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Q1/2012 Sales Cycle Tracking

A Fluent Moment

Did you know…

Some of today’s top business leaders are applying basic feature and benefit sales methodology when trying to institute change in their organizations. They know that they stand a better chance of getting commitment to and acceptance of their ideas if they show people how they will benefit from them.

Message from an
AFV Partner

We talk a lot about our sales methodology at A Fluent Vision. Throughout our training programs we stress the importance of approaching sales as a cycle or process. We teach participants skills and provide them with tools to leverage and manage the sales cycle.

The AFV Sales Cycle Tracker Model is predicated on documenting where you are in the sales process, not where you wish you were. We project sales based on measuring actual accomplishments, not changes in our astrological chart. While traditional probability models can work, they don’t take the sales process into account. AFV understands that the probability of a deal closing increases by accomplishing each step in the sales cycle.

This issue of A Fluent Moment looks at how we can leverage the sales cycle by focusing on tracking. It is both the skill and tool by which we can manage the sales rocess so that it does not manage us. Sales cycle tracking is not fortune telling or guesswork — it is what we do to identify, track and advance sales opportunities. By following the AFV Sales Cycle Tracker and Methodology we ensure success and efficiency in the sales process which means bigger deals and a better close ratio for each of us.

Walter Santiago

Walter Santiago
Managing Partner
A Fluent Vision, L.L.C.

Sales Cycle Tracking

Sales cycle tracking is both a sales and sales management tool. We use it to identify the remaining steps prior to closing a deal. It allows us to project the timing and feasibility of closing each opportunity. We use tracking to review our pipeline and to track the status of each potential sale. When used properly, sales cycle tracking can even help us uncover opportunities that we may otherwise miss.

Managing the sales process by instinct or probability works on some level, but lessens our ability to positively affect success. What does it mean when a deal appears in the pipeline with an 80% probability of closing? Most likely, something different to each person that you ask. When we project using percentages we set ourselves up for failure.

In today’s competitive economy it is critical to have and to follow a sales methodology that includes an event based tracking tool. Sales cycle tracking by event allows us to definitively measure our progress in each opportunity and reminds us of the next steps. It keeps us focused on what is important. For instance, Ratings 1 & 2 of the sales cycle tracking process involves the profiling and qualification of our leads. If we don’t do this effectively we can find ourselves at Rating 5 and be surprised to learn that we have been wasting our time with a company or person who is not able to buy. None of us have that kind of time to waste. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of working the sales cycle tracking process. It may feel cumbersome to begin with, but in the end it will streamline the selling process and save valuable time.

Sales cycle tracking with the AFV methodology utilizes the above rating system to determine where we are in the sales cycle and to identify what is needed to close the business. To succeed by our process you cannot move on to the next step (rating) without completing each step prior along the way. Read through the AFV rating explanations and begin to incorporate them into your daily routine. Make it a habit to move through the sequence in order. It won’t take long before you begin to profit.

rating description
1 Identify and profile your customers
2 & 3 Answer N.A.M.E
4 Establish time frames for every activity within each opportunity
5 Present a proposal that satisfies the prospects’ needs
6 Handle objections – this is where you can utilize all of the skills you learned
7 Contract signed
8 Create an account plan

Remember: N.A.M.E.

Only put qualified prospects into the Sales Cycle Tracker. Sales cycle tracking works hand in hand with N.A.M.E. You can not begin the tracking process until you have profiled and qualified the account. Knowing this information is critical for qualifying a real opportunity, minimizing wasted time and for keeping you on track to close sales. The most successful sales professionals know that using a sales methodology helps create sales motion. Moving that motion forward requires focused attention on our end goal. By doing this work early in the sales cycle we can ensure that we are working with the people who can buy.

N: What are the business needs?
A: Who is authorized to make the buying/business decisions?
M: Is there money available to invest in this solution?
E: Who is the economic buyer?

A Fluent Vision

Whether your sales infrastructure needs to be built from scratch, re-engineered, or simply re-invigorated; AFV is the answer. AFV can help you create A Fluent Vision.

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