If you’re like most sales professionals, customers take their sweet time to place orders. Even though they clearly have a need, it seems that it takes awhile for them to pull the trigger on the deal. Read on to learn three ways that you can accelerate your sales, speeding deals to close faster.
No Deadline, No Deal
Deadlines drive all deals. Customer must have some compelling motivation for them to move forward.
There are two types of deadlines, internal and external.
An internal deadline is one that your customer must meet or there are unwanted consequences. For example, if they don’t buy more disc space, they’ll run out in the next month. And if they run out, the system shuts down.
The sales person imposes an external deadline and it always results in loss of margin. For example, “If you buy before the end of the month, I’ll knock off ten percent.” You have to give something away with an external deadline.
The secret to accelerating deals: Look for internal deadlines to determine what deals will close the fastest. Make sure that you watch that deadline and understand with missing the deadline means.
Any deal that you have on your sales forecast must have an identified internal deadline with the associated consequences. If it doesn’t have a deadline, it’s not a forecast, it’s fortune telling.
What is the Cost of Delay?
Calculate the customer’s cost of delaying the deal. If your offering saves them operating costs, reduces expensive labor, or decreases waste, make sure that the people who care about these wastes and losses know the costs of waiting.
Often your vendor or manufacturer can help you with these calculations. If they have calculators for return on investment (ROI) or total cost of ownership (TCO), you can compute the cost of waiting by examining at the cash flow savings and turning them into monthly figures. For example, if you calculate a five-year TCO, divide by 60 the difference between the costs of their current solution and your offering to come up with the monthly cost savings. If it’s a three-year TCO, divide by 36.
It could be that there will be a price increase or a special offer expires. If they order now, they avoid the higher cost. This could be substantial.
Or it might be that they’ll miss a deadline that costs them a missed opportunity, they’ll be fined, or pay a penalty. Perhaps they can discontinue expensive overtime or end a contract with an expensive consultant. All of these could be compelling events that triggers the deal.
The secret to accelerating deals: make sure that your customer knows the cost of waiting and the impact on their organization and their career.
What is the Value of Moving Forward?
The value of moving forward becomes the other side of the cost coin. What benefits does your customer enjoy when they agree to the deal? Who most cares about these benefits? That’s the person who needs to know about the value of moving forward.
Identify the new benefits that your customer gains. It could be that processes become more efficient. Perhaps they can take tap new resources. Maybe they’ll be more competitive because they can sell their offering at a lower price and still retain their profits.
Think about it this way; the cost of waiting is the least they should pay for your offering and the value of moving forward is the most they should pay. Between those two values lies the defensible budget range. If they didn’t have that defensible budget before, they do now.
The secret to accelerating deals: make sure that everyone in your customer’s organization knows the value of moving forward, and watch that deal pop loose.