Business tips from the Finally Fast team
Many of the most successful people in sales will tell you that the key to high sales is actually the right sales tracking process. By analyzing the accounts that got away, a sales manager can uncover underlying weaknesses in his or her offering, identify areas upon which the sales force can improve, and learn valuable information about key competitors.So how do you get started implementing a sales-tracking system that incorporates strong win-loss analysis? Here’s where you should start.
Start by putting together a simple written report template that allows both clients and would-be clients to quickly rate your company’s performance in three key areas: the sales team, sales tools and collateral, and product features. For example, under sales team include attributes such as understanding of the account, understanding of the business issues, and understanding of the technology issues. Ask your clients to evaluate your competition using the same metrics. You can always ask for a follow-up appointment if a purchasing manager’s answers are inadequate.
Ask about your Competition
It’s useful to get a price-to-value comparison of your company compared to the competition. You can also ask open-ended questions about competing products. What features did a rival product have that ours lacked? Was another product perceived to be a better value? A sales loss driven by pricing concerns may have nothing to do with the sales rep’s performance.
First and Last impressions
It’s useful to know how a potential client first discovered your company. Then, ask questions that get at your positioning in the market. How did a corporate buyer view your company before a sales rep even stepped in the door? And how did his or her perceptions change during the sales process? A good final question: Would you recommend my company to others?
Once your report template has been returned to your company, it’s time to ask for an interview. But don’t ask your sales reps to conduct the post-mortem reviews. After an extended attempt at closing a sale, a rep may have a hard time being objective. And buyers don’t want to have a heart-to-heart with a declined sales rep for fear the rep will try to attempt the sales all over again. It’s best to hire a neutral third-party to conduct the interview ask an in-house manager removed from the sales trenches to carry out the task. A marketing director, for instance, is in a better position to ask sensitive questions about a salesperson’s professionalism and product knowledge. Marketing directors are also more likely to ask whether a brochure, web page, or white paper influenced a buying decision, in addition to a rep’s sales skills.