This product sucks! No one is buying now! Our competitor has a lock on all the business! Our pricing is way out of whack!
Stop the excuses now! Nobody wants to hear them.
The more you and your sales team can be honest about what went wrong in a sales process, the easier it will be to correct mistakes and limit the number of lost sales in the future.
A scarcity mindset might be settling in within your sales team as they go deeper into the sea of sameness and become more like the average sales rep.
The Sales Rep Test...
If it looks like a sales rep, acts like a sales rep, and speaks like a sales rep, then it probably is a sales rep.
Question for all sales leaders... Do you have sales reps or sales professionals on your team?
Let's get real here. Most prospects don't care about your company or your product; but what they do care about is how can the members of your sales team help solve their problems and bring measurable value to their business.
Unfortunately, too many of your sales reps start off conversations by talking about themselves – how great their company is, how long they have been in the industry, their product and their features. Haven't you figured out this isn't working and that they are being tuned out?
Do you know why your sales reps get beat up on price? Plain and simple... It is your fault!
Sales leaders all across the world, I encourage you to start thinking about having your sales reps offer real value to your customers and prospects by having them solve pressing business problems in every conversation. Help them, coach them, practice with them and most importantly give a rip!
WHY PRICE BECOMES THE FOCUS
Because the sales reps haven't given them a reason to focus on anything else.
Price becomes a focus when...
- Your clients and prospects aren't aware of the true cost and scope of the problems they're trying to solve.
- Your clients and prospects have too much information and not enough time to understand it. You can thank Google searches and the internet for that!
- Your clients and prospects focus on price as this is easier than examining cost structures which may distract them from their business.
Professionals sell value, amateurs sell price.
3 ALTERNATIVES YOUR SALES REPS CAN USE TO AVOID GETTING BEAT UP ON PRICE
Adding value is an important tactic which MUST be integrated into your sales rep's repertoire to acquire and retain your clients, increase their brand awareness and to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
Prevent this from happening to your sales reps...
Here are three ways to help your sales reps create added value which can be easily implemented into their business plan.
ALWAYS CONSIDER YOUR CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS PERSPECTIVE
The art of creating added value starts with the ability to see business through the eyes of your clients and prospects.
Have your sales reps consider what’s important to them and how your product or service will benefit them. What problem does it solve, how will it help them overcome obstacles and do their jobs better? Shift focus to providing educational content, examples and stories of how your sales reps have helped others. Start focusing on your customers’ needs and start helping!
Encourage your sales reps to conduct a thorough analysis of their buying behaviors which can lend insight into what is most important to them. Have them find the "ONE THING THAT MATTERS" as this may likely be driven by your customers’ own customers. It is vital to keep those customers in mind when conducting your analysis.
Knowing your customers is better than knowing your product
ADOPT A CLIENT AND PROSPECT CENTRIC MINDSET
“Successful sales professionals not only understand their specific market sector and business critical issues but also help their clients visualize how they can solve their issues by using their products and services,” Harrington Starr, a London based company.
Have your sales reps think through conversations. Think like them. Make the call (yes they have to use the phone), speak to prospects and clients, arrange meetings over coffee to discuss their business challenges; talk about key mission-critical needs or upcoming project objectives as this will pay dividends in developing meaningful client and prospect relations all leading to closing sales.
The art of the conversation is not dead!
Do you provide your sales reps with printed media, all types of collateral and sales tools to the point of brain overload resulting in the loss of sales focus? There is more sales and marketing material available on sales portals, corporate web and intranet sites than your sales reps can handle. This material is vital in the branding of your company, marketing and communications as you share the company story, however; do you really think your clients and prospects give a darn?
Think like them, act like them and converse with them!
BUILD NEW BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS INSIDE YOUR CLIENT BASE
The key sales growth for your sales reps is to actively prospect for new business relationships rather than limiting efforts to a possibly dwindling client relationship base.
How well do you know your current clients? How often are you asking them for your help to grow your business?
Leveraging and strengthening relationships inside the existing customer base is important but it’s all too easy to become complacent as most of your sales reps keep calling on the same people inside the account.
Sometimes a relationship may run its course. Hopefully it doesn't but in today’s ever-changing business climate, a salesperson’s 'timing' might be off especially when it comes to the importance of building new relationships inside their current accounts.
A once-promising client may now be in dire straits, possibly due to an acquisition or downsizing. Successful sales reps are always looking to develop new business relationships, not waiting until their current well of relationships runs dry.
Think about this one...
Your sales reps bust their ass for their clients then why on earth would they not ask them to help them grow their business?
I encourage you to have your sales reps leverage current clients and learn to ask for help! Wouldn't you agree a warm lead is better than cold lead? Referrals from happy clients are about as warm as it gets, right? In fact, a Dale Carnegie study found that 91 percent of customers would be willing to give referrals if they were asked. Unfortunately, only 11 percent of sales reps actually do ask.
I guarantee you this a warm lead from someone who knows, likes and trusts one of your sales reps will lead to a more profitable, non-price driven business relationship.
REMOVE BEING BEAT UP BY PRICE
The point with all of this is to get your clients and prospects to focus on all the economic costs they're not seeing. This means your sales reps need to shine a strobe light on their expertise and the successes their clients have achieved.
Encourage your sales reps to get out in front of this issue with educational content as this helps their prospects understand the issues, side-effects, underlying costs and value of their expertise. I bet sales cycles will shorten and they will have less obstacles to overcome.
When your sales reps become the first to help simplify and understand the true issues they're dealing with, they then become the anchor, the subject matter expert, setting a really high bar their competitors must surpass.
Isn't this exactly what you want your sales team to be known for - being considered the ultimate measuring stick against which all others must measure up?
You can't expect a different outcome if you continue to use the same unsuccessful processes.
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the B2B office technology sector. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them tell their story and communicate it out by integrating the use of social media. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.