Taking and maintaining control of the sales process is a critical competency for today’s B2B salesperson because it’s never been harder to sell.
The Current Sales Landscape
- Increasing Stakeholders: The buying decision is influenced by an average of 6.8 different stakeholders, as reported by CEB.
- Global Competition: The market is flooded with direct competitors in today’s global market, accompanied by a surge in alternative and indirect options.
- Information Overload: Navigating through more traffic, noise, and congestion demands a strategic approach.
The Best Weapon: Taking Command
Your ability to take command of the sale is your best weapon in this challenging landscape.
Why is it important?
- Establish Authority & Expertise: Taking control positions you as an expert rather than a mere vendor, instilling confidence in your prospects.
- Manage the Sales Process Efficiently: A well-managed sales process reduces the chances of delays, uncertainties, or misunderstandings that could jeopardize the deal.
- The Sales Process is the 1st Mile of the Customer Experience: A controlled sales process demonstrates a structured and organized approach, setting the tone for the entire customer experience.
The Consequences of Not Taking Control
If you don't take control, your prospect will dictate the process - requesting information, meetings, pricing, etc. - while your left “checking in” and “following up”.
How do I do it?
- State the Purpose and Goal of the Meeting: Begin every interaction by clearly declaring the meeting's purpose and your overall goal, establishing yourself as a leader in the discussion.
- Share the Agenda: Provide a roadmap for the conversation, ensuring it stays focused on key topics and preventing tangents that might derail the sales process.
- Articulate the Next Steps of Your Process: Communicate the milestones and stages that follow the current interaction, preemptively addressing what comes next to keep momentum in your favor.
The ability to take control of the sale is not just a skill; it's a requirement. Mastering this competency positions you as the expert guide in the sales journey, ensuring that if anyone shapes the narrative, it's you. So, take command, lead with purpose, and watch your sales process transform into a streamlined and successful journey towards growth.