What is sales? Sales is the art of persuading or influencing a specific outcome. We don’t realise it but we all sell in one way or another, at work at home with our friends and with our families without even knowing and some of us are better than others. But it’s important to remember that you can’t persuade without three key ingredients:
1). Knowledge of the product or the proposition
2). Knowledge of USPs and the competition
3). Knowledge of the customers’needs
I hope you noted that knowledge was common throughout all. Also point 1 & 2 are reasonably static where as point 3 will change with each and every customer. So if you want to be a GREAT Sales Person you need to; Know your product/s, Know Sales Proposition and MOST IMPORTANTLY Know your customer. Knowing your customer is all about Case Management or CRM tools and their ability to quickly, easily and automatically help you build on the customer knowledge. For the purpose of this article I will focus on the sales person not CRM Software.
So what makes a good sales person, well there is no single answer but if I was pushed to give you one I would say “DISAPLINE”. It’s often said that a good sales person is a good talker, I couldn’t agree less. Yes it is important to be a good communicator but remember “DISAPLINE”. Once a sales person is trained on the company or product USP’s, competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, Value Proposition, Sales Process, Sales Objection Handling, commitment seeding questions, it is quite easy to just be a good talker. A professional sales person is CONSTANTLY DISPLAINED and aware of the sales process, the current stage, the next and the objectives during each stage, also let’s not forget the all important BUYING PROCESS. Sales people that leave it to chance and don’t focus and ignore the disciplined approach only ever achieve mediocre results.
Great sales people are always focused on improving and learning that’s why they are constantly evolving the predefined company sales tools. Ask yourself why EVERY SINGLE TIME, why did they buy? Or why did they terminate at that stage? This is crucial to being the best you can be.
The ability to steer the customer through the predefined sales process is also crucial and enables you to achieve higher closing ratios. The company’s sales process is usually designed in a number of stages that enables a sales person to explore the customer Needs, Define and Qualify, Propose a value based solution and Close and realise the value. As you can see from the previous sentence every single stage is important you can’t skip any stage and you need to understand what stage the customer is at and what stages YOU have walked the customer through.
If you speak to a customer for the first time and they request a price or a quote and you haven’t had the opportunity to Explore and Define, how do you expect to get the sale? (If you haven’t understood their needs and haven’t had the opportunity to define the value) If you’re CRM Software doesn’t track your sales process how are you expected to remember the status of each and every customer? You can’t, great selling is all about Great Systems, Tools and Great People. Over the next few weeks I will continue to cover other important issues related to sales.