Those who know me know that although I have a background in Technology I have spent a good part of my career selling or running sales teams. To that end I’d like to lay out my top 5 sales tips for 2015.
1. Always set an expiry on a sales offer. Never leave it open ended. A sales cycle is exactly that, a cycle, and you need to be in control of the cycle and ensuring that any sales quotations are time boxed helps you do this.
2. “Jam tomorrow” is not a strategy. What I mean by this is don’t discount a deal based on the nebulous promise of “if we close this then there will be plenty more sales down the line so just give me the same price as if I bought 1000’s of your product”. You can only deal with what is in front of you not a promise of tomorrow that is not contractual.
3. Don’t miss the “windows of opportunity” . In every sales cycle there is an optimum window of being able to close a deal. Once you move out of this window it is much harder to get the deal closed. How do you know what the windows is ? If you have been in sales a long time your gut will tell you, if not the window is often within some pre-defined deadlines that have momentum, once you get outside of these without closing you often lose the momentum and the impetus to close the deal.
4. Selling is not just giving a demo and a quotation. It is much more than that. You need to understand the use case, understand the pain points, keep close to the influencers, know the business structure, know any internal deadlines, get close to the person who signs off, controlling your pre-sales or tech team and ensuring they are ‘on point’. All this and more.
5. Know when to take the money of the table. In some deal cycles you need to know when to agree terms and take the money. This sounds easy but it is not. I’ve seen many sales lost by sales reps trying to eke out the last dollar thereby angering the prospect. Know when to take the money.