Sales Strategy … When asked what differentiates top from average performers, most sales managers say: “The best sales people think and act strategically.” However, advising sales people to sell strategically is like suggesting they “sell smart”– a great idea, but a little vague without specifics about the how to!
So what are the specifics? Sales Strategy is a sales training program that introduces best practices and tools which provide those specifics. The program explores key performance areas which are fundamental for formulating and executing a strategy for winning the business.
Formulating Sales Strategy
Understanding the buying process – It’s hard to sell if you don’t know how people buy. Average sales performers have a general understanding of the buying process – top performers have a comprehensive understanding – and proactively adjust their selling process.
Knowing the players – As the complexity of the sale increases the number and diversity of the players in the buying process increases. Top performers are good at knowing who’s who, developing internal champions, and proactively handling adversaries.
Managing the buying environment – Events occur in the business environment that positively and negatively impact the probability of capturing the business. Top performers are aware, manage, and influence these events which fall into three categories: Business Context, Your Company, and the Customer.
Analyzing the competitive threat – It is easy to fall into the trap of being in a defensive mode by reacting to the competition. When this happens, they set the rules and you play their game. Top sales performers don’t fall into that trap – they focus on customers’ needs and challenges and analyze their competitive position from the customers’ perspective.
Executing Sales Strategy
To determine the Economic Value, customers: (1) assess the degree to which your solution has a positive impact on those business outcomes that matter to the customer, (2) deduct or the perceived risk, and (3) then deduct for the cost
In the execution part of the program Sales Strategy addresses this model to help sales people maximize the perceived Economic Value of their solutions. The program addresses the three issues: Maximizing the value and impact of your solution, handling customer risk, and managing cost concessions.
Take a Deeper Dive into Sales Strategy …
Can you differentiate at the C-Level? – The short answer is “Yes”. But one is unlikely to get there by simply doing a better job doing of what everyone else is doing. Why? Because, most folks are doing that pretty well. After all, sales people who are calling at the C-level are experienced and smart, and have been there before. If differentiation is the goal, and it should be, you need to do something different rather than something better. Start with the notion that you “must get on the customer’s side of the table.”
Five best practices for networking in b2b sales – A centerpiece for success in major B2B sales is getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Easy to say, not so easy to do when selling into a major account where the buying process is complex and ever-changing. Successful sales people have to have superior networking skills. There are no shortcuts – this post describes five key networking skills successful sales people possess.
Pipeline management: ensure what you are chasing is worth catching – Across the board sales people are getting decreased access to potential customers.” In fact sales people report that time spent in front of customers decreased 26% compared to three years prior. This trend has a number of drivers and several important implications. One implication is – if it is tougher to get in front of customers, you better make extra sure you pursuing the right ones. This means that the spotlight on the age-old topic of lead qualification just got a little brighter. This post contains best practices.
Developing internal champions – In major accounts, a lot of selling goes on when you’re not there. Because of that fact, top performers are good at developing internal champions – they are crucial to winning key business. Why? Sales people need someone to “tell their story” when they are not there – and they are not there most of the time. This post introduces five key ideas behind developing internal champions.
Eight ways sales reps can differentiation from their competitors – How can sales people differentiate themselves from their competitors? We asked some sales managers to share their advice – eight best practices are summarized in this post.
Developing new business – 6 best practices – In today’s B2B market a sales person needs an array of skills to be a top performer – they need to know more and know it at a higher level of proficiency than ever before.But if you asked a whole lot of sales people from all over the world what is the one a competency they think they could most benefit from if they knew how to do it better? The answer is developing new business – this post provides 6 best practices to develop new business.