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Managing Your Major Sales - 7 Steps That Could Change The Way You Pursue Business


Ever lost a sale you thought was in the bag? Not an unfamiliar feeling for many businesses large and small. No matter how good you think your product or service is, everything finally boils down to your ability to convince others that it is good for them. It is all about getting the decision makers who matter to say "Yes".

In major sales the whole approach is fundamentally different to small scale selling and requires a very different set of skills and techniques. Being competent in the small, simple sale is no guarantee of success in larger scale selling. The traditional techniques and "tricks of the trade" such as closing don't seem to work in quite the same way in the more complex large scale sale. They are replaced by precise planning, information gathering and behavioral skills that build trust in the minds of the decision makers. Fundamental to this is the development of a detailed understanding of how decisions are made in your target customer and who the key players are.

So what constitutes a major sale? For most businesses they have a number of characteristics:

1. A lengthy sales cycle. This can vary from a few days to a few months or more depending on the industry.

2. Multiple decision makers. Any decision becomes complex as soon as more than one person is involved in making it. Understanding who these people are and their role in the process is vital if you are to improve your chances of success.

3. High potential value/importance. This varies from business to business. If your turnover is £250k an opportunity worth £10k might be considered very important. If your turnover is £50m it might not.

4. Time consuming and costly to pursue. If the business is worth winning it is worth investing the time, money and effort that is required. However, because major sales can be time consuming and costly it is vital to identify those opportunities that are worth pursuing i.e. those that you have a chance of winning. If you adopt the lottery ticket approach and pursue every opportunity you will simply dilute your resources to the extent that you don't have enough left to win the business you really want.

5. Competition. The sale immediately becomes more complicated when the buying organization has a number of options. For example, in a bid/proposal scenario you could be up against a number of competitors. How you go about managing the sale can have a huge effect on the potential outcome. Additionally, never forget the hidden competitor - the "do nothing" option for the customer/client.

It is clear that in major sales there is a need for a simple, structured approach that maximizes your chances of success. By their very nature major sales are too important to be left to chance. Despite this very few businesses seem to have a robust approach in place and every new opportunity is greeted either with unfounded optimism or utter panic.

So what is required?

Step 1: Before you even begin it is important that you decide whether the opportunity is worth pursuing or not. If you haven't already got selection criteria in place to help you to decide don't delay any further. Get your key colleagues together and agree what the selection criteria should be. If you want a generic "Go/No Go" checklist visit our website at www.fieldofdreams.uk.com where you can download one for free. You should then tailor this so that it reflects your business and its' unique requirements.

Step 2: Identify the people in your target customer who are going to influence/make the decision and ensure you have the right people (skills and personalities) to deal with them. It would be helpful at this stage to have unlimited talent available but I accept that this is most unlikely! However, you should ask yourself "Do I have the team in place that can realistically be expected to win this piece of business?" If the answer is "No" you should revue your decision to pursue the opportunity.

Step 3: The Customer Contact Meetings. There are three activities that are encompassed within the Customer Contact Meetings:

i. Covering the Bases - this is all about ensuring you have identified all the people at your target customer who are going to have an input into the decision and then ensuring they are contacted by an appropriate member of your team

ii. Understanding customer needs - ok, I know this is obvious and no-one would seriously try to sell anything without understanding their customer's needs would they? At this stage it is vital to recognize that there are two groups of needs that should be understood and addressed:

a) The corporate need. This is the detailed understanding of the business needs that require addressing and how they can be best approached.

b) Personal needs. "Businesses don't make decisions - people do". What are the personal needs of the individuals that make up the decision-making team? Understanding and addressing these can be crucial in coming up with a winning proposal.

iii. Testing out potential solutions/propositions. Assuming the process includes a formal proposal document and/or a presentation, there is a temptation to store up your solutions/propositions in order to deliver an exciting proposal. This is the "rabbit out of the hat" approach. It is based on the assumption that the decision making team will be somehow impressed by all of this and that it will provide you with some sort of advantage over the competition. All too often it has precisely the opposite effect, with solutions presented that are simply unacceptable, or that have already been looked at and ruled out.

