Sales Classes | Sales Training Courses

Strategic Sales Skills Pay Off

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

strategic sales plan chart

 

Symptoms of an inferior Strategic Sales Plan and Approach

  • Missing information, which if discovered earlier in the sales cycle, would either improve your closing odds or disqualify the opportunity?
  • Difficulty gaining access to the ultimate decision makers?
  • Stalls after proposals and quotes are submitted
  • An increase in negotiation attempts
  • Heightened competitive activity within the key account
  • No established team selling approach or strategic sales plan for key accounts

If you do experience any of these issues, a well-planned and executed key account selling approach combined with top-notch strategic sales skills, can be of enormous benefit.  Steps in this strategic sales approach should include:

 

1 – DEVELOP A TEAM PLAN:  Involve everyone who has regular account contact in developing key account selling strategies,  methods for improving key account intelligence, decision maker approaches, action plans and milestones.  Sales improvements will begin occurring as salespeople, customer service reps, technical people and managers follow a common strategy,  present a united front and convey a common message.  A streamlined account strategy and planning process is an important tool for team selling success.

2 – GAIN A SPONSOR:  Truly successful salespeople develop, within each of their target accounts,  “champions” who provide inside information,  advice and direction.  With this extra intelligence on competition, budgets, buying processes and decision makers, these strategic sales professionals  craft winning  key account  sales strategies.  The bottom line is that having inside champions, along with well-crafted, well-executed, strategic sales approaches, is likely to improve your sales results.

3 – UNDERSTAND THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS:  Learn how prior decisions were made, what criteria were used and who the “blockers” are that can thwart decision-maker access.  If decisions are made by committee, make sure you know who is on the committee and what their hot buttons are when implementing your key account selling strategy.

4 – UNDERSTAND THEIR MARKET:  Your key accounts are impacted by the state of their marketplace.  Are they in a growing or shrinking market?  How does their financial performance compare with that of their competitors?  What are their key concerns and how will these issues affect their interest in and ability to buy your product or service?

5 – PINPOINT THE RELATIVE BENEFITS:  While your product or service may provide a big benefit (e.g. a return on investment of 150%), all benefits are relative.  Focused mainly on their own products, salespeople often fail to look at their proposals through the eyes of their client.  Clients may in fact have opportunities to invest their limited budget dollars in other projects that yield higher rates of return.  Indeed, a strategic sales approach, where financial justification questions are prominent, can help boost major account success rates.

 

In short, major accounts that see a solid financial benefit from your products, services and solutions are both more likely to buy and will make a purchase more quickly.  With our strategic sales skills training class, you’ll gain a highly-successful process for key account selling!

 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CA

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Consultative Selling Pays Off

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

High Payback Consultative Selling

Consultative selling techniques are key to winning sales where premium prices are the norm. With a focus on value and benefits, this style of selling has an excellent track record for producing results.

Dozens of corporate buyer surveys regularly indicate that price is not the number one or two factor in their purchase decisions.  Other factors, such as vendor reputation, product quality and overall value usually ranked higher than price.

Yet buyers often convince salespeople that price is their primary buying criteria.  Why?  They obviously want all the benefits the salesperson can provide but at a lower price, further boosting the value they receive.  Indeed, it’s really about maximizing value, and price is just one of the components of value.

In today’s competitive environment, buyers often have the upper hand, especially when consultative selling techniques aren’t being used.  Many buyers are even taking sales training and negotiations courses to be able to outmaneuver salespeople who try to sell products and services at healthy margins.  Below are just a few of the techniques we teach for selling value.

 

Avoiding the Price Trap

So, how can salespeople use consultative selling techniques to avoid the price trap and instead sell value?

  1. Assess how prior purchases were made.  What were the most important criteria at that time?
  2. Gather information on expected financial results and perform a ROI analysis
  3. Understand the prospect’s buying criteria and ensure you meet that criteria better than your competition
  4. Understand how the prospect benefits personally by a successful implementation of your solution, and explain how you’ll ensure those benefits are realized
  5. Gain strategic commitments, such as the prospect providing financial or competing vendor data, that boost closing odds

 

Using Consultative Selling Techniques Strategically

But, what happens if you do need to make some concessions or help your buyer save face?

