It’s all about increasing your share of wallet with your key accounts!
A leading manufacturer in the consumer and industrial paper and packaging products industry
They saw that they weren’t fully leveraging their business value in their relationships with key accounts. Their ability to expand their product mix and presence inside these accounts was hindered by the limited number of contact points at the senior leadership level. As a result, they wanted to focus the efforts of their elite group of Strategic Account Managers (SAMs) on expanding their business within existing key accounts, increasing relationships and more successfully connecting to their customers’ strategies.
Help your customer and yourself-identify “the gap”, that space between what an organization currently has and what it wants.
As I’ve discussed previously, there are often problems and needs that are not readily obvious to the salesperson or the customer. But with an effective discovery process these hidden needs can be uncovered and addressed.
This post and the next will break down in more detail the two aspects of a customer’s business that will help you, as a consultative salesperson, to establish your prospect’s status quo and their desired outcome, therefore identifying the gap.
What Does the Prospect Already Have?
The first step in establishing the gap is to determine what the prospect brings to the table. For instance, here are some areas that should be considered:
The Current Situation –
Where does the organization currently stand financially? What products and services are they currently using? What research and development efforts are being carried out, and what are the results? What market competition are they currently facing and how are they faring in comparison to their competition? Are they currently gaining or losing market share? How is morale? What is the current culture inside the organization?
Your stint as the VP of sales will be short if you don’t create a learning culture!
Sales Management Point of View:
Your success is totally dependent on your sales organization and on how fast and effectively your organization can present your best solution in a constantly changing, competitive environment. A learning culture can help your sales force present your best solution to every prospect every time.
Creating a learning culture is about “realigning company culture so there is something in it for everyone that’s key…just like what it will take for you to have a festive and enjoyable holiday season with your friends and family. Making that spirit endure over time with a workable plan is challenging in a company just as it is in a family, but essential to realize the value from the thinking and associated technologies.” Oliver Marks – ZDNET
The degree to which the sales organization’s culture supports change and the use of new strategies and plans has a significant impact on the successful implementation of the plans and, ultimately, increasing sales results.
The Discovery process, when handled properly as a mutual process, reveals clearly what problems face your prospect and what options exist for solving those problems.
But it does more than that.
If the salesperson takes a consultative approach from the start, going into the Discovery process with no preconceived notions, it can actually let him see what would otherwise be invisible.
can reveal hidden needs the customer may not even realize exist. Not that the salesperson fabricates needs that weren’t actually there. Rather, he helps the customer see what has been there all along.
Do yourself a favor: help your salespeople get better at discovery.
Do you know why your salespeople are failing and what you can do about it?
You know that discovery is most effective when it’s a
: getting the customer involved from day one to make sure they are completely committed to the outcome because they helped shape the outcome.
What is the alternative to this scenario?
Poor communication between levels was poisoning relationships thereby reducing
At one of the Nation’s Top 10 Children’s Hospitals, the Vice-President of Patient Care Services was determined to develop leadership competencies in her 1500 person organization beginning with communication skills among members of her leadership group.
The Vice-President of Patient Care Services recognized that communication barriers and conflicts among staff members were decreasing productivity and negatively impacting patient care. At the recommendation of an executive coach, she made the decision to implement a pilot of Wilson Learning’s
Building Relationship Versatility
(BRV) with the senior members of her leadership group. This was the first of several steps to increase leadership competence and the first competency targeted was communication skills.
Guest Post by:
Better Versatility = Better Relationships
by Tom Roth
In conversations with clients about the impact of the current economic downturn, I keep hearing one concern everyone seems to share: “how can we help our people manage the strain of all the budget cuts, layoffs, and reorganizations?”
Employees are worried about their jobs even while adapting to major changes in their work environment — new reporting relationships, restructured work teams, different job assignments. Even when they understand the necessity for all the changes, the effects can be debilitating — communication gets more difficult, morale sags, and productivity slows.