Common Langauge: Why It Is Absolutely Necessary

April 18, 2014 || POSTED BY Don Fox || Industry News

Common Language Throughout the Sales Team

by Gwenn Woomer, DEI Coach

comm lanOur role, when working with providers, is to implement a census management program that will reliably deliver better census outcomes for years into the future. One of the first things we teach management and their sales team is the importance of common language within the sales process. We know that everyone must adopt a shared language, a vocabulary of accountability in order to manage this process effectively. Here is an illustration of:

The Reality-Based Sales Glossary:

GOOD MEETING: A meeting that delivers a mutually agreed next step, with a scheduled time and date to engage again.  The sales person ‘earned’ that next meeting, one that continues the conversation focused on ‘figuring out’ if you will be working together.

PROSPECT:  Someone who has spoken to your salesperson and has agreed to meet again at a specific date and time, in order to knowingly move the sales forward.

ZERO PERCENT: This terms describes the common situation where we wish that someone were a prospect, but we have not secured a mutually agreed next step. This is among the most important of all terms for your team to learn.Most sales processes subtly, but crucially, have not defined when an opportunity or a prospect is effectively dead.  They leave enough scope for the sales person to subjectively judge what an active prospect is so all opportunities remain ‘live’. At DEI we constantly refer to prospects being at zero. This use of language has a profound effect on how sales people react. Interestingly, in most cases, it incites people to prove us wrong. In doing so, they end up applying the selling behaviors they should have applied in the first place.

TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT: The salesperson has a scheduled next step and is in active discovery, the information gathering stage.

FIFTY PERCENT: The salesperson has a scheduled next step AND has learned ALL of the following information:

NINETY PERCENT: The prospect meets all the 50% criteria and has given you a verbal commitment to move in.  And that move-in date is the next step.

CLOSED:  The prospect has moved in. Now, this is what we call the ‘right side’ of the process.

The Right Picture: We don’t rely on just the common language.  Go further and manage with the right picture. The way you view your list of prospects is as important as the language.  Most people get the idea faster when you work literally with a picture. Map your prospects according to the process and then teach salespeople how to create the ideal pipeline picture. Whatever common language you opt for, it should be based on communicating when the salesperson expects income and sales and not how good he thinks the prospect is or sounds!

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