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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Tips to Help You Close Sales Faster Than Ever Before

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Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game, right? Of course! The more you have out there, the better off you are, so I’ll agree that sales is a numbers game. But, today I am going to argue that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

I’ll start by asking you, how many times have you heard or said, "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!” C’mon—be honest! If you are like most people, you’re thinking that’s not so uncommon. 

I have to ask you, does anyone actually get paid on pending? Not anyone that I know. That’s the catch. And that is also what tells me that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.  

Topics: discussing price Proposal sales strategy Sales

Increase Your Closing Ratio by Adding This to Your Proposal

increase closing ratio by adding this to your proposalMost proposals follow a pattern of reviewing a customer need or desired business result and then presenting the solution that will deliver the desired result. I agree with that approach, but you will increase your closing ratio if you add a section in between those two. That section? Measures of Success. 

Topics: Proposal salespeople sales process

Set the Stage for Success: Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect

prepare your prospect before a meetingIMAGINE THIS: After countless attempts to connect with a prospect, your persistence has paid off. You did it! You've got the meeting on the calendar, you are feeling great! Now, you have one chance to make a great first impression, and it needs to count. Luckily, you have a few days to prepare so you can ensure the meeting runs smoothly and the prospect views you as a trusted and valued partner.

While it’s important to prepare yourself for the meeting, you also want to prepare the prospect. This is one thing that salespeople often overlook prior to a meeting. Most prospects are going to expect you to come in and tell them why they need to buy your product or service. It’s up to you to go out of your way to be sure they know you are different and you are not going to do that. Don't just prepare yourself... also prepare your prospect.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis successful sales meetings sales strategy prospecting

Object This! Ways to Overcome 5 Common Sales Objections

overcoming sales objectionsEven when you are intentional about removing surprises and skilled at talking about price, you may still encounter objections during the sales process. Listening for objections along the way and handling each one as it comes up helps you avoid trying to address all the objections while you are presenting your proposal.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis salespeople sales process sales training prospecting

The Best Sales Pitch Isn’t a Pitch at All

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This post was originally published on Hubspot.

Despite its increasing irrelevance, the tired, old sales pitch still enjoys a large following. Unfortunately, that washed-up elevator pitch generally focuses solely on the seller -- the company, its capabilities, and its accomplishments -- and rarely highlights the prospect’s needs.

Topics: Proposal Sales salespeople

How to Craft a Proposal that Won’t Get Rejected

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"The end depends on the beginning (and everything in between)."

Yes, we have heard this a thousand times, but no truer words have been said when it comes to developing proposals. I had an epiphany pretty early in my sales career. I had been on a sales call to a restaurant, and they asked for a proposal. I rushed back to my desk so excited with the opportunity to get to present, only to stare at my computer for what seemed like an eternity. Crafting that proposal took a lot longer than it should have.

Later, when looking back, I realized it was because I didn’t have enough information. I had missed the mark on a number of things. Here's a little advice on how not to make the same mistake.

Topics: Proposal Sales

Close More Deals and Build Long-term Customers Using a No-surprise Proposal

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Surprises are fun when they are part of a birthday; not so much when they are involved in selling. Salespeople should do their due diligence to minimize surprises during the sales process, especially when presenting and closing proposals.

Salespeople can improve their closing ratio and improve customer results using a no-surprise proposal (NSP) technique by clarifying these five things before they build and present a proposal:

Topics: Proposal Sales

10 Tips for Creating PowerPoint Presentations That Don’t Put Prospects to Sleep

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Slide presentations are supposed to help salespeople make sales. However, if they are poorly designed, slide presentations can drive sales away. A slow-moving, confusing, lackluster and lengthy PowerPoint is hard to endure — buyers will assume if they buy anything from you, they’ll be in for more of the same as long as the relationship continues.

On the other hand, an engaging and enlightening PowerPoint establishes you as efficient, expert, and tuned in to the customer’s needs. In other words, it will bring you closer to a sale. Here are 10 ways to make your presentations stand above the competition. 

Topics: Proposal Sales

Five Ways to Avoid Proposals That Are Beautiful, Boilerplate, and Boring

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In today’s sales world, it’s apparent that most companies have mastered PowerPoint or Prezi to compose absolutely gorgeous proposals. In fact, many companies have dedicated teams or specialists to create seemingly-compelling, graphically-rich proposal pages that go onto a shared drive, making it much easier for salespeople or the support people they work with to simply grab some of those pages and assemble them with a minimal amount of customization necessary. One could argue this approach saves countless hours for the sales operation and puts presentation elements in the hands of those who build such things every day. On the surface, this appears to be a breakthrough akin to Henry Ford’s assembly line. But there is problem, and I bet you know what it is.

I have read about 300 proposals in the last year in my consulting practice, and nearly all of them were, indeed, beautiful. And nearly all I read looked alike – a reference to mostly generic needs that most prospects could have, pages and pages of product information (more than anyone would read), and some boilerplate information about the company offering the proposal. Just imagine you are a professional buyer or business owner who sees multiple proposals of this type every week. It would be an effective organic cure to insomnia, for sure. The number one complaint I hear from salespeople is that they put out a proposal to their prospect and then never hear anything again. Is it any wonder? 

Topics: Proposal Sales

In Your Sales Strategy, Are You Psyched Up For the Close?

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Will that “moment of truth” be looming in the next meeting with your prospect – the meeting where you look him or her in the eye and ask for the order? Or, will the next meeting be the one where you confirm the details to implement your plan... because, the prospect already knows most of what is in your proposal (they helped you build it), the price range, and most of what it’s going to take to buy your solution? I hope it’s the latter.

Topics: Proposal valid business reason Needs Analysis sales strategy sales performance Sales