Good salespeople know that having the right contacts in a company is a good start, but to actually sell to them, you need more: You need a deal.
A deal is just that: A hope of selling something to someone. In order to define a deal, you must be able to describe it first:
- Who will be your customer?
- What will they buy? (Not necessarily an itemized list, but at least a broad description, like “New computers for their new branch office”.)
- What is the estimated value of the sale?
- How likely are you to close this sale?
- When do you think you can close this sale?
- Which member of your sales team is assigned to this deal?
TeamGram has a section where you can enter, update and manage your deals.
Note that you may be pursuing multiple deals with the same customer. You may be able to successfully close some of them, and lose others to your competitors. Thinking in terms of deals instead of customers can help you manage each deal better, and close more sales.
One of the most crucial parts of sales management is the identification and management of deals. Get into the habit of recording deals as early as possible. You can always update and change them later. Remember that when it comes to deals, what is out of sight is out of mind. Make sure every deal is in your sight.
Is it a deal?
A sales professional’s time is valuable. You probably don’t want to spend time writing quotes, making on-site visits, attending meetings and so on if you cannot see a successful sale materializing at the end.
The first step in deciding whether you want to pursue a deal is to determine if it qualifies as a deal. This is not a one-time decision. Even after it is qualified, you will need to frequently review it, and ask yourself if it is still justified to pursue it, or should you move on to other things.
Every company has different criteria to qualify deals: Some companies are only interested in deals over a certain size. Some only sell to governments. Some do not sell outside a specific region. These can also change as sales fluctuate: When business is slow, sales teams can become more willing to pursue deals they normally would not consider.
When a prospect inquires about a product you sell, or you think someone might buy from you, ask yourself if it meets your criteria for a deal: Is the buyer someone you are willing to sell to? Can you provide what they will ask for? How do you fare against the competition?
If you decide that there is indeed something worth spending time on, go ahead and create an deal in TeamGram.
Yes. So let’s define it.
Ideally, you must be able to describe what you hope to sell, and who will buy it from you, in order to describe an deal.
One could think “selling office furniture” is a deal, but this wouldn’t even qualify, because there is no clear buyer.
“Selling office furniture to ABC Advertising” is a proper deal, because now we know what we hope to sell and to whom.
If you can say something like “ABC Advertising are moving to new offices next month, and I am hoping to sell new office furniture to them”, that would be an even better deal, technically speaking. Not only can you state the prospective customer, but can also roughly describe what they may buy from you, when, and why.
Having more information about a deal helps you better evaluate it, and also makes you more competitive. For example, if you know that the customer has a time constraint (they must have the furniture by next month, because they have to move in to new offices), you may want to emphasize your on-time delivery record, instead of offering deep discounts.
TeamGram helps you record the basic details of a deal:
- Customer: Select from companies or contacts.
- Name: Brief description of the deal, describing what the customer intends to buy.
- Description: More details about the deal can be typed here.
- Other related contacts and companies: You can enter the name of contacts for this deal. Especially useful if the buyer is a large organization where you have many contacts, but just a few are related to this deal.
- Related products: Selecting the key products for this deal will make it easy to spot what deals are available for a specific product.
- Tags: Using tags lets you easily classify deals by region, importance, or any other attribute you want.
- Status: Deals can be open, or closed. Open means the outcome is not yet final. Closed means you are no longer pursuing this deal.
- Stage: As you work on a deal, it goes through various stages. These can change from company to company, and you can customize the stages you use in the control panel.
- Probability: This is your subjective evaluation about the likelihood of closing the sale. You will want to know which deals are more probable, and consider this along with other information to asses the true value of this deal. A low-probability deal is usually less valuable than a high-probability deal of the same amount.
- Expected closing date: This is the time you think the customer will place an order.
- Amount: The total amount of sale you hope to achieve as part of this deal.
Who “owns” a deal?
The member of your sales team who is responsible for a specific deal is usually referred to as its “owner”. As with other TeamGram records, the first person to create a deal becomes its owner. The owner has ultimate editing rights on the deal, as well as the right to give ownership of the deal to someone else.
To see which deals are owned by a specific user, click on the users tab on the left, select a user, and click on the deals tab under it.
The stats tab of the user page also gives you a summary of how many deals were created, won or lost by a user in a specific time period.
You can click on the deals tab on the left navigation menu to list deals. The selector at the top lets you change the selection criteria, or define new criteria and save them for future use.
Defining deals with as much information as possible helps you make better decisions on how to channel your resources for maximum sales.
Now, let’s see how your team members can record their sales activities while working on these deals.
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