Top performing sales professionals inherently know the strategic importance of selling value. Too often, activity takes the place of strategic focus to hit short term numbers. This leads to a “race to the bottom” to get the deal. Products and services get commoditized. The value of a sales professional becomes nonexistent in customer eyes. At that point, you might as well get an application from the closest used car lot. That’s the way you look to your customer and probably feel.
Then, there are those who always seem to come out on top. No matter what. They have quota pressure. They have roadblocks that they need to overcome. They have the same challenges that the other 95% of the sales force faces. And they still win. Year after year. What’s the difference? A solid strategy and consistent execution of that strategy.
SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report reveals only 22% of sales teams have the right sales strategy. So what does this 22% focus on? A sales strategy is almost never single-faceted. There will always be multiple areas that you need to account for. To maintain a competitive advantage, there is one area that consistently makes the cut: selling value, not price. No one wants to be the low price leader. Don’t let yourself be. Develop a strategy that keeps you at the top of the game.
A few things to get you there:
Develop a thorough understanding of the customer’s business. Get to know the customer’s business better than anyone else. For example:
- What challenges are they facing? Example: Are funds available to support expansion?
- What’s different about their future direction vs. where they’ve been in the past? Example: What departments are growing?
- What are the facts and figures around their goals for the upcoming year? Example: Is their customer market growing, shrinking, changing?
If you can’t answer these basic business questions, then you can’t sell value. Consequently, you’re trapped into just talking about products or selling price by default. Start practicing, “What’s it going to take to put you in this car today?”
Understand the true value of your product or services through the customer lens. Products alone have no inherent value. The value comes from how the features and benefits of the offering directly addresses customer needs. If you cannot align these, you may as well try to give your product away. Can you tell a compelling story about the fit between your offering and customer needs? If not, can you differentiate between a 4 cylinder and an inline 6?
Create a strategy that separates you from the competition. Having the wrong sales strategy is one of the largest contributors to missing the number. SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report shows that among the top reasons for having the wrong sales strategy are:
Having no Sales Strategy
- Tactics Masquerading as Strategy
- Strategy is Not Aligned with Buyer Needs
- Strategy is the Same as Competitors
Download SBI’s 8th Annual Research Report. If you feel that you or your organization fall into any or all of these categories, respond back to me and I will be happy to discuss live. Enter 2015 with a plan to move on up to the penthouse. Everyone knows what happens if you fail to plan…