As a VP of Sales or a Sales Director, you're responsible for ensuring high-potential sales opportunities become closed deals for your company. If your opportunity-to-close ratio isn’t where you want it to be, or you often find opportunities getting stuck after spending considerable time and effort on them, three short questions can go a long way to increasing your sales team's win rates.
These questions are "Why?", "Why Us?", "Why Now?", and they are critical to the closing stage of your sales process. If your sales people don't have the answers to these questions in their tool kit, they will be unequipped to prepare and present a solution that is tailored to the prospect, positioned as the best option, and prompts urgency.
So before mapping a solution, determining pricing, and presenting it to the prospective decision-making team, facilitate a close planning discussion with your account team to answer these questions.
If your sales people were effective in the front end of the sales process, the information needed to answer the questions was already gathered through blueprinting and effective questioning in earlier conversations and meetings. Now, use it to dig into the account and collaboratively set a plan for sales success.
How the 3-Why's Improve Win Rates and Closing Success
Think back to why the prospect was looking in the first place. What was the compelling event or reason behind them considering the solution your company provides? Or if they weren’t actively looking, what caused them to get to this point in the sales process? They must have realized some challenge that can’t be resolved on its own, either because they don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to fix it.
Why should the prospect consider your solution over an alternative, such as competitor or status quo? The answer stems from understanding “why” – the reason the prospect is even looking and how your solution fits within that. Your team will need to effectively communicate your solutions value and market differentiation and convince the prospect why they cannot afford to stick with their current state.
Why should the prospect make a buying decision now, and not in 3, 6 or 12 months? While a prospect may have entered the sales process with a sense of urgency, this can often fade, or another project will take precedence. The prospect needs to be reminded why this purchase was so important to them in the first place. To do that, your sales team needs to be equipped with storytelling tools and skills to paint a picture of how successful and happy the prospect will be be once their issues are resolved with your solution.
How to Apply This to Solution Presentations
With answers to these questions, your sales people will be equipped to map a solution and share it with the prospect. Here’s how they can apply the answers to each of the “why” questions in their solution presentations:
Responding to “Why”
Recap what's known about the prospect – summarize their issues, what they’re doing today, and why it’s important to change. Not only does this show that the salesperson has been paying close attention to their needs, it also reminds the prospect why this is a priority, creating urgency.
Responding to “Why Us”
When presenting a solution, the salesperson should begin by explaining why their approach is best suited to solve the prospect's problem. Focus on things like your company's process, capabilities, and people, versus the specifics of the solution. When it's time to drill into the details, the recommendations should be carefully selected to match the prospect’s exact needs, goals, and requirements.
Responding to “Why Now”
Have the salesperson come prepared with stories to share about a customer similar to the prospect, who reaped great benefit from working with your company. Stories are a great way to get the listener to perceive value, by visualizing themselves using your product or service. They also provide proof that you can deliver on your promises and show how your company’s process and capabilities achieve results.
By taking the time to work through these three questions with your sales people, you should start to see big gains in win rates. If your sales team is still having trouble moving opportunities through to close, contact Sales Result for a complimentary consultation to talk through your sales process and possible improvement areas.