Are you executing effectively after the sale?

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For most business-to-business sales pros today, the sales cycles are long.  After a sale is made, average salespeople are relieved that the opportunity finally came in.  Top performers, on the other hand, recognize that after the sale is made is when the work really begins. That is when the ‘Facilitating Mindset” comes in.

The easiest way to understand the facilitating mindset is by planning ahead and anticipating all the things that happen after a sale.  From your customer’s perspective, what happens after the sale is your defining moment, as here it is when you deliver on the promises you and your company have made.

Rainmakers recognize this and work with all their internal support teams to be sure that expectations aren’t just met, but exceeded. If they have not done it yet, they introduce other members of the team, including customer support staff, on-site technicians, and other employees to build commitment and customer confidence in the implementation. They stop acting as salespeople and shift to being strategic orchestrators or conductors, coaching everyone in their organization to meet the standards of quality that were set during the sale.

The best salespeople also know that letting a customer take ownership of the product or service is critically important to long-term success. That’s the basis for a superior customer experience, and the foundation upon which future sales and referrals are built. In other words, the happier your buyers are with the work that you and your company deliver, the more likely they are to return to you in the future.

One of the best tactics Rainmakers use is creating a one-page milestone sheet.  Top Rainmakers create a table or spreadsheet highlighting milestones of observable key events and the dates by when each key event is due.  Each event is listed in sequence of when it will happen. This document highlights who is the ‘go-to’ person or champion who will be responsible for a particular milestone.   This then becomes the guide for the entire implementation that both sides can reference and work through.  While very complex solutions often demand a formal project plan with Gantt charts, etc.,  we have seen that the simple one-page milestone worksheet works very well for most situations.

So, the take-away message:  be very conscious about execution through the life of an agreement. Adopt a facilitating mindset from the very beginning of the sales process.  Anticipate and orchestrate the series of events and people who will ensure that your customers get the highest value from working with you.  Commit to the series of events in writing and then facilitate their execution.  You will be seen as a difference maker.

Think about it.

If you feel ready to become a top sales performer, you have to start thinking like one. In our book Mindsets! For Sales, we explore and explain the mindsets that make the best salespeople more effective.