This stage refers to any late-stage activities that happen as a deal approaches closing. It varies widely from company to company, and may include things like delivering a quote or proposal, negotiation, achieving the buy-in of decision makers, and other actions.
The close is what every salesperson works toward. It should result in a mutually beneficial contractual agreement between the prospect and the seller. Once a deal closes, the salesperson will recieve commission on price they negotiated with their client, and the account usually passes to an account manager or customer success representative. The next natural question -- do you need both?
The answer is probably, " Yes. Choosing a sales methodology sets the foundation for your sales team as they approach their work. First popularized in the late s and early s, solution selling focuses on the customer's pain instead of his or her own company's products. Products are framed as solutions, and emphasis is placed on achieving agreement on what a resolution of the customer's pain would look like.
The Sandler Sales Methodology treats the buyer and seller as equally invested in the sales process. Sandler reps are trained to address objections early, so valuable time is saved for both parties.
Instead of the seller convincing the buyer to make a purchase, in the Sandler methodology, the buyer is almost convincing the seller to sell to them. An outgrowth of solution selling, consultative selling also became popular during the s.
With so many choices in today's marketplace, it's important for sales teams to put the needs of their buyers ahead of their own needs. This approach was born from the believe that:. These shifts are all examples of how buyers have seized control of the sales process from the sales reps who once held all the power.
With these changes in mind, it's important for sales teams to adopt a more helpful, human approach to selling. We think of this as inbound selling. Look back at the last five or 10 deals you closed. What were the major steps in the process? What were the touchpoints with the customer?
Consider roughly how long the entire process took, and how much time elapsed between each step. The more examples you have and the more people on your team those examples come from , the better. Once you've identified that timeline, work backward to understand the timeline each rep should expect. If six of those 10 deals closed in approximately six weeks, take a look at what the average steps were to get there. Working backward might look something like this:. Once you understand your sales process, you can dig deeper to understand the subtle motivations and pain points that drove each deal to close.
While every sales process is different, chances are, the steps you observed align at least somewhat with the common steps outlined above.
Your list of steps might be shorter or include stages not listed above, but a generic example is often a good starting point. Ideally that reason or cause will be based on the actions of the prospect, not the perception of the sales rep. For example, h ow many prospects transitioned into and out of each stage in a given time period?
These are the very basics most teams find value in measuring. Give some thought to metrics specific to your business that will help you define success or the need for imovement in a particular stage. Its purpose is to inspire, teach, and provide you with practical insight to help build results-oriented marketing and sales programs in your organization. Collectively these gifted professionals have served as pioneering practitioners inside the profession, and as outside advisors and thought leaders for hundreds, even thousands of CPAs and their firms.
This compendium of marketing know-how shows you how to build your marketing team, implement marketing techniques that get you noticed, connect the dots between marketing and sales, measure results, and much, much more. Her practical, results-oriented approach helps professional services firms build more profitable practices.
She advises clients on practice growth, sales, and marketing. A frequent speaker and facilitator for local, regional, national, and international groups, she inspires and empowers audiences to do more of the work they love. Request permission to reuse content from this site. Chapter 2 Marketing and Sales Chapter 3 The Integration Imperative: Lowe and Scott Jensen. Chapter 24 Referral Source Development: