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Sales Tips: Improve Selling Experiences and Avoid Wasting Time

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

There has rightfully been great emphasis on buyer experiences over the last two decades. That said:

Many “buying activities” waste time for both buyers and sellers.

Avoid Wasting Selling Time and ResourcesIt seems there are many product evaluations in which low to mid level staff research offerings via the Internet and social networking, establish their requirements and before inviting salespeople to get involved.

Upon being contacted, there are several things sellers should learn from the start:

  • Have desired business outcomes of executives within the organization been identified?
  • Have detailed conversations with Key Players to understand their needs taken place?
  • Has an estimated cost vs. benefit shown payback that can justify the cost of the offering?
  • Has budget been earmarked?
  • Will access be granted for calls on Key Player stakeholders?

When you take a hard look, product evaluations are ongoing in many instances. It makes little sense to spend significant amounts of time evaluating offerings unless or until the questions above have been addressed.

I believe these “buyers” are concerned that sellers will manipulate or influence their requirements and therefore get sellers involved fairly late in their evaluations.

Rather than go along for the ride, competent sellers can do everyone involved (and some that have not yet been involved) a favor by shifting product evaluations to business decisions.

Blindly going along with buyer-driven product evaluations will often end with “no decision” outcomes that mean buyers and vendors wasted resources without realizing any benefits, a losing proposition for everyone involved.

Don't just win more.Win BIGGER.

Sales Tips: A Resolution for 2018 and Beyond

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

2018 is here, a time for making resolutions that you may or may not keep. I’d like to suggest trying what may be a different approach to finding new opportunities.

The best leading indicator of future performance is the quality and quantity of opportunities in a seller’s pipeline.

charts-calculator.pngStarting 2018, the condition of each seller’s pipeline reflects how they finished the year. If it was a sprint to end 2017 there’s work to do. Regardless of where you stand I’d like to offer an approach that can allow you to shorten sales cycles and increase win rates moving forward.

Most sales organizations have an increasing reliance on inbound leads. If you’re selling complex or expensive offerings, these leads are likely to:

  • Provide entry points below Key Player levels
  • Put you in contact with people interested in products that don’t have budget
  • Have you contact people concurrently evaluating several vendors in a given space
  • Have you contact people unaware of business results that can be impacted
  • Yield a high percentage of “no decisions” and low close rates
  • Represent quantity more than quality

It takes courage and initiative but there is a way to start opportunities with Key Players that enables sellers to establish themselves as “Column A” from the start with buyers who can find budgets for new initiatives. Key Players don’t have time to visit websites and evaluate vendors. For that reason many are unaware of value and payback offerings can provide.

key-player-senior-executives-meeting.pngThese buyers have latent needs, not for offerings (an erroneous assumption many sellers make), but rather for achieving desired business outcomes. I recently used an approach Michael Higgins (Selling at the C-Level) provided. He suggested this:

👉 Review a prospect’s annual report to learn the company’s objectives and challenges and select a specific title and outcome that an offering could help them achieve.

Here’s my experience using this approach:

  • I researched a Fortune 500 company and sent a one-page letter via snail mail to their Chairman.
  • Four days later I called.
  • After being heavily screened I was told the admin was busy and I should call that afternoon.
  • 45 minutes later I got a phone call from a senior vice president that had been asked (or told?) to contact me.
  • A buying cycle began with a Key Player.

Superior salespeople sell outcomes rather than offerings.

These sellers pique senior executive interest by leading with relevant business goals or issues.

Leading with offerings puts sellers out of alignment with Key Player buyers who don’t have the time nor interest to learn about products.

I hope 2018 will be prosperous for you and that you may try this new approach to generate new opportunities.

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Sales Tips: Has Your Selling Approach Changed? Your Buyer Has.

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/bid/89364/sales-training-article-has-your-selling-approach-changed” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/buyer-center-whiteboard.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”Sales Tips: Has Your Selling Approach Changed? Your Buyer Has.” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<h1>Sales Tips: Buyers Have Changed. Has Your Sales Approach Changed?</h1>
<em><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®</span></em>
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<span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>It would be hard to disagree that today’s buyers:</span>
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<li><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>Leverage the Internet and social networking</span></li>
<li><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>Bring sellers into buying cycles later than ever before</span></li>
<li><span style=”font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: 14px; color: #152d53;”>Feel they know their requirements before talking to salespeople</span></li>
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Sales Tips: Critical Need for Solid Business Development Skills

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<a href=”http://blog.customercentric.com/blog/bid/77191/sales-training-article-business-development” title=”” class=”hs-featured-image-link”> <img src=”http://blog.customercentric.com/hubfs/phone-call.png?t=1489093932032″ alt=”business development” class=”hs-featured-image” style=”width:auto !important; max-width:50%; float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;”> </a>
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<img src=”http://track.hubspot.com/__ptq.gif?a=22968&amp;k=14&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.customercentric.com%2Fblog%2Fbid%2F77191%2Fsales-training-article-business-development&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; “>