If anything, the new year is a time to get back to basics: eating better, exercising and for sales professionals, getting back to the core foundation of sales:
(Verticals, Territories, revitalizing old leads, etc)
Reverse engineer how much money you want to make (or what your quota is) and then determine how many deals you need at what revenue value. What is your lead to customer conversation rate? How many leads to you need to get to your end goal?
(Cold Calling, Partners, Drip Marketing)
This is all about filling your pipeline. Where are your leads coming from? What is your strategy to stimulate interest about your product or service. How much is reactive and how much time do you need to spend proactively prospecting?
(Points of Pain, Fit of the product/service )
What is the compelling event driving the buying process? If there is one or more points of pain, who owns them? Is there a good match between your product/service and the requirement the prospect has?
(Buying Criteria, Buying Influencers)
What is the procurement process? Who are the decision makers/Buying Influencers? Legal Process? Potential for Delays? Who has Veto power? the Biggest question is WHAT IS THEIR BUYING CRITERIA?
Proof of Concept
(Presenting the Solution, Building Value)
It is important to match business pains with solutions, plant FUD (Fear/Doubt/Uncertainty) about the competition. Be the trusted advisor and assist the prospect in making an educated decision. This may be a good time to bring in other resources from your side (Sales Engineer, Manager, Support Manager, Technology Specialist) to shore up your credibility
If you built value through the previous steps, negotiations should be smooth. No objections (hopefully)! Remember, by this stage both you and the prospect want this deal to go through. There are so many negotiating techniques but in my mind, the most valuable negotiation for a sales professional is always asking for something in return. If a prospect asks you for a discount, ask them for a referral. If they want something for free, ask them to sign for longer, there is no such thing as something for nothing!
In the hectic world of sales, it is important to celebrate your successes! When you close a deal, savour the moment, remember how it feels and use that to fuel future success.
All of us that are in sales love the thrill of the game and the "high" of the close. It's all about the juice!
Happy 2008 and wishing you successful selling!