I’ve found over the years in selling and marketing IT services that the more accurately you track deals the fewer surprises at the end of the month for revenue goals. The IT sales process is focused on having the ability to understand all the different stakeholders and having them on the same page before a decision is made. How do you track all of these different people, especially if you’re just a small IT company?
Having been involved in IT sales for over 20 years, I have found there are several common problems when deals fail to close. Here are some of the major problems to check when reviewing the sales pipeline with your team:
- Poor chemistry between you and the client
- Unclear business objectives for the project
- Client has an unrealistic view of delivery time frame
- Unclear team leadership on your side or the client’s
- Lack of senior management support for the project
- Sporadic client communications
- Changing or no project leadership on client team
- No clearly defined revenue or decreased costs results for project
- Individual executives’ agenda or needs not met
- Client is still reviewing other options
If any four of these points are true, the deal is not going to close, but I’ve found the one real deal breaker is number 1, poor chemistry between you and the client stakeholders. And stakeholders are people, too! I use this checklist to make sure deals are still moving on track. In many IT sales, there are multiple stakeholders and each person needs to feel that they are the most important. That means staying in touch with each stakeholder even when you’re not specifically selling something. Good IT sales professionals understand how to do this and focus on the intangibles with their customers to make sure that all pieces of the puzzle come together to end in a successful deal.
The other thing I’ve learned over the years is that successful IT sales professionals concentrate on the people and building strong relationships before moving on to the more technical parts of the deal to insure success. How does an already overstretched sales leader keep track of the people part of the deal? Traditional CRM provides details on deals and contacts but typically ignores the relationship aspects of the complex sale. I believe that well over 80% of the deals closing will come down to this key aspect of the sale and in most cases; it’s the least discussed part of the process. How do you build better relationships with your clients before you need to? Over the next several blogs, we’ll discuss how you can build better relationships in your market.
How have you built better relationships before and during the sales process?
Tripp Braden is an IT marketing and sales consultant who specializes in developing seven figure partnerships and businesses. He is also the editor of Market Leadership Journal. Discover how to grow your company through extraordinary partnerships by visiting http://www.HighGrowthBusiness.com where you can find resources and products to increase your success.