Sales departments are not immune to the call to "do more with less." With shrinking budgets exerting increased pressure on sales related expenses, closing sales opportunities requires a different strategy. Multiple sales calls and elaborate presentations are no longer the norm. Letting "opportunities" drag on, and chasing prospects endlessly until they make decisions is no longer acceptable (and should never have been).
Today, the salesperson's marching orders are, "Shorten your selling cycle." To do that, you must be more selective about the prospects with whom you meet. Invest a bit more time during the initial contacts to establish compelling reasons to schedule appointments. And, when you meet with a prospect, there shouldn't be any confusion - mutual mystification - about what will take place. When you schedule the appointment, establish a well-defined agenda for the meeting - clear objectives to be achieved: the topics to explore, the information to share, and the conclusions to reach. And, define the role each party must play during the meeting in order to achieve the objectives.
Review the agenda at the beginning of the meeting to make sure that the conditions that precipitated the meeting have not changed and that the prospect is prepared to carry out his role in reaching the objectives previously defined. If conditions have changed, or the prospect is not prepared, it may be in your best interest to cancel or reschedule the meeting.
Shortening the selling cycle requires more efficient actions from the time you say "Hello" to prospects until the time you close the sale and they become customers, or you "close the file" and move on to another prospect. Greater efficiency comes with proper advanced planning and timely execution of scheduled activities. Investing "however long it takes" to develop a relationship with a potential customer is not acceptable. The costs are too great.
Copyright Sandler Training