Monday, September 15, 2008

What Do We Need To Know/Find Out During A Sales Process?

There are 3 main questions we should be able during the sales process:

  • Should we pursue the opportunity?
    1. Does the customer have a business initiative to support the project/opportunity?
      1. What are the business issues the customer wants to solve with this project/opportunity?
      2. Who launched the business initiative, and who else is involved?
      3. How does this initiative relate to the overall business strategy?
    2. Did the customer budget the project/opportunity?
      1. What is budgeting process?
      2. Who else is involved in the budgeting process?
      3. What priority does this project/opportunity have on the budget priority list?
    3. What is the customer's compelling reason for change?
      1. Why does the customer want to change?
      2. Does the customer have a deadline?
      3. What will be the benefit of the change?
  • Can we pursue the opportunity?
    1. Will our solution address the customer's issue (from the customer's point of view)?
      1. How does our solution address the customer's issue?
      2. Will our solution easily integrate in the customer's environment/way of working?
      3. What risk does the customer take by selecting and implementing our solution?
    2. What resources do we need for the implementation?
      1. What sales resources will be needed to win the opportunity?
      2. What resources do we need to implement the solution?
      3. Do we need partners/alliances to win and/or implement the deal?
    3. What business value can we generate with our solution?
      1. Can we quantify the business value we will generate for the customer, using his/her metrics?
      2. We can clearly differentiate the business value of our solution from the competitor's business value?
      3. Will the level of generated value convince the customer to choose our solution?
  • Can we expect to win the opportunity?
    1. What is our ability to impact the customer's decision process?
      1. Do we understand the customer's formal and informal decision process for this specific initiative?
      2. Do we know how this specific buying decision will be made within the customer's organization?
      3. Do we know the executive that will ultimately make the buying process?
    2. What is our executive credibility and support?
      1. Did we establish the necessary creditability at the customer's executive level?
      2. What have those executives done to demonstrate their support for our solution?
      3. Do we need to approach other executives and how will we do that?
    3. Are we aligned with the "relevant" executive?
      1. Did we identify the "relevant" executive?
      2. Have we already met, and do we have regular contacts with that executive?
      3. Have we achieved alignment with that executive, and can we count on his/her support?


As this is a process, the number of positive answers will evolve in time. We should have at least 2 positive answers on each of the sub questions, in order to feel more confident about the outcome of the opportunity.

Good luck and good sales.