Given that this is likely to be the case, it is increasingly important that we constantly consider and discuss potential solutions with the customer/client. In this way we will be able to develop and hone our overall proposition to address the real needs, rather than those we have assumed exist. Additionally, it allows us to demonstrate our competence on an on-going basis.

Step 4: Your Proposal. You've done your Customer Contact Meetings. Now make sure that your proposal reflects the needs that your client expressed during those meetings and the solutions you have tested with them. Don't let it read like a solution you just picked off the shelf. The proposal should clearly demonstrate that:

   a. you have understood the key issues that the business faces

   b. you have clear solutions as to how those issues can be addressed

   c. you can demonstrate the benefits the target will enjoy as a result of your solutions

   d. you can demonstrate your competence in these areas

   e. Be concise. If you're in a competitive situation and you turn in a short proposal, that's the one that's likely to be read first, which means that all others will be judged against it.

Step 5: The Presentation. Some major sales culminate with a proposal and/or a presentation. Whilst this article is not about presentations per se, you will not need reminding that some people would rather die than give a presentation. These are not the best people to choose to present your proposal. I take the view that in many situations the decision as to who is getting the business has often been made by the time the presentation arises. Under these circumstances the presentation becomes not the opportunity to win the business but the opportunity to lose it. The three key rules for effective presentations are - rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If you are not comfortable presenting you may need help - go and get some! You cannot afford to fail at this late stage.

Step 6: The Follow Up: Once you have presented your proposal document and/or your presentation the question is "What next?" You could sit back, congratulate yourself on a job well done and hope for the best. A more proactive approach is usually the best. Someone should contact the customer and make sure they have everything they need in order to be able to make an informed decision.

Step 7: Process Review: Win or lose, it is important that lessons are learned from the experience. The whole team should get together for a de-brief as well as an appointment being made with the target customer to understand how well/badly you performed in key areas. Why did you win/lose the business? What were the key issues? What did our competitors do that we didn't? What could we do better next time? Ideally, put together a question checklist of the things it would be helpful for you to know and develop this list over time. Success is a continuous process of learning - this is a good opportunity.

Winning new business is the lifeblood of any B2B organization and yet many simply do not give this absolutely fundamental area of their business sufficient thought and consideration. Business winning skill is critical to a company's on-going success. If the skills and processes are not in place in your business you could pay the ultimate price.


Todays News by officejax free advertising and ad exchange solutionsMORE RESOURCES updated Tue. July / 07 / 2020
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Home Remedies For Diarrhea: Opt For These Simple And Effective Ways to Get Rid of The Problem  India.com

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Home Remedies to Prevent Dandruff on Eyelashes And Eyebrows  India.com

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‘Is there any home remedy for dry eyes?’  The Hindu

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6 home remedies for mosquito bites to stop your itch and provide relief - Insider  INSIDER

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COVID-19: Try these simple home remedies to treat a sore throat  Times of India

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5 home remedies to treat cold and flu caused by the sudden change in weather  Times of India

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Migraines: Home remedies that work, according to real people  KSAT San Antonio

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Here are some home remedies to get rid of tanning  NewsBytes

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Home Remedies for Migraine Relief and Prevention | Shape  Shape Magazine

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Turmeric for Skincare: Try these home remedies to achieve glowing skin  NEWS HEADS

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Home Remedies for Dandruff and Itchy Scalp  Shape Magazine

Home Remedies For Sore Throat: Try This Simple Ginger-Garlic Drink For Quick Relief - NDTV
Home Remedies For Sore Throat: Try This Simple Ginger-Garlic Drink For Quick Relief  NDTV

Home remedies to soothe an upset stomach - Times of India
Home remedies to soothe an upset stomach  Times of India

Here are some quick and easy home remedies for acne - NewsBytes
Here are some quick and easy home remedies for acne  NewsBytes

TC Elderberry: Wellness and Home Remedies - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
TC Elderberry: Wellness and Home Remedies - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

