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The Sales 2.0 process puts the emphasis on the front end of the sales process not the back end. The focus is on getting high quality leads that will close not on closing techniques supposed to turn poor prospects into clients (this does not work anyway!)
So let’s start with the really important stuff: preparation (click on the diagram opposite to make it larger). Preparation is the “poor cousin” in so many sales people’s skill sets. “Old school” sales managers get nervous if they feel their sales people are spending time on preparation. They just want sales people to dial as much as they can. But in the 21st century, calling busy executives with nothing to say is futile and depressing for sales people.
Companies and sales people need to spend time preparing. It’s critical. Preparing (a) before they even get near a telephone and (b) preparing every time they make a call.
Before a sales person ever gets near a telephone someone in their company, the CEO, marketing department or the sales person themselves needs to have really good answers to two very basic questions:
1. What are we going to say to prospects? (the “What“)
2. Who exactly are those prospects? (the “Who“)
Many companies, managers and ultimately sales people have really weak or fuzzy answers to these two questions. Well guess what? In 2008, you need to say something really good to exactly the right person to get any interest at all. If either of these points is badly defined, you’re toast.
I’ve received a few email questions from readers that have been of the form “Prospects won’t listen to me. What should I do?” The basic answer is to hammer out WHAT to say and WHO to say it to. It’s much harder than you might initially think to get this right. But it’s better (and more time efficient) than calling 500 people and getting zero interest.
I’ll talk about the “WHAT” and the “WHO” in more detail in my next post.