Consultative Selling with The Vision Group


How to be Effective in Sales Using a 3 Legged Approach

To be more effective in sales the team needs to have a stable foundation to handle the ups and downs of the marketplace. Based on recent studies, the best of breed are improving upon 3 main areas to align sales and marketing and are achieving sales increases of 20% year over year.

  1. A common language
  2. How customers buy their products and services
  3. A common sales method

Effective Sales What and How

How core messages help sales teams be more effective.

A common language is built upon words everyone understands. The first question may be who is "everyone". When discussing sales and marketing alignment and consistent word usage, we need to pull the customer into the equation. Consider what bad things happen if sales and marketing talk and write in a language the customers do not understand an do not relate to?

It is important to have consistent core message building blocks for use in demand generation and sales tools which talk to the customer by title and by the vertical market or industry they are in. Customers and prospects tune out information which is not relevant to their needs as defined by the role they serve in the company.

A study by MarketingSherpa showed the 3 most important attributes to a new prospect when researching high technology suppliers were:

  • Is it about my market/industry
  • Is it about my role/title
  • Is it about a similar size company

This study reinforces core messages need to be written with market knowledge, as well as business usage, to resonate with new prospects. The objective is to "load the lips" of the sales and marketing teams with consistent core messages they can use to dialog and/or have conversations with prospects and customers.

How gaining trust helps sales teams be more effective.

Stephen Covey : Trust = Sincerity + Competence

If the sales team is unaware of the shifting concerns of how buyers make decisions, it is very easy to be out of alignment with the buyer. Think of the decision makers, not procurement, when reading buyers.

By better understanding and sensing where a buyer is in their decision process, sales can stay in alignment with a buyer's main concerns depending on the buying phase they are in at the time. The 3 main types of buying phases are discovery, evaluation and commitment.

Shifting Concerns Buyers Making Decisions

Imagine what bad things can happen if a sales person is pushing to create a buying evaluation plan when the buyer still has more discovery they want to complete. In the discovery buying phase, the sales person should be using their diagnostic skills, not their evaluation skills. Sensing the buyer is still in discovery and helping them identify and frame their needs is demonstrating sincerity and focusing on the customer, not the sales cycle requirements.

Using a consultative sales method, it is important to train the sales team to be able to run a discovery, manage a buying evaluation, (without over managing the buyer), and help assist in cost justification. These are part of the skill sets the sales team uses to demonstrate sincerity and competence and help the customer make better and faster business decisions based on value.

How a consultative sales method helps the sales team be more effective.

Providing the sales stages and detailed steps with how customers buy your products and services are lined up. The skills and tools used by sales will be in alignment with where the customer is at in their buying cycle.

The old phrase, Always Be Closing, is modified to, Always Be Closing - For the Next Step. With the next step in the sales cycle in alignment with the buyers shifting concerns and how they make buying decisions.

Consultative Selling Aligned With How Customers Buy

With high touch, high value products and services, the use a common consultative selling method builds into the sales cycle the continuous pursuit of value. It is the value which helps accelerate the buying decision process. In turn, shortening the sales cycle and leading to increased sales by being more effective as well as closing more opportunities.

Aligning Consultative Selling & Marketing with a Customer Centered approach helps the sales team become more effective. Leading to shorter sales cycles while helping customers make better and faster buying decisions based on value. The overall outcome is increased sales, better customer experience and additional profits for both the seller and the buyer.

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