find it easier to align internal check- points around their goals. As a result, they will be able to demonstrate value and build on it during the entire sales process – enabling the sales leader- ship team to understand what custom- ers are looking for and also helping to build a strong, effective team. Organizations need insights into won opportunities as well as lost opportuni- ties. This will quickly uncover problem areas and coaching topics so sales leaders can mentor their reps. Having accurate, up-to-the-minute data and cli- ent information without having to leave an existing solution (such as Salesforce) also saves significant time.

START OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT When organizations gather better data during the discovery stage and accurately capture what the customer wants and needs, that leads to a better prioritization of opportunities. The sales development team is then able to provide more valuable cus- tomer insight when handing a lead off to a sales rep. In today’s market, a customer-focused sales motion process is imperative to success. According to a recent study, 89% of business customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. Gathering and act- ing on feedback makes this possible. An organization’s response to what they learn proves to the customer that they are truly listening and want to solve their problems. This instant vis- ibility into customers’ needs enables organizations to quickly gauge how to engage with customers, prioritize opportunities, and pinpoint areas of improvement – all the while becom- ing that trusted advisor.


Having a single view of the customer goes a long way toward supporting customer engagement goals. In many organizations, however, customer data can be found scribbled on notepads, sitting in spreadsheets, or scattered across multiple platforms. Information

that does make it into CRMs is often incomplete and incorrect. Organizations need to house all assessments and workflows in a single repository that is integrated with their CRM – enabling sales teams access to clean, real-time data within the systems and processes they use every day.

DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL If sales teams have valuable insights at their fingertips, they can deliver hyper-personalized buying experi- ences for customers and close more deals. Best of all, they don’t need to recreate processes to make it happen. In today’s competitive marketplace and ever-changing world, a significant part of differentiation is based on how organizations listen, engage, and serve their customers. To do so, com-

SELLING TIP Get Beyond Price

One of selling’s most nagging problems has to be the price objection. When it comes to cost, the customer has a common measuring device – price – and you’ve got to deal with it. Here’s how. Put off the discussion of price until after you have clearly pointed out the

features that make your product or service superior to that of your compet- itor – and, as to each feature, the specific benefit it will bring this particular buyer. Don’t talk about what it is, but about what it will do for the buyer. Before the question of price comes up, get your prospect to want that prod- uct or service of yours. The more he wants it, the easier your job becomes. Once the prospect wants your product or service, the cost will become a minor consideration – even though he might continue to complain about your price being too high and the fact that he can buy your competitor’s product or service for less.

Remember this: People will pay whatever they have to pay in order to get what they want, provided they can be convinced that they can’t get it for less. That’s why you’ll read about people shelling out $30,000 for a bottle of wine, $10,000,000 for a painting, $2,000 for a ringside seat. The desire to acquire something makes its cost a secondary consider- ation, limited only by the buyer’s ability to pay for it. That ability to pay (assuming the desire is strong enough) is, in turn, limited only by the maxi- mum amount he or she can beg, borrow, or steal. So don’t worry about price, even though established customs force you to haggle about it. Find out what your prospect wants that your product or service can provide for him; then, just keep reminding him that you have the benefits to satisfy his wants and needs.



Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. DR. BENJAMIN SPOCK

panies must leverage feedback and insights throughout the entire sales process – from initial engagement to post-sales delivery. Having the data is one thing, but embedding it into your processes and sales motion is critical to the sales organization’s success – and, most importantly, to how you find, get, and keep those meaningful relationships with your customers. 

Mary Beth Addison is senior vice presi- dent, Sales, at

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