Our Sales Process

I’ve seen Glengarry Glenn Ross (which is quite good), and I’ve sat through plenty of sales seminars (which are quite terrible).

Traditionally, sales teams do everything they can to convince you to choose them. This is why everyone hates being sold to: they don’t have your best interests at heart, and they apply pressure. They embellish how shiny their offerings are, use tricks, and try to “close” you (hard or soft, there’s little difference).

I don’t want to be part of that conversation any more than you do. You know what I mean, and you know it doesn’t feel good. You want to hire someone you trust to solve your problem, not someone good at persuasion. (Or worse, coercion.)

Let me describe how Rocket Lift’s approach to sales flips all of that on its head.

Marrying how you buy and how we sell

Web development services are often integral to your business goals, with high stakes. Development projects can be big ticket expenses, laden with risk of cost and schedule overruns. This is true for new websites or applications, and fixing or updating existing systems. In the worst case, you could end up with software you’ve spent a lot on, but doesn’t do what you need.

So how do you interview web developers to make an informed choice about who to work with?

You probably come to us with a buying process.

Whether formal or not, your buying process is the steps you use to make smart decisions about which technologies to use, which contractors to work with, and how much to budget, to get a good project outcome. Your goals in this process are probably to reduce the impact of sales tactics, to learn how to solve your problem affordably, and to make a smart decision about how to move forward.

On our side of the table, we have a sales process. It helps us smartly assess your technology needs, see whether we’re a good fit for you, and come up with a schedule and a budget that we can commit to — and deliver on. Our goals in this process are to avoid anxiety and wasting time with sales games, to solve your problem in the best way, affordably, and to decide whether to move forward.

As you probably noticed, we’ve made sure that the goals of our process align with yours.

Our process doesn’t overlap with our customers’ buying process perfectly all the time. But because we want the same thing, that usually allows us to be flexible, and build a shared process that feels good and works well for both of us.

Two possible outcomes

During the sales process, there are two possible outcomes we aim for.

The first (and our favorite) is that you hire us. Together, we have found there’s a great fit between your needs and our skills, a good match between our values, and a feasible schedule and budget. And, we’ve grown to like each other! We’re both excited to begin.

The second possible outcome (our second favorite) is that it doesn’t work out, and you go elsewhere to get your needs met, because we can’t offer you an attractive deal.

Here is the thing: Both of these possible outcomes are successful. They are both positive.

Early in the process, we look together for indicators that we’re not a good fit, which will save us time by not going down a path we don’t expect to result in an agreement. Later in the process, we begin to believe that it is a good fit, so we focus on building an agreement that makes sense to both of us.

Because of our shared goal of identifying the best way to move forward, we’re not asking ourselves “How do we close this deal?” Instead, we’re asking “Can we do a good job here?” That frees us up to arrive at the conclusion that we aren’t the best fit for you, if it’s true. Then we can feel good parting ways, knowing you’ll end up better off.

It is in both of our interests to arrive at the right conclusion as quickly as possible, whichever it is, to save time. So, we check in with you regularly to make sure we’re on the same page as we move through the process. And we invite you to arrive at either outcome, at any time, without any pressure.

Again, this approach focuses us both on achieving your goals and setting you up for success, with as little stress and as little time required as possible.

Steps in our sales process

So what’s our actual process? Roughly speaking, we have four phases.

Saying Hello

You’ve reached out through our contact form or a mutual connection. We set up a brief meeting by phone, Skype, or (my personal preference) a web video conference.

We gain a rough idea of what you need to accomplish, and whether it’s something Rocket Lift can help with. If there could be a good fit, we schedule to talk more.

Sales Discovery

A.K.A. the “Getting to know you” phase. There are a lot of considerations that go into whether we’re a good fit. We discuss whether our processes are compatible, learn what’s important to each other in a potential relationship, and go deep into your technical needs.

At this stage we like to introduce members of our teams who are likely to work together. This helps our teams to know each other better than just saying “Hey, we’re great to work with!” and allows our experts to start work on recommendations.

Note that we typically have a “Discovery” process after we begin working together, that’s distinct from this “Sales Discovery” process. Here and now, we’re interested in the details we need to build an agreement. We’ll get into a lot more detail when it’s relevant later, in the course of our work.

Defining Solutions

By now, we have enough information to outline a proposal. We give you our first recommendations for how (and whether) to move forward.

Our plans aren’t final yet. During our presentation, we should be mostly on target with your needs, but we may still learn details that could adjust our direction. Based on your feedback, we revise and finesse the plan together, to make sure we’ve considered everything important and that we’re both happy.

Agreement

Now you have everything you need to decide whether to hire us. If you’re not interested at this point, at least you’ve clarified your needs and direction. If you are interested, great! We focus on drafting an agreement we’re both happy with, and formalize details.

On-boarding (The Epilogue)

This is the transition from the sales process to the work process. Our sales team hands off everything to our project managers, who coordinate with yours to get started.

How’s this sound?

I’ll reiterate that this is the process we bring to the table, but we try to be adaptable to yours. The bottom line is it helps for us to agree on a process together, to respect each other, meet both of our needs, and set us up for a great working relationship.

If you’d like to get in touch, I’d love to hear what you think, either in the comments or through our contact form.

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