What if there was a way to help sales executives reach their goals and remain focused on deal qualification? And what if this would help sales managers get detailed, real-time information to make an accurate sales forecast? We have some game-changing sales tips to increase your win rates, your sales efficiency, and the accuracy of your sales forecasting.
The pressure on sales executives to reach their targets is real. It is also often blinding. Sales executives are often focused on numbers and closing deals before their deadlines. This means that they forget the nuts of bolts of proper deal qualification. What's more, is that sales executives under pressure tend to be unrealistically optimistic. This leads them to inaccurately report expectations to their sales managers, which in turn leaves sales managers wondering what exactly went wrong where.
Let's take a step back and remind ourselves how proper deal qualification should work. You're probably all familiar with the BANT and MEDDIC sales approaches, but there are good reasons why we should keep some sales basics in mind every day.
Back to the Basics: Sales 101
If we recall the BANT methodology, we remember that it helps to cover the obvious basics of sales:
- Prospects without an adequate budget can't buy what you're selling,
- That we ultimately need to convince those with the authority to approve the purchase,
- Your product must solve a problem or meet a need that the prospect has, and
- The timing has to be right or other things will be prioritized above fulfilling this specific need.
The MEDDIC Sales Approach
While the BANT methodology reminds us of the minimum requirements to win a deal, the MEDDIC approach offers us a general strategy to move towards a deal:
- Which metrics or KPIs are they having trouble achieving? Whether it is production output or production costs, finding out what specific metrics they care about will help you frame the projected ROI of your product in a way to get their attention.
- Who is the economic buyer and do they have different metrics or expectations that they use to make purchasing decisions?
- What are the decision criteria that the company uses? These are more than just potential ROI. For example, how simple a solution is to use and how easily it can be integrated with existing systems often play a big role.
- Often times meeting the decision criteria alone is not enough. The decision process (which includes the decision-maker, their timeline, and all necessary approval processes) must also be carefully considered. Is there a way to ensure that all paperwork and steps can be taken before the delines to satisfy the decision process?
- Can you identify their pain and frame it so that there are two competing versions of the future? For example, the company will lose $550,000 each month in production costs if it doesn't take action.
- Who is are your champions inside the company that are well-respected by the economic buyer and can benefit from your solution? Make these people your closest allies and provide them with key information to make them do a lot of influencing for you. They could be the tie-breakers in close decisions or provide you with key information to help you seal the deal at the last minute. For example, which people in the buying center are for or against the deal.
Everyday Sales: Not So Simple
The reality is that sales executives get blinded by the pressure, and each and every person has their weaknesses and blind spots. If you have 10 ardent champions inside the company but the economic buyer remains unimpressed, you have no deal. What if you've identified their pain but framed it measuring the metrics differently than they do at the company? They won't know what it means and probably won't be convinced.
Simply being forced to stop and consider key steps before and after each sales interaction has the power not only remind sales executives to cover all the bases in sales 101 methods mentioned above, it can also help them strategically plan their next steps. Additionally, asking hard questions along the way will keep optimistic sales executives grounded and more likely to provide realistic answers as to how far along a deal might be.
Getting an Accurate Sales Forecast
This will translate into a more accurate and reliable sales forecast for sales managers. This means that projected win rates and the ability to analyze and trace specific leads will all be enhanced. This will give sales managers more control of their pipeline, a better ability to ask sales reps the right questions at the right time, and to better identify gaps in sales activities. An accurate sales forecast, in turn, will help sales managers identify where more help is needed and to step in at the right time.
So what is the Game-Changer for Sales?
The game-changer for sales can come in various forms depending on your specific needs. In the end, you will need to bring about behavioral change among your sales representatives and sales managers. This can come in various forms. For beginners and those who need a refresher on the latest best practices, PDAgroup offers deal qualification training. For more details, check out our specific course offers here.
And for those who need to focus on the day-to-day details to bring about real behavioral change while getting a more detailed sales forecast, we have just the tool you need. Occulus, systematically asks sales representatives key questions and documents their answers throughout the sales process. It also sends reminders to sales representatives to keep them focused on everything mentioned above and much, much more. The tool also provides sales managers with accurate sales forecasting taking the wealth of documented information into account, making everything trackable, based on real-time data.