Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016 - (Page 14)

BY STEVE ANDERSEN AND CRAIG JONES THE SALESPERSON'S MOS ALIGNING WITH WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOUR CUSTOMER Struggling to differentiate themselves in today's crowded and hurried markets, many salespeople and account managers rely too much on products and pricing and too little on what matters most to their customers. But top performers in industry-leading companies take a different, more deliberate approach; they engage around value and on their customer's pursuit of success, rather than focusing just on closing the deal. In the current business environment, as product development cycle times become progressively shorter, trying to distinguish the features and benefits of one product over another has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, in some markets. Today, there's a more effective way to differentiate yourself: your value portfolio. CHANGE THE DYNAMICS BY ENGAGING DIFFERENTLY Buying has changed dramatically in recent years, and this is because the perspective of the buyer has evolved. New technologies, the pace of business, an ever-changing competitive landscape, and empowered procurement organizations threaten traditionally understood best practices that many in sales have depended upon for decades. Enlightened and demanding buyers don't care about the salesperson's forms, tips, tricks and veiled attempts to control or manipulate them. What they do care about is being successful, which is something they have in common with the seller. When salespeople consider customer engagement through the lens of their offerings, their perspective tends to become skewed by how they believe the customer feels about their product or service. It is entirely possible that you may be trying to appeal to your customer with a product or service that your customer isn't even thinking about, and possibly doesn't care much about - at least not yet. Customers consistently contend that they want to work with salespeople and 14 organizations that understand their business, their needs, and their unique requirements. As a result, attempts by salespeople to push product, solutions or any other offerings on a customer that isn't yet interested can be detrimental, perhaps even fatal. But despite the risk, most salespeople have done this at some point in their sales careers. An alternate approach that's likely to be more successful requires looking at your products and services through the lens of the customer, rather than looking at the customer through the lens of what you want them to care about. ALIGN WITH WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOUR CUSTOMER Customers want sellers to engage and focus on them. To the extent that you can do this, you will distinguish yourself from your competitors by capturing early mindshare, and potentially creating value when your buyer's evaluation has only just begun. Or, even better, before it has started. But how can you achieve this, when conventional sales wisdom says to push products, close deals and exceed quotas, as if your guest of honor - the customer - doesn't have a seat at the table?

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016
Perspectives on Sales Training
Table of Contents
Four Ways to Increase the Impact of Sales Coaching
Sales Training: Is It Worth It?
Trust Is Dead. Long Live Trust!
The Salesperson's Most Valuable Portfolio: Aligning with What Matters Most to Your Customer
Great Selling Today: Navigating Change
Big Data-Driven Sales Training
Designing an Effective Sales Training Program
Putting the Cart Before the Horse?
Helping Sales and Marketing March Together
Modern Sales Management
What Sets High-Performing Teams Apart
Four Keys to Rapid Behavior Change
Do Your Salespeople Know Where They're Struggling
Banish the Other Four Lettered F-Word
The Secret of Sales Enablement
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016