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Looking for ways to sharpen your sales skills or improve the performance of your sales team? Well, you have come to the right blog! Here you will discover sales techniques to help you and your team win more business. Some of the ideas presented will help you think outside the box and some will be getting back to basic sales skills. Read what our Partner Advantage Sales Team experts are saying about winning you more business and share your ideas in the comment box!

  • Why is it so important to be in control of the sales process?

    Being in sales, there is a tremendous amount of uncertainty as to who is really in control of the sales process. Is it the salesperson driving the process or the prospect?

    As salespeople, we want to be in control but it can be very difficult at times to control things as we have no control of – the prospect!

    So, why is it difficult to keep control? The simple fact is prospects are people just like you. Think how hard it is for someone to control you. Selling to people is not an easy job.

    But even though controlling the prospect may, at times, be a difficult task to accomplish there are things we can do to maintain control of the sales process.

    Sometimes it depends on how YOU perceive the situation which could be the -- golden nugget -- to your success.

    Believing you are in control and taking the right steps in the sales process will give you the power, regardless of whether it is truly fact or fiction.

    It is so important to believe in yourself and the solutions you are offering to your prospects.

    So, how can you be sure you’re feeling in control of the sales cycle?

    Focus on the things you can control, the sales process. More times then not, you will usually lose control of the sales cycle if you try to control the prospect.

    You, as the salesperson can take full control on what you will and will not do as a sales representative. For instance, you determine who to give your time to and what happens next in the sales process.

    If you’re letting the prospect dictate when a product demonstration takes place, the price of your services and software, demanding a proposal or telling you the order in which the sales stages will happen overall -- then you are not in control, and in fact you will feel completely out of control.

    Setting up rules of engagement when you initially start the sales process with your prospect will help you stay in control and let the prospect know you are going to conduct business in a very organized manner. Be sure to document the rules of engagement and assign dates when the various sales stages will happen then have the prospect sign it. You’ll know if you have a serious prospect when they question the dates or better yet suggest changes to the document.

    Another way to stay in control is asking questions. The more you understand your prospects business processes and concerns, the more you will learn how best to help them. Their input to your questioning, needless to say, is critical to your success and will help you keep control of the sales process. Staying in control with confidence is vitally important. It will help provide you with the winning formula and will give your prospects a sense of security that will pave the way to letting you stay in control of the sales process.

    Just having that sense of being in control will provide comfort to both you and the prospect.

    Reinforcing the sense of control takes your selling skills to a whole different level. In the end, it will help to bolster confidence in your abilities opening the gates to win more sales opportunities.

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  • Sales Clinic: Moving clients back to the issues

     Robert Johnson, Sage Software

    One of the fastest ways to change the trajectory of your sales performance and create sustained success is to improve your objection handling skills.  We often focus objection handling techniques on the end of the sales process, when we’re asking for an order. However, we encounter objections throughout the entire sales process, and most sales opportunities become hopelessly derailed at the very beginning of the sales process due to poor skill execution. 

    The reality is the faster you focus your conversation with the prospect on your product or service, the lower your chance of actually helping them solve a problem, or capitalize on an opportunity. Studies suggest that Pareto’s 80/20 Law applies; spend 80% of the sales process focusing on understanding the client’s issues, and 20% of the process presenting your solution, and you will become a 20%’er- those salespeople that make 80% of the income. 

    By structuring your sales process around the 80/20 rule, the client is a big winner; they have a much better chance of getting a solution that will meet their needs, which is what we really want.

    So, how do we change the sales process and the outcome?  

    We change the process by changing the dialogue. The challenge is that both prospects and salespeople are conditioned to want to talk about the product or service.  It is a mutual conspiracy of sorts; clients are conditioned to ask about our ’stuff’, and we’re conditioned to show them.

    When the client asks about the product or service, you need skills to help move them back to the issues and away from the product or service.  This occurs throughout the sales process, but most often in the beginning. A great skill to execute is called “The Move Back.”  It is a simple three-step process, and a basic example goes like this;

    Client; “We’re looking for an Accounting ERP Solution, which runs on the xyz platform.  Can you help us?”


    1)      Affirm that you can help - Sure, we’ve helped a lot of companies in this area, and to be completely sure we have a solution that will work for your firm,

    2)      Ask Permission to ask a few questions - it would be helpful if I could ask you a few questions, ok?

    Client; “Sure”


    3)      Construct a question tied both to their initial request and to the underlying issue behind it - ” When considering a new Accounting ERP solution, what will this new platform allow your company to do and accomplish that your current solution won’t?”

    This simple skill, ‘the move back’ allows you and the client to engage in a meaningful dialogue around their problems or opportunities; areas in which you may have a solution. An easy way to master this skill is to begin by writing out the most common questions you get from prospects, and then write out potential responses and practice them a few times each week. In my experience, the act of writing it out helps reinforce the skill and makes it easier to master.


    Want more help?  Attend a Sales Academy!


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