Managing Sales Cycles

Sales cycles careen along a path, road signs blurred, results nefarious. Most do. What can be done?

When a new sales cycle bubbles up, the time is the perfect time to apply structure. Consider rules and boundaries which define how the sales cycle will roll out. The structure is built block by block by measurable steps. And each step, a two way decision is made, to go or to not.

Go or no go, hard for some salesmen, easy for pros. The win-ability is assessed with a glance, and the decision is made. Reasons to go or not go are massaged by answers to below:

Budget
Authority
Need
Timeframe

All good topics to dig into and they make sense. ” Here is your pain, you can sign a check by quarter end, and you got the bucks to pay for it.”

So the lead is now an opportunity and the sales team is ready to roll out resources to go get the deal. But add one more detail to the qualification and I call this “cooperation.”

Does the prospect return phone calls, emails in a timely way if at all? Does the prospect work with the sales person with courtesy and respect? Is the prospect demanding, over the top, and threatening? How the prospect manages fits into the cooperation model is key. And the best way to gain and measure cooperation is to write it down.

I suggest a letter be written, by sales, that defines the sales cycle. This letter, easy to do, is just re-cap of the first or second call details which were put on the table. Details like this:

Sales cycle details; assess, demonstrate, negotiate, Win or Lose.
Baselines for going forward, at each step.
Communication agreement: phone, cell, email, and time to respond.
End game process.

The letter frames the details, the structure of the sales cycle. Write and send to the prospect and then discuss and get agreement to it. Then the sales cycle is within some boundaries, some structure to prop up the process.

Advertisements

About Sales Pro
Master Data Management and Product information management solutions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s