Holden Advisors has the privilege of working with some of the top global sales organizations which affords us visibility into challenges that leaders in those organizations face on a daily basis. We're frequently asked about these common challenges because they might be applicable to issues encountered by other companies. The following represent the top three themes that we see across our sales performance engagements that Holden Advisors has encountered over the past 10 years.
- No Scrubs: Customers and buyers are tired of product pushers. They expect sales reps to have expert level knowledge of their ecosystems and have the ability to recommend solutions that allow them to monetize their top opportunities.
- Earn It: Sellers can’t show up and expect business to auto renew. Relationships are important, but they can't stand on their own. Sellers have to actively differentiate their solutions from alternatives (including “do nothing” and home-grown systems) that might actually be good enough.
- Show the Money: As the average attention span continues to decline, sellers struggle to succinctly quantify their offering so customers understand the benefits you're driving. Don't waste time citing features and benefits. Get to the difference you make on their bottom line.
Consider the impact on your business if the following were true:
- Your sales team was knowledgeable to the point that the customer says, “Hey, you know my business better than I do!”
- Sellers understand not only how your customers make money but can discretely and simply quantify how your solutions impact your customers’ top-line or profitability.
- Finally, imagine that every member of your sales team can demonstrate these capabilities through messaging that resonates with customers and accelerates the sales opportunities through their pipelines.
Achieving that future state might not be as far away as you think. We find that organizations need to do just a handful of things better to get there: understand why customers use their products, what those products do for them, and how that's different than alternatives they have available. The key is to wrap these outcomes together with a communication package that not only has customers agreeing with you but engaging in a real discussion.
Based on our research and experience, these principles have been incorporated as best practices. When adopted across a sales process, from prospecting all the way to closing deals, you'll see and feel a meaningful impact in how clients interact with you. Transitioning from a transactional vendor to a trusted advisor will position you to drive performance mutually for customers and your organization.