As a salesperson, you’re likely trying sell more, close deals faster, and deliver more value than competitors. And you’re not alone – which is why so many salespeople try to win on price.
It’s a strategy that works – until it doesn’t. We’ve all experienced the pain that comes when a prospect pays more for the same product or service we offer.
We sat down with Stephen Krines, a sales leader who has a different approach to improving the conversations his team has with their prospects. Instead of simply focusing on winning the sale faster, his team takes the time to plan out their questions in a way that prepares them for better understanding their prospect’s needs, and therefore, the best way to serve them.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: To prepare for sales meetings, Stephen recommends the system begin with a sales team’s internal meetings, rather than waiting until you’re in a conversation with a prospect. This is where a salesperson can review their ‘deal summary’ with their leader and peers, to ensure you’re meeting with a qualified prospect and address any discounts, deals, or red flags early instead of waiting to be in front of the prospect and being caught like a deer in the headlights.
R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable, salespeople have to map out the things they need to know during the meeting ahead of time. This can include qualifying the prospect as a decision maker, what is going on in their lives/businesses that cause a need for them seeking a solution like your product or service, a budget or budget range, etc. A checklist like this can appear as a templated format within a CRM or a printed checklist.
I – Improvable: Stephen insists his salespeople take the time to improve their sales meetings outside their sales meetings. He accomplishes this sleight of hand by having salespeople meet to dry-run meetings. Hitting ‘pause’ on a dry run conversation and dissecting what happened or what questions was/wasn’t asked allows his salespeople to improve not only their pre-meeting process but also improves the results their meetings produce.
As a second way to improve, Stephen also insists sales managers join their salespeople on sales calls as observers and then meeting immediately afterwards to debrief them. This can also create feedback for the salesperson and improve the pre-meeting system the entire sales team uses on future calls.
M – Measurable: To measure the success of this system, Stephen uses learning huddles that are specifically focused on pieces of the sales cycle. Some learning huddles cover the processes that salespeople use before meetings, some cover what happens during meetings, and others address what happens after meetings. These learning huddles with the sales team allow salespeople to bring metrics on those specific areas and any new lessons they’ve learned since the last learning huddle on that topic.