Less stick, more carrot: A new perspective on selling
It's time to move away from the quick deal, says Richard Hilton.
Successful selling depends on sellers’ ability to meet buyers’ needs. It’s simple — organisations with sales processes aligned with buyer expectations close more deals; those that don’t fall by the wayside.
The trouble is that today’s rapidly changing business climate has led buyer expectations to evolve much faster than traditional sales organisations have kept up. It’s high time sellers didn’t just catch up, but got themselves one step ahead of the game. And to do that, what buyers need more than anything else is perspective!
But, what do I mean by perspective? Effectively a seller point of view that establishes credibility with buyers, engages them in a deeper way as a problem-solver, and helps them achieve their objectives. An expert combination of mindset, insight and experience that adds value to the sales process and differentiates sellers.
The ability to deliver informed insights separates top sales teams from the rest of the pack.
Perspective earns the right to engage customers on a deeper level. Perspective could be data, insights or information that helps buyers see their challenges and solutions in a new light or causes them to think differently.
It might mean challenging a customer’s assumptions, providing an unanticipated solution, or proactively talking to clients about the obstacles they will face post-decision.
For me the key to selling with perspective lies in making technology more relevant and useful for sales teams.
Selling with perspective requires sellers to think and behave differently. Most sellers are mentally conditioned to ‘close the deal’. But with perspective, the goal is bigger than the deal on the table. It’s also about forging long-term partnerships with buyers.
Technology can be a powerful enabler of perspective but unfortunately sales and technology have a history of friction
Having worked in sales for 20+ years I know how much sales reps hate entering data into CRMs. They see it as a waste of time and a distraction from actually selling, with zero return. Effectively it’s all stick – no carrot. It’s hardly surprising that just a quarter of sales organisations express high confidence in the quality of their CRM data.
For me the key to selling with perspective lies in making technology more relevant and useful for sales teams. By replacing burdensome CRM admin with more practical technologies that can deliver in-the-moment insights and predictive analytics you can really increase your odds of winning.
Analytics also help you see why you’re winning so you can replicate behaviours that consistently generate the best outcomes. By focusing on improving the quality, quantity and timeliness of CRM data you’ll be empowered with the perspective to make more informed and effective decisions.
At the end of the day buyers aren’t mysterious. They just know what they want – and increasingly, that is sellers capable of selling with perspectives that benefit their businesses. Providing buyers with the right blend of mindset, technology insights and experience, will differentiate your sales organisation and deepen relationships with customers.
It’s time to bulk buy those carrots!
About the author
Richard Hilton is managing director of EMEA at Miller Heiman Group.
Libby Webb talks leadership development programmes for TJ.
Elva Ainsworth describes five traditional ways to gather the training needs of an organisation and proposes an ‘integrated’ approach that will allow you to deliver a high impact plan with...
Need to improve your business performance? The answer isn't appraisals, it's coaching, says Alistair Shepherd.
The Charity Learning Consortium has added a wide range of new courses and modules to its elearning library, to reflect the demands of the modern workplace.
Craig Weiss just unveiled FindAnLMS.com, a new tool that will make it faster and easier to match up companies with the right learning systems...
This year, the five annual predictions for the global L&D sector from Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance follow the general view that technology will be...