Will the VP of Stuff see dollar signs?

Posted on February 21, 2011. Filed under: Sales, Sales Funnel, Sales Goals, Sales Velocity | Tags: , , , |

If you’ve been following me for a while you know I believe the BuyCycle Funnel can improve your selling in many ways.  One of those ways is making better sales calls.

Let me get us on the same page first.  If you’re making a sales call then your goal should be to get closer toward a sale.  If it’s not a sales call then this goal isn’t valid.  For example, a service call on an existing customer isn’t a sales call.

Let’s say you’re making the first sales call on a new prospect.  The VP of Stuff has agreed to meet you because you’ve been referred by one of your clients.  He has a broad idea of what you sell.  You want to find out if VP of Stuff has a need for your services and eventually if he or someone else is committed to spending money with you.

How do you prepare to make that outcome happen?  First you need to define what that outcome should look like.  The funnel can help you do this as long as it’s a commitment-driven model like our BuyCycle Funnel.

The BuyCycle Funnel defines the customer buying process by defining the stages as customer commitments.  That’s because for a purchase to happen the customer must commit.  Early in the buying process the customer is recognizing a problem or opportunity.  To go further in the process the customer needs to commit to understanding the economic or financial effect of the problem.  Otherwise he’s not as likely to make a change, eg buy your products or services.

Therefore, your call plan should be designed around getting the VP of Stuff to commit to exploring the financial effect of the problem.  That could be achieved in many ways, maybe the VP introducing you to someone on his team who plays a key role in the buying process, or setting up a walkthrough of the facilities himself.  Building your call plan around this outcome helps you qualify the opportunity better.  If you get the commitments you seek then the sale is moving forward.  If not, then you know the sale isn’t moving and you try another approach.

Your funnel model is most productive if you’ve defined specific, high impact selling activities to do at a stage like this one.  Those activities could include getting executive alignment or the customer commits to a needs assessment.

With each stage of the funnel representing a commitment the customer must make to move further in the buying process it’s easier to define your objectives for each sales call.

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