Posts Tagged ‘Sales Opportunity’

Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.

Written by on . Posted in Miscellaneous Productivity, Sales Methodology, Sales Process No Comments

Everything that humans do is process. Everything.

Process is “a systematic series of actions directed to some end.” That pretty much describes everything you do, from brushing your teeth to designing a jumbo jet. The only time we escape process is when we’re asleep.

So why do many sales people react with, “Process? We don’t need no stinkin’ process.” (Apologies to Humphrey Bogart and Gene Wilder.) But you do. And here is the most important process you need: choosing the sales opportunity you’re going to work on right now.

That’s more important than your process for closing the sale because if you’re working the wrong opportunity, winning doesn’t matter. Neither does losing, which you will do more often than your manager will like.

That’s more important than your process for prospecting a lead because when that lead becomes an opportunity, chances are you’ll screw it up if you don’t get it into its proper priority in your pipeline.

Continue Reading

Managing the Bigger Sales Picture

Written by on . Posted in Sales Cycle, Sales Methodology No Comments

Selling is one of those professions in which the gauge of success is assumed obvious. Selling more product is a sure way for a salesperson to get recognition and financial reward. It’s no surprise then that an industry has arisen around teaching salespeople to sell more effectively. If salespeople or sales managers are looking for sales education, then it’s easy to get it. There are an abundance sales gurus ready to teach their own spins on selling, with a plethora of books, videos, programs and systems to back them up. But only a few have come up with the ground breaking thinking that reshapes the way people sell – they can be counted on the fingers on one hand.

I see one flaw in most sales training. The focus is on getting things right in the selling experience in a single opportunity. How to listen? How to ask questions? Making sure they are the right questions. Sure, this is important – direct conversation with the customer is the essence of selling. But a salesperson has more than one opportunity to sell. They can have a large number of ongoing deals that a vying for their time – I know cases where a salesperson had over one hundred open sales opportunities. That has to present a huge challenge for resource management especially in creating as much time for direct customer interface as possible.

Continue Reading

The Other Side of the Selling Equation

Written by on . Posted in Sales Cycle, Sales Methodology No Comments

From Wikipedia: In mathematics, an equation is an equality containing one or more variables. Solving the equation consists of determining which values of the variables make the equality true.

Your sales equation might look like this: good price + right product + favorable terms + good relationship – competition = win. And like Wikipedia says, determining the values is what will result in that win.

On the opposite side of the opportunity, the buyer’s equation might look like this: need + budget + authority + product + trust – hype = buy. And the buyer has the same problem of establishing the values of his variables before he chooses.

Continue Reading

3 Ways To Shorten Your Sales Cycle

Written by on . Posted in Sales Cycle, Sales Methodology No Comments

Full disclosure: that title is deceptive. Intentionally so. It implies that I am going to show you some surefire ways to shorten your sales cycles and get to the win faster. Well, I am going to show you those surefire ways, but they won’t lead to a win. Shortening the sales cycle never does.

First, we need to understand what the sales cycle is, and what it isn’t. Here’s what it isn’t – yours. Here’s what it is – your reaction to the customer’s buying cycle.

That means your sales exists at the customer’s whim. It starts when he wants it, it ends when he’s ready, it changes as his situation does. The customer makes the rules and you need to obey them.

Continue Reading

6 Questions to Ask Anyone Who Says Their Sales Cycle Doesn’t End

Written by on . Posted in Sales Methodology, Sales Process No Comments

When we are talking about the sales process, we ask for the best guess of the sales person as to when the sales opportunity will close. Occasionally, we hear back “I don’t have an end date.” There are legitimate cases where this is true, but more often than not, it’s not only wrong, but is also dangerous. Forecasting will be difficult if not impossible, and the sales people won’t be following a process.

Here are some questions to think about when evaluating if you actually have an end date to your sales opportunity.

Continue Reading

ASPEC for Salesforce – Available on the Salesforce AppExchange

Written by on . Posted in ASPEC, Product No Comments

ASPEC for Salesforce

It is my utmost pleasure to announce that ASPEC for Salesforce  is now available on the AppExchange. SalesWays’ groundbreaking opportunity management app using our patented sales methodology is readily available, fully-integrated into the world’s most popular customer relationship management (CRM) software.

ASPEC for Salesforce is a connected app that is compatible with all Sales Cloud editions with Opportunity Tracking enabled. With this launch, Sales Cloud users can instantly unlock tremendous value from their Salesforce opportunity tracking through the additional visual and analytical tools found only in ASPEC.

Continue Reading

Introducing Sales Forecasting with ASPEC – Part 1

Written by on . Posted in ASPEC, In Practice No Comments

ASPEC Series - Forecast Part 1

Monthly or weekly, or even at times daily, sales teams have to forecast. Before ASPEC, sales forecasts (or “order forecasts”) were often done in Excel or some other simple tool, and sent around with some manual manipulation. With ASPEC, transparency moves to the forefront. Opportunities are entered and managed right in the software – not just for forecasting, but with a focus on creating a complete and inclusive list of all opportunities in order to manage them better and to win more.

I’m going to focus on how to use the Forecast section within ASPEC, with the goal of explaining how it works and how to forecast right from the software, in real time, whenever you want. Rather than wait for the “thumb in the wind” forecast to be sent around, at any point anyone in the team with the appropriate security access can see the forecast. (Note that I said see, not do – ASPEC builds it for you and keeps in constantly up-to-date.)

Continue Reading

Book Review – Mastering Major Account Selling

Written by on . Posted in Books, General Sales Topics No Comments

Mastering Major Account Selling

Mastering Major Account Selling is a free e-book by Richard Ruff and Janet Spirer of Sales Momentum, a sales training company, and it is available at their website, along with a smartphone app.

The title is an imposing agenda for any book, and immediately my mind went to a 400-page text with research and examples and lessons and case studies that would take a semester in college to read and understand and absorb, to say nothing of writing a review of it.

Instead, I found a 25-page expanded list of things to do in major account selling – a very complete and valuable list, at that. Think of it as the condensed version of the 400-page text. If I were highlighting all of the important points as I read that textbook, this would be my compilation of the yellow lines. It would be in my briefcase, and I would review it from time to time and try to better understand and apply the principles.

Continue Reading

Relationship Sales vs Opportunity Sales – Who Wins?

Written by on . Posted in Sales Methodology, Sales Process No Comments

Process Algorithm

Recently someone on a LinkedIn group sales thread asked the question, “what’s the difference between sales process and sales method.” Mostly the replies were spot on, but I noticed a couple of comments along the lines of “who cares?”

I think that most salespeople are using some form of process or method, but many don’t realize it. If you are computerizing the way you do sales, you have to be conscious of method and process. These two factors determine how good your sales automation will be.

For instance, today I’m writing about selling styles, which I would say fall under the category of sales method. But selling styles are also indelibly linked to sales process—at least, in the way we use them in Opportunity Portfolio Management.

Continue Reading

“A Sure Fire Remedy for Discounting”

Written by on . Posted in Sales Cycle, Sales Methodology No Comments


Back on March 30, John Barrows posted a blog on his site that I’m going to re-post here with some comments. I like the topic John addressed, discounting, and I liked his solution – be in a position where you don’t have to. It’s an answer to the temptation to offer discounts to fatten your sales numbers at the end of a reporting period.

But there is another discounting pressure besides your end-of-period report – winning the individual sales opportunity. It’s coming to a close and you’re sure you’re not in a position to win, so you drop your price and even if you still don’t win, at least you’ve cut into the competition’s profit margin when the customer uses your price to leverage a discount out of them.

Continue Reading

Social Network