Pat was not happy as she left the meeting with a long-term customer, or should I say, former customer.
“Pat, we have done business together for a long time,” her customer started, “but we have decided to go in a different direction this time.” The customer went on to say how ABC Company, one of Pat’s biggest competitors, worked with them to integrate ABC’s solution into the customer’s systems, resulting in faster inventory turns with fewer shipping errors, and they were able to demonstrate how this will increase margins and profit for the customer.
The ABC Company’s salesperson sold value.… Read the rest
“In a 60-hour workweek, there are only so many 30-minute increments….” “It is amazing how many representatives call to get acquainted….” “I see them all once; then I select who I will see again.”
For several decades, sales leaders and managers have favored the practice of calling higher in customer organizations. Over the same time span, this idea has persisted, but the business environment has undergone many changes. Technology has changed the way we sell and the way our customers shop and buy. Recessions have given way to recoveries, and yet we still take it for granted that calling higher … Read the rest
If your organization is like a lot of sales organizations, you may have intensified prospecting efforts lately as old customers have downsized, cut spending, and, in some cases, switched to other suppliers. The problem is that prospecting is often time-consuming, costly, and hard on the morale of the sales team. Why? Look at some of the typical tips for successful prospecting:
- “Schedule a minimum of two hours a day for phone calling.”
- “Spend the first 30 minutes of each day making at least three calls.”
The idea is that if you make enough calls, … Read the rest
While it is all well and good — even honorable, really, to associate selling success with being a trusted advisor, what does it take to earn that status with customers in today’s buying environment?
Research by CSO Insights, the Aberdeen Group, and others has shown that just telling salespeople to be trusted advisors has not worked: win rates have fallen, no-decision rates have grown. Customer behaviors seem to be saying that they don’t trust salespeople’s intent, and don’t see them as a credible advisor.
To address this concern, let’s explore key principles that point the way to becoming a trusted … Read the rest
The old adage “People love to buy, but hate to be sold” is rephrased from the seller side to “Salespeople love to win, but hate to lose.” Sales management might say, “I want to help salespeople win, but win the right business.” The key is, the hot pursuit of a win can backfire if salespeople are going after deals that aren’t profitable.
So how can salespeople, sales managers, and organizations increase win rates and reduce no-decision rates? The short answer — discipline. If you want the longer answer — discipline in articulating the opportunity, discipline in the analysis of the … Read the rest