My capabilities can't be conditional. My sales successes can't be limited to those who are naturally like me, or even limited to those who naturally like me. The marketplace is too diverse for me to be devoted to one selling style. I must prepare to perform in whatever way engages and enlightens my audience. The same message with the same meaning capable of being delivered using a mixture of methods in multiple mediums. How can questions be customized to a communication style so the answers are robust and revealing? How can we personalize a value proposition so that we are persuading instead of just presenting? How do we read the preferred style of a prospect in a moment then react by adjusting our proposal in rhythm? Sales agility encourages us to be aware of our natural communication style while being committed to adopting the style of the audience. It's more than merely listening better or mirroring language -- that's on the surface and easily seen through. Those with the ability to be agile adapt every aspect of their approach so that they may authentically speak the language of the audience.
pace & space: new business development
Innovation rarely comes from the inside. Ideas that spark change almost always come from the outside; outside our companies, outside our industries, even outside of business. In this instance it is NBA Basketball from which we draw inspiration and instruction. Pace & Space is a basketball philosophy that focuses on the acquisition and application of talent to maximize offensive efficiency. It relies on versatile players repeatedly putting themselves in positions to generate points. We've transformed Pace & Space into a model for territory management. We explain how sales professionals with a geographic territory should prioritize and schedule their time across dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of current and potential customers.
When asked what qualities make a great sales professional, the answer "competitive" almost always makes the short list. And yet, even with that competitive fire, we don't always bring a competitive function. Sales proposals often don't include sufficient competitive awareness and acknowledgement. Sales strategies even more often don't account for competitors' strengths and weaknesses. We introduce a Game Planning tool that can be used in setting strategies and preparing proposals. What are our strengths versus our top competitors for a piece of business or in a marketplace? What are our weaknesses? How should we position ourselves and our proposals to account for those strengths and weaknesses? How should communication capital be allocated accordingly? Game Planning is the next level of sales planning.
leading the selling center
While it might seem cliche to compare a salesperson to a quarterback, that comparison has actually never been more congruent. Organizations in almost every industry have finally begun investing in Selling Centers that match and mesh with the Buying Centers that make modern business decisions. Product managers, marketers, business analysts, inside sales, and service focus their historically independent functions on aiding the achievement of sales goals. But all that collaboration is inconsequential without a sales leader to quarterback the team. Just delivering proposals is not sales leadership; we now have to do more than just make the throw. How do I orchestrate the people and resources within the Selling Center so that we have the right play positioned in the right way and executed with perfect precision? How do I gain and use competitively relevant market information? When do I call on product and process experts? What marketing tools and talents can be tactically leveraged? We use the quarterback comparison to engage while we educate.
the move to modern selling
Sales has been embarrassingly evolutionary while buying behavior and resource allocation have revolutionized. We must catch up and compete through an accelerated modernization of our preparation, proposals, and process. Customers' expectations for efficiency and expertise have elevated beyond those of previous generations. Modern preparation leans more heavily on analysis and acumen. The modern proposal leverages technology to engage and educate. A modern process combines insight and instinct to navigate a decision center and create a customer experience.
sources of successful negotiation
What is your negotiating style? Do you compromise or compete? Do you avoid or accommodate? Or are you always looking for the WIN-WIN collaboration? If you answered any of the previous questions with a resounding declaration of a singular style, then you're only using a fraction of your negotiating faculties. Every one of the common 5 styles of negotiating has a proper place and time. Yet we are so often so loyal to one single strategy. But what if we looked at the 5 styles as a portfolio of successful sources of negotiating power? By deeply understanding each style you can be strategic in how you select your approach to any situation: when to avoid, where to compete, how to accommodate, what to compromise, and when to collaborate. You'll feel more comfortable and confident entering every selling interaction.
influencing through emotional intelligence
There's no place for emotion in business! We hear that all the time. But is it true? Should we be attempting to eradicate emotion? It doesn't matter if it's true and it doesn't matter if we try. As long as business includes humans then it will include emotion. We are emotional beings. So then, how do we manage emotion in business, sales, and negotiation? How do we use it to drive commitment instead of conflict? How do we use it to cleanse instead of cloud? The answers lie in a 4 step process for employing emotional intelligence. We teach you how to understand and manage your emotional state so that you can empathize with and influence the emotions of your customers, colleagues, and constituents. Learning how to properly employ emotional intelligence will elevate your sales, negotiation, and communication skills.
the power in persuasion
The definition of selling is "to persuade someone of the merits of". Somewhere along the way we've downgraded from "persuade" to "present". We are not and cannot be merely "presenters". Presenting takes little skill and has little impact. It is persuasion that changes behavior and creates business. Persuasion causes our customers to overcome their fears to embrace new products and processes. There are forces of persuasion that any sales professional can employ to help customers and constituents fight the fears of change, failure, and uncertainty. It is with these that the sales professional can progress from merely presenting to truly persuading.
navigating the decision center
So many of our customers' decisions are made beyond our reach. We are challenged to deepen our access and broaden our influence. That requires a more holistic approach to gaining approval within a complex decision center. How do we go beyond the traditional point of contact? How do we gain consensus and strengthen support? How do we close sales and immediately open new opportunities? Navigating the Decision Center ultimately comes down understanding the individual needs and collective goals of a customer organization. We present modern mapping, navigating, and messaging techniques so maximize sales efficiency and speed development of productive relationships.
sourcing sales growth
The ability to grow what we own is a core competency of any sales professional. Yet the strategies and tactics we use to source sales growth within our territories or industry spaces are most often antiquated, inefficient, and uninspired. Are we best served sourcing growth from already established accounts? Where and how much should we be prospecting for new accounts? What is the balance between those two endeavors? And what are the unique skills necessary for each? Every organization is different, but there are common processes that can be applied to assess and acquire sales growth in any environment.
seven selling tools
Quality construction of a sales proposal requires the right tools being used at the right time. We need versatile templates for positioning, connecting, questioning, proposing, answering, negotiating, and transitioning. Then we need guidance on how to order and apply those tools depending on the customer, circumstances, and competition. The tools we offer allow you to construct a customized proposal for every interaction without having to reinvent your style and approach each time. You can build proposals that give you the confidence that only comes with quality preparation.
the new customer experience
The combined elements of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship is a Customer Experience. The alignment of a customer's expectation with that customer's experience is essential to an organization's success. That alignment is hard enough on its own, but now the expectations are more diverse so our efforts must be more disciplined. The New Customer Experience is a customizable program created for organizations competing largely on how well their people engage customers, clients, and constituents. Our approach is to provide repeatable processes through which front line team members can offer the empathy and expertise necessary to engender customer comfort and loyalty. The program features benchmarks, best practices and a blueprint for creating and controlling a modern customer experience.