Three slides to shrink your sales cycle by 30% or more.
Years ago, my boss said, “Our solution is so great, it sells itself.” I politely chuckled behind his back. Yes, we had a fantastic solution, and yes, he had the right to be proud of the company but expecting your buyer to know how to buy is the #1 mistake of salespeople across the globe. To grow FASTER, let’s go back to the basics.
First, stop demonstrating your solution without framing it in a presentation. It is a mistake. The presentation is your opportunity to set the stage, communicate value, and agree on a game plan. Besides allowing for a structured conversation, it’s your leave behind so that your prospect can sell internally. Without a formal deck, your clients will misunderstand your value, their will memories fade, and your deals go stale.
So here are the three slides that will shrink your sales cycle by 30% or more:
1. Agenda and goal for the meeting,
2. Our understanding of your needs and
3. Next steps with a timeline.
I know it sounds simple, and you were expecting something more profound. Sorry, more often than not, it’s the basics that matter most.
1. Agenda and goal for the meeting
Please pause after presenting this slide – and don’t be lazy; include the goal of the meeting. Ask the buyer if this is in sync with his or her expectations. At least ten percent of the time, your plan and the buyer’s expectations are misaligned. I love the quote by Plato, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Be wise and pause here. It is better to cancel a meeting before it starts than to bore (or frustrate) your prospect for thirty or sixty minutes.
2. Our understanding of your needs
Clarifying and confirming your buyers’ strategic objectives is the #1 priority of every sales presentation. People buy when they see and a direct correlation between your product and their needs. It is the salesperson’s job to get concurrence on the pain-points and strategic objectives continually. If you did a proper discovery call, you would recap the information you gathered from your coach, peppered with phrases from their website or annual report. I also recommend you expand the list to include all other buying reasons you would expect. This slide is your best opportunity to learn what’s most important to your key buyer. Plan to spend up to fifteen minutes on this topic. Ask your buyer if your list is inclusive? How do they plan to measure success? Do they have other expectations? Then, ask them to prioritize the list. If several people are on your call, solicit feedback from everyone and let them negotiate with one another. Even after you present this the first time, include this slide in all your decks. It’s an opportunity for the extended team to learn the decision-making process of their organization. Most salespeople avoid this slide or rush through it. Big mistake!
3. Next steps and proposed timeline
Seriously, I can not tell you how many times I see a presentation end without discussing the next steps. You are the subject matter expert in terms of how people buy your solution; your buyer likely does not know what to do next. List out all the probable tasks/meetings and add in expected dates. Solicit their thoughts and listen to where they are in the buying process; they’ll volunteer this information. Almost all B2B fintech sales have a lengthy evaluation process consisting of four or more meetings. Don’t avoid it; spell it out for them. A lazy or insecure salesperson will omit this slide and tell you they can by-pass specific evaluation steps. Just remember, there are no shortcuts in life. If you omit this slide, I guarantee your deals will go backward, or they’ll go stale.
These items are part of any Sales 101 curriculum. So stop skipping the basic sales disciplines, and add these three slides to every presentation. Your pipeline will be more accurate, and you’ll start to see your sales cycle accelerate.
For more help on how to grow your B2B fintech FASTER, reach out to me: Linda Wittich, Top Line Focus at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 407.873.8831.