  1. Practice consultative selling techniques and perform a complete needs assessment prior to entering into a negotiation
  2. Make sure you’re dealing with the ultimate decision maker before agreeing to any concessions
  3. See if you can trade a reduced price for a higher volume commitment, more favorable terms or referrals
  4. Offer high-value, high-margin services instead of cash discounts.  These services could include extended warranties or upgraded maintenance contracts
  5. In heavy negotiations, pre-plan your approach with negotiation tactics like the walk-away point or splitting the difference
  6. Make sure you don’t grant concessions too early — tie any concessions to a signed agreement

 

Those adept at consultative selling often out-earn their product-selling counterparts.  Why?  Because value-oriented salespeople are great at selling premium-priced, high-margin products and services.  Typically, these high margins provide for fat commission checks and better job security.

Not only does value trump price in the minds of buyers, salespeople using consultative selling techniques have more success and bigger paychecks than the more product oriented salespeople.

 

 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CaliforniaA

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Tough Times Sales and Marketing Strategies

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

tough times sales strategy

 

Even during the worst depression, approximately 20-25% of the companies in your industry increase their sales!  Are you one of them?  Do you have the right sales strategy?
In our current economic climate, many salespeople and managers are indeed looking for effective ways to boost their results.  Here is a “tough times” sales strategy list of ideas for you to consider:

 
 

Tough Times Sales Strategies

1 – BOOST THE PERCEIVED VALUE of your product or service.  During tough times, buyers have less to spend and are looking to stretch every dollar and maximize the value they receive.  The two ways to improve value are 1) lowering your prices and 2) boosting benefits your customer perceives.  Less experienced salespeople and organizations adopt the price-cutting sales strategy.  So, how can you implement a sales strategy of improving customer benefits?

  • Do some financial justification work to ensure that your customer has an excellent ROI on your product or service
  • Gain stronger prospect commitment by involving her in each stage of your sales process (e.g. having her supply financial information or talk to your references)
  • Bundle in extra products or services with a high perceived value and a low incremental cost
  • Provide additional warranties (that also have a low incremental cost)
  • Agree to lower prices only when other key concessions (e.g. longer-term contracts, higher volumes) can be obtained or if you have a low-price sales strategy

 

2 – GENERATE HIGHER QUALITY LEADS.  Closing rates tend to decrease during hard times.  To combat this phenomenon, salespeople and their firms will need to improve lead quality in order to obtain prospects that are more likely to buy.  Methods for obtaining better leads include:

  • Enhancing the sales qualification process by adding or refining prospect qualifiers or elevating the requirements for “A” prospects
  • Focusing on target markets and customer types in which high closing rates have been experienced. Successful firms and salespeople analyze their performance to pinpoint which market niches, sub niches and characteristics (e.g. demographics, psychographics) are common to profitable sales versus lost and unprofitable sales.
  • Upgrading your marketing campaigns and tracking the success (and cost vs. return) of each campaign
  • Meeting with more decision makers by enhancing your sales prospecting techniques (e.g. devising ways to meet with more decision makers, minimizing obstacles such as voicemail) and prospecting results (e.g. your appointment close rate, your proposal acceptance rate).

 

3 – ENHANCE CURRENT CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS.  Your best prospects are often your existing customers.  There are a number of things you can do to find more business in existing accounts including:

  • Conducting new needs assessments with accounts you’ve been selling to for quite awhile
  • Refine your sales strategy for each account
  • Expanding the number of contacts you have within your accounts and probing each one for new opportunities
  • Exploring possibilities in any divisions, other locations or firms your customers are aligned with
  • Conducting key account analyses with your peers or manager to identify or create sales opportunities
  • Identifying competitors who have a foothold in your accounts and devising strategies to displace them

 

Without a doubt, many companies are impacted by tough economic times.  But truly world-class companies and salespeople use adverse market conditions to beef up their sales strategy, outmaneuver competition and boost their market share.
 
 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CA

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Increase Sales Results and Performance

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

Our proprietary Sales Improvement Model has been developed and refined over a 20-year period and has helped us increase sales results at over 250 large, medium and small companies. Although presented in a simple format, this model contains up to 50 best practices, sales management systems and sales processes.

