Why You Need to Redefine Your Product
For Action Selling or any sales methodology to work, your sales force must follow the right Sales Process. The right sales process is the sequence of activities resulting in customer commitments that most frequently lead to a sale in your company’s situation.
We have worked with more than 3,500 companies in every industry you can name, and absolutely every one of them needed a major adjustment to its sales process. When companies don’t have their sales process down pat they can’t possibly maximize sales potential. Once we clearly define this, it becomes obvious what the real “product” is on any given sales call.
What milestones and commitments lead to a sale in your world?
Your company’s best sales process is a series of milestones. For every milestone you’ll have a Commitment Objective – a goal to gain a customer commitment that will move the process to the next milestone. Common Sales Milestones include things like “needs assessment meeting” and “meet with all relevant decision-makers.”
That may sound straight forward enough, but it calls for a radical change in way you define your product. Why? Because if the commitment you want from a customer in a given sales call is something like “agree to schedule a needs-assessment meeting,” then the product you are there to sell is a needs-assessment meeting.
Let me make that perfectly clear. In this sales call, your goal is not to sell your company’s hardware, software, or services. You aren’t selling a better bicycle or a better mousetrap. Your job is to sell a needs assessment.
This changes almost everything about the sales interaction. If your product is a needs assessment, then instead of uncovering the customer’s needs for your mousetrap, you must uncover needs for a needs assessment. Also, you must position the assessment as a solution to something. So you’ll present the features and benefits of a needs assessment, not the features and benefits of your mousetrap.
The same is true for each sales milestone in your sales process. Is the next milestone a product demo? Then uncover needs for the demo. Present the features of the demo and the benefits that the customer will gain by seeing it.
In every sales call, you want the customer to commit to take a next step. So sell that step. You’ll be amazed at how much smoother things go when the time comes to sell your mouse trap.
Action Selling in Action
“It is awesome to see the growth in confidence in our sales force after we got everyone crystal clear about our sales process,” says Todd Eber, president of W.A. Roosevelt Co., a wholesaler of electrical and plumbing products based in La Crosse, Wis.
“About three months after we started the Action Selling Training and Certification Plan, we held a ‘strategic pause day’ for our sales organization,” Eber explains. “During the meeting, we realized that not everyone was on the same page with regard to our newly defined sales process. About half of the team was misaligned.”
In two hours, Eber says, “we eliminated the gray areas and got everyone on the same page. In the process, we completely redefined the ‘product’ we actually should be selling in any given sales call.”
The results? “Like I said, awesome!”
Find out how clarifying your sales process can supercharge your sales. Contact us at (800) 232-3485.