Ten years ago I started my company with a challenge to all sales leaders. I asked that they look at their sales approach and review their salespeople's actions and answer the question, "Would a prospect/customer be willing to pay for the experience created in the sales call?" I further challenged them that if their answer to this question was no to implement the changes necessary to make the answer "yes."
Today this question is just as important to ask as it was then. The only difference is that the stakes have risen. Ten years ago, you could still survive and even profit by merely peddling your goods if you worked hard enough. Today if you are not creating true value within your sales process your business is sinking in quicksand - whether you realize it or not.
The fastest way to ensure you create value within the sales process is to stop looking customer growth through the prism of selling. Stop thinking of your people as "salespeople." Instead treat (and train - PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE train) them as businesspeople-who-sell. What's the difference? Businesspeople-who sell:
- Have business acumen and have business conversations.
- View the world from their customer's perspective, rather than the sellers.
- Speak the language of impact and results, rather than features and benefits.
Over the next several weeks I will share more tips on how you can transform your sales efforts to create real value, shorten the sales cycle and break free from the competitive zone.