We’ve all been there. The deal is going well. The prospect is engaged in our dialogue. The conversation builds to the obvious conclusion where a proposal goes out the door. Then silence…………..
You can’t find the prospect with a search warrant! (thanks Jim)
It doesn’t need to be like this. There are many great sales processes but I prefer the Prime process highlighted in previous blog posts. But I’ve been using a delicate but important tweak to Prime. I call it my Key Dates For Completion move. As you diagnose and design the best solution based on responses from your prospect, clarifying expectations, you need to behave like a world class project manager. You need to act as if the key goal of all your conversations is NOT a PO but a happy successful customer who is operationally ready to use your technology/software/system.
How do we achieve that? We introduce a simple little table: Key Dates To Completion and attach it to our proposal having discussed it and got buy in to it from our sponsor/prospect.
Key Dates To Completion (terms will vary depending on the nature of goods and services)
- Formal approval from procurement
- PO received/cash received
- Production Commences or set up work completed
- Engineering validated and tested or subscription activated
- Shipped Date
- Installation Date
- Operational Start Date