Video: Plan to Win! #4 Differentiation: Planning that Moves the Sales Process Forward
Welcome to Action Selling’s Plan to Win series!
Your go-to resource for real-world solutions to real-world sales challenges. This week we’re continuing our conversation on differentiation – how to plan your sales call so you consistently move the sales process forward.
Based on research conducted by The Sales Board, the most frequent mistakes sales people make is the failure to effectively plan for their sales calls.
In fact, nearly 100 percent of sales people occasionally suffer from this issue and too often the results of this misstep is an extended sales cycle or a deal that is simply lost forever.
Action Selling suggests before each customer interaction there must be a commitment objective established. This is a goal you set for yourself to gain agreement from the customer that moves the sales process forward.
Without a commitment objective you may be moving forward, but the customer may not.
When a commitment objective is accomplished during a sales interaction you will know both you and the customer are on the same path towards gaining an agreement to work together.
Example’s of commitment objectives you may set when calling out a new prospect include:
- agree to an initial appointment
- schedule a needs analysis meeting
- agree to an appointment with all the decision-makers involved in the buying process
- schedule a demonstration or proposal meeting and ultimately agree to do business together
Examples of commitment objectives that you might establish for a current customer include:
- agree to add a new product to their purchases
- upgrade to another product
- become their exclusive supplier
- gain confirmation that they are satisfied with your service
Unfortunately, for our sales guy Todd, he has learned how to not plan the hard way. On a recent sales call with a big opportunity Todd set a number of objectives for himself. He wanted to learn:
- what the customer had purchased in the past
- about their decision-making process
- their timeframe for making a purchase
- make sure that he introduced his company
While Todd learned all this information and talked about his company the prospect left the meeting feeling unenthusiastic, a little confused and frankly like their time had been wasted. By setting only mere sales call objectives for himself and not a commitment objective, Todd felt like he had moved his process forward, but the customer felt like nothing had been accomplished.
Needless to say Todd’s voicemails and emails to the customer have gone unreturned.
Fortunately for Todd and his company, he now sets a commitment objective for each and every sales contact. By doing this his sales are up, his cell cycle is down by 25 percent and customers are excited when he calls them on the phone or walks through their door.
Most important, because Todd set a commitment objective for every sales call, in the mind of his customers, he is better then his competition.
Thanks for tuning in. We hope the past few minutes have been worthwhile! In our next episode, we’ll discuss how to begin each sales call perfectly so you can differentiate yourself, your company and your product in every selling situation.
In the meantime, good luck and good Action Selling!