It’s an age old conundrum that requires a very modern approach. How can your company increase its sales results from the existing sales structure?
If this is a question that keeps you awake at night then fear not, you are not alone! Recent research shows that the top two key priorities amongst sales leaders:
- Increasing win rates (94%); and
- Improving quota attainment (87%)
And what were the top 3 sales challenges cited as negatively impacting this sales effectiveness?
- Opportunities never being closed (42%)
- Sales teams being unable to communicate value (41%)
- Not personalising your sales approach to the buyer (27%)
At Cegos we believe that to address these top 3 sales challenges, three of the most important areas an organisation should focus on are:
understanding and meeting all the customer’s needs and expectations throughout the entire sales process;
balancing successful sales negotiation and building customer loyalty;
and leveraging the relationships with key customers through improved account management.
The top 3 sales challenges
- Understanding and meeting customer’s needs and expectations
Are you meeting your customers’ real expectations?
The buying process today can be influenced by so many external factors. For example, buyers are no longer reliant on the seller for product. Buyers are more in control of the buying cycle than in the past, and vendor sales teams are invited in at an ever increasing later stage of the whole process. All these factors can mean that understanding a buying process can be a major challenge and many sales leaders (46%) identified this as an area for improvement within their organisations.
‘People buy from people’ – it’s a well-used phrase, but it’s very true as well.
It’s more important than ever that your high performance selling process encompasses the emotional dimension and that your sales approach is changed accordingly. Your sales team needs to move from ‘selling’, to questioning and listening. In order to accommodate your customer’s questions, their environments and their decision-making levers your sales team need to be able to put themselves in your customer’s shoes, to think and act like a customer.
By adopting this attitude, your sales team will develop a stronger emotional fit with your client, who in turn will come to believe that it’s your company that truly understands their need and are the only one who can meet and exceed their requirements. This will help to differentiate yourself from the competition, which 42% of organisations also identified as being an important area for improvement for their organisations.
- Leveraging the relationships with strategic customers
The recent research also highlighted one of the top objectives quoted by 46% of organisations for maximising revenue, was to upsell/cross-sell to existing customers.
Whilst it’s true that any sales organisation needs new customers in order to grow, managing your existing accounts more effectively is a far more profitable route to growth and business sustainability.
Strategic customer accounts are all about long term partnerships that create customer loyalty, stimulate growth, enhance profitability, and lead to innovative service delivery.
Implementing a successful key account management program as part of a high performance selling programme requires a firm commitment from senior management.
It’s imperative that you equip your sales team: directors, sales managers, account executives and inside sales teams, with an array of tools and techniques to plan and deliver additional turnover by nurturing loyalty within your customer through a strategic consulting approach.
- Balancing successful sales negotiation with customer loyalty
Negotiation is, by its very nature, a two way street. Both parties want to feel they got something out of it, but for this to happen, both parties will also feel like they gave something away.
47% of companies surveyed stated that the area that needed to be addressed the most was the ability to identify and gain access to all decision makers. Without the knowledge that can be attained by having conversations with all involved, it’s virtually impossible to fully understand the best points to negotiate on.
To help companies understand the negotiation process and to optimise their preparation for negotiations you need to be able to choose the negotiating style that you will adopt. What you know about your customer will greatly increase the long-term ROI of your customer relationship.
In conclusion, addressing these The top 3 sales challenges by using high performance selling techniques to understand customer expectations and implement an improved account management programme will ensure that your sales negotiations have the best chance of succeeding with a positive outcome for your business.