Women in Sales Blog

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

Motivational Sales Quotes Don't Work, What Works is Hiring Naturally Motivated Sales Reps

Posted by Ali Powell on Oct 7, 2015 9:03:31 PM

Someone asked me today,
"Ali, how does HubSpot motivate their sales reps?"

I quickly responded. It didn't take me much time to think about this. 

My personal stance on this is that it is not your company's job to motivate you as a sales rep.

It is your job to motivate yourself to do a good job at selling for your company. If you don't feel motivated to sell what you sell then you are likely at the wrong company. Motivation is an internal thing. It is something that you just have or don't have. As a naturally motivated sales rep you should have this fire inside of you to get things done and work hard. This motiviation should not come from others, it should come from you. 

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I don't feel like sales reps need to be motivated if they are in the right sales job and selling what they naturally (as a person) care about selling. Sure everyone has a bad day, a bad week, a bad month...BUT you should definitely feel motivated on your own to sell what you sell. If you don't then you are in the wrong place. 

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Topics: how to stay motivated, startup sales, sales reps, sales motivation, saas sales, newbie sales reps

How Sales Reps Can Use AngelList for Research and Setting Up Alerts for Trigger Events

Posted by Ali Powell on Jul 16, 2015 12:40:00 PM

I got an email from AngelList Talent today (it was in my spam box). I deleted it and then quickly went back to my trash folder. 

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Topics: sales tips, sales prospecting, trigger events, precall research, research in the sales process, smart research, startup marketing, saas sales, selling using trigger events, sales research

The #1 Question to Know the Answer to in Software Sales before the Prospect becomes a Customer

Posted by Ali Powell on Feb 23, 2015 1:27:48 PM

Before you ask your prospect to fill out the contract and send the check in make sure you ask yourself this one question.

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Topics: qualifying for software, saas sales, selling software

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