or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I have berated all kinds of things in this blog, now I wonder, is sales under threat? Is lack of supplier sales knowledge, driving organisations to look at the marketplace, to find what they perceive as the right solutions for them?
I have recently been working with two organisations, where in the car dealership sales language, they were pretty much looking to make a "Hands Up" software purchase. That's where a customer is desperate to buy and walks in with their "hands up" to surrender to the eager salesman.
You know what? Both are now looking at the marketplace, as the demonstration did not correctly inform them about USP's or integration, to an acceptable level. There was lots of integration to talk about, although nothing was covered. The sales person showing off the module knew it well enough, but apparently not how it connected to other complementary solutions, already in use at the site. The supplier in question has lots of its products in at the site and clearly had not thought about the wider aspects of the pitch.
Lesson number one & two of the sales process had been missed, "Know your customer" and "Know your product". Sales is about communication. Lets not forget that.
So, let's examine these two. Understanding why the customer may be looking for a new module is essential research. What problem have they got? Why does their existing solution not hit the spot? What other modules or solutions have they got currently? I doubt if these questions were posed.
For the module or solution being proposed, what are its USPs? How does this fit within the existing installed product set? If the customer has a lot of complementary solutions, how can that point be communicated as part of the sales process?
Increasingly, good integration and connectivity are being valued as the means of making processes and organisations more efficient. Customers are thinking of systems and processes in a joined up way, clearly some suppliers are not and not shining a light on it. To sell with staff with limited knowledge of a single module or aspect, seems to be failing to cut it for me.
Communicating a wider view of a solution on the table, in the context of possible and proven integration around it, is increasingly needed. Sales people without the skills to take advantage of that, will not be hitting their targets and maybe find they need to look to a move to a less squeezed sector, than socialhousing that is being ever forced to do more with less.
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Related Post: Is the quality of supplier based training getting worse?
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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