This article is titled: The three most important P’s in sales that every Salesperson ought to know. However, the title could have easily been, “The three most important P’s that every Sales Manager ought to know”
What are the three P’s in Sales?
1. Prepare, 2. Probe, and 3. Propose. Knowing these 3 words and executing their meaning appropriately will go a long way in increasing sales revenues. For managers, the benefits are all about improving forecasts and accurate commits.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” – Alexander Graham Bell
This adage is certainly true when it comes to sales. While sales opportunities are few and far between, the most successful reps (you) are invariably the ones who constantly prepare and are perpetually ready. Far too often, reps lose out on winning business because they were not properly prepared for a sales call, giving a presentation, researching a client, or even closing.
It is, therefore, extremely important that you prepare and maintain a mental and physical state that is ready at all times in order to be competitive and to be most successful in sales.
How often have you and your manager had heated discussions about what qualifies as a sales lead? You may have state indefatigably, and repeatedly, that the lead was properly qualified.
In many cases, you may that the lead in question was qualified because you spoke with whom you believe to be the Decision Maker. That person may have given an indication that they can make a final purchasing decision. However, as many experienced Managers know, unless you have asked an open-ended question such as, “Besides yourself, Ms. Decision Maker, is there anyone else involved in the decision-making process?” The likelihood that the Decision Maker has been properly qualified for the commit is very uncertain. The possibility of such a win is very weak. How often have we witnessed this scenario on the sales floor?
This happens because you may not have correctly qualified the Decision Maker’s authority to sign off. Asking probing questions and following up dramatically increases the probability of a deal close. In turn, you increase your closing ratio while boosting your forecasting accuracy.
We often hear terms such as Solution Selling or Challenger Sales tossed about in sales seminars. What these terms boil down to is the simple notion of making correct proposals to solve “client-side” problems.
Often, a prospect will state an objection and instinctively a rep will blurt out the first solution she thinks is appropriate in order to overcome the objection. However, most VPs and CXOs are tacitly, and at times, expressively nauseated by unthoughtful and hasty responses. In their view, a rushed response tells them that the salesperson is not genuinely interested in their problem. He creates the perception of not actively listening, or simply trying to sell something as opposed to assisting with solving a business problem.
Remember, for most CXOs, their lives revolve around growing their business. This is what keeps them up at night. It is, therefore, crucial that sales executives learn the appropriate way to respond and propose a solution to a stated objection.
In summary, the 3Ps are a sales person’s bible. Preparing, probing and proposing should be done for every call! People do business with people (and not companies). Therefore, it is no surprise that the 3Ps are designed to making a prospect conversation more meaningful, knowing the customer better and qualifying at every stage.