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The graph opposite illustrates this point (click to enlarge). The graph shows the time and energy sales people need to put into the sales process graphed against the stages in the sales process. At a high level the four stages in the sales process are:
3. Progress (move opportunities towards closure)
In Sales 1.0 (aka “old school selling”) there is a lot of emphasis on closing techniques. In Sales 2.0 we find that closing is the easiest thing we do and requires almost no effort (often buyers actually ask us to sign a contract).
A the other end of the sales process “old school” sales books say almost nothing about preparation before prospecting. But we find in 2008 that it is hard to penetrate the noise in the market place and gaining a prospect’s attention. As many authors on this website have pointed out busy executives have ZERO tolerance for generic cold calls. Prospecting efforts need to be highly customized. There’s only one way to do that: preparation.
Prospecting in a Sales 2.0 world is not one cold call to a prospect then give up. It’s a campaign to get in — a campaign that uses multi-media to get through. The telephone is central to this campaign but it’s not limited to this tool. Sales 2.0 prospecting uses telephone, email, ground mail, fax, Fedex, gifts, books and more, as appropriate to the importance of the prospect to you.
So like so many things in sales, we find what actually works today is “upside down” from the sales lore of “old school selling”. Put your effort and time in upfront and closing deals will be easy.
Note: I will be saying more about each part of the sales process in future posts. The picture in this article is the slide I use to introduce our live Sales 2.0 talks. I want to bring our website readers the tools that we present in that talk over the next couple of months.