 

Sales Alliance Sales Improvement Model

Using this model, a sales department can use the “6 levers” of sales performance, in conjunction with sales training, to significantly boost and sustain sales results.  Oftentimes, sales training organization focus just on the training itself.  But since people fail to retain more than 87% of what they learn in a sales course just one month later, a well-coordinated plan is needed to produce significant results and behavioral changes.

 

Achieve significant sales increases.  See a complete description of our Sales Improvement Model.

All Rights Reserved. The Sales Alliance Inc. San Diego, California.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Discounting Sales: Don’t !!!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

 Sales discounts and negotiation

 

Customers are trained to asked for sales discounts and negotiate.  Why?  Because salespeople often oblige and fail to realize that the customer already perceives a benefit and wants to maximize value by getting these benefits at a lower price.  And salespeople, hearing repeated price objections, begin to themselves believe that their products and services are not worth the asking price. When we lack 100% confidence and conviction in the value of our solutions, it shows—and the end result is that customers succeed in negotiating sales discounts.  So, what can we do?

 

  1. Quantify the benefits of your product or service to the customer and show the financial savings!  Develop an ROI (Return-On-Investment) worksheet.
  2. Reference other customers who realized savings quickly.  Clip relevant articles that support the benefits and payback of your product or service.
  3. Avoid on-the-spot sales discounts as lowering prices can deflates the customer’s perception of the value you offer.
  4. If you do need to provide sales discounts, don’t do it without asking for something in return (e.g. a commit for certain quantities or shorter payment periods).  And if you need to give something to secure the order, consider including additional products or services in order to minimize the financial impact on your firm (e.g. you provide the customer with a $250 service that may only cost your firm $100 to provide).
  5. If you have the ability to make concessions, don’t let the customer know, or you’ll invite additional negotiations.
  6. If the customer does ask for sales discounts or concessions, determine his or her motivation prior to responding.  In many instances, granting sales discounts or concessions will not resolve the issue and will hurt your chances for the sale.

 

 

Possible Customer Motivations for Requesting Sales Discounts

  • The customer is not sold and does not believe in the value of your proposal
  • S/he is comparing “apples to oranges” and doesn’t understand why your product costs more
  • The customer is sold but does not see how the benefits she’ll get justifies the price
  • S/he is sold and as a good businessperson is simply trying to see if s/he can get a better price
  • S/he is sold but wants a “personal win” (e.g. a “good deal” in order to look good to the boss)

 

Remember, while it is common for customers to ask for sales discounts and concessions, the best and most skilled salespeople are adept at securing orders by stressing value rather than reducing cost.

  
All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, California.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Generating Incremental Sales via Customer Service Teams

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

 

 

Customer Service Sales Training Excellence

 

Companies facing sales challenges are finding innovative ways of boosting sales without significantly increasing their costs or staffing levels–how? They’re developing customer service sales training courses  and programs that allow their customer service and technical support teams to identify leads, cross-sell, up-sell and help close key accounts.

 

To pave the way for success, these companies usually provide their service people, who are always looking for ways to boost their earnings, with both sales training and incentives. A survey by Inc. Magazine supports this trend toward sales by non-salespeople.  More than 54 percent of the companies polled said that they “reward non-sales employees for their role in sales.”  Another study, conducted by Xerox, also showed that non-sales professionals trained in sales techniques often achieve impressive results.

 

But, a word of caution is needed.  We’ve found that a number of service people are resistant to sales initiatives because they don’t like the idea of selling (after all, that’s why they’ve chosen a service rather than a sales role).  To address this reality, we’ve developed a comprehensive program that first helps motivate service people to sell and then provides them with appropriate “soft sell” skills and tools.

 

Smart companies look for opportunities to capitalize on each and every customer interaction, regardless of whether the employees involved are in a professional sales role.  If you’re looking for ideas on how to boost sales and motivate non-sales employees to sell for you, please contact us for a complimentary customer service sales consultation.

 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CA

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Leave a Comment 

COMMENTS

.....Tell us what you think or ask a question.....

Sales Classes | Sales Training Courses