It’s an interesting time to be a Sales and Marketing professional. Over the last few years there has been a sea of change in how entire markets and customer segments engage with sellers.
While some of these changes can lead us into unchartered waters–perhaps feeling rudderless, there are a few timeless sales disciplines that can help you stay the course and ride the sea of change into a predictable wave of opportunity.
Develop expert knowledge of the solutions you sell.
Move beyond simple solution selling which typically results in the customer articulating the same set of requirements to every vendor competing for the same piece of business. By becoming a true subject matter expert, you will not only discover the customer’s KNOWN requirements, but also be capable of influencing the decision criteria in a way that legitimately tilts the playing field to your advantage.
Ultimately, it’s the sales person’s ability to create an opportunity where none exists, which separates the true Enterprise Sales Professional from the mere sales “lead grabbers” and “order takers”.
Sincerely believe in what you do.
Think about a time in your career when you closed a sale and the customer was incredibly successful with your solution. No doubt it was a fantastic feeling of accomplishment and one that contributed to your personal and professional development. Believing in what you do is a prerequisite for the confidence you need to be a successful sales person. Take the time to learn about your customers and the business results they enjoy from the solutions you and your teammates sell.
It’s the only way you will develop the confidence and knowledge your customers and prospects expect to see from a seller before they trust you with their business.
Act with a guided sense of urgency.
No matter how much solution knowledge, great deal intentions, or confidence we have in our solutions, you will never win your fair share of business unless you act with a daily sense of urgency. But urgent activity without a specific purpose can lead to chaos.
Only with a disciplined focus on short term opportunity planning and long term account planning will you effectively and efficiently leverage the strengths of the company, and win business on a consistent and predictable basis.
Work as an informed team.
We all know that in order to close a deal and make the customer successful, a full team effort is needed. This
requires everyone to understand and embrace a specific set of objectives that are guided by a clear strategy and a comprehensive list of tactics. A true sales professional uses this plan to constantly communicate with the immediate account team and extended team members in Product Management, Finance, and Consulting Services.
This is the only way to assure everyone is aware of new developments and potential changes in strategy and /or sales tactics.
Just don’t close any deal, close a GREAT DEAL.
No longer can a sales organization be considered successful if it closes business without regard for the objectives of the company and its customers. Corporate governance, increased competition, more informed buyers, heightened Wall Street expectations and more pervasive technology are just a few of the forces that are putting pressure on the sales organization to execute perfectly.
Exceptional sales people are always acting in the best interest of (1) the customer – i.e., sell the right products with the right mix of customer support and implementation consulting to complete the project on-time and on-budget, (2) the company – i.e., adhere to financial standards and operational policy, and (3) themselves and their teams – i.e., maximize commissions.
About Rich Novak
I was introduced to the team at WittyParrot in July. After a few meetings with Anil Jwalanna and Rajesh Setty, the co-founders of WittyParrot, it became clear that their vision for the company mapped entirely to my convictions about selling and the underlying need for speed, consistency and relevance in a company’s communication–both externally and internally.
I’m pleased to say I’m now an investor in the company and head of Enterprise Sales, and look forward to sharing more information and ideas with you in the coming months. In the meantime, please take a few minutes to share with me your view of today’s sales and marketing “sea of change” and how these “Timeless Sales Disciplines” map to your view of the today’s large account B2B markets.