Ten Commandments for Shortening Your Sales Cycle, Pt. 1
By John Doerr

hourglass

It usually takes a long time to find a shorter way. - Anonymous

I spend a good percentage of my time selling. I also spend a lot of time coaching and training sales teams. One question that comes up time after time is, "How do I shorten the sales cycle?"

My quick response is usually, "Have more in each stage of your pipeline at all times, so the sales cycle just seems shorter."

Of course, that rarely makes anyone feel better. So based on RAIN Group’s research and experience, here are Ten Commandments that will help make your sales process move more quickly...

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6 Ways to Communicate Impact in Sales
By Mike Schultz

impact

You’ve worked on building rapport with your prospect and you’ve uncovered their aspirations and afflictions. The question then becomes, "So what?"

If your afflictions don’t get solved, so what? What won’t happen? Will they get worse? How will they affect the bottom line of your company, division, or department? How will they affect your life?

If your aspirations don’t become reality, so what? Will your competition get ahead of you if you don’t innovate? Will you lose market share if you aren’t aggressive in your strategy? Will you never be able to grow your business to a point where you can sell it and reach your personal financial goals? Will the promotion you desire continue to elude you?

Your ability to quantify the impact and paint the ‘‘so what’’ picture is the foundation for how important it is for the decision maker to buy from you. If you don’t answer the “so what” question, the initiative will fall to the bottom of the priority list...

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Bringing Insight Selling Alive - How to Tell a Convincing Story
By Mike Schultz

steve jobs

CONVINCE

con•vince

1.  Cause (someone) to believe firmly in the truth of something.

2.  Persuade (someone) to take action.

Building confidence in the validity of an idea. Inspiring action.

The sellers who do these best sell the most.

While a few do insight selling naturally, many struggle. Sellers might know with great certainty that when buyers buy they’ll be better off as a result, but they just can’t get the buyers to believe it, too.

What’s interesting, though, is that the sellers who are good at selling an idea and those who aren’t often both understand the idea and its importance. It’s just that some communicate it far better than others.

Those that do insight selling well—whether they know it or not—satisfy the same basic criteria every time, following the same story format. And the great thing is this: the basic structure is simple and learnable. We call this basic structure a Convincing Story.

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The Seller As Differentiator
By Mike Schultz

salesperson

Lots of people lament the commoditization in their industries.

They’ll say things like, "Buyers see us as commodities."

Interestingly enough, the truth is lots of buyers agree.

Now, given what I do, I’ve been a part of actually watching many buying processes from the buyer’s side and the buyers often say at the end, “Of the five companies we’re looking at, I actually think that three of them are well suited to do the work, but we still have to pick a winner,” and, at least in my observation, the winner is not always on price and, in fact, it’s not usually on price.

So what is it then that makes one company stand out enough to win the business versus the others that are also vying for it?

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3 Tips for Selling to the C-Suite
By Ago Cluytens

meditation

Most of my clients want to have better meetings with senior executives. Meetings that feel like conversations, not pitches. Meetings that build deeper relationships. Meetings that uncover more ways in which they can help their customers.

Behind closed doors, when I ask what’s holding them back, many will tell me things like, “I don’t feel comfortable,” “I have nothing to offer to them,” or “I’m not at their level.”

Selling to the C-suite can be difficult, and getting a first meeting can be a real challenge. But in my experience, the most difficult part is not getting the first meeting. It’s getting the second one. Or the third one.

It’s keeping the relationship going...

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