Part Three of Sales Automation Done Right is now available as a free e-book in The HUB Library.
This part is called “Understanding the Opportunity”, and it’s predominantly sales methodology. It represents a third of Sales Automation Done Right, and if you are in any way involved in applying technology to your selling environment, you should find it interesting, and maybe controversial.
Specifically, it talks about new ways of describing the sales process in a field that I call “computational selling.” I am deliberately steering away from the term Sales Force Automation (SFA) because what I talk about goes further than SFA–it describes a deeper involvement of the computer in the sales process itself. Implemented correctly, computational selling removes some tedious but crucial background legwork that would otherwise divert the salesperson’s focus from direct customer interaction.
Here are a few notes on what to expect in Part Three:
The idea of two distinctly different types of interactions is introduced: relationship-focused and opportunity-focused. This leads to the concept of the critical interaction, which is how we build a sales process.
And the importance of recording and categorizing customer interactions for a CRM initiative is explained.
Fundamental Selling Skills
There are three fundamental selling skills, and three corresponding phases of the sales cycle to reflect them, mirroring the customer’s buying cycle. The “elastic band” model of the sales cycle shows why it is imperative that your sales process flex to reflect change while keeping you focused on the appropriate skills and activities.
Forecasting can be done in many different ways, but they all boil down to assessing probability. Forecasting is critical to so many business functions, and I show how to best quantify risk and probability and get an accurate estimate of your sales. The concept of the probability matrix is explained and its use demonstrated.
By blending probability with any specific point in the sales cycle to establish a time component, we can calculate the priority of any sales opportunity. The priority cube illustrates how this is done. And by comparing all open opportunities, we can start to prioritize our entire portfolio.
The Sales Environment
Testing your “gut feel” about the sales opportunity against the science of selling. Each opportunity has a “sales environment” and checking how you feel about any opportunity against the reality of that environment can give you valuable understanding about what you should be doing.
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