Definitely yes. But not how you might be thinking. The entire business- to- business sales conversation should be about innovative ways to help your client make more money or how you can assist them in saving money or improving profitability. If you do this well, your money will take care of itself! Joe Morone- http://www.worldleaderssales.com
Yesterday vs. Today
Not very long ago a salesperson could win their fair share of sales by working hard, developing good relationships, and knowing how to effectively present their products or services.
Today, sales performance is much more complicated. Hard work, relationships and good presentation skills are still essential but are no longer all it takes to win consistently.
Research shows that since 2009 there is a steadily increasing number of sales representatives who are failing to meet their sales objectives. Despite the fact that there are more sales improvement experts, sales processes and, CRM applications than ever before, sales performance continues to decline.
The major changes in the marketplace that have caused more than 74% of the organizations’ sales forces to struggle can be attributed to four key dynamics:
- Greater Scrutiny and Purchasing Controls- Since the economic recession, corporations are requiring more return- on- investment analysis than ever before. This requires salespeople to demonstrate much more business acumen in order to fully develop a defendable business case that can withstand multiple levels of scrutiny.
- More Decision Makers from More Business Units- Buying decisions today require higher levels of sign off and involve more decision makers. The challenge is in gaining consensus with multiple decision makers who often have competing perspectives, requirements and agendas. Being successful requires the salesperson to lead and facilitate a comprehensive needs assessment and ultimately align a solution that meets the needs and preferences of all stakeholders. Gaining access and developing credibility and buy-in with all of the right decisions makers is one of the most significant barriers in corporate sales today.
- Difficulty Creating Differentiation between the Top 3-5 Competitors- Perceived or real commoditization of products and services is a considerable challenge. With the abundance of easily accessible information on the Internet, competing providers are now able to gain more competitive intelligence on each other’s offerings. This results in a significant increase in the size of the competitive pool, more parity among the top competitors and greater customer emphasis on price. The challenge is no longer about who has the best product or service, but who can best align their overall offering to best fit the customer’s needs, environments, culture, budget and timing.
- Global Competition- The Internet has created a global marketplace for buyers. At any time, from any place, via desktop or mobile application, your customers can simply go online, reach across geographic borders, and access all of your competitors’ information and initiate an intense competition. A customer’s power of choice has never been greater. Every salesperson now has to demonstrate world class sales skills and deliver a world class message. This is the reality of the “new normal” environment. Sales people must be able to develop a better business case that justifies why the customer should buy from you instead of the competitors that appear on the first page of their Google search
Changing the Way You Sell.
The good news is that some sales teams have began winning more sales than ever before! The top 26% of the sales force is now winning the majority of sales pursuits because they know how to change their approach to align with the changes in the economy and general business environment.
This is because the corporate demand is higher than ever before for products/ services that are carefully aligned to improve competitiveness, meet stricter compliance requirements and reduce operational costs.
Successful selling teams take a comprehensive approach toward developing their strategy, systems and salespeople. Every member of their sales team knows how to educate their customers how to improve their business results by utilizing their services and products.
The focus of their relationship is on teaching their customer something they didn’t know about their own business, industry or their competition.
Instead of asking, “Who needs to be involved?” they are able to provide guidance on who should be involved from both sides for assessing and implementing a vital solution.
They are selected because they can teach the customer a new way of thinking.
The entire selling process is viewed by the customer as a professional service.
Closing the sale is never about product comparisons and price cutting; it’s about realizing relative and unique value, best fit and fair market pricing.
How you sell has become just as important as what you sell.
Joe Morone- firstname.lastname@example.org