Updated: Jun 7, 2018
In my years as a sales leader, I have traveled with more sales reps than I can count. The mix goes from the very effective to the struggling. The difference between the two is how well they plan.
To assist my reps who needed help, I gave them 3 things they should always know before every meeting or phone call with a prospect or customer. This planning worked every time it was followed.
The 3 steps are simple:
Identify your ideal outcome. This is the best thing the prospect can realistically be expected to do as a result of the conversation. While we would all like to close on every sales call, in complex sales, that typically isn't possible. Keep it real.
Identify your minimum acceptable outcome. Determine the minimum a prospect must do to move the sale forward. In other words, if the customer does not do this, the sales call fell short of accomplishing its intended goal.
Determine your plan for accomplishing the ideal outcome. This is the only one of the steps the sales rep has control over. The focus of developing this step is on planning to accomplish the first step and ensuring the result does not fall below the second.
There are three reasons this planning process works. The first, this method begins with focusing on the prospect. Before even setting a meeting, the sales rep should know what needs to be accomplished through the sales process to move the sale forward. Always remember, only the prospect can move the sales process forward.
The second is that it requires to the sales professional to come up with a plan to get the prospect to move. This needs to be done before the meeting and it needs to be recorded. A sales rep who lacks the self-discipline to do these three simple steps lacks the ability to improve his performance.
Finally, by setting a minimum acceptable outcome it establishes a system for continuous improvement. When we fail to set minimum standards, we fail to make the improvements needed to improve results. Identifying the minimum acceptable outcome makes a lot of sales people uncomfortable. Great! Discomfort drives improvement.
From a sales leader's perspective, this methodology is helpful because it is a foundation for giving specific and actionable coaching advice.
Follow these 3 Steps and your team will be on the way to Selling More While Spending Less.