Closing Deals Faster Requires that Your Sales and Marketing Alignment is Tuned for Performance.
In this post, we will discuss closing deals faster and is part of a series to help B2B organizations improve sales and marketing cooperation.
Part one was about making sure you have the right information to get started. In part two, you’ll learn how to use the hand-to-hand combat required for the B2B sales teams and executives to close deals.
What do you do with struggling salespeople or sales teams? It’s a problem that’s vexed corporations and start-ups; sales managers and CEOs.
It’s hard to know when to pull the trigger on removing underperforming sales reps when it could be that the staff just needs a little guidance, encouragement, or training to get back on track.
A little professional nudge in the right direction is a more economical choice over the time-consuming and expensive process of hiring replacement sales reps.
Many sales professionals would rather give their struggling salespeople a chance to improve and bring their results up to company standards.
In this article, Part II of my three-part series, I shall share with you an approach that, after over 20 years in enterprise sales (including a start at IBM), I know will work, provided you apply it in a consistent manner.
The approach I am about to describe to close deals faster can ensure success to any company with decent (i.e., not necessarily exceptional) product offerings in a relevant product or service category (i.e., not necessarily a recognized hot category).
Furthermore, I will make the following assertion: Unless your company is a bona fide leader in an established, growing product category, every time you lead with your product (as most software vendors still do), I can assure you that you are likely to fail in today’s market.
Start Closing Deals Faster with a Provocation-based Selling
In this section, I want to cover three topics related to the hand-to-hand combat required for high-tech sales teams and executives to close deals:
- what do you say to the ‘big dog’ to get them interested in your potential solution?
- what are the main priorities for marketing to support the field?
- how do you take account of the differing interests of the various target constituencies you must deal with in typical enterprise-level sales cycles?
Sales Process Model to Win More Deals
Selling complex solutions into an emerging market means selling services-led offers, where consulting and systems integration, both from the lead vendor and from its partners, help to backfill what is as yet an incomplete product offering.
And, in order to ‘cross the chasm’ into a first mainstream market, the target customer is likely to be a line-of-business executive or manager responsible for solving critical business problems through the use of IT solutions.
In this model, it is critical to establish deep lines of communication with the customer to set their expectations and gain their support. This, in turn, requires a very different sales model from that of selling an established product.
Here is the model for selling emerging solutions that will help you close deals faster:
I’ll drive into my final approach in Part III and discuss specific marketing activities to help marketing leaders support the sales force and boost sales and close deals quicker.
To make this sales process work, the field needs significant support in these four areas:
- introductions to line-of-business executives;
- provocation development and delivery;
- war stories;
Each requires a program to develop. That wraps up part two of this three-part series.
So what did you think about how to close deals? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Have something to say about your thoughts on how to close deals?
How should sales and marketing work together?
Sales and marketing must direct their efforts at the same prospects and be wholly aligned on decisions and pricing. Together, sales and marketing need to create comprehensive buyer personas to target their ideal customer better, increase acquisition, and create targeted ads and pitches that are symbiotic.
Should sales and marketing be one department?
Sales and marketing should be separate departments within your organization. Marketing is all about getting the word out and explaining to people the benefits of your products and services to increase interest and visibility. Most importantly, marketing is about driving inquiries and leads to sales.
What sales needs from marketing?
Sales qualified leads (SQLs): Lead scoring assign points to leads based on their interactions with your website email content, event, and others. Real-time alerts for hot leads: Website visitor tracking software alerts sales reps when active, qualified leads on your website include email alerts too.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement provides the sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively. The foundation of sales enablement is giving the salespeople what they need to engage the buyer successfully throughout the buying process.