From the CCS® Sales Blog

March 2015

Viewing posts from March , 2015

Sales Tips: Negotiation Problem – or Process Problem?

<div class=”hs-featured-image-wrapper”>
<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-negotiation-or-process-problem” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/negotiation.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: Negotiation Problem – or Process Problem?” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
</div>
<h1>Sales Tips: Do You Have a Negotiation Problem – or a Sales Process Problem?</h1>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By Frank Visgatis, President &amp; Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – </em><a href=”http://www.customercentric.com” style=”color: #152d53;”><em>The Sales Training Company</em><br></a></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-negotiation-or-process-problem&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: Do You Have a Negotiation Problem – or a Sales Process Problem?

By Frank Visgatis, President & Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

sales tips for negotiationOn a recent flight home returning from vacation I picked up the magazine from the seat back in front of me. While flipping through it, I noticed directly in the middle an advertisement for a two-day negotiation skills seminar. As I perused the agenda, the thought occurred to me that if it takes you two days to learn how to negotiate, you probably didn’t sell the deal the right way to begin with.

Unfortunately, for many salespeople and sales organizations, the “close of business” is an artificially large event in the sales process filled with anxiety and a certain level of “dread” on both sides of the table. Moreover, this is usually a self-fulfilling prophecy and worse, a self-inflicted wound on the part of salespeople.

Why does this happen?

In all likelihood, it’s because something was missed as part of the sales process. In other words, the salesperson likely rushed through the early stages of the sales process in order to meet an artificial deadline, usually one tied to the end of their month or their quarter. 

What typically gets missed? It could be any of a number of things:

  • the true business driver was never identified;
  • there was no clear vision on the part of the buyer that the capabilities the seller could bring to bear would help them achieve whatever the desired business outcome is;
  • no “unique” business value was established as part of the process and as a result, the seller’s offering is viewed as a commodity and now price is the only variable;
  • the true decision maker was never identified as part of the sales process and now the salesperson is relegated to “negotiating” with someone who may not even have the ability to buy;
  • there was never a mutual understanding as to the desired timeline of the prospect so the salesperson imposes that artificial deadline tied to his/her own month or quarter end.

While this is, by no means, a complete list, it is a good place to start.

The reality of the situation is this: The quality of the job that the salesperson does throughout the sales process will dictate the ease or difficulty of negotiation at the end of the process.

mobile sales app

Sales Tips: Create Superior Buying Experiences

span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Stock Images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

superior-buying-experienceOne of my clients told me within the first six months of implementing CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS®) that they had 2 clients compliment them because their buying experiences were markedly better than any other sales they had been involved in.

I think part of that is because CCS® sellers understand their first objective in a call is to uncover business outcomes that the titles they’re calling on want to achieve. Once that happens, the relationship between the buyer and seller changes. They both understand there is a reason they should continue the call.

The next step is a diagnosis to uncover reasons the outcome can’t be achieved. It establishes a level of credibility with buyers who appreciate that sellers understand their current way of doing business. The seller can then offer only those capabilities that address the reasons and validate that with them the buyer can achieve the desired outcome.

Selling doesn’t have to be manipulative. Buyers determine their vision based upon the way they answer the seller’s questions. Ultimately they are empowered to buy rather than being sold. People appreciate the control that affords them.

How important are buyer experiences? I believe they are one of the few sustainable, competitive advantages vendors can enjoy. Beyond that, I wanted to share the results of a Forrester Research and Watermark Consulting study that tracked stock results for 2007-2012. Over this period, the S&P Index increased 14.5% while laggards in customer experience suffered a 33.9% loss in stock price. Customer experience leaders realized gains of 43%. 

Takeaway: Your quality of customers’ buying experiences can have a significant impact on your business.

sales training workshops

Sales Tips: “How Did Your Call Go?”

<div class=”hs-featured-image-wrapper”>
<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/sales-tips-call-debriefing” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hs-fs/hub/22968/file-2610567496-jpg/sales-call-debriefing.jpg?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: &quot;How Did Your Call Go?&quot;” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
</div>
<h1>Sales Tips: “How Did Your Call Go?” 7 Call Debriefing Questions</h1>
<p><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”><em>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – </em><a href=”http://www.customercentric.com” style=”color: #152d53;”><em>The Sales Training Company</em><br></a></span></p>
<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fsales-tips-call-debriefing&amp;bu=http%253A%252F%252Fblog.customercentric.com%252Fblog&amp;bvt=rss” alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ style=”min-height:1px!important;width:1px!important;border-width:0!important;margin-top:0!important;margin-bottom:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-left:0!important;padding-top:0!important;padding-bottom:0!important;padding-right:0!important;padding-left:0!important; “>

Sales Tips: The Challenge with Sales Enablement

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®The Sales Training Company

0-teamworkCommonly used terms can take on lives of their own. A Google search for “sales enablement” yielded 1.17 million hits. Despite its wide acceptance or maybe because of it, the term means dramatically different things to different people. Many of the Google hits apply the adjective “evolving” because nobody seems to want to get cornered into a firm definition.

Like aspirin, sales enablement can be used to relieve almost any malady. It can be invoked by senior executives when: 

  • Old sales and marketing approaches aren’t delivering results as they once were
  • The power in making purchases has shifted to empowered buyers
  • The sales organization is on a remote island while all other major business disciplines are on the mainland
  • Traditional sales approaches make improving buyer experiences a fleeting hope

Telling a concerned board of investors that a VP of Sales Enablement position has been created is a way of limiting what might be ugly discussions and buying time.

Despite the dramatic changes in buying behavior in the last 15 years, one measure of sales has been a constant over several decades: Only about 50% of salespeople achieve quota each year. It begs the question: In what other departments would CEO’s tolerate having half their employees fail to meet expectations?

Ironically Sales is the most easily measurable profession. You can exactly calculate a seller’s, manager’s or CSO’s percentage of quota attainment. That said, Sales is different than other departments. It’s a sink or swim proposition in companies that have not meaningfully broken sales down into a repeatable process, provided a common set of skills to execute the process and consistent messaging for specific titles and desired business outcomes.

Absent sales process, sales enablement efforts are limited in empowering sellers to make better calls so a higher percentage can achieve quota. Isn’t that the ultimate measure of sales enablement?

sales training success