Nov. 21, 2019

27: The most simple way to keep momentum in your sales cycle


Feel like your sales opporutnities stall too easily? Next steps don't happen? Anthony Iannarino writes about this in his book "The Lost Art of Closing"Support the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)
Transcript
Speaker 1:

Do you feel like your sales opportunities stall way too easily or next steps don't happen or don't happen fast enough? Anthony [inaudible] writes about this in his book, the lost art of closing.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 3:

Welcome to the bite size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team and a B2B company, that the sales team deserves great sales skills training but usually doesn't get it and that 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 experiences in B2B sales to bring you simple actionable ideas every day to help you get better.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] . Welcome

Speaker 1:

to episode 27 and I'm recording this in the middle of November, 2019 Dreamforce is actually happening this week in San Francisco and next week in the U S we're all looking forward to, I'm sure the Thanksgiving break, which of course is the calm before the storm of the the run into the end of the quarter into the year. That's coming up very quickly here. The tip for this week's episode comes from Anthony know Reno , and he's one of the authors , sales authors, sales experts. I admire most many times in the past when I've been thinking about a topic or an issue or thought about something my mind and then find that how Anthony describes things and how he thinks about it. He's actually really aligned to my own way. He just articulates. It's so much better than I do and clearly, and it's clear that he does this again, again. Um, he also has an interesting habit of having provocative titles for his books. Uh, one of the ones he wrote was a book titled the only sales guide you'll ever need, which he then followed up with two more sales books since then, which can calls into question the title. Right. Um, the good thing is as a Brit, I'm glad that he can poke fun at himself about this a little bit and , uh , take it on the chin and , and use it actually as a, is a great way to, you know , promote himself. Um, and one of the books that followed up the LA , the , the only sales guy you'll ever need is a book called the last, sorry, the lost art of closing. You know, again, the title is a little bit controversial because if you're like me, you immediately think, Oh my goodness, is this a book about the 25 ways to close a deal? Is it gonna be the Ben Franklin close and they this close and the, you know, give them a time CLO or whatever it might be. Right? And it's really not. It's is in fact not what you think at all. What it is about is taking all those small steps is seek commitments throughout the sales cycle that keep your deals forward. Um, it is not just the clothes to ask for the order is the close to ask for these commitments along the way to apply resources to assign time to, you know, assign money, things like that along the way. And it's , uh , it is one of these books that , uh, the title is controversial, but the content is awesome. So let me just , uh, read a little bit from this to tee this up. You might be surprised to learn that ISIS cried to the always be closing approach, just not in pursuit of the commitment to buy, which is what most people were trained to get. Instead, I worked toward gaining a series of commitments that advance the sale towards the decision. In 1988, Neil Rakim wrote one of the legendary books on sales titled spin selling. It stands as one of the best selling hardcover books that McGraw Hill has ever published. Neil Rackham's research didn't suggest never be closing. In fact, his research showed quite the opposite to be true. It recommended always be closing, but not for the commitment to buy, which is what most people were trained to get. Once I read Rackham's work, I applied the idea of Guinea commitment at the end of each interaction and my sales results immediately improved. This practice alone is transformative and it is as it is, the one thing I have found that keeps deals moving forward. This insight alone has helped me generate literally hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that from a book that costs around $25 and takes four hours to read. And so that was directly from the book, the lost art of closing by Anthony Reno . And if I was to recommend one thing to listeners of this podcast and the people I interact with when it comes to deal momentum, it will be to embrace this concept 100%. Go all in on it. Even if you think you're good at it, you know , this is a way, this is a place to get better because deals do speed up and is a big problem out there in the sales world as it just seemed to slow down all the time. Um, challenge yourself to say, how can I be world class at the idea of seeking commitments along the way? And in practical terms, how could you use this in your sales cycles you're running right now? And I would say two things that are aligned to this. One is before you go into every interaction, be very clear yourself, but also have it agreed and be clear with your prospect about the outcome and goal of the meeting. You know too often what we see are very kind of wishy washy goals, right? We want to give a demo, we want to get someone's buy-in, right? Things like that. The question to ask yourself is yes, that's what you might do during the meeting, but so what? Right? So if you could have a conversation with your prospect before the meeting and say, you know something like, look, we've got five people from your side coming . We've got three people from, from our side coming, we want to do this, this and the meeting and I think the right thing is at the end of the meeting, if you like what you see or like what you hear, you'll then be able to, and it might be a sign the resources to do the POC or the POV, it might be to bring a team together to , to build a project plan, wherever it may be, something's going to happen on the end of the prospect. If the meeting goes well, right? And ideally you've got that pre-agreed upfront and that's the reason why you're doing the meeting. So the end of it, if it does go well, you literally ask, okay, I think has gone well. Do we all agree? Okay, what we agreed was that we would then move to this next step, let's move there. Right? It's a very natural thing to do at that point. So that's the first thing that I would do. The second thing is make sure at the end of the meeting that you actually ask for that next step. You know, I know I've been guilty of this before and I'm sure some of you, if you're honest with yourself, you know, sometimes it's a little bit unclear about what that next step is, who's going to take it when it's going to happen? There's no real commitment, right? Um, there's nothing in the schedules . And then the counter says, this is when it's going to happen. It's like, well, that was good. You can have something to think about and you know , and there's no follow through from the side of the prospect. Um, so that lets the two recommendations I would have for you to make this idea be very practical for you to use. Don't be weak on the goal, right? Be very clear on the goal up front, have it pre-agreed and make sure the end of the meeting that you confirm that it's being met and you ask for and, and take that next step or help them take that next step with you.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

if you liked this episode, please share it wide and far spread the word. I get energy from seeing people download and use this content. So please just take 20 seconds to share with anyone you think would like it to

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

the episode is sponsored by unstoppable dot du . Most sales teams are not trained effectively the skills and mindset they deserve. And these are the most important people in the company. It's no wonder that only about 50% of reps make quarter every year. Unstoppable is a service that helps sellers and leaders get great at the skills and mindset they need without taking time out of the field. It exists because if the sales team has the right skills and mindset, they thrive. They are confident and the performance or

Speaker 1:

much better. Find out more and even a free sales

Speaker 3:

book@bitesizesales.com

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

and no to wrap up as Nicola Harvey, director of AMEA S Isaac CloudBees may or may not have one said training without implementation is just entertainment and preparer entertainment when Monaghan does it. So make sure you take action on what you learn and keep getting better every day. This world does not need more sales BS, so don't create anymore . Be great at the fundamentals. Be honest, be real. Be yourself. Just do not be us. And finally, I'm setting off as the great Joe Sexton would by saying, gone to sell

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .