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Never Lose Another Deal to “No Decision”

It's the middle of the month and I'm enjoying my early morning caffeination while reviewing the preliminary monthly sales forecasts from the sales team. I see one thing that concerns me. Many of the opportunities forecasted to close again this month at 90% probability are deals that have been previously forecasted to close at similar rates of probability.

3 Sales Secrets for Overcoming Objections on Price

Customers and prospects often lean on price as an objection for why they don’t want to do business with you. Some common things you hear from customers might be: 

  • We can’t afford it right now.
  • Our budget just got cut.
  • Your competitor is offering a discount.
  • I need my director to sign off on a purchase this size.

Overcoming objections like these is a lot easier when you understand how to approach the issue of price. Here are three tips that can help.

How to Keep Procurement from Blocking the Sales Process

Quite often, the procurement department (also called purchasing or supply management) is seen as an obstacle, if not an outright enemy, to the selling process. After all, these are the people hired to say “no” and make the selling effort (and the internal client’s buying decision) more difficult, rigorous, and objective.

From the salesperson’s perspective, it usually seems as if procurement’s job is to shut down or redirect the customer’s buying effort into some other supplier or process different from the product or service you are trying to sell. Therefore, in sales, procurement is more often the problem rather than the solution. 

However, value selling can change that relationship and streamline your sales process.

What To Do When You’re Locked Out of the Customer’s Budget Meeting

People in positions of power often ask tough questions. In our experience, this is certainly true of anyone on the financial team who has the ultimate say over purchasing decisions.

Unfortunately, salespeople are rarely invited to the internal budget meeting to discuss a potential purchase. Typically, you work with your stakeholder to prepare a business case, and the stakeholder attends the meeting. That’s why it’s crucial that you prepare your stakeholder to anticipate the kinds of tough questions that decision makers usually ask about benefit dimensions in a standard business case.

How to Create Confident Stakeholders

One thing I’ve observed about successful salespeople is that they have a knack for creating confident stakeholders.

Why is this an important skill? The stakeholder is already sold on buying your offering. However, often this person does not have final say over purchasing decisions. He or she also needs to convince the finance team to invest in your solution.

Here’s what you need to understand about people who work on finance teams. They’re not swayed by emotion. If you want to persuade them, lead with numbers and calculations. This is why we advocate attaching a business case to your proposal. A standard business case works extremely well for deals that require you to clearly show the customer the value of benefits they can expect to see. 

How to Make Your Proposals & Quotes Pop

Presentation is everything, especially when it comes to sales proposals and quotes. Getting it right can mean the difference between landing the sale or failing to get the contract—it's that important. If your sales proposals read like whitepapers, your client may leave scratching their head. Worse, they may be completely bored. One of the best sales strategies to have in your arsenal is the ability to create and implement winning proposals. Need some tips? Keep reading to find out how to make your sales proposal pop.

Why is Layout and Presentation So Important?

Executives and decision makers in all industries expect professionalism, and when it comes to proposals, appearance is just as important as the contents of the proposal. If your proposal is disorganized, boring or unattractive, it gets tossed aside with all the other proposals that look exactly the same. In order to get your proposals to stand out, yours must be clean, easy to read, and engaging.

When and Why Do You Need a Business Case to Sell?

Do you use a business case as part of your sales process? If not, you should seriously consider it, because any solution-based or consultative-based sale will benefit from providing buyers with the business case.

Popular Posts: Sales Demos, Marketing Quotas, and Value Propositions

It's the week of Thanksgiving, and one thing we're thankful for is our loyal blog readers. Next week we'll be back with fresh content; until then, here are links to our three most popular posts from the past few weeks. Happy holidays! 

Never Lead with a Sales Demo 
When is the right time to show a sales demo? In our view, the answer has something to do with that old quote, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” The best opportunities can be found when initial conversations are centered around the prospect’s business problem. Both the salesperson and the prospect need to understand that business problem before they can enter into a mutually beneficial relationship.

How to Stop the Price Discounting Spiral

One of the oldest tugs of war between salespeople and customers is price objections. A moderate level of back-and-forth on price is to be expected. But in some companies, a rampant culture of price discounting takes hold and starts to create other, bigger challenges.

Let’s first look at some examples of common circumstances that often lead to price discounting.

When Demos Sabotage the Sale

Demos are a fundamental part of the sales process. Not only are they a great way to engage prospects, they frequently open the door to a deeper conversation about how you can collaborate to solve the prospect's most pressing business challenges.

That said, the demo can definitely sabotage sales -- particularly for anyone selling complex offerings with long sales cycles. Specifically, the number one mistake I see is showing the demo too early in the buying cycle. Sometimes it’s the sales professional who pushes too soon for a demo. Other times, the prospect asks to see the demo, and the salesperson takes the request as a good sign and leaps at the request. Based on my experience, however, you always want to pace yourself when it comes to the demo. Here are two reasons why.