The Sixth Selling Stage – it’s a bit of tongue-twister! On the plus side, you’ve done all the hard work and now you need to see it through. So far in this series on setting out a typical B2B selling process we’ve covered knowing your addressable marketdefining the sales opportunity, understanding your prospective customer’s objectivesdemonstrating that you can best give them what they need, and zeroing in on the deal.

At this corresponding sixth buying stage your customer is on a high state of alert as they cover all the bases before committing their hard won funds to you. At this stage they’re looking to invest and implement, which means you’re looking to deliver, both the order and the solution.

In order to deliver the order to your company, your customer needs to sign on the dotted line and get the paperwork housing their signature back to you. Here are some things to help get the signed contract back.

– Check nothing has changed and they’re still planning to go ahead

– Take responsibility for being the conduit between your legal people and theirs. You’re paid by the selling organisation, but you need a fair deal for both parties for the long term benefits to accrue. Don’t be afraid to fight your customer’s corner as well as your own

– Ask when they expect to send the signed contract back and plan a lead-up process accordingly. If you’re calling them at 4:30pm on the Friday it’s due in, you’ve lost any buffer you could have built in

– Confirm how the implementation is going to work once you get the order and reiterate how much you’re looking forward to working with them

– Stress that you will be monitoring the implementation phase. You’re not going to disappear, merrily cartwheeling to your next deal. Your customer will be expecting continuity and consistency from your company and you’re the one to deliver it

Once the order is in, it’s time to roll out the implementation. Of course, you’ll have kept your operations people in the loop and the resources earmarked to roll straight away. This is where the rubber meets the road, and you should work hard to make sure that the implementation and change management processes are delivered on brief, on time, and on budget.

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