Over the many years that I have been in the sales world, I have learned that there are three things that, when put together effectively, can drive very predictable sales results. Many sales leaders that I talk with can’t believe that this can be achieved. They view that they must live in the world of trusting what the sales team tells them and then adjusting it at the actual close of results at the end of the month. With a little bit of focus, this can be avoided.
Here are the three areas that will come together when you define them clearly and execute effectively. The three are:
- First, know your value or the results you produce on behalf of your customer.
- Second, focus your selling initiatives on how your customer buys from you or from solution providers that do what you do.
- Third, make sure that your sales team knows your value (results you produce) and positions that value so that it facilitates the buying process.
Many people are saying that sales is different today. I tend to disagree. If anything has changed, it is from the buyer’s perspective. With the wealth of information available today, buyers are much better educated and prepared to engage with you to discuss their needs and learn how you can help. At the same time, the sales organization has much more access to data and information about the prospects and customers. This enhances sales’ ability to relate to the prospect or customer. But often times they don’t. Sales still has the requirement to understand the customer’s business and be able to “qualify” the specific need that they have. When the prospect or customer is far more knowledgeable, then the sales rep must be better prepared with their qualification approach to demonstrate their understanding of the customer’s situation. They must speak the language of the customer.
So here is a brief discussion of these three areas to perfect.
1) Know your VALUE or the RESULTS you produce on behalf of your customer.
Value equals results. Value equals the outcomes your solutions produce for your customer. This is beyond features-functions-benefits. To be good at Value, you must understand how your solutions make your customer’s business or operations better. When this is known, you have a better ability to develop your understanding of their specific and unique requirements. When you understand what they need, you can more accurately articulate what you can do for them – in their terms!
2) Focus on how your target customers buy solutions in your space. Understand how they determine their need, assess alternative solutions, and go through the buying process. Many sales organizations build a sales process to track opportunities around the way they want to sell – not the way the customer buys. This tends to put you in the mode of selling rather than helping the customer buy. Helping them buy shows the customer how you, and only you, can meet their requirements and help them succeed.
3) Develop the skills of the sales team to represent you value through the buying process. Today’s B2B selling requires good conversational skills. You need to have the ability to demonstrate your understanding of the prospect’s business, uncover what is causing the need, and be able to discuss – in business terms – how your organization and solution(s) can help. Sales must have the skills and ability to understand your value, and translate that into what it means to the customer’s business.
These are the three things to drive predictable sales results. Master these and your business will grow.