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Ministry of Ayush shares home remedies to stay safe from flu, other monsoon infections  Times Now

Home Remedies: Ginger-Honey-Pepper-Lemon Water May Help Ease Cold And Cough - NDTV Food
Home Remedies: Ginger-Honey-Pepper-Lemon Water May Help Ease Cold And Cough  NDTV Food

Avoid home remedies, use insecticide correctly when going after spotted lanternflies, expert advises - Reading Eagle
Avoid home remedies, use insecticide correctly when going after spotted lanternflies, expert advises  Reading Eagle

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What Causes Back Pain? Expert Explains 5 Possible Reasons And Tips To Manage Pain At Home  NDTV

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COVID-19: Home Remedies For Oral Health Care During Lockdown  NDTV Food

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"Home remedies like lemon and salt just don't cut it anymore": Sanjeev Gauba, Kent  afaqs

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Pearly whites: Simple home remedies for a sparkling white smile  The South African

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Home remedies by Ayurved Parameshwar Arora: Are they effective in curing coronavirus?  Alt News

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Experiencing Too Much Hair Fall? Opt For These Home Remedies  India.com

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Hair Care Tips: Try These Quick Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dull, Dry And Lifeless Hair  NDTV Doctor

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Constipation Home Remedies: 16 Natural ways to soften your stool for normal bowel movement  PINKVILLA

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Skincare Tips: Don't Squeeze, Use These Simple Home Remedies to Get Rid of Blackheads  India.com

2020 Elections, COVID-19 Create Misinformation Opportunities - GovTech
2020 Elections, COVID-19 Create Misinformation Opportunities  GovTech

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- Fighting pandemic-related MALT losses, medical crisis  Chestnut Hill Local

Skin Care Tips: 5 Easy Remedies To Get Rid Of Blackheads And Whiteheads - Doctor NDTV
Skin Care Tips: 5 Easy Remedies To Get Rid Of Blackheads And Whiteheads  Doctor NDTV

Aloe vera for hair care: Here are some natural home remedies for healthy hair - NEWS HEADS
Aloe vera for hair care: Here are some natural home remedies for healthy hair  NEWS HEADS

Eight Amazing Health Benefits Of Mustard Oil You Can’t Ignore - SheThePeople
Eight Amazing Health Benefits Of Mustard Oil You Can’t Ignore  SheThePeople

Immunity-boosting kadha: Covid-19 survivor shares recipe that helped her - The Indian Express
Immunity-boosting kadha: Covid-19 survivor shares recipe that helped her  The Indian Express

Coronavirus: Karnataka guidelines for home isolation for asymptomatic patients - The Indian Express
Coronavirus: Karnataka guidelines for home isolation for asymptomatic patients  The Indian Express

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Coronavirus Cure: Can coconut oil protect against COVID-19? Here's what doctors have to say  Jagran English

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Tips to manage the seasonal flu at home  Business Insider India

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Hina Khan to Divyanka Tripathi: TV actresses REVEAL their DIY home remedy tricks for a glowing skin  PINKVILLA

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Irregular Periods: 5 Quick Home Remedies  IWMBuzz

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Malaika Arora Shares Her Homemade Immunity 'Nuskha' And It's Something To Try This Monsoon  NDTV Food

Editorial: Don't ignore mosquitoes and West Nile virus - Chicago Daily Herald
Editorial: Don't ignore mosquitoes and West Nile virus  Chicago Daily Herald

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Kiara Advani uses this desi face mask recipe for her flawless skin  Times of India

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Malaika Arora uses these Indian ingredients to make a homemade immunity-boosting tonic  VOGUE India

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Beauty Tips: How to Get Rid of Pimples on The Scalp  India.com

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DIY beauty products can make skin glow  Atlanta Journal Constitution

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These home remedies will help you to get rid of oily skin  BOL News

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Hyderabad: Police personnel win over Covid, resume work and narrate how bosses' concern boost morale  Mumbai Mirror

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Boost your immunity with these super simple home remedies  Times of India

