A critical question for every sales professional is the question of “What’s next,” particularly as we look at the deals we seek to move forward.
Too often, doing deal reviews, sales people share what’s happened, but struggle with the question of “what’s next?” They know they are trying to win a deal, too often, they respond, “Well, I’ve got to get an order.”
But when probed, “What are the next things that have to happen to get the order?”
The majority of sales people that can answer the question, generally respond, “We have to do a discovery call, we have to do a demo, we have to provide a proposal……”
Second to not knowing what’s next, the most frequent responses I get to the question are the things we have to do. Usually, we know those things because they are outlined in our sales process.
But perhaps, the most important thing to think about, if we are going to be successful, is “What’s next for the customer? What do they have to do next in their buying process?”
What happens in considering the answers to those questions, is it shifts our perspectives to better understanding and aligning with our customers.
It helps us better align our activities with the things that are most important to helping our customers reach a decision.
Often, our customers don’t know. They struggle, they have lot of information, they are meeting with various sales people, but they struggle with what’s next. Perhaps there’s disagreement in the buying group. If they don’t buy solutions in this category every day, they may not know what’s next. They may seek help and suggestions about what they should be doing.
Knowing what we need to do next in our selling process is important. Helping the buyer know what’s next is critical to our ability to create value and align with what they are trying to achieve.
Do you know what’s next for every deal you have qualified? Does your buyer know?