If you don’t get S.M.A.R.T. with your sales process. . . your deals will die on the vine.
I see it all the time. A sales guy sits across from a C-level executive. The exec is a qualified lead with a big title and an even bigger budget. It’s shaping up to be quite the deal. Sales guy has a strong showing. And now, the meeting is wrapping up. (Cue the train wreck.) When the time is right for a call-to-action—any call-to-action!—silence sweeps the room. Crickets. Or worse, in his infinite wisdom, sales guy says something to the effect, “I’ll have my people call your people,” and walks out of the room feeling pretty good about himself.
When sales are in a slump, the biggest complaint I hear from salespeople is that the leads are poor. It’s the go-to scapegoat. And not only is it untrue, it’s the #1 distraction that keeps you and your sales team from closing big deals on a consistent basis. So let’s fix it.
Start with S.M.A.R.T. Sales
It’s not the leads that suck. We’ve established that. So what is it? Well, there’s a good chance you need to overhaul your sales process. And it starts with S.M.A.R.T.
If you’re not familiar, the acronym stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based.’ And it’s a surefire way to bring some serious value to the table.
So as you’re sitting across from Mr. Executive in his corner office, and you’re rolling out all the features and benefits of your shiny new offering, make sure to frame it the ‘smart’ way:
Specific — Mr. Executive, based on what I’m hearing, you need (x) amount of (x) by (x) date.
Measurable — I’m confident my offer will more than pay for itself, and we’ll track your performance through Q3 to prove it.
Attainable — Your industry average for performance is (x), this means you only need a 10% increase in orders to beat your competitors. Here’s how we can help with that.
Realistic — I’m not promising you the world, so here’s what you can realistically expect. . .
Time-based — We’re seeing companies like yours boost revenue by 7-18% within the first year, and I expect your company to see similar results.
This is the nuts and bolts of a needs-based discussion. And during this discussion, you also need to take each of his pain points and pair them with a benefit of your offer. Do this by mining the conversation up to this point to find his biggest challenges, and also think back to all that Guerilla Data you’ve collected on him.
Nevermind if you don’t close the sale today. We’re talking BIG deals that can take months and sometimes years to land. Just focus on nurturing your lead from meeting to meeting. Bring the value, keep it coming, and pay very close attention to this next step.
Get SMART with Your Sales Follow-Up CTA
The last minute of your meeting is at least as important as your 30-minute presentation that led up to it. It’s where the magic happens (or doesn’t happen). So when your lead opens his book, don’t play the fool and hand him your card expecting him to call you. If you do this, you’re dead in the water. You have him on the hook, so why let out the line? This is a big fish, and he’s not swimming back on his own accord. With that said, it’s time to define the next step. Put it on the calendar.
Think about it. . . you just spent the better part of an hour explaining how you can solve his problems. You took him through the evolution of the sale, from complacent to committed (don’t worry, I’ll cover this in our upcoming post), and now he’s at least curious, if not downright excited. More importantly, at this stage he no longer sees his cute little pain points. Instead, he’s starting to feel the gaping wounds that only a product or service like yours can remedy.
So if you don’t have a smart follow-up in the books, you can all but guarantee Mr. Exec will go off and self-medicate. You see where I’m going here. He’ll do his own research on his own time, and sure enough, your competitor will close the deal that you laid all the groundwork for. Ouch!
Don’t let it happen. Remember to start with S.M.A.R.T. and put the follow-up on the books. Apply these two simple but highly effective tactics to your sales process and watch your numbers start to take off.
Get C-Level Partners involved, and we’ll not only get you appointments with high-level executives, we’ll equip you with everything you need to make the most of the opportunity. It’s what we do.
Get in touch today for a discovery consultation. It’s on the house.