In 2006 I discovered the practice of Fractional Sales Management before it became an emerging…
Developing Sales Professionals (SP) is what I love to do. Watching a seasoned professional in action is very exciting to me. Last week I had the privilege of doing just that as this Sales Professional worked through a simple sales process. Every gesture, comment, question or conversations lead the buyer toward an informed and intelligent buying decision. It was all done with grace, ease and confidence, which made it look like such a simple sales process. When you and your prospect can converse comfortably everything is easy. Getting yourself to having a simple sales process will take practice, preparation and you should include the practices I observed during the SP’s demonstration meeting which I’ll highlight for you next.
The SP was working with a current customer who was looking to upgrade their phone system and was shopping around. The discovery process had been done earlier and now it was time for show and tell to flush out more needs and concerns. The SP had invited her sales engineer along to lead the demonstration and address any technical questions.
Here is a list of practices the SP did during the demonstration that made it a simple sales process:
Have a goal in mind: Before going into the meeting a sales goal was stated. “We need to show him the benefit of utilizing his existing hardware with some upgrades to meet his objective.”
Confirm Understanding: The first thing done was to review a “written” document outlining the goals and priorities of the customer for the system to be demonstrated. The customer was given the opportunity to confirm or modify at this time.
Set Expectations: An agenda of the demonstration was outlined so the buyer understood the purpose of the meeting. This also allowed the buyer to request a change to agenda or request to cover points of “their” interest.
Keep Proposal a “Work in Progress”: The SP had prepared a proposal in case all things lined up the way she anticipated during the demo, but also left room to make changes. She informed the buyer that many times different needs or wants arise during a demo, so it was best to wait until the end of the meeting to see if the “Work in Progress” needed some tweaking. KEY POINT – Always be prepared but don’t back yourself into a corner.
Leverage Your Technical Expert: Using a technical expert to help the sales process is very powerful. You want someone who can speak “Tech” and “Non-Tech” so both users and buyers can relate to them. Potential customers will drop their “sales prevention” guard and listen to technical experts more openly than they do with sales people. The SP allowed her sales engineer to run the demo. She did not override the engineer or create any cross in communication. Unity was always presented to the buyer.
Flush out Competitors Advantages: This was my favorite part. The SP asked who else they were looking at and the buyer was open with his answer. At the conclusion of the demo the SP asked the buyer what he saw in the competitive systems that they had not seen with theirs. He had an answer and so did the SP. The SP had the engineer demonstrate the feature the buyer was looking for and removed the competitor’s advantage.
In addition the SP did all these basics:
- Confirmed buying time-line
- Asked about other buyers and what the buying process involved
- Asked about the dollars budgeted for this project
- Reviewed every page of the proposal so the buyer understood what was included and could use the contents to sell other buyers the SP would not be able to reach.
- Confirmed buyer’s acceptance of ballpark cost of system.
- Confirmed the next step toward closing deal.
- Left on a positive note and was off to next appointment.
- Adequately informed the Sales Engineer to the sales situation prior to the appointment.
- Was well educated on her products and services.
Apply these practices in your meetings and you will be on your way to being a Sales Professional and earning top dollars in your field.
If you are a manager or owner, creating a sales process that includes many of these steps is important to realizing consistent desired sales results.