5 Tips for a Complex Sales Process
Salespeople must match the value of their product to the needs of their clients. This means all salespeople don't perform the same activities or require exactly the same skills: it really depends on your industry and your company's offerings and culture.
Most people are familiar with the transactional sales model. This is normally associated with low-priced, low-margin products in exchanges that require minimal effort by either side. The salesperson does little, if any, analysis on his or her clients and basically processes orders from those who are interested. There is no customer service after the sale (and sales and customer service are usually separate functions), nor is relationship-building required.
At the opposite end of the sales spectrum is the enterprise sale. This type of process is central to the creation and implementation of outsourcing partnerships and many other complex deals. It requires a high degree of effort from the salesperson to know their clients' businesses and assess their needs. Decisions are typically made by teams versus individuals. Since a successful partnership is a long-term venture; trust, loyalty and confidence have to be established and maintained with all of the participants. And to forge a mutually-beneficial situation, the salesperson must be transparent in communications and execution so that all parties are comfortable and apprised on activities.
When entering into an enterprise-type sales process, there is potential for problems even if you are the best salesperson available to manage and facilitate the relationship.
Here is my advice.
1. Focus on creating business value rather than solely on the price or immediate savings.
Cost-cutting without improvements or innovation will limit the overall value of any change. A good salesperson should always be looking for ways to improve the ROI for their clients. If you don't, they will quickly move onto the next provider who offers a discount!