As 2019 comes to a close, many sales managers find themselves under pressure to hit their annual targets. That pressure usually cascades down to sales reps, and ultimately, to prospects and customers. Pressure to bring in deals can result in dysfunctional behaviours such as pushing a prospect to close prematurely and discounting heavily to motivate speedy approvals. These dysfunctional behaviours can be affective in the short term, however, in the long run, they destroy trust.
When a sales professional consistently acts with your best interest in mind, you lower your guard and you become more open. When, at the end of a quarter, or end of a year, you see that same sales rep put their interest ahead of yours, or offer you favourable pricing that was not previously disclosed, you naturally become suspicious. All the good work they did previously to build trust has been compromised.
Goal Alignment to Shorten Sales Cycles
The best way to shorten sales cycles is not in how one closes a deal, it’s in how one opens the deal. The opening is now the most critical stage of the sales cycle. It is in the opening that the sales professional must engage in thorough discovery. The most critical information to uncover are the prospect’s professional and personal goals. Your solutions value is directly related to how surely and how quickly it helps your clients achieve their goals. Getting deals across the finish line quickly without damaging your relationships can only be done if it is in the context of helping your prospects achieve their goals – not yours.
Win-win means you win after your clients win. As you look at the potential deals you can bring in to close out your year, be sure to ask yourself, “How does closing this deal early help my prospects achieve their goals faster?”