The Most Important Step In The Sales Cycle


(By Rick Fink) The most important step in the sales cycle, is in the eye of the beholder! In our unscientific survey from a few weeks ago, the results suggest that Prospecting is the most important step in being a successful media sales rep. That is followed closely by 1st Meeting/CNA, Service After the Sale, and Cold Calling/Asking for the Appointment (chart 1).

However, when you combine the top 4 or even top 5 steps, you get a different picture, and the 1st Meeting/CNA and Strategy Session/Creating Ideas/Creative become considerably more important (chart 2).

The only step in the process that was deemed least important was Upselling/Renewals with 88% of respondents positioning it in the bottom four of importance. To me, this was a bit of a surprise.

From my sales manager experience, my highest billers had a variety of different talents. For some, their strengths were the 1st meeting/CNA, creating ideas and presenting them, while others were excellent at prospecting, setting the first appointment, and service after the sale.

However, the one trait that nearly all of my top billers displayed was Renewing and Upselling! Think about this for a minute. Their focus was not on constantly replacing business each month or year, but on adding to their base of business. It’s a formula for success.

I am not suggesting that Renewing and Upselling is “the most important” step in the process. In fact, I agree with those that completed the survey. However, I do suggest that if you can take a good seller and get them to focus on and improve on their renewal and upselling abilities, they can go from good to great!

The point of this topic was not to debate which step is the most important; it was to suggest that each step is important. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses. Whether you are a sales rep or a sales manager, in order to get better and grow, we need to focus on each step of the process and improve.

It’s easy to try to improve in the areas we are comfortable with. We challenge you to stretch yourself and consciously focus on improving in the areas you are not comfortable with.

Here’s to “Getting Better Every Day! Never Stop Learning!”

Rick Fink is President of ENS Media USA and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].


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