five year period because it will help prompt the conversation that identify the buyer’s threshold for pain. Be sure to show the trend line and discuss at what point the buyer is going to do something about the problem—the buyer’s threshold for pain. Understanding the threshold for pain also should take into account three primary factors:

• Issue • Current and on-going costs • Risk of no decision If you are able to capture this information, calculate and extrapolate the costs, then tying risk to impact is a simple process. The Bottom Line The bottom line is this, as a sales professional working on a complex sale you need better to understand a prospect’s issues, pains, and goals. In addition, you need to work closely with the prospect to capture the current cost of status quo. Once you have current cost, you need to determine the factors that will enable you to calculate the on-going or future cost of the issue. Then you need to chart the current cost, on-going cost, and the impact of your proposed product or service. Remember, you need to do this for each issue you discover. Finally using the graphic illustration, simply ask the buyer one easy question, “At what point on this line will you make a decision to buy something?”

© Copyright 2009, Landslide Technologies, Inc. www.landslide.com | 1.866.450.8522

How to Successfully Build Sales Processes Free Sales Process Builder Kit

How to Regain Control of a Sales Process That’s Out of Control By Bill Caskey “How Can I Regain Control of a Sales Process That’s Out of Control?” I got this question from one of my clients last week. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is a common problem for sales professionals--especially in complex (long) selling cycles. Let’s start at the top. You are in sales to solve problems. The solving of your customer’s problems will pay you GOBS of money (more money than merely ‘selling them stuff’ will). You must recall that there is a natural order to life in sales. Problem. The Process. Then Product. When you begin a process, the customer problem should be at the top of the agenda. Every time you meet with your prospect, you start with “can we review the pain?” . Maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea). The reader’s conundrum comes later in the sales process when things drag down-momentum gets lost. Here’s the revelation: The velocity is lost because the original problem has worked it’s way down the priority list. It’s nowhere on an agenda. It’s not top of mind anymore. In fact, I’ve seen sales processes that get bogged down--and when I ask the seller, ‘when’s the last time your reviewed the customer’s problem?’ they say, “not since the first call.” Hmmmmm. Something odd going on here. The main reason you’re going through all of this work is not even talked about anymore???!!! Lesson: You must keep going back to the original reason--the primary purpose of the sale. Revisit the pain, often. They Won’t. You Must. But the prospect won’t do this on his/her own. You’ve got to do it. So that was my answer-unglamorous as it was. No cool, one-liner. I didn’t even resurrect the late 60’s sales move of, “if I could show you a way, would you buy today?” Just plain talk about what’s really happening.

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