Technology has become ubiquitous in prospecting – salespeople embraced social media, LinkedIn, and auto-responders as sales tools that get results. Unfortunately, few salespeople are leveraging technology throughout their sales cycle to ensure their deals have a higher chance of closing.
As Phil Gerbyshak shared with us on our recent livestream series, technology can actually help us close sales. When sending a proposal into a corporation, it’s common to be ‘ghosted’, and then we’re right back where we started chasing folks down on the phone and via email. Sometimes, it can even seem like the whole sales process has restarted.
To trim hope from our sales strategies, we can use the acronym TRIM to help us leverage technology in our proposal follow-up process to drastically shorten close times.
T – Trigger: To leverage technology to help us accelerate the closing time of a proposal, we need to know that the proposal actually reached its recipient(s). Many email platforms allow us to see if an email/a document was opened and often by whom. It’s when a proposal is sent and received that this powerful system comes into play. Simply creating the assets below every time a proposal is sent may be redundant at best and kill the sale at worst.
R – Repeatable: In order to make this process repeatable so that it is executed on every prospect we send a proposal to who delays a decision, we need to have a list of reasons why they might not be making a decision in the first place. Those could include:
-Confusion about the terms in the proposal
-Disagreement about if it’s worth the price
-Questions about delivery/service/follow-up
-Consensus still needed among various decision makers
That list of potential questions needs to live outside our heads so that we can script a quick video or have talking points for a video we can quickly create and send to the decision maker(s). It could live in a CRM, on a whiteboard or in a script.
To create repeatable videos, we recommend a simple software platform like Drift, Vidyard, or the dozens of others available. They allow salespeople to quickly film themselves, edit, and send while tracking open rates, length of engagement and even including GIFs as moving thumbnails.
I – Improvable: The worst thing to do with a broken system is make it faster, so before we improve our proposal follow-up system, we need to first know what our win rate and close times were on our previous proposals. That’s the standard we’re measuring this new system against.
Next, we need to look at the frequency and quality of responses we receive from the short video addressing common questions. If a response comes back, we know we still have engagement and can set a follow-up meeting or get a new decision timeline.
Another way to know how we can improve is to track how much of the video was watched. If folks drop off after a few seconds, we know we have to improve our speaking or production quality.
The final way to improve the follow-up video is to track if it was opened at all. While it may be as simple as our emails not being received, it may also be that we didn’t have the level of engagement we thought we had among our decision makers.
M-Measurable: To ensure this system is being used, its implementation must be measured. This can happen with a simple ‘stalled proposal’ sequence within your CRM that we can track as sales leaders against the stalled proposals that occur among our salespeople. If five proposals stall, we know 5 ‘stalled proposal’ sequences should be active. We can then look a level deeper and see whether the videos in this sequence are were actually created and sent to the decision makers by our salespeople.
Technology doesn’t just apply in finding prospects, it can also serve us in ensuring those prospects turn into customers.