Be sure you understand the driving mechanism in every sales opportunity

| November 18, 2013 | 1 Comment

Driving MechanismMore on creating and managing an accurate sales forecast: be sure you understand the driving mechanism in each opportunity.

A driving mechanism is the thing driving a decision maker to make a purchase decision in a given time-frame. Without it, a purchase decision can be made, but the timing is harder to predict. That said, driving mechanisms exist in nearly all B2B complex sales opportunities. If you can’t find one, hold serious doubt a purchase will occur.

Here are examples of good driving mechanisms you may find in an opportunity:

  • New facility is to be occupied by a particular date
  • Money will expire for use by a particular date
  • A product or service launch date has been announced
  • Ancillary or support services have been ordered

Here are examples of poor driving mechanisms, mistaken as a reason a purchase decision will be made in a given time-frame:

  • The sales manager believes there’s a need for sales training
  • The IT department wants to improve the existing infrastructure
  • The current system lacks a feature the department executive would like to use
  • The existing system fails too often

Note the difference between the two lists: the list of poor driving mechanisms are good reasons to investigate solutions and talk to prospective vendors, but it lacks the certainty of action found in the first list.

There are many other things to monitor in sales activities — driving mechanisms are but one. But it’s an important gauge of how serious the prospective buyer is, what their next step is likely to be, and when they are expected to take action.

Look for driving mechanisms in every opportunity, qualify it, and use it as a stick to move the decision along it’s natural path.

What are some of the good driving mechanisms you’ve found in your sales opportunities?

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Category: Closing

Comments (1)

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  1. Mihnea Grecu says:

    Dear Jim,
    You are right. The Sales Forecast is and always be a source of discussion between the Board and Sales Manager and also between Sales Manager and the sales force. The driving mechanisms mentioned by you are very accurate and demonstrates that you have a lot of experience in sales. I want to complete your accurate observations with the following, in order to obtain a good sales forecast:
    - a good control of the prospect and prospect’s organisation (during my carrier in sales I have found situations when the account manager did not even know that the client/prospect is questioning the opportunity of buy
    -rapport with the decision maker/s
    - what kind of personality is (Director, Sociallizer, etc)
    -good knowledge of the decison’s maker receipe of buying
    (what are the kind of stimulus triggering the buying decision)
    - What type of language does the prospect/client prefers: Visual, Audio, Kinestezic
    - does the account manager/sales person obtain that the client is out of FUD areea (Fear, Uncertanty, Doubt) regarding himself, company and product/services he is promoting to the client/prospect.
    all the above mentioned is offering to the Sales Manager a degreeof accuracy.

    Best regards,
    Kind regards,

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