Is Your Sales Approach Still Working?
Sales, sales, sales. As the economy begins to take off, you are doing all you can to win your share of the business. How is that going? Granted, business in your region may not be at 100% yet. And as time goes by, there may be parts of the business that never fully re-emerge. But really though, how is your approach working?
How’s It Going Today?
Everybody wants more sales and some manage to win more sales than others. A best practice from this past year was to select areas of the business that you can improve on. The goal was to be better at those areas post pandemic, than you were pre-pandemic. Most sales teams have had a full year to work on their strategy and approach. So, what did your team work on and how is it going?
Some sales teams have been working on their discovery and presentation skills while using video calls. Others have begun using a lead generation strategy that is driven off of content marketing and social media.
What Has Changed?
The opportunity to articulate your value hasn’t gone away. This is an area that is vastly overlooked. Don’t let your sales team focus so much on price, that they miss their chance to communicate the value proposition of working with your business.
The work from home, or hybrid work environments, will create headwinds for many sales organizations. The inability to have in-person meetings with a prospect has become an obstacle. But wait, that’s not new! It’s been difficult to have in person meetings with new prospects for a while. Sales organizations continue to struggle with non-face-to-face communication channels.
Prospects are looking for new suppliers who can help them achieve their print related goals. Understanding buyer journeys and effective discovery and presentation skills are at a premium. These skills have become table stakes for effective selling today.
What You Can Do
Assess your current situation and don’t assume anything. You know what happens when you assume, right? Two areas to work on is the ability to properly research and learn about a prospect before you press the GO button, and how to connect and communicate with decision-makers in an online world. This may seem simple, but make sure your team can do this effectively.
Leverage the areas that are still working — and my guess is that there are many of these. That’s good! Just don’t confuse being comfortable with an approach as it still being relevant.
Communicate your expectations to your team. Now is the time. It’s game time. It’s showtime. You get the picture. Here are some additional ideas that you can work on:
- It’s hard to find good sales reps, experienced or not, that want to be in this business. Make sure you have a clear definition of what an outside sales rep is in your organization
- What should the role of today's sales rep be? What activities do they need to focus on to be successful today? What do they need to stop doing?
- What is your business looking for — transactions or accounts? And, how do you support that throughout the organization?
- Identify the role of lead generation and outbound marketing to help drive sales.
- Re-think the structure of your sales department. Can the team concept of lead gen, inside account managers, and outside account closers work for your business?
- How can you use sales compensation to help drive the effort, particularly if you have a multi-generation sales team?
- Understand the changing ways that clients want to interact with sales – both from a new business perspective as well as client retention.
- Understand how your clients want to buy and tailor the role of the sales rep to help get to yes.
Good luck and keep at it.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEO’s in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic direction, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.