Trending This Week: Question the Cookie-Cutter Sales Process
August 4, 2018
A cookie-cutter approach is great for baking star-shaped treats. But is it great for producing star sales performers?
It would be nice if we could follow a repeatable recipe to consistently close deals, but as we all know, the job isn’t so simple. There is no magical set of ingredients or instructions that will work for every sales pro, with every customer, in every situation.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in sales training, sharing best practices, or learning from the experts. In fact, our success depends on studying the countless ways in which strong sellers cook up success, then developing our own styles and flavors while remaining adaptable.
Leading this week’s content roundup is a post on a why a singular defined process doesn’t produce optimal results, as well as pieces on sales superheroes and women in tech.
Here’s What Sales Professionals Are Reading and Sharing This Week:
Are great salespeople born that way, or are they made? Perhaps it is a combination of both? In this post, Jason Jordan shares an interesting journey through sales processes and the associated results. Rigorous sales training, consultative selling, formalized sales methodologies, and CRMs are all measures companies have implemented in their attempts to recreate the success of top performers. Yet, only 52% of salespeople are achieving quota. Check out Jordan’s take on the problem and a proposed solution.
Here James Meincke highlights six ways to become a superhuman sales networker. The good news is that you don’t need a cape. However, Meincke notes that it’s worthwhile to partner with a sidekick at conventions and other industry events to help ensure that your top prospects are covered, even if you’re in the midst of a conversation with another lead. Perhaps the most interesting recommendation is to put yourself in a position of power.
Although women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, Amber Lindke notes that they currently hold less than 20% of tech jobs. She calls out several reasons why females are well positioned for careers in tech sales especially. Based on her experience, Lindke has found this vertical can provide the opportunities to make an impact, determine your own earning potential, and pay it forward, all while learning lifelong skills. The post also includes some eye-catching stats such as this: the average win rate for women is 11% higher than men.
Lou Casale believes that prospects want to be taught a thing or two by sales pros during the sales process. But before you launch into a full list of product features and benefits at your next call, think about what your prospect might actually want to to learn. Casale suggests that you put yourself in the customer’s shoes and impart your unique knowledge where it can help most, while also making the educational aspect a two-way street. Click through to learn how you can separate your pitch from the rest of the pack.
The B2B purchase journey has changed and sales pros have less face-to-face time with customers to seal the deal. In fact, conversations with company representatives now only account for 17% of the sales process. In this post, Lori Richardson highlights the resulting implications, including a need to rethink the traditional marketing-to-sales handoff.
Jason Lemkin has pulled together a list of salesperson blunders that can make B2B buyers go from sold to cold. A rigid routine, bashing competitors, and misrepresenting product features are all high on the list. Sometimes knowing what not to do is even more important than the reverse.
Technology is your friend! This article by Victor Antonio highlights the ways in which AI can provide value for sales teams. These include price optimization based on past won and lost deals, sales forecasting, and helping companies determine the best prospects for upselling and cross-selling. AI can also help prioritize the sales funnel and provide transparency to relevant touchpoints in the prospect’s history with the company, making it easier for you to close the sale.
For more tips on cooking up sales success and providing value through education, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solution Blog.