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Best Action Commitment

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					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




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© 2010 SLiA Group Inc., sliagroup.com                                                                  Page 4

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: 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.