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(Level 3) are twice as likely to have a customer-centric culture as Level 2 or- ganizations shown in the matrix above. That focus is more important to success than having a formal sales process. The takeaway: Having a customer- centric culture leads to both higher levels of relationship and higher levels of process.


ALIGNING SALES PROCESS TO THE CUSTOMER’S PATH About one-half of Level 3 organiza- tions in the matrix above reported customer alignment throughout the sales journey – including awareness, buying, and implementation. While aligning to the customer path has always been important, today’s buyer sees a smaller role for sellers through- out their buying journey. This makes it critical for sellers to express their relevance every step of the way. The takeaway: Sellers must map their actions to the buyers’ pro- cesses, rather than the reverse. For example, what is the seller doing to help the customer make the deci- sions they need to make at each point in the process?


PROVIDING INSIGHT AND PERSPECTIVE


The highest-performing organizations were also much more confident in


SELLING TIP Expert Advice: Obstacle Busting


How do you motivate a sales team in tough times? There are ways to show people you feel their pain with- out turning your next meeting into a gripe session. Just follow these five steps.


1. Open by asking a simple question: “What’s keep- ing you from closing sales?” Only when the impedi- ments to success are acknowledged can you come up with a plan to handle them.


2. Determine which obstacles can be influenced or controlled. Don’t waste time moaning about what you can’t fix.


3. Invite input on how these obstacles might be met and overcome.


4. Discuss ways you can measure and define progress. The ways don’t have to be exclusively connected to closings but could be more face-to-face meetings, for example, or more revenue per account.


5. Set a time for a follow-up meeting. A manager who voices concern in a meeting and then disappears is a real demotivator. Your sales team needs to know you’ll still be there tomorrow.


– KIM WRIGHT WILEY


their sellers’ ability to provide insights and perspective to customers. Sixty- five percent of Level 3 organizations meet or exceed expectations in pro- viding customers with thought leader- ship and perspectives to advance their thinking, while just 26 percent of those in Level 1 do the same. As buyers gain access to more information and resources, they see salespeople as less important in guid- ing their business decisions. Sales organizations that retain existing customers and close new business will be those that provide perspective and become trusted partners. The takeaway: Ensure your sellers have everything needed for a critical


element of their sales approach: the ability to provide unique perspective. Arm them with data, insights, and information that help the buyer think differently or see their challenges in a new light. To succeed in 2019, sales leaders


must treat customer experience as a broad, holistic concept practiced throughout the company – not just in sales or marketing. For more action- able tips on fostering these three traits in your sales organization, download the study today. 


Seleste Lunsford is chief research officer of CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group.


SELLING POWER AUGUST 2019 | 35 © 2019 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


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