How to bridge the sales experience gap and adopt the right approach for different selling situations.
“How do you teach new salespeople to read the client, to understand their personality and only provide the information when the client is open to receiving it?”
I received this excellent question recently from Sales Club member.
Some salespeople seem much more able than others to read customes. Such talent reinforces the idea that salespeople are born rather than made. There may be people in the world who are born with inate sales talents. The vast majority have to learn the hard way, via many years of practice, lots of failures and nemerous setbacks.
Is it possible for a training course, teacher, or coach to bridge the sales experience gap?
If we can equip those embarking on a selling career with the sales experience and judgement of twenty-year professionals, the world will become a wealthier place.
Every sales environment and every sale is different so selling is difficult to systematise. Unexpected situations inevitably undermine all systems that dictate a particular strategy, tactic, or style. Those who learn from experience, come to know what works in which situations and so you can adapt or switch their approach to suit.
To help salespeople judge situations in the same way that the most experienced top performers do, we present frameworks or models of the way that successful sellers make the choices that lead to their success.
The resulting diagrams are simple to understand and use. The example identifies four selling arenas that require different approaches.
One one person can have all the necessary knowledge and skills to complete a sale and the selling price is relatively low. The warrior seller can fulfill all of the customer’s decision-making needs. Success in this arena depends on efficiency and many lower value sales.
One one person can have all the necessary knowledge and skills to complete a sale and the selling price is very high. The eagle seller can also fulfill all of the customer’s decision-making needs. Success in this arena depends on ability to engage with high net worth individuals or senior executives.
The high compleity means that specialist expertise is necessarry and the seller cannot have or maintain all of the necessay knowledge or skills to complete a sale yet the selling price is relatively low. A small team of specialists are needed to fulfill all of the customer’s decision-making needs. Success in this arena depends on teamwork.
When the complexity, impact, and value of a sale is very high, teams of people in both the seller's and customer's organisations must be involved to fulfill the decision making needs.
In the high value complex sales arena, leaving anything to chance invites disaster. A sales effort involving the supply of several million pounds worth of new manufacturing machinery has significant risks for both seller and buyer. The outome will affect jobs, careers, and investors. The degree of success or failure affects every stakeholder and employee in both companies. Such circumstances bring new meaning to the term ‘due diligence’.
The diagram helps with planning at all levels. If you are selling in the Warrior arena, your focus should be on efficiency, automation, and the number of customer interactions. If you are operating in the Eagle arena, you should be more concerned with access to the right customers. Those working in the Crew arena must pay more attention to team management. If you are leading a Tribal campaign, startegy, planning, and communication become more important.
Article by Clive Miller
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