November 14, 2008

Winning Advice - Do Fewer Presentations and Proposals!

Ironically, fewer presentations and proposals generally results in more sales!

Traditionally the view was that the more customers you presented to - the more sales were likely to result. However sales presentations where the salesperson does all the talking (with or without the aide of a set of powerpoint slides) are not an effective way to sell. Great sales people will give a presentation if they have too, but prefer conversations instead. In this way they can clearly establish requirements and more successfully match solutions to needs.

Traditionally managers saw a direct relationship between the number of proposals prepared and sales revenues. However, that has changed. In fact, many managers complain that their organizations are writing too many proposals, or that win rates are slipping. Great sales people write proposals, but only as the culmination of an extensive two way process of understanding the buyers needs, exploring solutions and trial ballooning price/other key aspects of the proposition.

Too many proposals are prepared unilaterally and at an early stage in the sales cycles. But that means they generally involve the salesperson 'going out on a limb' to propose something without the confidence that it will be well received and without a thorough understanding of the customers' requirements.

Ray Collis
Director - The ASG Group, Ireland.

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