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How to avoid back and neck pain while working from home  TODAY

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Chronic Insomnia: Why It Happens, and What to Do About It  Greatist

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Keep Your Lungs Healthy With These Simple Methods  NDTV Doctor

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Stuffed wards, tired doctors: Only Covid hospital in Kalyan-Dombivali near Mumbai crumbles  ThePrint

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5 natural home remedies for insomnia that can help you get better sleep - Insider  INSIDER

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Not feeling well? Here are some practical home remedies  Houston Chronicle

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9 clinically proven natural remedies for common ailments  MD Linx

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Try these natural pain relievers as quick home remedies  The Indian Express

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5 natural home remedies to get relief from flu  Times of India

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Coronavirus home remedies: separating fact from fiction  FOX13 Memphis

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Myth-busting: Which of these DIY home remedies for coronavirus are actually effective?  KPRC Click2Houston

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Dangerous Home Remedies for COVID-19  Everyday Health

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Coronavirus Fact Check: Do these 'home remedies' actually help?  NBC2 News

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11 ways to curb your drinking  Harvard Health

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11 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin and Mistakes to Avoid  Greatist

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No, garlic won't prevent COVID-19. These 'home remedies' and 'cures' just don't work  NorthJersey.com

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Home Remedies for Allergies: Natural Ways to Ease Symptoms  Shape Magazine

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Home remedies: Herbal supplements may not mix with heart medicines  Medical Xpress

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Question of the day: Can home remedies such as garlic, red pepper, saline, hot baths or alcohol protect a person from catching COVID-19?  Victoria Advocate

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Best Natural Remedies for Common Health Issues That Work  Prevention.com

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Chloroquine, home remedies are not the answer to treat coronavirus, experts say  TribLIVE

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Coronavirus Prevention: Make hand sanitizer at home using these three ingredients  Times of India

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Do home remedies work to fight the flu?  Siouxland News

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13 Home Remedies for Acne, According to Dermatologists  Men's Health

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5 effective home remedies for vaginal itching  Times of India

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Four home remedies to get rid of a toothache when you can't see a dentist - Insider  INSIDER

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Using home remedies to treat the common cold  kjrh.com

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6 home remedies for mosquito bites and itches  Times of India

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Home remedies can ease symptoms of cough, sore throat  Daily Herald

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Can Natural Remedies Really Help You Fight the Coronavirus?  Discover Magazine

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10 natural and home remedies for ulcers  Medical News Today

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Diverticulitis: 8 home remedies and natural treatments  Medical News Today

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Psoriasis: 12 home remedies and how to avoid triggers  Medical News Today

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Listeners Ask About Home Remedies, Carry-Out Food and Warm Weather When Dealing with Coronavirus  WKSU News

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15 natural remedies for a sore throat: Marshmallow root and more  Medical News Today

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Home remedies doctors swear by  Mumbai Mirror

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7 best home remedies to get rid of knee pain  Times of India

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Home remedies — did mother know best?  tnonline.com

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3 Lifestyle Tweaks That Can Help Boost Your Immunity  Femina

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10 home remedies to treat dark circles  Times of India

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Home remedies: high blood pressure and cold remedies  Medical Xpress

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Fever home remedies: Adults, children, and infants  Medical News Today

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Stuck at home during lockdown? Home remedies to cure minor illnesses  Times of India

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Home remedies for cold feet and palms  Times of India

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Say Thanks To Honey Because Of These 5 Amazing Home Remedies  NDTV Swirlster

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Do Any Bronchitis Home Remedies Actually Work?  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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Honey-pepper and water boiled with tulsi-haldi — Modi bats for Covid-19 ‘home remedies’  ThePrint

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Natural home remedies that can help you with kidney stones  Times of India

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Science-backed home remedies you can rely upon  TheHealthSite

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3 Home Remedies for an Ear Infection  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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5 home remedies to deal with the problem of low blood pressure  Times of India

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Thirteen old-fashioned home remedies using everyday food which really work  Mirror Online

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Dry scalp: 9 natural home remedies  Medical News Today

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