Women in Sales Blog

Always Confirm and then Reconfirm the Point of the Next Step in the Sales Process

Posted by Ali Powell on Sep 1, 2016 8:20:13 AM

Every part of your sales process should have a point.

You must always be on the same page as the prospect, at all steps in the process.

Before every meeting or each part of your sales process prep for the meeting so you have an idea of:

1. What you have done to get here. What steps have you taken to get to this point today?

2. Why are you here today together? What are you hoping to be the result of this part of the process together? 

If you don't know the answer to these 2 questions you should back up with your prospect to get on the same page. 

If you don’t know why you are at a step in the process with your prospect or why you are in a meeting with your prospect then you need to back up and find out what the point of the meeting is. 

  • What is your ideal outcome of this step in your process?

  • Why are you here together?

  • What is the point of this conversation?

  • How does this help you move the deal forward? 

If you aren’t on the same page as your prospect as to what the point of your conversation is then you missed something important along the way.

You need to back up and confirm where you are at in the process. Get on the same page.

You are in sales for a reason. You likely enjoy helping people solve problems.

  • Your job is to find out if your prospect needs your help.

  • Then, that you can solve their problems and they want your help.

  • The prospect must want to be helped by your company because they think your company is the best fit for solving those needs and problems you have exposed in the sales process. 

Whatever stage you are at in your sales process you should be confirming why you are there and what the purpose of your conversation is. 

Confirm. Then reconfirm why you are doing what you are doing. 

Remember you are in sales to help someone with their problems by hopefully selling them what you sell.

  • Are you on the same page as your prospect?

  • Make sure you are on the same page before moving forward in your process.

If you control the sales process, set agendas in your meetings and confirm why you are doing what you are doing then you will work towards the end goal together.

The end goal is the prospect becoming a customer because you can help them best and the prospect agrees that you are the best fit to help them.

You likely know what is best for your prospect so make that clear and explain why you believe your company can solve their problems and needs the best.

Give them guidance and advice on why you believe this from what you have learned in the sales process with them.

Be helpful and manage the process well by setting agendas and confirming those agendas in the process.

If you just so happen to be a woman working in sales or work with women in your company in sales please invite them to join the women in sales community on Slack here.

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Topics: sales prospecting, sales process, smart sales, smart selling

I was on a Podcast about What I am Good At: Learn What I think Sales is

Posted by Ali Powell on Jun 6, 2016 11:49:29 AM

I was on a podcast with Sandi MacPherson, Editor in Chief of Quibb called What I am good at. I still can't believe I did this.

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Topics: sales process, sales help, sales rep, sales podcast

There is Only One Goal of the Discovery Process in Sales: A Mutually Agreed Upon Next Step

Posted by Ali Powell on Mar 11, 2016 12:28:56 PM

The discovery process in sales is the most important part of the sales process.

The exploratory process with your prospect is what will set up the next parts of the sales process from there on out to either be great or not. If you don’t have a solid process for exploration with your prospects you cannot have a great sales process. Things will fall apart along the way if you don’t master this first step of the sales process.

Time to get back to basics.
 

What is the point of the discovery process or exploratory call?

Think about why you are taking time to talk to someone in the first place. You have a job to do. Why are you doing what you are doing? Your time is valuable and so is your prospect’s time. Do not forget this. Respect that the exploratory process is a mutual process for both you as a sales rep and the prospect.

The goal of the discovery process or exploratory process (whatever you want to call it) is to figure out if you should spend more time together. It is a mutually agreed upon thing.

There are really 2 outcomes.

1. The prospect is disqualified.

2. The prospect is qualified.

As a sales rep your job is to sell.

To be able to sell you need to have a good understanding of when and why a prospect could see value in your product or service that you are selling. To be able to tell when a prospect is a potential buyer.

The end outcome or goal of an exploratory process is very simple. It is to agree upon next steps TOGETHER to help that prospect buy your product or service OR how they will evaluate your service or product with an end goal of buying it.

Your job as a sales rep is to come away from that first call or meeting knowing that you both want to spend more time together, for a mutually agreed upon reason.
Not just for fun or for free consulting or help. Time is money.
The goal of agreeing to spend more time together is to see if it makes sense for the prospect to buy your product or service.
 

You must walk away from that meeting knowing if you have aqualified potential buyer or not. If you hang up the phone after your exploratory call or come out of your first meeting not sure what next steps are, you did not do your best.

If you come out of the meeting not knowing why you are talking again or not knowing what the point of you both talking again is, then you did not do the best job you could as a sales rep.

It is your responsibility as a sales rep to master the exploratory process. If you want to be great at sales and always crush quota you need to know where to spend your time, who to spend your time with and how to spend your time.

Here are some things that I do everyday to make sure I am spending my time with qualified potential buyers in the sales process. If you ask yourself these questions every time you start a sales process with a potential customer you will see better results.

