There are a whole lot of variables that go into a strong sales engine. But if you just want to get down to brass tacks, the core of every sales process comes down to understanding what buyers are trying to accomplish, why it’s strategic to their organization and what’s standing in their way.
Here are three chip shots. Get better at these things and they’ll move the needle faster than most others.
- Discovery & Qualification
- Presentations & Product Demonstrations
1. Discovery & Qualification
Establish maximum leverage early in the sales process and focus on understanding WHY an organization is evaluating products like yours, and not just at the user or department level, but understanding how the needs of your product are critical to something that’s strategic to the organization.
The easiest way to get prospects to tell all is to keep the conversation focused on them. Employ the two ears & one mouth rule and ask a series of open-ended questions about what they’re trying to accomplish, why, and the value to the organization. Keep asking why until you hear something that’s critical to the CEO.
The simple rule of thumb on discovery: the more the conversation is focused on the business of your buyer, the more effectively you’re selling. The more you talk, the less you’re selling!
2. Presentations & Product Demonstrations
Credibility is the single biggest factor that ultimately differentiates you from your competition. Why? Buyers subconsciously assume that organizations most knowledgeable on their industry and business practices offer superior product solutions.
Focus on the following two elements and the credibility of your presentations and product demonstrations will wow prospects and raise the bar for your competition.
- Before bringing products into the conversation, convince your audience you understand what they do, how they do it, where the issues exist, why they exist and the best business approach for addressing each issue. Only then are products and features relevant.
- Frame each scenario then demonstrate only the features and capabilities necessary to illustrate the solution. Don’t explain how you built the watch. Just show buyers how easy it is to tell time!
This approach shifts the focus of the presentation from your products to the buyer’s business practices. After a few highly relevant scenarios, your credibility goes way up and questions about meaningless product features all but disappear. Issues and scenarios most critical to winning the deal will continue to surface, further improving your leverage.
Those “strategic WHY factors” uncovered early in the discovery process pay big dividends during negotiations. If you can articulate the direct relationship between your solutions and one or more of the buyer’s key business outcomes, your negotiating leverage is maximized. It’s all about demonstrating quantifiable value!