Performance Sales Best Practices
Professional Sales Process and Tips

What do we need salespeople for anyway?

Andrew Ford
By | High Performance Sales Tips, Sales Strategy | July 4, 2013 | Comments (0)

If 70% of the sales process is over, via the internet, before a prospect calls your sales team, then what do we need salespeople for anyway?  Aren’t they all becoming order takers of one sort or another?

The sales world has certainly changed. The days of salespeople as information transmitters who were little more than traveling brochures are long gone. Today in fact, we need fewer dedicated salespeople, but the ones we need have to be a lot better at adding value.Confused CEO

When that prospect calls in they already have answers to three critical questions:

  • They know what they are trying to do.
  • They have already decided what is wrong.
  • They have an idea of what they want to do about it

These three answers put the salesperson at risk of becoming a commoditized transaction if they are not careful. From the customer’s perspective the only things left are a final configuration, some unique fulfillment questions, and a price. The “solutioning” phase of the sales process is over, it happened on-line. This paradigm is playing havoc with many sales processes, because the customer does not have a lot of patience to fall back into the Solution Selling Pain Probe questioning. To get out of this trap requires real finesse on the part of the salesperson. They have to be able to ask a question from the start that raises doubt in the customer’s mind that they have thought of everything and gets them to pause and listen. The question that causes this pause cannot be about your product or service, it has to drive into the heart of the customer’s decision making and thinking.

Sales person questioning has to resonate like a bell and make them say, “Uh-oh, did we miss something?”

Done well it shows that the salesperson knows more than the customer thought, and what they know might be relevant. Get this pause to happen and the salesperson can then dive into a discover dialogue and perhaps uncover something that creates a competitive advantage. Without it, and your salespeople are just order takers.

Ask yourself this, “What do our customers forget to ask when they are searching for solutions like ours?”

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