I have heard it called Sales Execution Model, Sales Strategy Model, or just the Sales Model but whatever you call it, it’s a process, or discipline, sales reps should follow to analyze, diagnose, prepare, execute and evaluate in their territories or on their calls. There is a flow or strategy to selling that falls into three phases: Pre-Sales Activities, Sales Activities, and Post Sales Activities. We will review the three phases and look at how they apply to all sales rolls.
The Pre-Sales Activities can be broken into two areas, planning and preparing for the call. Planning, by definition, is action based and is a scheme or method, developed in advance, for doing, proceeding or making something. Planning, in the Pre-Sales Activities, can include Prospect/Customer identification, Product/research/customer analysis review, competitor/industry research, creating a call strategy, evaluation of your products and services relative to the competition. This not an inclusive list but a good start in planning for the call. How many of us do that much research? Come on, be honest, we don’t spend that much time. Some of us may engage in the research but we do not do so thinking ahead how we will use this data in our sales calls; we should.
To prepare is to put together or make by combining various elements or ingredients. So how do you prepare for the sales call? It’s time to transfer your plan to a written document. How do you use the information gathered in the planning phase? You will use that information when you write a clear objective for each sales call. Write an objective, determine the processes you will use to achieve those objectives, set quantifiable goals for each objective and practice for the call. Pre-Sales Activities around preparation will look like creation of meeting presentation material, proposal/pricing creation, contract generation, determining use of marketing material, identifying customer objections, and planning to address those in the presentation or meeting, and defining the quantifiable return you expect to see after the meeting. After you have set the objective and determined how to meet the objective, you must practice for the call; that practice is integral in preparing for the sell.
Wow, seems like we are spending a significant amount of time in Pre-Sales Activities. Well, we are. Analysis indicates most sales reps do not spend enough time in pre-sales. The reps that do more planning and preparing see a higher return on the time investment and tend to be less frustrated after sales calls.
We all know what Sales Activities look like right? Probably but let’s make sure we are all on the same page. Sales Activities are the execution of all your hard work planning and preparing. These activities may include the sales call/meeting, negotiation or follow-up, closing the deal/order taking, and relationship building and networking. Easy? Easier when you are prepared and carry out your plan. In another article we will dive deeper into how to execute.
Post Sales Activities
How many sales reps live for, or even like, Post Sales Activities? Be honest, not many of us. That’s because Post Sales Activities such as product/service implementation, customer service and support, gathering customer feedback, continued customer relationship building, future sales forecasting, and evaluation of the sales call are not what we want to do. None of these activities are highlights of the sales reps day but they are all integral. I would point out that of all Post Sales Activities, the one that should be of most interest to the sales rep is evaluation after a call. Given open and honest diagnosis of your sales call, this activity will set you up better for your next call and will, in and of itself, lend to more productive sales in the future. Why you ask? If you truly evaluate and determine what went well/what could have gone better on the last call and make changes based on this data, future calls will go more smoothly.
So, no matter what you call the Sales Execution Model it should consist of three phases, Pre-Sales Activities, Sales Activities and Post Sales Activities. Remember to spend more time, do your due diligence, in the Pre-Sales Activities phase. This will garner you better results.