Last week, I surveyed 53 sales managers, asking them, among other things, what essential skills their top-performing salespeople possess. Okay, it wasn’t an actual survey. Our team at SRG recently completed rolling out a sales training program from a large sales organization, and I was reviewing my notes from interviews I had with frontline sales managers as part of the customization process. As I reviewed these notes, I started noticing trends.
Early in the sales process, typically during discovery, it’s critical to learn as much about your customer’s issues, concerns, problems, and desires as possible. The better you understand your customer, the more effectively you’ll be able to position your solution as a way of addressing their needs. But often, during a discovery call, customers are reluctant to share information, or they give incomplete answers to your questions.
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted B2B sales teams, but what happens next? As we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, is the significant move to virtual selling going to accelerate? Or will things revert back to the pre-pandemic “normal” of primarily in-person selling? A good place to start is to understand where customers are going to work.
Sales professionals frequently talk about “selling value,” but few know how to focus the conversation on issues that impact value for the buyer. That’s unfortunate because the best way to offset pricing pressure is by identifying, quantifying, and presenting value. Selling value begins with a deep understanding of your customer’s business and how your solution positively impacts it. This can be hard work, but it’s worth it. The creativity and effort you put into analyzing your customer’s business prepare you for the next step: quantifying the tangible and intangible benefits your solution will bring.
As a sales manager, you have a limited amount bandwidth to go on joint sales calls with your sales reps. While going on joint calls with reps is important, if you have to be on every single meeting, you wouldn’t have time left over to be a manager.
Stop me if this sounds familiar: Your salesperson tells you that the first meeting with the major account was a success. The prospect loves the product! Fast forward a few more meetings with the buyer, and now the deal is bogging down. After another month or two, the deal finally dies.