Sales success today is dependent upon the sales representative’s ability to align their message, approach and offering to the perceived value of the customer or prospect. Next Step’s “Value Sales” process proactively addresses the ‘so what’ or ‘why should I buy from you’ question in the prospect’s mind. “Value Sales” begins with researching, understanding and listening to the prospect’s critical business needs.
The following 5 tips touch on the “Value Sales” approach to better align your sales approach.
Consistently Use a Systematic Sales Process
For best long-term sales success, especially in critical strategic accounts, it is essential that all members of the sales team follow a consistent and systematic sales process.
All customer ‘touches’ need to reinforce and demonstrate the company’s value proposition to the customer and lead to or support the ultimate mutual agreement on the solution providers’ business case.
Discover Needs and Critical Success Factors
The first step of the ongoing sales process must encompass and be focused on gaining an understanding of the client companies’ initiatives and Critical Success Factors across all departments and business units in which the provider can have an impact.
This is accomplished through effective questioning, probing and listening to the Strategic Account Manager. By asking many insightful questions, probing and listening to key needs, the account manager can effectively discover the pain points, implications and cost factors associated with the current situation or status quo.
Build a Compelling Business Case
Based upon the Account Managers’ understanding of the customers’ needs (at all levels and departments) and the organization/management team’s Critical Success Factors, the successful Account Manager will build a business case for their solution to the company’s needs. This ‘board survivable’ compelling business case (replacing the sales proposal) will provide the ROI and financial justification for the providers’ solution.
Map Team Resources to Decision Makers and Influencers
To develop the maximum opportunities in the account and mitigate risks, the Account Manager needs to effectively ‘map’ all sales team resources (pre-sales, product specialist, managers and partners to the various decision makers/influencers in the customer account.
By proactively understanding and mapping their own resources to partner with and support the value prop to all decision makers/levels, the account team can identify new opportunities, proactively overcome obstacles and build a more strategic long-term account relationship.
Develop Lifetime Value of the Customer
Recognition and reward to the ‘initial champion and supporter’ can bring much greater visibility, awareness and leverage to a new account win. Each new account is and can be considered ‘gold’ in potential and opportunity.
Through effective questioning, account mapping and follow-through of the systematic sales process, the Strategic Account Manager can most effectively develop the ‘Lifetime Value of the Customer” which recognizes that the cost to gain a new account is more than 700 times that of developing an existing customer relationship into new business.