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Sales reps must strive for the best action commitment from their potential buyers when developing a sale. Agreeing to commitment requests from a sales rep proves a buyer’s engagement in the sales process. Agreeing to the rep’s best action commitment demonstrates engagement at an even higher level, potentially reducing the number of steps
required to close in the multi-step sales process.
Sales reps must strive for the best action commitment from their potential buyers when developing a sale. Agreeing to commitment requests from a sales rep proves a buyer’s engagement in the sales process. Agreeing to the rep’s best action commitment demonstrates engagement at an even higher level, potentially reducing the number of steps required to close in the multi-step sales process.
SLiA Group Sales Leadership in Action Group Best Action Commitment Executive Summary: Sales reps must strive for the best action commitment from their potential buyers when developing a sale. Agreeing to commitment requests from a sales rep proves a buyer’s engagement in the sales process. Agreeing to the rep’s best action commitment demonstrates engagement at an even higher level, potentially reducing the number of steps required to close in the multi-step sales process. Bottom Line & Business Impact: Reps that continuously engage in best action commitments create progress, engage buyers, and reduce sales cycle time, therefore ensuring the deal moves forward incrementally towards a natural close. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 1 Getting Commitment from Buyers Getting commitment from potential buyers is not an easy task. As a result, many sales reps have become accustomed to working on a deal without any form of commitment from the buyer. Since buyers are typically unwilling to offer any form of action to help sales reps develop a solution, their willingness to agree to another meeting is assumed by the rep to Lay of the Land mean that progress is being made. This situation is a result of rep-centric sales tactics from traditional selling practices. Too many buyers have found themselves involved with deals that do not effectively address their needs and, as a result, they are less willing to trust or commit to a deal with sales reps. When seeking commitment, there is no best approach for reps to consider. Rather, there are several different commitments reps can strive to achieve. Sales reps that are buyer- centric and work to understand buyers will be able to gauge the type of commitment that can be expected from a buyer. Once reps can garner an initial form of commitment, they have to use this momentum to more thoroughly engage buyers in the sales process through: • Best Action Commitments • High End Engagement • A Multi-Step Process Best Action Commitments The best action commitment is the best realistic action to which sales reps think the buyer can commit for an upcoming sales meeting. This action should have the buyer demonstrate that there is little to no hesitation with moving to the next stage (whatever that may be) in the purchase process. Naturally, the best commitment a rep can expect is an agreed upon deal. However, the buyer engagement process is about incremental commitment steps. When sales reps ask for a best action commitment, it must be ﬁrmly based on: • Understanding of the buyer’s status • Current engagement • Level of commitment thus far in the deal • What is left to accomplish before the deal can close If a buyer commits to the rep’s best action request, it demonstrates that they are becoming more involved in their engagement when developing a deal. It is extremely likely that the buyer is starting to integrate the sales rep’s offering into their vision of an ideal solution. If the buyer, for one reason or another chooses not to commit, then there is clearly some form of hesitation on their part. In this case, sales reps need to reassess the situation and fall back on their minimum acceptable action as the commitment they wish to secure for the sales meeting. The essence of the best acceptable progression is similar to the minimum acceptable commitment. Instead of focusing on deﬁning an absolute minimum commitment they are willing to accept from a potential buyer, reps are focusing on the best case scenario for that sales situation. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 2 This depends on: • Where the rep and buyer are in the sales/buying process. • The actions to which a buyer has already committed in the past. • The reps understanding of the buyer’s current status as the buyer engagement process develops. High End Engagement The peak of a best action commitment is high end engagement. Sales reps strive for high end engagement during the progress of a deal. High end engagement is present when a rep and buyer relationship is viewed as a partnership, the partnership is viewed as an asset to the organization, and both parties are putting in the required effort to achieve a common goal. When reps and buyers are operating in what is classiﬁed as high end engagement they are in the top quartile of sales performance. This occurs when reps have a buyer centric sales approach, have effectively gained trust, built credibility, and developed a win/win environment with buyers to work together to develop a solution. While high end engagement does not occur with every buyer, reps need to follow the best practices to achieve it. High end engagement is built on previous commitment steps established with the buyer, and encourages reps to think, not only about the best case scenario for themselves, but also for the buyer. This is communicated to buyers when reps show the beneﬁts and value of committing to a best action commitment. When this is the case, and when buyers are engaged at a high level, they are fully committed to the deal. Multi-Step Process Even if reps get their buyers to progress at a high level, it is still a multi-step process regardless of whether the deal is transactional (multiple steps in the interaction) or complex (multiple meetings over time). Therefore, sales reps need to aim for something less than the close when setting their best acceptable progression. Picture this multi-step process as a staircase: • Each time sales reps meet with potential buyers they want to get to the next step (a best acceptable progress) of the sales process. • The deal can only move to the next step when commitment is present. Each step in the staircase is a best acceptable progression as deﬁned by the rep before each call. • When reps and buyers work together on a number of best acceptable progressions, they ﬁnd themselves at the top of the staircase (closing the deal). • There are no predetermined set of steps that will get reps to the close. Each sales process involves different variables. If reps can consistently climb the staircase by working with buyers to achieve the best acceptable progression, they will be well on their way to closing the deal and providing buyers with an ideal solution to meet their needs. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 3 Putting into Practice The Buyer Engagement Approach Minimum Acceptable Action Commitment Construction of a Valid Buyer’s Reason Sales 101 - Five Types of Closing Closing Challenges & the Buyer Engagement Process Sale Leadership in Action Group products are for the exclusive use of SLiA Group’s clients, and for internal purposes only. Members can use the document in whole or in part. The products are to be used for internal purposes only, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the paid memberships. Members may customize the tools and templates by editing titles, headers and footers with their company information. © 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com Page 4
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