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The Best Goals for Early Sales Cycle Stages

If our goal is to improve our cold calling, it can be very helpful to stop and identify just exactly what the best goals are for sales cycle stages that face first.  This is helpful because as we strive to improve results and consistency, it can help to have a very clear idea of where we are in the process and what we are trying to achieve. 

This topic is worth discussing as it is easy for us sales people to get lured into chasing larger goals that are sometimes too ambitious for a the very first stage of a sales cycle which may be a cold call.  For example, we may find ourselves trying to sell our products and close sales while making cold calls, but since a cold call should only last between two to five minutes, this might not be the best time to try to achieve so much.  If we identify what is the best goal for the time and space that we have to work with and focus on solely on that, we can stand to improve our results.


Definition of a Cold Call

Before we move forward with discussing sale cycle stages, let’s clearly define exactly what a cold call is as it could be different for different people.  A cold call is a call where the person answering is not expecting our call and does not really know who we are and why we are calling.  With that being the case, most of these conversations should last, as just mentioned, between two to five minutes.  If the cold call goes beyond that, we are either moving too slowly and are going to start to lose the prospect or we have progressed beyond the cold call and moved on to the first conversation stage of the sales cycle.

 


Definition of a First Conversation

A “first conversation” stage of the sales cycle is where the sales person and prospect move to the step that is just beyond the cold call.  This is a point where both the prospect and sales person have expressed interest and agreement in talking more.  This differs from a cold call as only the sales person will have interest in talking during a cold call.  Once the sales person gets the prospect’s attention, respect, and interest and there is a verbal or implied agreement to continue through sales cycle stages, the sales process has just transitioned from the cold call to the first conversation.

The first conversation can happen at the same time as the cold call (technically right after) but a more effective approach can be to confirm agreement in talking and transition toward getting back together at a scheduled time on another day.  This type of transition can allow both the prospect and the sales person to regroup and better prepare, both from a schedule and mental standpoint, for the conversation and meeting. 



It is important to know the difference between a cold call and first conversation and where the line is drawn between the two as there are different tactics, processes, and goals that can be applied to each area.  If we are able to identify what to do while in the cold calling stage of the sales cycle and focus on accomplishing those steps and tasks, we can likely improve our results and effectiveness and that is where this book will primarily focus.  Although, many of the concepts discussed can also be utilized during the first conversation and other sales cycle stages.

 

 

 

Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to map out the different sales cycle stages.

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This article was published on Wednesday 16 November, 2011.

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