By: Don Gray
Over the many years that I have been in the sales world, I have learned that there are three things that, when put together effectively, can drive very predictable sales results. Many sales leaders that I talk with can’t believe that this can be achieved. They view that they must live in the world of trusting what the sales team tells them and then adjusting it at the actual close of results at the end of the month.
With a little bit of focus, this can be avoided. I call this my three legged stool.
The below are what I believe are the three drivers that need to come together to grow your business:
- Know the value or the results you produce on behalf of your customer.
- Focus your selling initiatives on how your customer buys.
- Make sure that your sales team are equipped and skilled to position that value so that it facilitates the buying process.
Many people are saying that sales is different today. I tend to disagree. The buyer’s perspective has changed. With the wealth of information available today, buyers are much more educated by the time they reach out to a sales rep. The sales organization also has much more access to data and information about the prospects and customers, giving sales the ability to relate to the prospect or customer–yet oftentimes don’t.
Sales still has the requirement to understand the customer’s business and be able to “qualify” the specific need that they have. When the prospect or customer is far more knowledgeable, the sales rep must be prepared with their qualification approach to show that they understand the customer, the customer’s business, and the customer’s situation.
So, let me share my three legged stool to perfect again:
1. Know your VALUE or the RESULTS you produce on behalf of your customer.
This is beyond features-functions-benefits. Value equals results. Value equals the outcomes your solutions produce for your customer. To be good at Value, you must understand how your solutions make your customer’s business or operations better. When this is known, you have a better ability to understand your customer’s unique requirements. When you understand what they need, you can more accurately articulate what you can do for them – in their terms!
2. Focus your selling initiatives on how your customer buys.
Understand how your customers determine need, assess alternative solutions, and go through the buying process. Many sales organizations build a sales process to track opportunities around the way they want to sell – not the way the customer buys. This tends to put you in the mode of selling rather than helping the customer buy. Helping them buy shows the customer how you, and only you, can meet their requirements and help them succeed.
3. Make sure that your sales team knows your value (results you produce) and positions that value so that it facilitates the buying process.
Develop your sales team to represent your value through the buying process. It largely comes down to conversational skills. Can your sales team uncover what is causing a need for a prospect, then be able to discuss in business terms how your organization can help? Translating what you do into what it means for the customer’s business is essential.
These are the three things to drive predictable sales results. Master these and your business will grow.
About Don Gray
Don Gray is the Founder and President of Sales Engineering Group, a sales performance consultancy. Don has worked with a variety of small, medium, and large B2B organizations to help them develop their distinct value messaging, identify how customers buy their solutions, and skill their sales teams to drive predictable sales results. You can find him leading the monthly Sales & Marketing Shared Interest Groups.