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A Sales Process that Delivers 70% Forecast Accuracy It’s reviewing everything you know about the failure points of your deals and driving preventative activity and pre-objection handling communication into it. If you note in this sales process illustration the best path and process is shown so that everyone clearly understands what to do. Some would say this is micromanaging and although I won’t argue that some sales reps may not need this type of guidance, it’s the sales leader who is ultimately responsible for KNOWING and REPORTING on his sales funnel what will really close. Only by defining these sales stages or phases can the sales leader present an intelligent picture to senior management as to what is closing, and how far out future business is. Get this picture in your mind; a sales leader with just five or six sales reps, each driving five to ten opportunities in their funnel. That’s a minimum of 25 to 60 deals. Each deal is dynamically changing and pushing and pulling on time based on any one of a thousand reasons. How will they forecast this moving target without pushing each deal into a process of some kind? I’m NOT TALKING ABOUT LEASE RENEWALS!! Our stats share that most dealers close approximately 90% of their lease renewals. Renewals aren’t the problem. I’m talking about a healthy sales funnel with a solid mix of net new opportunity blended with your renewal business. So let’s look at the steps and attributes of the sales process in the illustration. Remember this is only an example. Services and hardware, especially with renewals, will have completely different sales processes and time lines, but, you should be able to identify them all. 1. First appointment – Obviously you will have the opportunity to meet clients/ prospects face to face and when that time comes, you must be ready. Best practice suggests that you do this in a presentation in their meeting room and it will not happen if you don’t train your team to set this up from the start. If the first appointment is rejected by the contact, plug them into your automated marketing process. (Time-line – two days max) 2. Trial close. Across our industry I hear many sales leaders and owners talk 46


about stalling or failed deals. This step is where you actually close for the first time. Assuming the contact showed interest and the timeline accepted, then this is where you get your NDA signed (trial close) and check credit. Once the NDA is signed then I suggest a Diagnostic Discovery so that you can assure yourself that this client meets the minimum standards for advancing your deal through the sales process. Make your Go/NO Go decision and communicate to your contact the news. (Time-line – two to five days max) 3. Assuming you are a “GO”, send your target an immediate email follow-up communication that includes a marketing piece that reminds them WHY they’re engaging this process and the possible values you’ll deliver. Set the second appointment (if not done on the first appointment). (Time-line – two days max) 4. Now you’re ready for the fleet assessment process, where you communicate with your contact and set up access to their facilities (we’ll discuss the best way to assess the environment in a later article). Remember some clients have security protocols so you have to address this now. Send your contact a sample email that they can use to communicate to their employees, sharing your assessment process so all will be l September 2014

ready. Send copies of your contract to their legal department (if necessary), so that they can review and identify any issues now vs. later. (Time-line – 15-30 days max) 5. Gathering costs, interviews, and mapping devices are done in many ways. The most important thing you should do while you are capturing the necessary information to build value is, COMMUNICATE! Many sales reps get buried in the assessment and forget to keep their sales hat on. The facts are when you leave them in the dark for long periods of time, you risk becoming a lower priority. Remember in every step of your sales process you should communicate two to three weeks in advance, always trying to expose ANY ONE who is disengaging. It’s always better to find out as early as possible so you don’t work your team to death for no reason. I suggest your proposal be delivered in a presentation form only; I don’t recommend you (like a copier) hand them a brochure and a proposal! Now before you tell me, “That doesn’t work,” I’ll tell you we successfully use this process everyday. We simply set it up in advance. This keeps them coming to you with any questions, so set up

We Saw It In ENX Magazine

continued on page 48

ENX Magazine September 2014 Issue V2  

Connecting People, Ideas and Products in the Office Technology and Document Imaging Industry since 1994

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