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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. March / 09 / 2021
Coronavirus: Ayurvedic home remedies for mild COVID symptoms (cough, fever and tiredness), by an Ayurvedi - Times of India
Coronavirus: Ayurvedic home remedies for mild COVID symptoms (cough, fever and tiredness), by an Ayurvedi  Times of India

Effective Home Remedies To Stop Nose Bleeding - Pragativadi
Effective Home Remedies To Stop Nose Bleeding  Pragativadi

Sweaty palms, armpits and feet? Count on these Ayurvedic home remedies - The Indian Express
Sweaty palms, armpits and feet? Count on these Ayurvedic home remedies  The Indian Express

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Home remedies for acid reflux  Medical News Bulletin

Home Remedies: Try these natural remedies to tackle hearing loss - TheHealthSite
Home Remedies: Try these natural remedies to tackle hearing loss  TheHealthSite

Five effective home remedies to relieve sinus pain - Times of India
Five effective home remedies to relieve sinus pain  Times of India

Home Remedies For Hair Growth: How To Grow Hair Naturally With Good Food - NDTV Food
Home Remedies For Hair Growth: How To Grow Hair Naturally With Good Food  NDTV Food

Home Remedies For Low BP: 8 Easy Tips To Raise Low Blood Pressure - NDTV Food
Home Remedies For Low BP: 8 Easy Tips To Raise Low Blood Pressure  NDTV Food

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7 Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Pimples And Acne Naturally, Also Remove Acne Scars  Yahoo India News

In Zimbabwe, Covid-19 vaccine competes with herbal remedies - Quartz Africa
In Zimbabwe, Covid-19 vaccine competes with herbal remedies  Quartz Africa

2 Easy home remedies that actually WORK and will give you long and luscious hair without expensive treatments - PINKVILLA
2 Easy home remedies that actually WORK and will give you long and luscious hair without expensive treatments  PINKVILLA

Home remedies that cure a dry scalp - Times of India
Home remedies that cure a dry scalp  Times of India

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Want To Regrow Your Lost Hair? Here Are Some Of The Home Remedies With 100% Benefits  IWMBuzz

Oral Thrush and Inhalers: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Healthline
Oral Thrush and Inhalers: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment  Healthline

4 Home Remedies Straight Off Dadi’s Kitchen To Fight Ailments - Femina
4 Home Remedies Straight Off Dadi’s Kitchen To Fight Ailments  Femina

Have mild COVID symptoms? Ayurvedic doctor shares effective home remedies - The Indian Express
Have mild COVID symptoms? Ayurvedic doctor shares effective home remedies  The Indian Express

Skin Health: Celeb Nutritionist Pooja Makhija Shares 2 Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Acne - NDTV Food
Skin Health: Celeb Nutritionist Pooja Makhija Shares 2 Easy Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Acne  NDTV Food

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3 Easy tips and helpful DIY home remedies to feel refreshed in the rising summer heat  PINKVILLA

Remedies From Yiayia - GreekCityTimes.com
Remedies From Yiayia  GreekCityTimes.com

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Tension in Neck and Shoulders From Anxiety: 5 Home Remedies  Healthline

How to get clear skin - Chicago Tribune
How to get clear skin  Chicago Tribune

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Korean Home Remedies And K-Beauty Tips To Get Dewy, Glass Skin At Home  NDTV Swirlster

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Struggling with facial hair? Here are 3 simple home remedies to get rid of them  PINKVILLA

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Eliminate Bloating With These Simple Yet Effective Home Remedies  NDTV Doctor

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Farting Blood: 11 Causes, Treatments, Concerns, and More  Healthline

Dogs should be taken to the vet if poisoned, not treated with at-home remedies - AFP Factcheck
Dogs should be taken to the vet if poisoned, not treated with at-home remedies  AFP Factcheck

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From pacifying dry cough to treating dental issues: Count on these easy home remedies using walnuts  The Indian Express

Readers use a splash of amber Listerine for athlete’s foot - Houston Chronicle
Readers use a splash of amber Listerine for athlete’s foot  Houston Chronicle

Hives on face: Treatments, symptoms, causes, and outlook - Medical News Today
Hives on face: Treatments, symptoms, causes, and outlook  Medical News Today

Everything You Need to Know to Start a Natural Skin Care Routine - Healthline
Everything You Need to Know to Start a Natural Skin Care Routine  Healthline

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Tickle in Ear: Causes, Treatments, Prevention, and More  Healthline

How to get rid of silverfish with home remedies, Mrs Hinch top tips and more - Real Homes
How to get rid of silverfish with home remedies, Mrs Hinch top tips and more  Real Homes

Virus in Vermont: Single dad, a refugee with six children, homeless in a pandemic - vtdigger.org
Virus in Vermont: Single dad, a refugee with six children, homeless in a pandemic  vtdigger.org

Home remedies said to regain your sense of smell and taste after COVID - Extra.ie
Home remedies said to regain your sense of smell and taste after COVID  Extra.ie

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New York Times Restaurant Critic Tries To Regain Sense Of Smell After COVID-19  Texas Public Radio

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Throat irritation: Allerigies, cough, and more  Medical News Today

