In part 1 of the series, we talked about the key fundamentals for staying ready so you don’t have to get ready to sell and win remotely! In part two “Mastering Your Sales Process” we will share the best sales process setup and management that Linehan Group and Awarathon are seeing work best in the fast-changing world of Outbound!
Win your morning win the day – make your morning rituals a key part of your sales process.
Your morning routine has an incredible impact on how your day unfolds. As Stephen Covey says “Management works in the system leadership works on the system.” Getting your morning ritual optimized is a critical first step in your macro process. We start here because the self-discipline and leadership in managing your time is a critical element of moving through the sales process. Here is what we see works best.
- The best morning routines begin the night before. Developing a list of objectives helps get the morning off to a fast, organized, and effective start. Pulling together your plan at 8 am means your competitors already have a head start on you.
- In the morning, put your body and mind before your screens. Flush your system with lemon and water. Meditate, pray, or whatever works best for you to slow down before you speed up. Work out if that’s your way of refreshing the mind for the gift of a new day.
- Eat a good breakfast every morning: Breakfast is the key meal of the day and can set you up for success.
- Read an inspiring and innovative sales or business book / watch a powerful speaker in your industry and take that knowledge into the field to lean on and share to build relationships. These high-value conversation pieces pay dividends on calls and in meetings to show you have your finger on the pulse and should be viewed as a valued and trusted expert.
- Review your plan for the day within your CRM, visualize success in meetings and on scheduled calls. Play the movie of those calls and meetings in your head, live into the best outcomes by visualizing how you will get there and what that win will feel like.
- Challenge yourself to at least 2 out of the box creative type of outreach every day. Whether it’s a personal fed ex package or invitation to an event to a potential client, 104 clever, outstanding outreach activities a year will guarantee more deals.
- Select 3 – 6 sales training topics to review that you can bring into your day as your key skills to develop. The best companies we work with have training refreshing before they pick up a phone!
- If you have morning team meetings/sales huddles keep them brief. They are invaluable rituals to get clear on the mission for the day, to lift team focus and energy, and to train and prepare for specific big pitches. They should be skillfully prepared by the sales leader to be high value, a low time investment.
- Engage your CRM. If your CRM has been carefully selected and optimized, it will make your workflow and time management a breeze.
- We train our teams to use the first 10 minutes of every day to confirm all meetings on the calendar. The clients we are speaking to are busy and often things come up unexpectedly; it is critical to confirm the day ahead.
- Tackle the hardest or important tasks of the day first. This makes you feel productive out of the gate, sets the tone for the day, and puts you in the right mindset.
- If you are in outbound sales the phone is your best friend. Allocate time slots where no one comes between you and it. We encourage uninterrupted blocks of time in the morning and afternoon to smile while you dial. We encourage scheduled, united, standing “power hours” to elevate the energy in the room and to encourage a sense of team unity in the trenches! Have conversation targets not just call targets within those blocks. “My goal is to make 60 dials have 12 conversations 3 quality conversations with next steps.”
- Allocate a block of time before peak business or after peak business for lead sourcing and marketing aligned omnichannel outreach through your CRM, Linked in Navigator, DiscoverOrg, Crunch Base, and other lead sourcing and data tools.
Optimizing your sales process
Create – Document – Execute – Feedback – Measure – Improve.
Whether you are selling in the field, selling in the office, selling from home or even your gym you need a process.
Having a solid step by step, go to market plan on an individual, team and company basis is the most critical building block of business development. Great companies have created an optimal AI sales process, specifically designed for the type of market they are in and the type of product or service they sell.
Beyond price and product/service type, lead time decision-maker level, buyer persona, and ideal specific buyer journey need to be considered.
The sales team leader must set up a best-fit process. One that can be measured and improved. An important question to ask is: “have you or your sales leader thoroughly audited and maximized your sales process’s effectiveness and considered any changes that are needed because of a move to remote working.”
Here’s how to do it:
- Evaluate the current process and why it is the way it is.
- Keep the sales process to 5 / 6 stages maximum.
- Develop each area from the top of the funnel to closed-won / closed lost. What are the entry and exit criteria for each stage in the funnel?
- Ask; how will clients’ “best case” and “worse case” enter and exit the funnel? 5. Know your BATNAs (Best alternatives to a negotiated agreement).
- Source information on why you or your team structure the calls the way they do currently? Explore the benefits and disadvantages of that – then test measure and improve.
- Ensure a document crystal-clear optimized approach and establish regular training based on a constant feedback loop.
- Feedback loops should be constant using the CRM, chat tools, and training sessions. 9. Get buy-in on every metric, for example, “Why do you need to have ten conversations a day, how many new opportunities does that guarantee? How many opportunities do you need daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually to hit your targets, maximize your earning potential and live the life you want!
- See how much can be automated for effectiveness but do not over-rely on automation. Remember, sales is conversations and commitments it is People — stories — momentum.
- Get fluent in how your partner teams fit into and impact the agreed stages, from marketing and social media to channel partnerships and account management. Always ask how these channels can accelerate your momentum and results of moving from one stage to the next and optimizing spend and contract length.
Remote tip! – Over-communicate and stay engaged.
As a remote salesperson, you can easily begin to feel isolated or siloed. This is not conducive to authentically enthusiastic outreach. Remember, as Ivern Ball said, “knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch”. Use video and chat apps like Slack to call your “sales counterparts” for inspiration and sharing of great conversations or wins outside of block booked client call slots.
Putting more emphasis on regular communication will ensure you and your entire team are updated on company wins and developments you can use to influence deals. It allows you to stay united and help each other when necessary.
Reach out and connect with friends and contacts in other industries and parts of the world to refresh perspective and to zoom out to 30000 feet before you zoom back into a surgical approach to selling.
Removing randomness from your sales process
When we think of a AI sales process, we want to understand it from the perspective of our internal identification of where the client is in the sales cycle. It does however help to align that with where the client or customer is in the buyer journey.
Different companies use different stages and % closed indicators for forecasting. CRMs like Hubspot, Pipedrive, Salesforce, etc. allow for very tailored sales stage set up and forecasting.
At Linehan Group we use Unaware – Aware – Understand – Believe – Act to determine where our potential customers are in getting to a place where they are ready to act, sign a service agreement.
Step one in the traditional AI sales process is always identifying your ideal buyer or client. Knowing who the right people are to call and pitch and organizing that outreach is your starting point. In some cases, it is a group of titles within a group of companies and industries who we know to influence the decision. For example, Marketing Directors and Finance Directors in FMCG companies. In some cases, it’s one person, Head of HR for learning and development budgets for example. Many companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on buyer persona research projects to make sure they have identified and understood the “ideal client”. Many sales units now have sophisticated lead generation software like our partner White Rabbit which seamlessly aligns with the marketing team’s processes to identify and target the “right people”. The known universe of potential buyers must be identified, prioritized, organized, and engaged through a combined, omnichannel marketing and AI sales process to have the best results.
As mentioned above the more nurtured and qualified a lead is the better for your momentum and control over next steps in the sales proves. However the lead arrives you must still continuously qualify that lead. This is the part of the process that ensures the person you are speaking to has the budget, authority, need for what you re offering and that the timing is right. Linehan Group offers training on pitch development to ensure you know what to say and how to say it at every stage in the pitch to ensure your clients are moving forward in a committed way at each stage of their buying journey; message us directly to improve your pitch now.
Meeting/call preparation and management
- Share videos, case studies, overviews, white papers, etc. with your ideas in advance. 2. Use “pitch to win” prep tools for virtual meetings.
- Send agenda, video, and screen expectations.
- Make instructions crystal clear for how to join; use one-touch mobile dial-ins. 5. Do deep-dive due diligence. Research and know what is going on in the buyer’s world. 6. Follow the pre-meeting tech checklist, so all tech is ready to go (video, webcam, audio, bandwidth, office scene, lighting, recordings, screens, files prepared to share, etc.
- Record for training: Ask for permission.
- Open strong with rapport, story, momentum, and wow engagement; be immediately buyer-focused.
- Mechanics of open: Review agenda, note tech options (e.g., virtual whiteboard), review timing, ask what buyers want out of the meeting.
- Collaborate: Involve the buyer; use virtual whiteboards and ask questions to generate discussion and get buy-in.
- Check-in: Ask periodically if people are getting what they expect.
- Mechanics of close: Know when you will wrap, check-in with enough time before the wrap to ask perception questions (e.g., Did you get what you hoped for? Did we miss anything?)
- Close with the next step: Book the next meeting on the call.
- Follow up with a written summary and sequence of events.
World-class call planning guarantees more productive customer meetings, increased credibility, a shortened sales cycle, and increased sales results. Using an efficient methodology for call planning helps to ensure that each customer call advances the sale. Set unambiguous call objectives, anticipate customer needs, identify potential value, prepare, Keep in mind your clients are also going through big changes and uncertainty. It’s never been more important to sell from your heart. Its also never been more important to ask questions through a world class consultative, diagnostic process. Even the most basic assumptions can no longer be made. As well as selling empathically, there is a great opportunity for hero selling.
Companies don’t just need more understanding they need cutting-edge interventions to survive and thrive through this uniquely challenging time in history. Salespeople solve problems, and solutions are at an extreme premium in a time of crisis. By getting organized, by getting clear on how you can help your clients by getting disciplined and proactive to execute product and service delivery beyond your client’s expectations, you will help your industry. You also help their industry and the economy at large. You will be using your unique skills and powers to help the world not just make a comeback but to make a leap forward and get in front of objections and visualize the call flow based on role-plays and previous live calls of the same type. This is another reason why you must get your conversations up to sharpen the axe that cuts through dead air and defensive or hostile target objections.
- Your AI sales process starts with your preparation and organization. If you are not in the right mindset with an aggressive activity plan, no tools or process will magically get you the results you need to hit your target. Regimented, rituals are the key to unlocking consistent success in the AI sales process.
- Review every element of your current process to expose the gaps, leaks and inefficiencies to be addressed and improved on.
- Remove randomness from language. Understand the customer journeys and how it synchronizes with the internal AI sales process.
- Know who you want to engage, and how.
- Don’t waste time on non-buyers or non-deal influencers.
- Execute world-class call and meeting preparation so every touchpoint is a “WOW” moment for your potential client.