  • Is there pain and need for what your product does?
  • Can your product or service solve the prospect’s pain points that you exposed in the exploratory process?
  • Make sure the prospect and you agree that there is potential for your company to solve their problems. You must agree on this to move forward.
  • Never assume ANYTHING. Ask as many questions as you need to ask to be able to know if this is worth moving forward with the prospect.
  • Remove the red flags- early and often. If you feel like something is “off” or “odd” or you aren’t getting the answers you want, DO NOT brush those things under the rug. These will pop up later on and you must address them at that time.

The most important thing here is to make DARN**** sure that you BOTH agree that it makes sense to spend more time together assessing your product or service, with the end goal of that assessment process being becoming a customer.

The goal of a truly great exploratory process in sales is to know if it makes sense to spend more time with the prospect in doing one of two things.

  1. Purchasing your product or your service.
  2. Evaluation of your product or your service with an end goal of buying in mind.
If you constantly keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing with one thing in mind, the end goal of a new customer then you will do a better job at all stages of your sales process.

If you are a woman working in sales, in any industry, in any sales role please join the Women in Sales Community here. We also recently formed aSlack Channel for Women in Sales as well, you can join that here.

 
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Topics: sales process, women in sales, sales pitch, sales help, saas sales, software sales tips, sales, exploratory process in sales, discovery call in sales

Sales Lessons Learned from Iris Apfel- Your Style Should Come Out in your Sales Process

Posted by Ali Powell on Sep 28, 2015 4:11:43 PM

This weekend I watched the Iris Apfel documentary and I loved it. I love her. 
She is not a sales person but part of me sees her as someone that sales people can learn from and relate to. 

She is an odd duck but in an amazingly, funny way. I dig her. 

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Topics: sales prospecting, sales process, smart sales, smart sales process, smart sales rep, lessons learned in sales

The Call for More Sales Reps Writing Sales Content on What They Learn on the Job

Posted by Ali Powell on Jul 14, 2015 11:36:00 AM

I was speaking with Leslie Ye here at HubSpot yesteray about our sales blog.

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Topics: sales tips, sales prospecting, sales process, today's sales rep, timely sales process, sales women, smart sales process, bdr tips, sdr, smart sales rep, today's great sales rep, SDR tips, sales content, sales blogs, #salesrep

"Oh, You are Trying to Sell Me Something?" says Everyone that You Call

Posted by Ali Powell on May 20, 2015 8:29:00 PM

When someone asks me at lunch or in while I am making a tea in the office what I am up to that day, my answer is always the same...

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Topics: sales tips, sales process, smart sales, today's sales rep, sales prospector, sales women, smart sales process, sales tool, great sales rep

No one Sales Process is Going to be the Same, Know When to Change it

Posted by Ali Powell on Apr 22, 2015 2:15:56 PM

The sales process is something that is typically seen as something that should be followed. It is a way for reps to make sure they are doing certain things the right way at the right times. 

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Topics: sales process, timely sales process, more human sales process, social sales process, smart sales process

Start Using Linkedin for Sales to Enjoy the Benefits throughout the Sales Process

Posted by Ali Powell on Apr 16, 2015 2:47:48 PM

There are many sales tools out there that sales reps can leverage in the sales process. There is one that I know of as a software sales rep that helps in all parts of the sales process. I am talking about before you even ever decide to work a company as a lead, to when they become an opportunity, to when they become a customer or don't buy; there are ways that this sales tool helps a sales rep throughout the whole sales process.

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Topics: sales prospecting, sales process, smart prospecting, smart sales process, linkedin in the sales process, linkedin sales navigator, sales tools, sales tool

Why You Should Use Website Chat as a Lead Generation Source & a Promotion Path to BDR or SDR in Your Sales Org

Posted by Ali Powell on Apr 14, 2015 9:23:00 PM

Inbound chat is really a wonderful way for people on your website to reach out to your company without having to pick up the phone. Make sure you have a chat option on the bottom of your site so when people are on your website they can chat in to someone quickly. Having chat on your site also enables someone from your company to ask that person a question like, "can I help you with anything?" or "do you have any questions about what you are reading." It is a great way to start the conversation with a potential prospect and put a human element to it. 

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Topics: sales skills, sales coaching, sales tips, sales prospecting, sales process, sales women, sales reps, sales help, bdr, bdr tips, sdr, website chat for lead gen

1 Quick Way to Incorporate Inbound Marketing Practices into your Traditional Outbound-driven Sales Team

Posted by Ali Powell on Apr 9, 2015 11:47:43 AM

I naturally think very "inboundy" about business. That is because I work for the most inboundy company there ever was. We started the movement on inbound marketing and over the years selling our marketing software to mostly SaaS and technology companies I have learned that the transition from a traditional sales minded organization to a more inbound marketing mentality for sales can be tough to swallow and begin. 

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Topics: sales skills, sales tips, outbound sales timing, sales prospecting, sales process, today's sales rep, sales reps, sales help, sales tricks, sales best practices, smart sales process, inbound sales, how to make sales more inbound

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