When you are trying to close a deal, it is very important not to leave the conversation without knowing crucial bits of information, which will help you shorten the sales cycles. By asking questions and actively engaging in conversations with customers, you are allowing the information flow to deliver you all of the information you need to know, based on which you will decide on your next steps.
Dig into the Next Steps
Here is what Frank Bastone said about the importance of digging deep and getting really involved in the conversation you are having with the potential buyer.
“I also think it’s important when you’re speaking to somebody, to dig into the next steps and find out if there are any other parts of the sale, or anything else, involved before you hang up. So when you are speaking to a decision-maker, sometimes it’s not the actual decision-maker – you guys are talking and it seems like a great lead, but you don’t dig deep enough to find out if they’re the person who is going to make a final decision, is there anybody else in their team that is going to be involved and can I get buying from them to shorten the sales cycle?
A lot of times somebody will come to me and say I got this great lead and I’ll say great how is this gonna work, what are the next three or four steps, who else is involved and they don’t know because they don’t dig quite deep enough and we have to have two or three more calls when we could have shortened that sales cycle and find out all the players and then map out from now to closing. And it happens a lot more efficiently and effectively that way.”
A Word from James Rores
James: “There is a book just recently written and released: three guys out of the UK called Problem Prospecting. I loved the book because it aligns with the way we look at the world. A qualified lead, by definition, is someone that has a problem you can solve that must be solved now, period. Right?! I don’t want anything else entering my point line, entering my process, if it’s not a problem that we need to solve, it must be solved now. So it’s a qualification process that says are you ready to buy from me and are you well aligned with the solution that I offer?
Notice I’m not pitching my solution, I’m defining their problem.
We define a problem very simply, one impact plus a need. Can I do that in five minutes? Yes. Do that, identify that “what” by “when”. Depending on your sales cycle “now” could mean the next two weeks, next two months, next three months, next year, and in the automotive industry its four-five years sales cycle.
Whatever “now” means to you, that time component must be there, you must qualify for it so you’re not doing what frank is suggesting, you’re not wasting time on cycles that arent gonna end up in a sale. 60%, 58%, based on some estimates, of a B2B sales pipeline today and in no-decision. You’re wasting 60% of your time with what comes into your pipe if it’s not qualified properly. Don’t make that mistake.”