Question: How Can Win Themes™ Improve My Win Rates?
Answer: Win themes™ are a great way for sellers to improve their sales conversations.
Win themes™ are the intersection of your prospect’s priorities and the strengths of your products or services. Win themes™ should be used to prepare for all presentations and important sales calls.
For example, one of my clients was preparing an RFP response to expand their business with a current customer. The opportunity was worthmillions of dollars to my client. We took the time to develop three solid win themes™ and then went back through the RFP to make sure that each and every answer in their response pointed to one of the win themes™. We also included an example to reinforce the message. The examples were ‘evidence’ of the win theme™ and provided solid proof. Their response went from generic (template based) to compelling and it was a game-changer for them. They won the contract!
If you find yourself ‘telling’ about your company or about your products and services, win themes™ will help you to remember to ask questions about your prospect’s problems and priorities. This allows you to find the sweet spot of receptivity which will improve your sales conversation dramatically.
Question: What's a Customer Retrospective and why is it a Differentiator?
Answer: A customer retrospective meeting (also referred to many times as a win/loss debrief) is a post-contract award meeting with your new customer. It’s important to learn from both wins and losses, and I’ve found that customers will almost always grant this type of meeting. As a matter of fact, just by taking such a pro-active approach is a differentiator for your company. The meeting is best lead by a sales manager or someone who wasn’t necessarily the main selling person. That way, the customer feels comfortable giving candid feedback. The meeting is an opportunity to ask about their decision process, criteria and feedback on your selling process in general. The learnings should be shared with the selling team and others within your organization that could benefit from the findings. Lastly, it’s a great time to ask for a reference or a referral, as appropriate.
Question: Does the 48-Hour Rule™ apply to all Sales Situations?
Answer: The concept originally came from my book, ‘The 48-Hour Rule™ and Other Strategies for Career Survival.’ I noticed that sales people weren’t capitalizing on opportunities with any sense of urgency. I also noticed that people were doing a lot of re-work by not acting quickly. The 48-hour rule™, simply stated, is that to capitalize on an opportunity, you must act with the appropriate sense of urgency. The benefits of embracing the 48-hour rule™ include time savings, keeping your to do list low, and keeping momentum high. However, it’s important to keep in mind that speed never trumps quality.
Try it! Often times I hear my clients say that they’ve used the 48-hour rule™ with great success.
An example: in working with one of my clients, we agreed that proposals would always be presented in person or via a live phone meeting (not sent more than an hour or so in advance) and there would be a follow up action within 48 hours. The result – his close ratio sky-rocketed to 70%!
Your reward for getting the answers to the above questions right? You will ‘Ring the bell’ more frequently with really big TOP Line Account™ ‘wins.
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About Lisa Magnuson:
Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers. Learn more at www.toplinesales.com.
Lisa D. Magnuson
Chief Corporate Sales Strategist