In part 2, we’ll cover the “back nine” of questions, how to review your performance, and cover a few best practices for your “practice rounds” and “tournaments”.
So we’ve just finished the first nine holes, we stopped in the clubhouse to gather ourselves, and we’re off to the tenth tee. If we translate that to sales, we’ve met our contact for the first time, we discovered that it made sense to discuss our product or services a little more, we debriefed the conversation, reflected on it, and now we are ready for the second meeting.
We’re walking to the 10th tee…or the second meeting with our prospect…
- What questions do you ask to create rapport with your prospects? And how do you transition into the subject at hand?
- What questions do you ask to understand your prospect’s problems or current challenges?
- Determine how long this issue has been a challenge for the company, find out the value of the problem, and who’s managing it today.
- How do you cover if there is an available budget? Understand their buying process.
- What questions do you ask to determine who needs to be involved in the decision-making process? Understand how it typically occurs.
- What do you say to your prospects to see if they’re ready to see a proposal?
- Before presenting a solution or a proposal, how do you lay out the next steps if the solution solves the problem?
- This will apply in many areas of your sales process, but what are your most common objections? Make a list. Understand how you address them to keep the conversation going.
- Let’s assume they’ve said yes to the proposal. Cover with them how things could go bad from here with some third party stories. Get an understanding of how they want to address any of these potential problems to ensure the solution is delivered in full.
The 19th Hole
With the round completed, it’s time to look back on how we played. Now there’s a difference in how we should probably debrief in golf vs. sales. This post suggests that you debrief after the first sales meeting. In golf, I wouldn’t debrief in the middle of the round as you might lose your focus. I’ll leave that up to you.
Like in sales, to review how we played in golf, a good place to start is the scorecard or the stats associated with our performance. In addition to keeping score on each hole, golfers will record the number of putts on each hole. Obviously, these are some quick and easy stats to understand our performance on a per hole basis. Here are some other stats that may or may not land on the scorecard:
- Fairways hit
- Greens hit
- Up and down
- 100 yards and in stats
- Putts made inside ten feet
Whether these stats land on the scorecard or not, they allow the golfer to critique how they played at a more micro level. They’re looking to see if there was room to manage the course differently. For example, should they have hit an iron off the tee rather than the 3-wood? This would have resulted in another fairway hit. They then can review these stats and critiques with their coach to then be applied in future practice sessions or tournaments. To see how PGA Tour players are using stats today, read this when you have a moment.
Shouldn’t we evaluate our sales conversations the same way?
And we can.
If we think of each mini step or bit of a sales process as a golf hole, we can score ourselves as to how we performed, both in terms of the deal and the process we follow. Be subjective around the deal as it relates to your process. Be subjective about how we did as sales professionals. This will help understand how the deal is progressing and where you perform well as a professional and where you need some work.
If you become consistent with this practice, you can begin to have better coaching sessions, you know how to prepare, practice rounds (role plays) are more productive, and live interactions become more fruitful.
Practice and Tournaments
So we covered the steps to create a sales process and discussed how to be reflective about our process. Whether you use the 18 steps or questions here to help you think about your process or not, reviewing your performance is relevant. Now it’s time to apply those learnings in our practice rounds and tournaments.
Your practice sessions should almost mirror our live interactions. To start, go through your pre-call planning routine. Review the process and the objective of that meeting. Understand your client and their business. After you’ve prepped, get into the right frame of mind to practice perfect. The most productive way to practice is with a coach or teammate.
After going through the role play, make sure you’re reflective about what you did well and what you need work on. The idea here, is to then apply it, in your live interactions.
Here at TrackLeft, we’re helping sales reps and sales managers create a loop of practicing, pre-call planning, prospecting, and reviewing.
Sign up today to see how your team can follow their sales process, improve their sales techniques, and how best practices can be shared.