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Fever with allergies: Is it possible, other causes, and treatment  Medical News Today

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One of NC’s most COVID-stricken ZIP codes is in Raleigh. Meet the people who live there.  Raleigh News & Observer

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Acne Between Eyebrows: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention  Healthline

How to pass a drug test for weed–the ultimate guide Leafly Staff - Leafly
How to pass a drug test for weed–the ultimate guide Leafly Staff  Leafly

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Itchy Teeth: Possible Causes, and How to Treat It  Healthline

3 Easy ways to use honey in your skincare and haircare routine for the ultimate moisturisation - PINKVILLA
3 Easy ways to use honey in your skincare and haircare routine for the ultimate moisturisation  PINKVILLA

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Top 10 ways to get a good night's sleep  University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

Fact check: No, Coca-Cola does not get rid of head lice. That's a myth. - USA TODAY
Fact check: No, Coca-Cola does not get rid of head lice. That's a myth.  USA TODAY

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Can a UTI Delay Your Period? What Research Says  Healthline

A splash of Listerine for athlete's foot | Peoples Pharmacy | swoknews.com - The Lawton Constitution
A splash of Listerine for athlete's foot | Peoples Pharmacy | swoknews.com  The Lawton Constitution

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Coronavirus home remedies: Treatment options and when to seek help  Medical News Today

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Home Remedies Using Apple Cider Vinegar | INTEGRIS  Integris

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Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes to Help Your Back Pain  Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

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Does peanut butter cause acne? Everything to know  Medical News Today

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Ear Health: Ditch These Unhealthy Habits To Prevent Hearing Loss  Doctor NDTV

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Everything that you need to know about blind pimples | NewsBytes  NewsBytes

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6 home remedies for asthma  Medical News Today

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Can home remedies help my sciatica? - Harvard Health  Harvard Health

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Easy home remedies to cure sore throat  The Indian Express

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Tired of Cough Drops? Try These 5 Home Remedies for Cough  EcoWatch

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Home remedies for insomnia: 9 options  Medical News Today

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6 home remedies to relieve headaches naturally  INSIDER

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Best home remedies for sunburn, according to dermatologists  TODAY

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6 natural home remedies to get rid of nausea  INSIDER

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Turning Food into Home Remedies Is My Love Language  Bon Appetit

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10 home remedies to get relief from cough  Times of India

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Fighting the Sniffles? Try These Traditional Indian Cold Remedies  Healthline

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Don't Slip! Try These Home Remedies For Removing Ice  Spectrum News

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Survey: Americans turn to at-home remedies to avoid ER visits  KTNV Las Vegas

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Home Remedies That Work  WebMD

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The best home remedies for asthma, like breathing exercises and natural herbs  INSIDER

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9 clinically proven natural remedies for common ailments  MD Linx

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Sciatica pain treatment: Medical options, exercises, and home remedies  Medical News Today

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Home remedies for vaginal itching: Treatment, causes, and prevention  Medical News Today

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Dangerous Home Remedies for COVID-19  Everyday Health

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What to take for nausea: What medications and home remedies work well?  Medical News Today

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Viral post claims several at-home COVID-19 remedies work, health officials can't back them  WXOW.com

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5 effective home remedy for shortness of breath  Times of India

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Home remedies for common cold  Times of India

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8 science-backed home remedies to soothe coughing naturally, according to doctors  INSIDER

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VERIFY: Can at-home remedies help treat COVID-19?  WCNC.com

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6 Foods And Home Remedies To Combat Acidity - Expert Reveals  NDTV Food

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5 natural home remedies to get rid of cold sores fast  INSIDER

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Goodbye dull skin: 5 simple home remedies to rejuvenate your skin  Hindustan Times

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The 4 best home remedies to cure your hangover naturally - Insider  INSIDER

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Best home remedies to treat herpes: Examples and research  Medical News Today

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Simple and effective home remedies for constipation  Times of India

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Is There a Home Remedy for Pink Eye?  Verywell Health

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Liver Detox Home Remedy: Do Cleanses Work? Steps to Take  Healthline

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Stomach ache? Here are some home remedies from a nutritionist  The Indian Express

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Prevent dehydration with these easy home remedies  The Indian Express

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7 Natural Home Remedies for Your Dog  Treehugger

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5 of the best home remedies for acid reflux  INSIDER

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The 5 best home remedies for poison ivy, according to dermatologists - Insider  INSIDER

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Smelly Scalp Causes, Natural Remedies, Medical Treatment  Healthline

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Witch Hazel for Sunburn and Other Natural Home Remedies  Healthline

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What Homemade Remedy Can You Use for Under Eye Puffiness?  MedicineNet

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Dry eyelids: Causes, treatments, and home remedies  Medical News Today

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Bad Home Remedies for COVID-19  U.S. News & World Report

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Helpful herbs: Stay ahead of this year’s cold, Covid, flu season with home remedies  Burlington Times News

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5 home remedies to get rid of dandruff, including coconut oil and baking soda  INSIDER

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Health & Well-being 10 Surprising Home Remedies for Acid Reflux  Treehugger

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Gum infection: Causes, treatment, home remedies, and more  Medical News Today

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