If you break down sales into its simplest form there are three critical phases, the qualification phase, the convincing phase and the closing phase. When selling an enterprise solution all three phases are equally important.  You can’t convince unless you’ve qualified and you can’t close if you haven’t convinced. Each phase if done right will ultimately lead to a close, win or lose. 

1) Qualification 
Getting a lead qualified  or unqualified comes down to asking the right questions. However, getting to the next phase takes some probing to better understand the true need and opportunity. In addition to BANTing (or your method of choice) you must dig deeper by asking probing questions to understand the need and areas where your solution can make an impact. If you haven’t done this already put together a list of qualification and probing questions. Probing questions are used to follow up, “you mentioned a decrease in number of deals, do you understand why that is happening or what impact that will have on your year?” To exit this phase you should be able to; 1) define the size of the opportunity (ball park), 2) uncover if there is a fit and the use case and 3) have agreement on the process and next step. 

2) Convincing
Now you can start selling! The best way to convince is to utilize the information you’ve gathered to formulate your strategy to sell. The key is to translate how your solution will solve their problem better than any other solution (internal or 3rd party). Create a pitch that speaks to the prospect’s needs through your presentation and product demo. Make sure you’re telling a story peppering in relevant customer use cases. Stories resonate especially when using industry related or competitors examples. Become a story teller and stick with the story until the end. There are many more things to consider here but if you can’t convince the prospect that you can solve their problem then nothing else matters. To exit this phase you should have 1) agreement that your solution can solve their problem, 2) that you are a top contender if not the top choice and 3) you are in alignment with budget expectations.

3) Closing
Have no fear. If you’ve done the work in the previous phases you should have a realistic chance at closing. I say realistic because no deal is done until inked but if you’re honest with yourself you should know if you’re in the drivers seat or not. Closing comes down to compromise and responsiveness. You need to understand the important drivers for the prospect and where you can give and where you can get. You also need to out hustle your competition and demonstrate your enthusiasm through your actions. The best sales people understand that when you get to the closing phase you have to pick up the pace and blow away your competitors. To exit this phase you need to close the deal! If done right you’ll win more than you lose and more importantly win the deals you should win.

Keep it simple and don’t get ahead of yourself – Qualify, Convince and Close.