The economic landscape for business has been touted as bleak “we can expect this downturn to continue until 2019” I remember one senior manager saying to me in the recent past.
Couple that with the customer now changing the way they buy as they too are experiencing the same pinch. How many of your customers have deferred their investment in services because of any one of the following;
Government Funding Halted
Funds dried up
Your client’s business slowed down
If you can relate to any one of the following, then have you changed your sales approach to meet the change in the market and by extension the customers needs?
In a recent survey, fifty (50%) of respondents indicated that they went elsewhere due to the poor sales skills of the sales professionals. 50% is a massive percentile to lose in existing/new business, but if we allow customers to figure it out for themselves then most likely you will not be the benefactor of the sale.
“I've been with this company for 14 years, this is the first time we’ve had any type of training - Sales Professional (Office Interior)”
The Birth of the Order Taker:
Blame cannot be placed solely on sales professional as, over the years when the economy was stable and business was consistent, companies did not take the time to invest in the development of their staff. At the same time sales professionals, themselves did not look at perfecting their craft and just relied on the requests from the clients. Thus, the role of the order taker was born.
However, over time as CEOs, CFOs, etc. gave instructions to cut cost or make sure more value was received with each spend administrators, I.T. professionals, etc. became more sophisticated and took the time to do our jobs for us, and in some instances better than us, they did more research, understood value and sold the decision to their seniors. Thus, in some instances devaluing the role of the "sales professional".
It is time for us sales professionals step up and start improving our craft, change the way we attract, engage, and deliver our solutions/services to our customers. Customers being knowledgeable is old news, they still cannot see the bigger picture without us and that's our role, helping them understand where we can take them. Encourage them to measure us and deliver on every metric.
We cannot afford to lose a customer at this time. The role of a sales executive is not dead, it just needs to be improved and become the consultants or trusted advisors than just taking an order from a customer we need to help the customer see their future
That's the new look of a sales professional for 2018 and beyond and its how you close that 50% GAP.
About the Author: Lyndon is the founder and managing director of OPAAT-SWY Consulting Ltd. He is passionate about life and unlimited achievements. His areas of expertise are sales, customer service coaching, leadership and motivational speaking.
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