Nov. 5, 2019

15: Are you advancing a deal or continuing it?


How do you keep advancing your opportunity? Neil Rackham in Spin 
Selling talks about what successful salespeople propose as the next step to keep moving your deal forward

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

Do your opportunities move forward as fast as you want them to do. If not, you're like most B to B sales people today who complain about deal momentum being a problem. Neil Rackham and spin selling talks about what successful salespeople people propose as a next step to keep moving your deal forward.

Speaker 2:

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Speaker 3:

welcome to the bite-size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team in a B to B company. That complacency is the enemy and taking bite-size steps each day to get better at your craft is the best way to improve results. I am your host, Andrew Monahan , and I'm using my 26 years of experience in B2B sales to bring you small, actionable ideas every day to help you get better.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 1:

Almost every sales team I work with says that deal momentum or probably more accurately, accurately lack of deal momentum is one of their big challenges. They just don't move as fast as we want them to do. They slow down, they stall, they go sideways, they go dark. There's this constant Malays where we , we think there's good reason this compelling events coming up, but it doesn't always result in the right actions, the right way forward when we're working with our prospects. Um, sales cycles are definitely longer than we want and this causes all sorts of problems internally. It causes problems for our forecasting, things like that. Now, there are many causes of this. Uh, and one of them that comes up a lot is what we actually asked for or what we pushed for what we get as a next step in the sales cycle. So to take from spin selling, which was Neil Rackham's book, he talks about the difference between advances and continuations. So in advance, he describes as where an event takes place, either in the color after it that moves the sale forward to a decision. And he compares that with continuations, which he describes as where the sale will continue, but where no specific action has been agreed upon by the customer to move it forward. So an example of an advance might be a customer's agreement to attend an offsite , a demonstration. Um, they might be a clearance that you will get in front of a higher level of decision maker, things like that. Whereas a continuation might be, you know, let's meet again to talk about this next time you're around here. Let's talk. We really liked what you talked about. We need to just think about it some more. Things like that, more wishy washy. And I think it's obvious that a , you know, advances are what we want. Whereas continuations or maybe what's slowing down deals sometimes. So in the book though, a , if I read from a new wreck and talks about is, is what do we know to ask for a shoot for in terms of moving the deal forward. So to read directly from the book, how do you know which commitment to propose put simply, there are two characteristics of the commitments proposed by successful salespeople . Number one, the commitment advances the sale. As a result, the result of the commitment, the sale will move forward in some way. And the second one is the commitment. Proposed is the highest realistic commitment that the customers able to give. Successful sellers never pushed the customer beyond achievable limits. And that struck directly from the book. Now I know that there's lots of you listening to this that , uh, know that this is something you hope to get tighter at, right? It's something that you want to do. You want your deals to move faster and there'll be someone that's listening to this who recognize that they don't always get the best advances and maybe you rely or get pushed to continuations more than you would like. And so the challenge really here is how do you keep moving these deals forward by thinking about advancements or specific next steps or actions being taken, but also think carefully about the highest realistic thing to ask for. And that's maybe where we need to give some, some thought to as we're going into these calls, into these meetings is be very prescriptive about what we think is a realistic but definitely a stretch ask from the prospect. Um , and too often we, you know, we think about things and say, well the goal of this call is to give a demo or the goal of this call is to get their buy in to something. Right? And I wonder if that's sometimes not perhaps you know , in, in, in Neil Rackham's terminology is not specifically advanced in the sale . I , there's no real action going to take place on the part of the prospect. But also is it really the highest realistic thing that we can ask for? And I think that's the challenge for today is if you do suffer for from deal momentum problems, you know , what can you do to , to really think through before every call, every meeting. Firstly, what is the specific advancement that we're going to ask for that the customer is going to take to move this forward. And then secondly, is it the highest realistic thing we can ask for is not too high of a reach, but it's not too easy. There isn't really in the mind of the prospect see , signify some sort of advancement. If you can do those two things, you might get to the point where you're tackling this . The root cause of these deals are not moving fast enough.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

if you want to get the book mentioned in this episode for free, simply go to bite size sales.com forward slash free book. If you sign on that page for unstoppable

Speaker 2:

dot du , we'll send you your book on us. Unstoppable gives you habit forming action notes on great sales book such as spin selling, never split the difference. New sales simplified the challenger sale and many more in there. You get the best ideas from these books, all organized in a straightforward and easy to implement way and designed for you to take action and transform your results. All of the equivalent of three cups of coffee per month. Start now and get your free book by going to bite sized sales.com forward slash freebook [inaudible] [inaudible] .

Speaker 1:

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