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Shorten your team's sales cycles with agreed next actions in every selling conversation

Improve win rates by helping your team to agree "who will do what and by when"

Hello Sales Reset Leader

This is the first of our new weekly Sales Reset Leaders newsletters. You’re on our email list because you previously expressed interest in our approach to improving sales team results.

Here’s a link to a page explaining how these weekly Sales Reset Leaders newsletters are designed to help you improve your sales team's results every week with structured coaching and practice.

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In this week’s companion Weekly Sales Reset email for front-line salespeople, we focus on your team members winning more business by ending every selling meeting with agreed next actions.

This is such an important theme. You can do a great deal to help your team members define agreed next actions in every customer meeting.

The wins for you and your team members will include shorter sales cycles and better win rates.

How to improve your team's results this week

Evidence of agreed next actions

As you review your team’s selling activity, look for evidence that every meeting ends with agreed next actions for all stakeholders.

Reviewing proposal documents and emails, you should look for clearly identified dates and actions. If you review meeting recordings or transcripts, you should find evidence that stakeholders, actions and dates were discussed sufficiently and agreed explicitly.

Emails and proposals sent after customer meetings should always summarise what was discussed. Ideally, they will contain nothing significantly new that wasn’t discussed and might be surprising.

After every important meeting and conversation, you can seek evidence that your team members clarified the agreed-upon next actions for themselves, their key contacts and any other significant stakeholders.

Using this evidence, you can prepare to lead some effective coaching.

Coaching agenda for agreed next actions

Before leading a coaching session on agreed next actions, it will be best for you and your team members to review the current newsletter from Weekly Sales Reset. This will save time and establish the key priorities. Your coaching can then focus on practical application instead of taking time to establish the main ideas.

Give yourself time to reflect on WIIFM, “What’s in for me,” and empathise with your team members about how they might be sufficiently motivated to become more skilled at agreeing on the next actions in every meeting.

Here’s this week’s recommended coaching session agenda:

  1. Start with a brief review of their experience and results from their previous coaching session.

  2. Ask this team member for their observations about the agreed next actions in every selling conversation.

  3. Together, review the evidence you found in your preparation with each team member.

  4. Identify and prioritise a small range of specific practical things that this team member can do differently and better to end conversations with better agreement about who will do what and by when.

  5. Spend some time role-playing (working with these guidelines).

  6. Finish the coaching session with agreed and specific action conclusions.

Expected pushback about agreeing next actions

So you know what to expect and can be prepared, here are three areas of possible pushback from your team members on the theme of agreed next actions:

  1. Insufficient Engagement: Your team member might speak about how difficult it can be to motivate customers to commit to the next actions. This might lead to a discussion about focusing on the potential value of the outcomes of a proposed investment.

  2. Lack of awareness: Your team member may be unaware of the range of next actions that might be available to be identified and agreed upon. You can work through the typically wide range of available next actions to give your team members options from which to choose.

  3. Agreed but not confirmed in writing: Team members might say they agree on the next actions, but these next actions were not subsequently included in proposals or emails. You can help your team members realise the importance of reminding their customers when they confirm everything in writing.

Agreed next actions role-play recommendations

  1. Recent Meeting: Pick one example of a recent meeting where your team member failed to agree on the next actions. Use this scenario to role-play the skills required.

  2. Scheduled meeting: Choose one meeting already on this team member’s calendar. Role-play only the parts of the meeting where the next actions are being discussed.

  3. Most significant current opportunity - Identify the team member’s most important opportunity. You can probably help your team member identify an aspect of the situation where the next actions by one or more stakeholders have not been sufficiently well agreed upon. Role-play the conversation about this situation.

Leadership Reflective Practice

At the end of this week, ask yourself these key questions:

As I reflect on how I developed my team this week, how effectively did I help my team members to agree next actions in every selling conversation?

What can I do to maintain this important focus in the weeks ahead?

What difference will this focus on agreed next actions make to our team’s sales results?

We hope you’ve found this edition of Sales Reset Leaders valuable.

Have a great week!

The Sales Reset Team

Sales Reset Founder & Leader

Sales Leadership Coach

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Make sure to get time in your calendars for coaching this week!


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