Know Your Business So You Can Help Theirs. Here’s How:

Blog 5 of 7. 

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the six sales imperatives- Things that simply don’t change because in sales because they are so important to customers. The rapidly changing business world and the swirl of technology can distract us and make us forget about these imperatives. Letting that happen will have consequences.  Here’s how to prevent it:

Imperative number 4: Know your own business so you can help their business.

Why do buyers buy? It’s an age-old question with a surprisingly simple answer. They believe that what they are buying will help their business. While there are many personal motivations that can contribute to why someone makes a buying decision, that one essential reason, helping their business, is almost always present. There are different ways to help a business and is it your job as a salesperson to determine which reason is most important to the buyer. In order to help their business, however, you need to know your business. Specifically, in what ways your product or service can help a business. 

The primary goal of all for-profit business is exactly that, to make a profit. There are four fundamental ways, however, to increase profits: Increase revenue, reduce cost, increase quality or reduce effort. Depending on the role and responsibilities of the person or people making the buying decision, one of the four ways may be most important to them. If your buyer is in sales they may be most concerned about revenue, if your buyer is in purchasing they may be most concerned about cost, if your buyer is in marketing they be most concerned about quality, if your buyer is in production they may be most concerned about reducing effort, or if your buyer is the CEO/CFO/Business Owner they may not have a preference on how and just care about increasing the overall profit of the business.

In order to make a sale you will need to demonstrate how your product or service aligns with what is important to the buyer. In order to do this, you must understand how your product/service impacts the overall profitability of the business through each of the four profit components. 

Increase Revenue– How does your product or service help a company make more sales? Does it increase the effectiveness of their sales efforts? Does it increase awareness of their product or service? Does it add a feature/benefit that is more attractive to their customers? 

Reduce Cost– How does your product or service help a company reduce their cost of doing business? Does it reduce the cost of materials? Does it reduce headcount/overtime? Does it reduce distribution costs? Does it reduce maintenance costs? 

Increase Quality– How does your product or service increase the quality of the company’s product or service? Does it provide them with better materials? Does it help them provide better service? Does it help them find better people? Does it provide better education/training?

Reduce Effort– How does your product or service help a company be more productive? Does it help them reduce downtime? Does it help increase output? Does it help reduce waste? Does it eliminate procedures/steps? Does it help make them faster?

Increase Profit– Which of the above components does your product/service impact the most? What delivers the most positive impact to their bottom line? 

Most likely your product/service does not impact all four profit components equally. You need to understand how your product or service impacts each profit component so you can show value to prospective buyers. For example: let’s say you sell high-end copiers and you’re dealing directly with a prospect’s purchasing department. You discover through conversation that their primary motivation is to reduce costs. So, while your copiers are better quality and easier to use, with this buyer you need to be able to demonstrate how you can reduce cost. Because you understand your business, you explain that while your copiers are more expensive upfront than the competition, they break less and the reduction in maintenance costs means the prospect will actually save money in the long run.  

Again, by knowing your business you will know how you can help a customer’s business.

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

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Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

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The Sales 3.0 Conference, Las Vegas will provide executives in sales and sales operations with key insight and strategies to drive improved sales performance and revenue growth.

Check out the agenda here.

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The WinSource Team will be attending the event and will have a booth set up. Please consider joining us.

If you are a sales or marketing leader these sessions could be helpful in planning through your actions for next year. It’s also a great place to talk with some cutting edge technology partners. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to invest in yourself as a sales leader this year, this is your chance.

Amazing group rate of $189 at the Four Seasons Hotel available until Aug. 24th.

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A Sales Rule You Can’t Afford To Break:

Be Transparent

4/7 in a series

Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about six things we must do to be successful in sales. This week we focus on being transparent.

Most of these 6 imperatives are about how to get to Yes, but this one is about not creating a No. Being transparent through the sales process does not mean you will win the deal, but lacking transparency by being inconsistent, uninformed, or unclear can lose the deal.

Don’t sabotage your sale by getting caught off guard.

We’ve all been there. You’re having great conversation with your customer. They are interested in your service, and closing the deal is all but inevitable. And then they ask a question. You don’t know the answer, but you could make an informed guess. If you answer now, you can close this deal on the spot. If you wait to get an answer, they might change their mind or explore other options.

Some salespeople may have found it tempting to B.S. a little. What’s the harm? Your answer is probably correct, anyway. Right?

There used to be that kind of “wiggle-room” in sales. Even if you were tempted before, you just can’t B.S. it now. You can’t take the risk.

Buyers used to depend on salespeople for information about their products. Salespeople could have a little knowledge and a lot of confidence, and both parties might walk away happy. But thanks to the internet, buyers have access to as much—if not more—information as you do.

A recent study found 45% of buyers are doing more research now than they did just one year ago. We need a lot of knowledge, a little confidence, and easy access to answers for those out-of-left-field questions when they do pop up. And sometimes the humility to admit when we just don’t know.

We can’t afford to say one thing when our website, our ads, or our colleagues say something else. Think of the red flags that get raised when your answers don’t jibe with the other things they’ve seen and heard.

Were you inconsistent because you don’t know? They might question your credibility.

Were you inconsistent because you lied? They might question your integrity.

Were you inconsistent because the company doesn’t have a good process? They might question the business’ ethics.

People buy from people they trust. Now, more than ever, we have no choice but to be trustworthy. That means being transparent and consistent across all sources of information. What we say and do has to be consistent with what we claim—and what our company claims—our products and services can do. If not, we risk losing trust…and the sale.

The best way to avoid this pitfall is to be prepared. We can help.

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

Please subscribe to receive future posts directly to email.

Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!