Shifting Focus Within the Sales Process
Written By Jarrett Wolfe
As Managing Partner and CEO of Smart Choice Communications for almost 20 years, I was sure I knew all the ins and outs of the sales process. Identify a lead, meet with decision makers, present the solution, make the sale. Simple enough, right? Well thanks to a seminar hosted by the team at Inc. CEO Project and Hunt Big Sales, I humbly admit I had some more to learn…
The buying process has definitely changed.
The seminar taught me the importance of preparing for each step of the sales process. In order to grow, you shouldn’t just rely on the “handshake agreement.” While your contact can certainly get your name to the right people, you have to remember: the larger the company, the larger the risks. The further you get in the sales process, the tougher the decision makers become. To them, anything can be perceived as a risk–even if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!
Making the necessary adjustments is absolutely essential.
The sales process consists of three cycles: Executive Sponsor, The Buyer’s Table, and Eels in the Deal. The first stage is where the initial excitement of the benefits and results come into play. We secure the buyer’s engagement and identify them as a potential lead.
The second stage, The Buyer’s Table, consists of a larger group of people. At this point the benefits and promises of the sale are examined. However, this stage also allows the buyers to express their primary concerns and fears in completing the deal. Because of this, we become less focused on selling our advantages, and more focused on addressing the concerns of the members of The Buyer’s Table.
The final stage, Eels in the Deal, is usually where the deals stall out, become delayed or completely shut down. The “Eels” are the strongest resistors who want to ensure the complete safety and protection of their respective organization. Their concerns are exponentially greater than those at The Buyer’s Table, requiring the utmost focus and attention within your sales plan. In order to succeed, you must be absolutely prepared to successfully attack each cycle of the process–especially the final stage.
Formulate a plan and you will yield better results.
After sharing these new insights and perspectives with my team, we have changed the way we approach new prospects and tackle the stages of their buying process. By understanding the stages of the process, we are able to anticipate the necessary tools, information and people we need to bring at each step of the stage to achieve a successful outcome. In less than a month, we have successfully applied these principles to our sales strategy and have experienced significant growth.>
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell