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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step?

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step

We often think of the needs analysis meeting as the beginning of the sales process, but, is it really? Today's buyers are complex. Their needs are perplex and they're hesitant to share information. When speaking with a prospect for the first time, you must ask the right questions. First, you have to know what questions to ask.

To conduct a great needs analysis meeting one where the client is anxious to participate and is really open with informationthere are two areas you need to work on before the meeting ever begins.

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

When dealing with severe levels of change, it’s natural to reign in and hyper-focus on the activity we feel is most essential to surviving and thriving in that environment. In sales, that core activity would include things like the need to continue identifying quality prospects, connecting with decision makers, and discovering their needs and desired business results.

Activity is important, but a knee jerk reaction to keep approaching those activities the way you always have will not be effective when business cycles are at their most volatile.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales training

5 Ways to Nail the Needs Analysis Conversation

Needs_Analysis-1

Once you have an appointment with a strong prospect, it’s time to prepare for a successful needs analysis so all the effort you spent getting the appointment isn’t wasted. You want to make sure that you have a strong and thorough needs analysis—because understanding your prospect's desired business results, challenges, and expectations is essential for developing a solution that will achieve results.

Topics: Needs Analysis successful sales meetings Sales

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

8 Tools That Support a Great Needs Analysis

A conversation about desired business results (needs, challenges, and opportunities) is an essential part of the sales process. When engaging new business prospects as well as current customers, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Aside from the right questions, other tools can help a seller discover core needs quickly and succinctly.

Needs analysis is a central and critical part of making the sale. Sellers work hard setting appointments; the end result should never be a botched needs analysis. Here are eight tools—along with some thoughts about each—that sellers can use to make the most of a needs analysis meeting.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

The third step of our sales process is often the most tedious. Discover—also referred to in other sales process steps as “define,” assessment,” or “needs,” all share the same goal of meeting with a prospect or client to uncover their desired business results.  

The key part of this stage is understanding each prospect's challenges and needs and establishing how your product or service can help. We find that sellers rush through this step, but by taking their time in the Discover phase of the sales process, they will actually accelerate the sales cycle and increase their odds of closing the deal.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales accelerator

The Best Sales Negotiation Tactics

The Best Sales Negotiation Tactics

The sales pitch is delivered, objections are resolved, and the contract is sent. Now, you patiently wait for the prospect to sign, and you’ve sealed the deal. But then — the email comes through, and suddenly you’re scheduling a sales negotiation.

Even if a salesperson has properly qualified a prospect and correctly managed their expectations through the sales process, they still can find themselves shifting gears from consultant to negotiator. And while negotiations can go in an infinite number of directions, honing-in on these six sales negotiation tactics will help close the deal.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy sales process

Be Like Mike: The Power of Practice for Improving Sales Performance

Power of Practice to Increase Sales Performance-1

Besides being arguably some of the best athletes ever, what do Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Tiger Woods have in common?

They’re all, or were, known for being the hardest workers during practice. Jordan and Brady were famous for being the first on the court and practice field and the last to leave. Tiger hit thousands of golf balls on the range every day. They began their careers practicing hard and with a mindset that they would get out of the game exactly what they put into it.

Persistence, discipline, competitive spirits, drive, and resilience — athletes and salespeople share a lot of common traits. However, one noticeable difference is that salespeople rarely practice or rehearse.

Topics: Needs Analysis

5 Ways to Show a New Business Prospect You Care

show a new prospect you careThe things you do are often more powerful than the things you say. 

New business prospects are more likely to increase their engagement level when they know a seller truly cares about them and their business. Think about your own buying habits—are you more likely to do business with someone who cares about you compared to a slick talking salesperson who only cares about making a sale? 

Topics: Needs Analysis sales strategy prospecting

Want to Accelerate the Sales Cycle? Slow Down!

Want to Accelerate the Sales Cycle Slow Down

Studies show that reaching out to leads within an hour of them contacting you makes you seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations, and up to 50% of sales go to the vendor who responded first. There’s also a tenfold decrease in your odds of making contact with a lead if you wait more than five minutes to reach out after they submit a web form.

Whether it’s from clients, management, or themselves, salespeople are under a lot of pressure to perform faster when it comes to their sales process. We live and work in a fast-paced, “want it now” culture that can feel overwhelming at times. Sometimes there’s only one solution to closing more deals, and that’s to SLOW DOWN!

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales accelerator

Top Questions to Ask to Determine Advertiser Measures of Success

11 Questions to Ask to Determine Advertiser Measures of Success

How modern marketers measure advertising effectiveness is one of the most searched topics in digital marketing today. Most agree results are crucial; however, there doesn’t seem to be one right answer when it comes to determining advertiser measures of success.

As you’re building a relationship with a new business prospect or an existing customer, it’s important to have open and upfront conversations about how the advertiser measures success.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process