The sales skills that truly make the difference to your competitors are not so numerous as this, and generally they are not properly identified. We will not hide it, it is very difficult to discard the ideas that circulate on the sale for decades. But more and more data show another face of sales and skills that allow representatives to differentiate themselves. One of the best examples of this gradual shift has been the attractiveness of consultative selling in recent years.
The gap between the common perception of what a good representative is and the reality creates significant skills gaps because sales leaders do not work to develop the right skills. Moreover, it is very easy to say that sellers need training on the conclusion of sales when the conclusions ratios are low. This solution has been presented as the right thing to do for a long time … too long even. Because we do not know what we do not know, it is difficult to think that it is possible to work differently to really solve the problem of closing sales.
That is why I share today the infographics that show the sales skills that allow teams and representatives to differentiate themselves from the competition, to be performing and to reach the next level .
The acquisition of new customers is costly and requires a lot of time and effort, so the sales organizations that perform best are distinguished by their ability to achieve the full value of each existing customer.
This uses the skills of a “farmer” vendor, which includes:
- The ability to reach all decision-makers in the various business departments
- Do not accept objections or postponements of decisions
- Attempting to close sales at first opportunity
- Effectively manage price issues without compromising
Unsurprisingly, advisory sales skills are on the list. While today everyone is able to access an unprecedented volume of information in a few clicks, the representatives can no longer make a difference because of their technical knowledge of what they offer.
For potential customers and clients, the value of a sales representative is in what they can bring to clarify their vision, their approach to the problem and help them make the best decision for the company . Computer graphics show that there is room for improvement, as only 64% of buyers believe that representatives are able to bring these new ideas and perspectives.
Essential skills for advisory sales include:
- The ability to ask a lot of relevant questions and difficult questions
- The identification of the unavoidable reasons to buy
- The comprehensive understanding of the decision-making and purchase
Here we talk about the skills that enable sales organizations to help prospects exit the status quo or become aware of the strategic opportunities that are within their reach. If representatives stop when prospective customers say “I do not need this product or service,” they lack the skills to help clients perceive strategic opportunities.
Often, the status quo is the most difficult competitor to eliminate , but many representatives and managers are not aware of it. No effort is therefore made to develop this critical skill for sales performance.
It is estimated that if all representatives were able to supply their pipeline with sufficient sales opportunities, 50% of the sales problems of the company would be resolved . It is not about being in the magical thinking here, but rather about putting the finger on the problem at the root of other challenges such as low closing ratios, excessive length of sales cycles , and so on.
In the reality of many sales forces, at certain times of the year, efforts are put on closing sales and then on filling the pipeline to others. The whole is organized according to cycles more or less long during which, the representatives dedicate the majority of their efforts to a stage of the process of sale. The problem is that with these cyclical activities, sales also become cyclical instead of constant . Do not see sales cycles as the breeding cycles of many animals that are based on the seasons!