Apply 5W's for every action

Make every meeting effective by simply applying the 5W’s
Countless meetings finish with a vague comment along the lines of “I’ll send out the actions to you all on a mail” – Guess what, they rarely get done!
So try this simple but effective alternative.
In the last 5-10 minutes of a meeting agree for each action…
  1. W ho will do
  2. W hat to achieve
  3. W hat with
  4. W hom and
  5. W hen
That’s it! – simple as that.
ACTION: Try the 5W's, not only on Sales activities but on all actions - you'll be amazed at how much more effective your internal meetings become. Always remember though - agree them IN the meeting.

The 4Y's to create a Win Plan

Looking for a quick way to review Sales Campaigns?

There are countless ways to review Opportunities to make your Sales Campaign the best it can be or to go back and figure out why things aren’t going the way you expected.

MEDDIC, BlueSheet (Remember that?), SCOTSMAN….and many more

But as a quick approach that demands some searching, it’s hard to beat the well-proven 4Y’s

  1. Why do something at all?
  2. Why do it now?
  3. Why Us?
  4. Why something or someone else (This one averages a 60% Win Rate according to Research)

Try the 4Y’s and see where you then get to with your Sales Campaigns

ACTION: When using the 4Y's remove yourself from your own perspective and look at it from your Client's. It's not easy but go back and be brutally honest about what they DID say and what they didn't

B2B = P2P x 'n'

…where ‘n’ is the number of people we need to understand and convince in a the business we’re talking to.
B2B (Business to Business Selling) is a misnomer – it’s always about People
At times it’s convenient to think of it as B2B – it sounds like less work.  The reality is that there will be ‘n’ individuals in the business and it’s our job to understand their individual Problems, Risks and Aspirations and then show how we can help them overcome, avert / mitigate, achieve (respectively).  In large Companies, LinkedIn’s 2018 survey said there are, on average, 6.8 of them.
Demonstrating our understanding, we then need to make sure they interact with us at the centre of their world – we are their helper / mentor / guide.
And we need to help them justify their own ’emotional’ buy-in as a justified business rationale.  Hey! – No one said B2B selling was easy!
ACTION: Try SPRAIN for Questioning, Listen intently with polite curiosity, take Notes and Summarise. Position the 'Solution'. Give Testimonials as Stories where the moral of the tale delivers the message

Mandatory Sales Training Sucks

When a Sales Person is told they’re on Mandatory Training…

“Really?” they say to themselves – “What now?”

Their heart sinks as they see hours or days of time blocked out of their diary.  You’ve just lost half of their engagement and desire to learn before you start.

And the Training itself – does it provide specific skills to address their specific issues?  If not you’ll lose at least 1/2 of the other 1/2 before the course ends.

Will anyone assess who really needs to attend? – Or will someone ‘high up’ just say “Stick them all on it”? – Political expediency for an Exec to abdicate responsibility…..not the best way to get skills to stick and address sales execution issues.


ACTION: Calculate the real cost of Training - it includes the cost of sales time 'off the road' plus lost opportunity (as well as Course costs and Expenses)

Stop Deals Slipping!

Deal slippage is a major problem for forecasting accuracy. Not only does it annoy everyone but it’s also embarrassing.

Deal ‘slippage’ is viewed as an unnecessary lengthening of sales cycles – a deal being ‘out of control’. And it doesn’t help anyone’s career progression.

Your response will either improve the situation or make matters worse.

The primary causes for slippage are:
* No plan.
* The wrong plan.
* An unrealistic or ill-informed expectation of the close date from the start
* Rare macro-economic factors

In normal circumstances there are 3 types of plan:

1. The ‘made up on the hoof’ plan / ‘quick thinking when we got asked’ plan
2. Your own well thought-through plan
3. Your Client’s own Plan – enabled, guided and supported

ACTION: Ask your Client for their plan. Coach them through its creation and its execution.

Think twice before issuing threats

As soon as we think we hear that our deal won’t close our brains go into over-drive.

There’s a danger that the disappointment, the fear of missing forecast, fear of a grilling will result in threats (Service, price, discount) being issued to ‘take control’ or ‘force’ the Client to close the deal in the timescale that’s wanted or expected.

In 35 years in sales, I cannot remember this working any more than a handful of times – and then, only when it suited the Client’s own timescales. I CAN, however, remember many relationships taking a big turn for the worse, some deals terminating entirely and others probably taking longer than necessary as trust had to be re-built.

ACTION: Take a breath, let the emotions subside and think of great questions to find out what's really going on. Then....plan again.