Sales best practices for improving sales win rates, shortening the sales cycle and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales strategies to make revenue growth repeatable, and scalable
In a previous blog post, Accelerating Your Customer's Hiring & Buying Process, I shared ideas on how applying project management principles including the use of a tool like the customer hiring plan can accelerate the customer buying process. If you recall, a customer hiring plan is a plan that accounts for all of the tasks and events that must be acted upon and completed including the decisions that must be made by you and your customer from the time the job order is qualified until the consultant’s first day of work. Not only does it account for all of the tasks, activities and events but it provides a timeline in which all must be completed by in order for the customer to start seeing business results in the time frame in which they need and expect to see them. Below I share with you an infographic that highlight the benefits to both the customer and the salesperson for adopting a customer hiring plan. Download Your Free Copy of the Customer Hiring Plan What strategies are you and your team deploying to accelerate the sales cycle? What tools and methodologies are you apply to prevent stalled sales cycles? Let's start a conversation in the comments secion below.
If just getting to the sales negotiation stage of the sales process feels like a marathon, what does it take to cross the goal line with terms and pricing that everyone agrees on? There are plenty of missteps, pitfalls and trap-doors that salespeople have to navigate and be aware of when it comes to running a successful sales negotiation. Here are six common sales negotiation mistakes made by staffing professionals and how to avoid them.
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If you have been in sales long enough, especially IT staffing sales, than you know there are a lot of reasons, reasons outside of our control for which deals can blow up and fail to close. But there are other reasons, reasons that are within control of the sales rep for why deals don't close. I’m going to share with you what I have found to be the most common reasons (that are within the control of the sales rep) for why sales reps can't close.
I’ve certainly been burned by this one and I bet you have too. You have a great conversation or meeting with a prospective customer. They tell you they are the "economic buyer" and are in the market for your service or product. They tell you all the things you need to hear to make you believe this is a real opportunity and that they want to do business with you. You both even agree to a follow up call. Then … the prospect goes MIA….silence. Off the grid. And you sit there....waiting for the phone to ring. Well, hopefully you don't don't do that:) So, what happened here? Your prospect went silent on you? here's why & what to do
As it turns out, a lot actually. My brother introduced me to the T.V hit series Mad Men at the conclusion of season 3. I breezed through those first three seasons via Netfix in just a few weeks and haven't looked back since! What's not to love......sales, an over indulgence of booze, crazy corporate shannigans and brilliant writing. Oh, I guess there is a fair amount of sex not to mention adultery. But if you can get past that last part I assure you you will learn something about pitching a deal and sales closing.
In my blog posted earlier this month, I shared Three Simple Tips For Sales Negotiation. If you have not yet read that blog and sales negotiation tips 1-3, you can click here to do so. Let me now share with you sales negotiation tips 4-7.
While the hammer (the hard sell) at times may be the easiest way to go about a negotiation, it is often not the most effective. And you can't continue to rely on the old stand by, you know the one.....the "take away." So you need to have multiple sales negotiation tools in your sales negotiation tool box. Here are a few tips to help you fight off pricing pressureand help you maintain gross profit integrity and keep you smiling at your ATM machine!
How in the heck can two sales people who work for the same company and sell the same services to virtually the same customers have such a large disparity in their gross profit margins? I work with IT staffing and consulting firms all across the country and I run into this scenario quite frequently. One rep can consistently generate GP margins north of 30% while another struggles to close a deal at 25%. There are a number of reasons for how and why this happens. Let me share some insight and hopefully help you optimize your gross profit margins.
I have been hearing from a number of folks in the IT staffing industry that they're seeing a significantly higher proportion of perm positions vs contract positions. In one extreme case I even heard a company who said they've been getting about 20:1 perm to contract client requirements. For those of you who are seeing a high percentage of permanent positions to contract opportunities, here are a few things to keep in mind. Who are you calling on, HR or IT executives? You're not going to find the consulting opportunities calling on HR. And they certainly are not going to share those opportunities with you if they have them (without a prior relationship). Make sure you're calling IT decision makers. Also, be sure to call VP's on the business side-Sales, Finance, Supply Chain, etc... They hire consultants too! Are you properly qualifying your accounts? Do you understand the business opportunity for IT consultants in your accounts? If you do and you are qualifying your accounts then why aren't you seeing the contract requirements? Are you asking for contract business? "Fill the permanent positions, and then we'll give you the contract business." If this describes your situation then be sure to get something in writing that highlights exactly how much contract business you will "win" and be sure to qualify the process for doing contract business with the client. Remember, buyers will tell you what you need to hear in order for them to get what they want. I have seen plenty of reps get burned by this. Marketing and messaging: If it is contract business that you want than why aren't you selling and positioning your firm as a consulting firm? Better yet, why are you agreeing to take on and work the perm positions when you in fact you want contract business? Perhaps it is because you don’t have another opportunity to turn to? Get out there and prospect! Don't "settle" for the perm business, have the courage to walk away from and find a client who needs to hire consultants. One of the best parts of being in sales is you get to pick your customers! The clients I'm working with are seeing plenty of IT contract opportunities. What is everyone else out there seeing?
There seems to be a lot of job order activity in the IT staffing market these days. The IT staffing firms I’m working with are seeing a huge increase in job order activity but many are struggling to get their clients to move on their candidates. So what gives?