March 12, 2013

More New Roles of Reps to Achieve Sales Excellence

In my last post based on Achieve Sales Excellence, I presented the three basic roles required to be successful in the sales force today.  In this post, I will share the four advanced roles expected by customers from that book as well.  If you want more details, consider purchasing the book via link above.

To make future sales and move the client to sharing your name with peers:  customers/clients today hope Sales Representatives who visit them are able to fulfill these new roles as well. 

·        Act as their Consultant by matching solutions to their problems using Consultative Selling techniques by providing value, solutions instead of products, and options to outsource elements of customer’s business that is not core.  Requires sales professional provide competent services at the following levels:
  1. Specification of solution to meet customer needs and solve their problems.
  2. Installation of solution by delivering and implementing solution as agreed.  Work skills needed:  scheduling (develop timelines), coordinating (manage process), and confirming (verification all was completed as desired).
  3. Integration of the solution into the customer’s work process, people, and systems by anticipating changes necessary and making the transition easy.
  4. Usage monitoring to understand ongoing requirements of customer for replacement products, maintenance of product, or updates to systems.
·        Be their supportive Traveler by not only coming on-site but being readily accessible via web meetings, phone, and email.  The customer will not expect you to always be at their business, but they will expect to be able to quickly contact you when they need something or they will go elsewhere in the future.   You will need both time and technology skills to meet this customer desire.  It is about easy contact rather than where you are, so your customer cares about:
  1. Acknowledgement – how quickly contact with you is established when you know they want to talk.  (This can be as simple as a quick reply saying when you can call them or meet with them face-to-face or virtually.)
  2. Proximity – how soon your response to them is delivered when they have a need, rather than physical location.
  3. Preparation – your ability to respond appropriately to their requests.  (This could include getting them in direct contact via conference call with the right expert in your company to solve their problem and jointly create an action plan.)
  4. Execution – and the quality of your follow-through to meet their needs.
·       Become their Troubleshooter by using your problem solving skills to the customer’s advantage.  To be a good problem solver, you must realize:
  1. Problems will happen – they are inevitable.
  2. Problem-solving is a positive challenge for your and a valuable opportunity to how the customer what you can do for them.
  3. Blaming others for product/service problems is counterproductive.
  4. You ARE personally accountable to the customer for their problem resolution.
·        Act as their Innovator by letting your customer know if new options are available that can help them accomplish their strategies or grow their companies.  To do so, you must develop these attributes:
  1. Be able to judge which customers are receptive to new ideas or testing new product, as well as be able to explain how it could impact their profitability.
  2. Research to keep customers up-to-date on things that affect them - such as market trends, regulations, and competitors.
  3. Search for opportunities to help you customers understand your other products/services that can help improve their business.
  4. Be able to recognize the customer’s unspoken needs and let them know the solutions you can provide before they realize they have an issue or problem.
Bookstore with more on Sales and Selling Skills.

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