February 2, 2015

Selling is changing

Selling is changing dramatically especially in the last few years, adapting and altering your sales approach will ensure you are not left behind…

Keeping up to speed with how buyers are engaging with their suppliers will greatly improve a salesperson’s chances of success. For instance, did you know that only 15% of buyers say their meetings with sales people met their expectations? That means 85% didn’t!!

Jill Konrath’s book Agile Selling is a great book about getting up to speed in our ever-changing sales world. She believes that nowadays some buyers are 60-70% through the sales process before they actually have involvement with a sales person.

According to research from the Sales Executive Council, it’s the sales experience that differentiates the buyer’s experience – i.e. the time spent with the sales person after researching for potential suppliers on the internet. Because the buyer is doing a lot of the discovering their needs/wants themselves before ever seeing a salesperson, it is vital that when we have the opportunity to be in front of them that we make the best impression with a professional sales approach.

So, Jill writes about the sales agility that can give sales people the competitive advantage through fast learning and fast response to the changes around us.

Here are some of the things she covers:-

Overcome fear of change – Think differently about obstacles, problems and issues and transform them into opportunities to improve and find best practice. Clarify that they understand their buying issues and see where that fits with your product offering.

Learn things quickly – She goes through rapid learning techniques especially through breaking down, preparing and prioritising the information you need for the sales call. This will help increase recall and reduce all the chatting in your head when in front of the buyer.

Understand who you’re selling to – what are your buyers “drivers” or wants/needs & motivation for buying? Find out, research and discover why they may want to change and then follow it up with great questioning and listening.

Concentrate on selling skills – prioritise skills that will make a difference to performance such as questioning and practice these skills. Measure and create personal bests (PBs) in sales KPIs and have fun trying to improve on these… examples could be as average order size, conversion rates etc…

Root cause analysis – By looking at the cause of failing to gain or progress the sale you may discover  ways to improve success rates and best practice will come from this analysis.

These are great tips to improve the sales experience for the buyer and make your impression on them – one which will distinguish you from the competition.

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss any of these areas.

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