Understanding Sales Purpose and Foundational Structure
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Hiring Quality Sales Reps - By Greg van der Linde
Sales Engagement Variations
No two sales techniques are the same. Every sales rep has a different approach to selling and how they work their way through the buyer engagement process. Many reps can sell simply based on their talents alone, while others stick to a tried-and-true sales process to close.
Great sales reps study their craft and work on the fine intricacies of the sales process that make it easier to:
- Communicate with prospects
- Understand their situation
- Sell to them on an individual basis
There are two commonalities involved with every sales cycle that should be investigated further by sales reps:
- Sales Methods all Have a Similar Purpose
- Sales Methods all Have a Similar Direction
Selling Methods All Have a Similar Purpose
Every deal/sales engagement has a few fundamental steps. During the pre-call planning phase of a call, sales reps plan their intentions for buyers on an individual basis. However, every sales rep has four main purposes when they plan a sales call:
Sales reps cannot close sales if they are unable to establish credibility with buyers. Reps must establish credibility early on in the sales call and maintain it throughout. Sales reps can do this by demonstrating that they have a vested interested in the buyer's situation by having an open "ask and tell" dialogue to identify a solution. If the buyer does not view the rep as credible, it will be very difficult for them to have a positive dialogue.
Developing buyer needs awareness:
The point of the process is to identify a need. This need is based on the buyer's individual situation. Sales reps have various approaches to uncover needs with effective questioning methods. However, the common purpose is to make a prospect aware of a need within their organization. Reps will use the information they gather from this process and apply it to their feature/benefit pitch.
Pitching features and benefits:
The discussions sales reps have regarding their product's features and benefits pitch must be based on the needs they have identified. A divide exists here. The feature/benefit pitch exists in all sales calls. However, there are two different approaches to consider. Some reps simply offer their product features and benefits as a technique to sell, while others focus their presentation to suit the needs of their buyer's situation. Focusing on needs first will allow reps to craft their proof to the solution the buyer seeks.
Sales reps always strive for commitment. Commitment is the progressive engagement of a buyer in the advance towards the closing steps of a sale. The purpose of getting commitment, no matter what form it takes, signals to reps that a buyer shares some interest in what they are selling.
Selling Methods all Have a Similar Direction
All sales engagements share a similar make up. The approach to the process is the only difference. Individual sales reps and sales organizations can approach their processes in a number of ways:
- Using effective question techniques (ask) to elicit information (tell) and further the sale
- Following a strict step by step process
- Using commitment actions to further the sale
- Use an approach that is based on their specific industry
Opening the call:
All sales processes share a similar method for beginning a sales call. Referring back to their purpose, sales reps want to involve the buyer and gain interest to set the stage for their relationships going forward.
All sales methods involve learning about the buyer's needs. On some level, all sales reps explore a buyer's organization, buying practices, and fit for their product. Reps must identify the need which fits their solution if they want to advance the sale.
All sales reps and buyers exchange information. This is accomplished through an "ask and tell" approach. Both reps and buyers have the opportunity to "ask and tell." Sales reps are concerned about understanding the buyer's perspective, while buyers are concerned about the viability of the product in regards to how it will meet their needs.
Engagement is a part of every sale. If reps cannot secure engagement from a buyer, then the sale will fail to advance. Therefore, every sales structure must deal with engagement and advancement to some extent.
Bottom Line & Business Impact:
No matter what organization sales reps are part of, there is a common purpose and direction to their sales calls. While each sales rep has a different approach, following these common practices will guide reps through the sales process no matter what their level of experience.
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Hiring Quality Sales Reps - By Greg van der Linde
About the Author: Greg van der Linde
RSS for Greg's articles - Visit Greg's website
With over 21 years of Business and IT experience, Greg has excelled in all facets of owning and managing a business along with Major Account Sales to Billion Dollar Plus Private Sector Organizations and to the Public Sector namely Federal, Provincial and Local Governments. Sales Leadership in Action Group Inc.
With many years as a business owner Greg has learned and understands the importance of Corporate Goals and Strategies while aligning this to market share, revenue growth, client satisfaction, client retention, staff retention and motivation all providing a positive working environment both inside and out. Sales Leadership in Action Group Inc.
He is a confident, focused over achiever with a high level of professionalism and integrity. Building internal and external relationships successfully with proven, planning, presentation and all round communication skills. A dedicated team player with a strong sense of quality, and a core set of personal values have all resulted in constant and sustainable growth and market leadership.
Click here to visit Greg's website.
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