How can you sell more effectively in this economy? You’ll need to perform some self-diagnostics. If you use Sales Force Automation of some kind, perhaps a report like the one in figure 1.0 below is available to you.

Figure 1.0

This graph, showing Pipeline Movement, from software by Landslide, also shows how effectively this salesperson is converting opportunities. In this example, using milestones from Baseline Selling, you can see a small gap between “schedule appointment” and “SOB Quality” but opportunities convert fairly well from that point on, culminating in 30+ proposals converting to 25 or so contracts signed.

However, if you look at the next example in figure 1.1, you’ll see a different story.

figure 1.1

Here, using the same milestones, this salesperson has huge gaps, not only between “Schedule Appointment” and “SOB Quality”, where he establishes SOB with only 20+ out of the approximately 55 first appointments scheduled, but there is another huge gap between “Qualified” and “Able to Spend the Money”, where only 10 of the 20 convert. Overall, he converts only 3 out of 55 opportunities!

If you have a tool like this, take a look.  If you don’t have a tool like this, set up a spreadsheet and list your last 50 opportunities. Honestly identify the opportunities that failed to advance to the next milestone and see how your conversions look.  Those gaps tell the story of where you are least effective in the sales process.

If you wish to sell more effectively in this economy, you’ll need coaching, practice and effective execution, specifically where those gaps are wider than they should be.

Start with a review of Baseline Selling in the areas where you have the large gaps and if that doesn’t do the trick, get yourself a sales coach.