Why you should say no if you don’t match 100% of your prospect’s need

In the good old days, sales people were able to fill their portfolio with stock items and hit the road selling those, without much preferences if customers’ needs fit to that product. But now, customers are demanding 100% solution of their problems.

Some time ago, in a world of never ending market growth, goods had to be produced cheaper and cheaper, driving competition harder and harder. All eyes were focused on how to source and produce to the lowest cost as possible, not what customer really needed.

Customers thought they were needed the offered goods – and for sure, they couldn’t find anything else. And customers were right, not much were changing from year to year or even from decade to decade. Globalization – as we now it today – driven by the internet revolution hadn’t started yet. Companies were pretty happy to source their business with goods available.

Then something happened. A great paradigm shift, from producers’ point of view to customers’.

The introduction of internet started a customer education process. First at slow pace, but soon accelerating. Customers started to get informed using available information and with social media introduction, they were also able to discuss within their networks about their problems and needs, just to get as informed they could before they engaged with a salesman.

Today, this paradigm shift is fully completed. The customer has made himself comfortable in the driver’s seat and decisions are made fully informed. But they still need help to match products with their needs, in detail.

On the selling side, we meet with fully informed customers, so it shouldn’t be any problem – if you are informed at the same level about your products. In my blog post Why Expertise Outperforms Process , I explain why being an expert on your own products or services is mandatory these days.

But my point is, if the salesman’s offer don’t fit 100%, the customer don’t solve 100% of their problems. The result on your customer’s side is not reaching their fully potentials and goals, leading to decreased competiveness. On the selling side, you may lose the deal to a competitor meeting 100% of the needs. Or, have a lot more work to get it. Work including persuasion, product customizations, discussions, motivations an much more hassle to eventually end up with the signed contract.

My advice is simple. Only go for opportunities you know you will solve 100% of your customer’s needs.

puzzle

In an efficient sales process, the first stage – qualification – secures no deal is allowed to pass if not a couple of qualification questions are having positive answers. Common questions are such as if customer has budget, if you talk to the decision makers, if investment is intended in reasonable time frame, if competition is not too overwhelmingly and so on.

“If your product fit” sometimes is one of these questions, but not too often the most important and never the only one. Why? It should be.

Think about the “good old days” when everything you produced could be sold, no matter what. The salesman was king and customers were trusted him as The Voice from the world outside.

Those days could be revived once again, if your product is solving 100% of your customers’ needs and most of your time is spent on helping your customer understand and trust that.

Doing so before you qualify your opportunity in your sales process, will save tremendous amount of hassle and time. But to afford to spend all your time on fit matching, you need to say NO to opportunities that not have any potential to pass the “Fit Test”.

Good luck!

Stefan

 

 

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Feedback makes your decisions better!

In Sales Scenario – your Sales Tactics App there are many things that will profoundly change the way you make sales decisions.

While running scenarios of the future, you ask yourself questions of the type ”what if”. As I mentioned before in this blog it’s much harder to ask the right question than give a proper answer. In your management team, members are gathered with different experiences, background and skills. That’s the basic requirement for such team.

The R&D Manager will inform about what impact the new product line has on the average order size, the Finance Guy about the cost for the sales organization, the Marketing Lady how many leads are possibly to generate, the CEO about the new targets. These expert’s experiences are the terrific foundation for creating your accurate what-if questions.

Get feedback.

First thing is to formulate the objective. That’s what problem to solve. Today it’s only less than one and a half month to go until end year’s target has to be achieved. The Standard Question at this time is: ”Do we reach our targets?”

Chat

The Sales Scenario App may show you that every sales rep has to initiate 9 new opportunities (instead of 7) every week from now on until year end to achieve the agreed targets.

So the objective is: How can we secure fulfillment of end year targets?

One of the future scenarios – what-if questions – may be: Is 9 new opportunities per sales rep really possible? In the Sales Scenario App you have the option to really make collaborative decisions by inviting your management team, friends or experts for comments or likes:

Furthermore; if you get an invitation but can’t answer by yourself (or need a more detailed perspective), you may invite another friend or expert in turn. That’s really collaborative!

The Sales Scenario App is on AppStore today. Happy playing what-if questions!

Sales Decisions have never been easier

Finally, we’re here. I’m very proud to announce Sales Scenario – your Sales Tactics App. It will profoundly change the way you make sales decisions. Instead of reading prepared reports or analyzing fancy charts, you and your team will actually run scenarios of the future to find the best way forward, by asking yourselves “What if …” The result will be better and more well-grounded decisions, which in long term will mean significantly higher profitability for your company. In my last post I told you:

“There are modern solutions, that in one single tool let you run and elaborate among future sales specific scenarios as many times a week you need to, invite and chat with your management team, friends or experts – when they got the time to – and get inspiration from top sales gurus, to make better and more well-grounded decisions that are already implemented from start, so you can stay as the leader in your specific market.”

Let me introduce the core principle of Sales Scenario App. The Tactical Perspective. In The App you fill in sales figures of where you are today (for example revenue achieved so far), where you need to go (for example your end year revenue target) and the chart in the app will tell you what to do. TacticalThe App will calculate backwards in your sales process based on your input. The amount of required numbers in the stages in the process are decreased according to the actual efficiency – the hitrate. An example. Opportunities. The chart will show both how many (in average per sales rep) opportunities that are achieved the current date and how many every sales rep has to create from current date to target date (typically year end) to reach the target. Current - Target In this case every sales rep has created 7 new opportunities every week (the green column in the chart), but from now on until target date they have to create 9 new (the orange column), otherwise the target would not be met. But is that amount really possible? If not, start play with the scenario by adjusting one or several constraints. Or run several scenarios, until you find the best. That’s more dynamic than a report or fancy chart, isn’t it? It’s like running a chart. Summary. The core principle of Sales Scenario is that good decisions are not made in isolation in response to an individual’s idea or individual piece of data. They require shared knowledge and analysis of a combination of different pieces of information. It adds future dimension as well by running several scenarios and asking the “what if question”. The Sales Scenario is available on AppStore today. Please let me know what you think! Best Regards, Stefan