Let’s face it; you are in the business of satisfying your customer’s needs…Profitably. Are you? Or does you profit margin look like a grocery store’s… 1 or 2%?
This great recession has led many companies to win business by adopting a transactional sales methodology of selling on price and not on value by quoting such a low price to win the business that the revenue received will only fund a meager existence. The cop-out is “Well at least we have enough revenue to pay our bills”. How motivating is that to the owners who have invested their souls to build their companies? Squeaking by can never be very satisfying unless you are in the not-for-profit sector.
In order to win business that does more than pay the bills, sales managers must ask:
1. Is this opportunity real?
2. Can we win it?
3. Is it worth it?
Most sales people have not had to think about this until this recession caused them to realize that they have to win business that is profitable and will do more than “just pay the bills.” The problem is that they don’t know how to assess the opportunity.
They don’t know what questions to ask their prospects to determine the answers to these three vital questions. They only know how to say, “We will give you a quote you won’t be able to refuse”, as if they were on the payroll of Don Corleone.
A recent blog on the HBR Blog Network pointed out the huge shortage of sales talent today. Here’s a link to the article: http://tinyurl.com/9z55dxv.
Of particular interest, as the authors point out, is the power of the Internet. It is now the buyer who is newly empowered. Buyers now have unprecedented access to the information that they used to rely on sales people to provide. And they trust it more because they have always felt that sales people were providing only the information they wanted the buyer to see. As a result, sales has become more about helping customers define the problem they are trying to solve and then by crafting a complete solution.
To do this today’s sales representatives must have access to a sales tool kit that enables them to help their customers define the problems they are trying to solve. This tool kit includes sophisticated analytics to identify real opportunities, determine if it is real, winnable, and if it will be worth it. One of these tools is OcculusSales.com. Salespeople who are trained to use new tools like Occulus are able to resonate better with their customers, differentiate their products or services, and substantiate their claims. Unfortunately, most sales people today have not been trained to use these tools.
Salespeople who can do this are top notch and develop the solutions their prospects need that will help them win business on criteria other than price. Without these sales tools they have no real way to substantiate to their prospects that a higher price is worth it. So, why wouldn’t the buyer accept the lowest price? If the buyer does not see the justification for a higher price, you will continue to get by on grocery store profit levels. Can you stay in business long-term like that?
Talented sales people who can Resonate, Differentiate, and Substantiate are a rare breed. They are the secret to long-term success. Hire talent not product oriented peddlers and give them the selling tools that can help differentiate them from the competition.