Goal-Based Selling Sales Process Overview
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” William A. Foster
This quote from William A. Foster is one of my very favorites. I love the combination of factors that combine to yield the outcome of quality. A layperson may recognize quality but it takes a true professional or artisan to know “what” and “how” to produce that quality. Success and quality require an investment of time, thought, and effort.
Professionals implement Goal-Based Selling. The focused effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution along with intentional skills comprise GBS.
Professional selling is a thinking person's endeavor that rewards those who are willing to invest accordingly.
Successful sales professionals know there are certain methods and procedures that achieve optimal results. Have you ever watched an artisan work? They follow a process, a thoughtfully refined and practiced sequence of steps that lead to a finished product. It is their craft and they approach it as such. Each step has been honed and perfected over time by practice and repetition so that in the end, they consistently produce the outcome they are seeking.
Similarly, top sales professionals have a process they follow because it works. An effective sales process produces consistent outcomes that enable them to meet and exceed their goals. And, by employing a repeatable process we become more and more proficient at that process so that we accomplish our goals consistently and more quickly.
The Goal-Based Selling Sales Process
The Goal-Based Selling Sales Process uses goals to guide every facet of what we do as sales professionals. The GBS Sales Process begins with the growth objective, i.e., quota, and then follows a straightforward pathway based on key aspects of a sales cycle from opportunity identification to the close. Specific goals are identified for each step in the GBS Sales Process, along with strategies and tactics.
Example: The assigned quota requires an increase over prior year sales by $100,000. That means that an account or combination of accounts with product growth opportunities greater than $100,000 must be identified and targeted.
Question: Why greater than $100,000?
Because you won’t close 100% of your opportunities AND those that do close won’t always close according to the expected schedule.
Therefore, to ensure success, we target at least 3-4 times the quota, ($300,000 - $400,000 in this example) so that we’re able to meet our growth objective or quota. This begins Step 1 of the GBS Sales Process – Opportunity Analysis and Identification of Target Accounts.
Goal-Based Selling Sales Process Step 1
Opportunity Analysis and Identification of Target Accounts
GBS Sales Process Step 1 focuses on doing your homework and creating your plan. Using the data available to you, internal or external reports, and other resources, identify what appears to be your best and largest growth opportunity targets. Create an initial target list of accounts with product opportunities that, when added together, equal 3-4 times the quota. Once the initial target list has been created you are ready to proceed to Step 2.
Goal-Based Selling Sales Process Step 2
Fact-Finding, Need Development & Product Presentation
Once the pre-work and preparation of GBS Sales Process Step 1 are completed and targets are identified, in-person meetings occur. Meeting decision-makers and decision-influencers, we fact find, qualify and quantify each opportunity and develop needs. Based upon what we learn, we’ll present our solution and demonstrate how that solution meets the customer needs that have been discussed.
If during those discussions it is found that one or more of the identified opportunities is not a valid target, simply go back to GBS Sales Process Step 1 and replace that target with the next best one and repeat the process until you have $300,000 - $400,000 qualified, quantified and validated opportunities. NOW you have your pipeline of opportunities to manage through the sales process.
Importance of Your Pipeline
Hunting for new opportunities and adding to your pipeline is ongoing. Your pipeline is your resource for success and when you manage it well, you achieve the current year's goals and position yourself to achieve the following year's goals. Proactive opportunity identification, qualification & quantification is the foundation of building a healthy pipeline.
During fact-finding and need development, probe to uncover and then confirm information that enables you to fully understand your customer’s outcome goals, priorities, decision criteria, challenges, needs, and wants. This enables you to identify the right solution and then position your solution appropriately.
Now you are ready to show precisely how your proposed solution meets their needs and produces their outcome goals. This is your product demonstration. Your product demonstration is a pivotal moment in the GBS Process. This is THE opportunity to show Decision Makers and Decision Influencers that your solution provides exactly the benefits they are seeking. You validate how your product yields the desired outcome goals and meets (and exceeds) their needs and wants. Depending on your product or solution your customer may be ready to make a buying decision after your product demonstration. Or, they may require a product trial.
If you have fully understood their goals, priorities, needs, and wants and if you have properly positioned your solution and provided an effective product demonstration, you should be able to gain their agreement to move the process forward to Step 3 – the Product Trial or on to Step 4 of the Goal-Based Selling Sales Process – Product Conversion and Implementation. Reading and confirming your customer's readiness to move forward is crucial at this point.
Goal-Based Selling Sales Process Step 3
The Product Trial
A successful product trial that meets mutually agreed upon outcome goals can frequently be the most essential step in the GBS Sales Process. Whatever your product or service is, the product trial is the opportunity to experience your product and "test drive" it to their satisfaction. During the product trial, your prospective customer must see the product(s) perform according to their wants and needs, and produce the results and outcomes that will ultimately lead them to purchase that product.
For the reasons mentioned, it is essential that we and our prospective customers mutually agree ahead of time upon outcome goals and decision criteria that will be achieved for the product trial to be considered a success.
Goal-Based Selling Sales Process Step 4
Product Conversion and Implementation
Provided the product demonstration and/or trial proved successful, your next step is to close the sale. Depending on the nature of your product, you may also need to prepare for conversion and implementation.
A successful conversion and implementation require careful planning and coordination of all implementation requirements and logistical aspects involved in bringing in the new product. Consistent, frequent follow-up is required in the weeks or months immediately following the conversion to ensure strong adoption, utilization, and long-term success.
This has been a quick overview of the Goal-Based Selling Sales Process. Specific goals, strategies, and tactics will be provided in more detail for each of the four GBS Sales Process Steps during the Goal-Based Selling Sales Process training workshops.
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