Slowing Down May Help Increase Revenue and Deal Velocity
In this fast paced world, a lot of sales teams have a high-speed mentality. But it turns out that being fast isn’t always best. It seems counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to increase revenue and improve deal velocity is to have your sales people slow down during the early stages of the sales process.
During many of our “Must Win Deal” workshops, a trend we often find is sales people who rush to the proposal stage. Once there, they realize they may not have discovered enough compelling reasons to truly create urgency for the deal and for the prospective client to build a strong case internally to gain approval and funding. Even seasoned veterans who have decades of sales success behind them can fall victim to this mistake.
What can you do as CEO?
Take the time to ensure that your sales managers (and even you) are listening effectively.
Have your sales team take a critical look at the opportunities in their pipeline in the later stages of your sales process. Are these opportunities as strong as your sales people are reporting?
You know the old adage…”Never assume, because assuming makes an...” We’ve all heard it, but when you’re in the sales meeting with an exciting prospect it can be hard to take a moment to step back and ensure you (and your sales team) are listening effectively rather than assuming you know what your prospects need. A great time to practice this before you preach to your team, is in your next sales meeting with them.
Step one is deciding to step outside of your comfort zone, and make the conscious decision to effectively listen rather than over speaking. Next, listen slowly. What does that mean? Take the time to sit and really listen to what they are trying to say to you. Instead of over-analyzing, and thinking of your next step to respond, instead only focus on what they are saying to you at that moment. Showing them you’re listening is as simple as a head-nod or smile.
Finally, after you listen – ensure you are asking clarifying questions for any details you may not understand 100%. These questions will not only show you are listening, and validate your sales team (and customers later on) – but demonstrate that you understanding completely. As these skills are combined, you will be able to better structure the content and remember it as it happened – eliminating forgetting any details or needed next steps.