29 & Counting

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Wed, Nov 17, 2010

Today, there are 29 more days in the year in which we could close orders that are in our pipelines. Given typical sales cycles and the normal B2B complex selling processes, it’s almost impossible to believe that anything now that’s near the top of our funnels is going to move quickly downstream through the myriad of decision makers and signoffs so that it’s going to close before December 31st. So, right now, we’re talking about stuff in the narrow end of the funnel, typically in the stages that follow sending your proposals out: in some form of negotiation or in the seemingly black hole of “getting sign offs”.

At this time of year, our sales focus shifts from lead generation, qualification and discovery to the real selling stages of objection handling, negotiation, closing the deal and then getting those necessary sign offs. Given this added pressure of the time of year and personal quota achievement, I thought that I you over the next couple of weeks, I would provide a few tried and proven tips for getting to goal. Mostly basics, but then, at this time of year whether it’s football or sales, it’s all about Blocking & Tackling.

Getting to the Decision Maker.

We’ve all been there. Everyone says that they want to do the deal and heads are bobbing up and down, but the key decision maker still needs to be finalized. You’ve met before, you’ve talked, but now it’s time to have one more closing discussion and drag him or her over the goal line. Lots of calls to voicemail, emails everywhere, but nothing. The answers are that he or she is out traveling to customers (closing deals probably), in budget meetings (that time of year) and there’s a myriad of other excuses, but no call back, no emails. Nothing. And you’re out there hanging with additional pressures from your boss’s increasingly frequent questions, and all you can do is see your bonus rapidly disappearing…in 29 days.

Hints that work:

1. Call before 8:00 AM and after 5:30. Decision Makers live 18 hour work days, and you’re never going to get through at any other times so don’t even try. Get their mobile numbers and forget about going through the office phone-waste of your time.

2. Go to the Sales Manager at the prospect’s company. Explain who you are, what you’re doing, you’re background at the account and what you need to do. Ask for their guidance. Not their support, but their guidance. Even though they’re not involved in the deal, sales managers love to help other sales professsionals.

More tomorrow.  In the meantime, get out there and sell something!

617-504-4222.  Call anytime

Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales management, sales effectiveness