April 21, 2009

The fact is getting project approval has slowed sales down

I was on an early morning con-call today with a professional sales person based in Australia. He recently secured a significant deal (more than $10 million). I asked him what he was doing to face the slowdown. His reply:


“Now is a good time to knock on doors, it is important to stay focused and to stay positive about the impact your solutions can deliver. Eighteen months ago, I wasn’t too worried about looking for budget in the early part of a sales cycle. Now I am qualifying very hard a lot earlier on, we are asking questions like

  • What will the board view be on a project like this?


  • Where will the budget come from for this project?


  • What types of cost benefit analysis will we need to work on together?


  • We are being frank but at the same time respectful, its is important not to come across as being pushy.


Our sales team are drawing out the cost benefit and project justification a lot earlier in the sales cycle as part of qualification. We are working with the clients to build this so we don't waste our time or theirs. Qualification and activity levels are the only game in town if you are going to reach your numbers”.


I hope this insight from the field is useful.


John O' Gorman - sales coaching, sales effectiveness, sales management



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