Taking Charge Of A Complex Sale

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Taking Charge Of A Complex Sale

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If you’re selling something to another human, then you’re in a complex sale.

You must manage schedules, needs, discovery, budget, and delivery – at a minimum! If you’re selling an enterprise solution, you’re dealing with multiple decision makers, advocates, and critics.

Too many salespeople hope they’ll remember everything that needs to happen to move a complex sale forward, and too many are disappointed when something falls through the cracks and the deal is delayed or dies altogether.

The best salespeople learn over time what to do to manage a complex sale, but if you don’t want to spend decades making mistakes and losing deals to learn the same lessons, you’re going to love this week’s system.

We’re going to show you exactly how to take charge of a complex sale so that you’ll be the one in control. To learn how, we sat down with Gavin West, vice president of sales and marketing at Smileyscope and former Marine Corps scout sniper. He walked us through a simple system that he’s trained his salespeople to use to ensure they’re putting the right rounds on target.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: Taking charge of a complex sales starts before the sale is underway. Gavin said we need to begin by identifying the ‘players’ we’re likely to encounter in the complex sale and map out their likely challenges and goals. We’ll always have to customize them to the individuals we encounter, but a little research will go a long way in progressing the sale.

R – Repeatable: Making this process repeatable means taking the time to map out the departments you’re dealing with and build ‘target packages’ for each of them. What are the things they’ll need to see to become advocates for your product or service? Who will be early adopters and who will likely feel threatened?

How will you prepare to deal with each group ahead of time in your marketing, emails, discovery questions and testimonials?

The next step is making it specific to the people you’ve identified in your prospect’s company. Determine if they are advocates or detractors and determine how you’ll leverage them as advocates or mitigate their impact as detractors.

At this point, see what you can do to include yourself in your prospect’s administrative meetings. This isn’t to pitch, but rather to better understand their goals and how they pursue them. Even if you’re attending just to hear what’s being said, chances are you’ll learn something that will help you navigate the sale in the future.

Finally, determine what test trial you are running in the organization so they can experience your product or service hands-on. This might be a focus study, product demonstration or soft rollout. Before conducting it, determine what questions each of your decision makers needs answered to ensure your trial run answers them.

I – Improvable: To improve this system, look at the budgeting cycles for the complex customers you have. Chances are, they’ll have some things in common that you can learn from to adjust how and when you’re making contact and selling.

Another area to look for improvement in are the issues you and your team are encountering in their complex sales. The worst time to deal with a crisis is while the crisis is happening, so if you notice that an issue consistently comes up delaying or killing your deals, look at how you can build in ways to eliminate or mitigate it earlier in the sales process.

If you have channel partners or vendors who also serve your ideal clients, take the time to ask them what they’re encountering and look for ways to improve how you sell and how you can integrate what you sell into your partners’ offerings to the same clients.

Finally, look at how your customers measure success. Is it by net promoter score? Shareholder return? Another metric? Ensure that you’re framing what you sell as a solution to help them connect to their goals in the ways they measure them.

M – Measurable: The best thing to measure in a complex sale, according to Gavin, is how engaged your prospects are. You can measure not only how interested your advocates are, but how much the engagement of your detractors increases as you adjust your marketing and sales language to be more goal oriented.

A great lagging indicator to measure is how quickly your product or services delivers ROI for your clients in the areas they care about, because those case studies will be invaluable to leverage in future complex sales and in generating referrals.

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