I’ve recently been working with the “RSVP™ Selling” sales methodology developed by Tony Hughes.  In particular I’ve been observing a team use the  RSVP “Close Planning” tool which Insightful has recently implemented as an add-on module for SugarCRM.

Close Planner – A tool for managing steps to close a sale

The Close Planner is designed to allows a sales rep to define  an schedule all of the key milestones required to get a sale across the line to completion.     The power is in drawing attention to the serial nature of the many decisions that need to be made in a sales process, and so provides a more objective assessment of the forecasted close date.

The Close Plan PDF

The following is an example of the Close Plan PDF document produced for a particular opportunity.    The red dates, highlight a scheduling conflict in the order in the milestones, and suggests that the close dat on this opportunity will be later than initially thought.

RSVP Close Planner generated by SugarCRM
RSVP Close Planner generated by SugarCRM

Sales Executive Eternal Optimism

I’ve been observing the process of a team of sales executives discussing with their managers the steps required to close their key sales. Almost invariably, the sales rep’s initial forecasted completion date was over-optimistic when they were first asked to define and schedule the list of steps they still needed to achieve.

Insights – Understanding the buying process

Sales people are notoriously bad at forecasting sales completion dates. This process of developing a close plan helps make these estimates just a bit better, but forcing the sales rep to:

a) know the customers buying process (or find out about it) and
b) put a realistic schedule on it.