Sales Process Needs to Trump the Buying Process

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 @ 15:06 PM

If you play Bridge or Whist you know what a trump card is. It takes the hand even if cards of face higher value are played in the suit lead, i.e. diamonds, spades etc. Typically the dealer chooses the trump suit. If two cards from the trump suit are played the high face value wins. Trump cards make the game more complex and add a lot of strategy.

cards

When I Googled the phrase “how to buy wisely”, the first page offers advise on purchasing carpet, insurance, groceries, cars and products in Spain. Yesterday a client told me they have concluded that “buyers” are paid to manipulate and take advantage of salespeople. Sound familiar? If not open your eyes.

In previous posts I talked about why a sales process is important. Benefits include, consistency, common language, measurable milestones and improved qualification.

Having a plan or process is critical to success in sales, how it’s applied makes the difference between excellence and solid performance.

Prospects want us to follow their purchasing process. Everything they do is designed; not always intentionally but often out of habit to extract as much information as possible from salespeople as early as possible. This helps their end game of removing us from the buying decision.

How much control and influence does your sales organization have over the buying process? Do your salespeople allow prospects to be the driver or do they strategically use their trump cards and establish greater equality? When this occurs consistently a higher percentage of opportunities will close. Requiring your salespeople to push back and say no more makes them stronger and more resilient. This will help them influence the buying process and improved their performance.

Topics: sales, Management, strategy, prospect buying strategy

Are You Focused on Growth?

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 @ 09:06 AM

The last three years have been the most difficult for business in decades. CEO’s have struggled to control costs and maintain their workforce. The economic news continues to be bad and the prognosticators are talking about a double dip recession. While the collective bunker mentality has improved, many sales organizations have widespread Outlook and Excuse Making problems that effect performance.

 This raises an important question. Are you truly growth focused and how has yoursales force adapted to the current selling environment?

 Prior to 2008 salespeople focused their value proposition on growth, post 2008 they emphasized cost reduction and ROI. Despite the economic problems CEO’s now recognize that cost containment is no longer a viable mid-term strategy. Cost management is critical but it’s not enough anymore.

 Being growth focused in the aftermath of the last three years required a new level of commitment to your sales force. This means time, energy, money, change, risk and unwavering desire. For many of you it’s easier and more natural to consolidate cost and streamline operations than to address the thorny people issues required when creating a world-class sales force.

 Are you frustrated with your sales organization? Are you willing to invest as much of your time and energy into your salespeople and sales managers as you have to operations or finance?

 Here are a few questions you can ask yourself. I’m hoping the answers uncover your frustrations and serve as a call to action.

  • Are at least 50% of your salespeople consistently hitting the sales numbers?
  • Is excuse making and rationalizing negatively affecting your sales force?
  • Do the sales managers spend 80% of their time developing their salespeople?
  • Are your sales managers highly effective?
  • Can a great enough percentage of your sales force prospect effectively?
  • Do you consistently sell at the margins required?

Have you personally made sales excellence a very high priority?

Topics: strategy, sales growth

Focus on Strategy Drives Sales, Revenue and Profit

Posted by Chris Mott on Fri, Jun 03, 2011 @ 15:06 PM


 strategy

Prospects buy products and services when you can demonstrate ROI. They make investments when you connect that ROI to their strategy.

Lets pretend you sell a widget that increases productivity. Raising productivity is good, but is there a compelling reason to accomplish this and what factors will be considered in the decision? How will the decision affect those invested in the current solution? What impact will it have on the user? How much time and energy is required?

Salespeople and sales organizations focus too much on ROI and not enough on how that ROI helps achieve the strategy. Sometimes a good investment is not well aligned with the strategy. Salespeople typically determine this late in the process; the result is wasted time and energy. If they had asked, “how will the investment help you achieve the departmental strategies” they may have uncovered this potential problem.

 

How effective is your sales force at uncovering and discussing a prospects business and personal strategy? Are they willing to push back and uncover potential conflicts and misalignment?

It’s rather obvious that if you improve your team’s ability to execute, increase adherence to a well-defined sales process and raise accountability there will be a positive outcome but unless you and the leadership team are 100% committed to this it likely won’t happen

How confident are you in your sales forces ability to achieve your business strategy, and what impact does this have on revenue and profit?

Topics: sales, strategy, roi

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