ACTG Sales Management Blog

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Deal or No Deal?

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Tue, Jul 23, 2019

We've all been there before...I know that I have.

A deal looks good, until suddenly, your prospect comes to you with some final (more on that later in this blog post) requests for accommodations on deal structure, deal pricing, delivery, etc. 

So now what do you do? 

pexels-photo-1089549

You have worked so hard to get the deal to this point…surely you don’t want to lose it now.  But then again you were confident of your position and now that confidence is just a bit shaken.  What if you tell your prospect no? 

Will the deal crash?

Coaching salespeople for the last 12 years has caused me to conclude that most salespeople are not very effective at what Objective Management Group calls the negotiator competency.  The competency includes the following 11 elements:

  • Seeks win/win
  • Willing to walk
  • Manages appropriate amount of patience
  • Able to listen & ask questions with ease
  • Controls emotions
  • Goal oriented
  • Problem solver
  • Doesn’t need to be liked
  • Rejection proof
  • Sells value over price
  • Comfortable discussing money

In my judgment, the most powerful of these elements is the willingness of the salesperson to walk away.  Of course, that presumes the salesperson has another deal to walk away to.  As my colleague, Jack Kasel here at Anthony Cole Training Group says, “Weak pipelines make cowards of us all.”  Even the most courageous of salespeople have a hard time walking away (even when they should) if the pipeline is on the thin side.

I have enjoyed reading the excellent book by Chris Voss titled Never Spit the Difference and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  Here is just one nugget from Chris:

No deal is better than a bad deal.

Even with a thin pipeline.  Even with the pressure that is on you to produce.  Remember that an outcome of no deal is always better than the outcome of a bad deal.  And what about the last call from the prospect asking for an accommodation?  Here is my advice.  Assuming you need to go to someone higher up to get the prospect’s request approved…and assuming you want to give the accommodation…ask your prospect what happens if the accommodation is approved?  Where does that leave us?

Never go seeking the accommodation unless you know exactly where you will stand if the accommodation is granted.  Otherwise it might be in your best interest to walk.

Mark Trinkle

Chief Growth Officer

Anthony Cole Training, LLC

Topics: how to close a sales deal, today's buyer, deal or no deal

Is Your Sales Growth Stuck in The Chimney?

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Feb 02, 2017

So, this morning, Linda and I were watching Morning Joe while talking business.  We were discussing our brand promise of, “When you lie awake at night worrying about sales growth, we lie awake at night.”  We compiled a list of questions that often haunt managers throughout the day and into the night when they should be preparing for a good night’s sleep:

chimney-stuck.png

As we’re talking, we see a news banner at the bottom of the screen about a man who was arrested for breaking and entering a home.  He was apprehended after the police entered the home and saw his feet dangling from the chimney.  As usual, I automatically started thinking about how that related to sales, sales management, performance management, coaching, pipeline, pre-call strategies, etc.

My first question is this – “Do you have sales opportunities that are important/critical for hitting your goals and growing sales that are stuck?”

My second, but maybe the most important question, is this – “Is this particular opportunity a repeat offender?” 

 

QUESTIONS FOR EVALUATING OPPORTUNITIES

Now, there are 2 things to consider when attempting answering that 2nd question.

  1. Is that opportunity familiar to you and the salesperson who has entered the opportunity into your pipeline management system? (This isn’t the same as your CRM). If we’ve worked on this opportunity before and they – the opportunity – “got away on a technicality”, then this would be defined as a “repeat offender”:
    1. Not the decision maker
    2. Wasn’t able to undo the current relationship
    3. Decided to not make a change
    4. Couldn’t arrive at the price point
    5. Really didn’t have a solution that fit the features and benefits they were looking for
    6. The timing wasn’t right
  2. Are other opportunities stuck in the pipeline/chimney for the very same reasons as this one – the salesperson failed to execute the qualifying steps in your sales process:
    1. No compelling reason to make a change identified
    2. Competition unknown
    3. Incumbent still part of the equation
    4. Budget for investing time, money resources is a mystery
    5. Decision making process has not been uncovered
    6. Timing or urgency of making a decision not clearly understood
    7. Agreement on next steps unclear
    8. Did not ask the question – Is this a “want to fix” or “have to fix” problem?

 

CMBMQHM AND WHAT YOU NEED FOR SALES GROWTH

Sales growth is dependent upon this – CMBMQHM.  My staff hates it when I make up acronyms like this.  When I put these in our learning decks, the people in my office  want to know what the acronyms mean.  I generally tell them that they don’t really need to know; they just need to make sure the rest of the deck is done correctly. I know what it means and I will explain it to the sales team we are working during our training session.  But, they insist on knowing, so here it is:

Close More Business, More Quickly, at Higher Margins

It’s almost as good as WITALAIITU. (If you want to know that one,  click HERE.)

So, what does it take to accomplish CMBMQHM?

  • You have to have a milestone-centric sales system – something that can be quantified, measured and evaluated for progress towards the objective of “getting a decision”. (This is not the same as “getting the sale”.)
  • You have to have a process for building a success formula for each salesperson based on that sales system.
  • You have to have complete buy-in to the use of your pipeline management process. Here are the guidelines to get that buy-in. It needs to…
    • Be easy to use
    • Be effective
    • Be beneficial to the user
    • Provide you with business intelligence
    • Automatically generate and send reports to you so you don’t have to go find the information
  • You have to have a system of pre-call strategy sessions for EVERY opportunity that meets or exceeds the benchmark of your top 33%.
  • You have to have a post-call debriefing session for every opportunity you discuss in the pre-call session.
  • You have to conduct a CSI – “Crime Scene Investigation” – for every deal you don’t get.
  • Finally, you have to conduct 1-on-1 coaching sessions that are intentional.
    • They are based on the findings from your pre- and post-call meetings
    • They are based on what your data is telling you about the choke point(s) a particular salesperson is having or the most common choke point(s) for the group
    • The coaching needs to accomplish 1, if not 2, things:
      1. Change behavior
      2. Improve skill

In the next post, I’ll talk about the 5 Keys to Effective Coaching.  (Pam, don’t let me forget that is the next blog topic!).  In the meantime, here are the 9 skills needed!

Additional Resources:

Download the Success Formula Worksheet

Try out the Effective Selling System online learning demo

Sales Management Effectiveness Certification Program

Topics: Sales Coaching, closing sales techniques, sales closing mistakes, how to close a sales deal

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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