At Fivetran, we have a framework for ramping up our account executives. As much as we love a good challenge, we’re even bigger fans of finding repeatable patterns in the sales process. I prefer that the sales process resemble a predictable, mechanical process like riding a bike. Below are several of the core steps in our sales process that you can try out for yourself.
Study — a lot. Watch recordings of other reps’ calls, from the beginning through the end of the sales cycle. This will provide you with the pieces to build a mental model of the sales cycle for yourself. This model will act as a framework that you can reference to keep track of where you are in the life cycles of your opportunities.
Analyze the process. Pay close attention to the major inflection points in the sales cycle, aka common “make it or break it” moments. Learn what it means when a customer asks for a trial extension, or when an account executive tries to book the next steps at the end of an introductory call. If you can spot these patterns and prepare for them, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Prepare your answers. Make a list of the common objections that sales reps encounter in conversations. Prepare and memorize responses to these concerns, so that you’re always ready, even if you’re not on your A-game that day.
Think like an MBA. Learn the basics of your company’s business model and its economics, and have some figures handy that you can recite on calls. This is helpful when customers ask for tough-to-approve discounts. It helps you neatly explain to customers why their suggestions aren’t acceptable.
Problem-solve like a consultant. Empathize with your customers and understand what they’re trying to accomplish and how that makes them feel. Nobody likes the feeling of being sold to. Customers talk to sales because they’re hoping you can help solve a serious problem they’re facing.
Roll with the punches. Prepare for the ups and downs of working in sales. Opportunities that you badly wanted or needed to win will not always go your way. Don’t let that affect you. You can’t change the past but you can learn from it. Consistency is the stuff of sales success. Stay focused and keep learning.
If you think you or a friend might want to work at a sales organization that strives to make the sales process akin to riding a bike, feel free to reach out to me at Hayk@fivetran.com and visit our careers page.