If you aren’t producing the sales results that you need, don’t look for magic bullets. The answer that you are searching for is found in the fundamentals. The fundamentals provide you the simplest, shortest, and straightest path to better results. But that path is not easy.
Pipelines and Prospecting
If you don’t have the pipeline of opportunities you need to make your number, then you are failing at the fundamental that is prospecting. Maybe you aren’t effective enough at that fundamental, but if I had to guess, I’d bet that you just aren’t spending enough time prospecting.
You only improve your pipeline by becoming more effective at prospecting or spending more time prospecting.
Value Creation and Diagnosis
If you aren’t able to build a compelling value proposition that motivates your dream client to act, then you are failing at the fundamental that is diagnosing. In whatever form you do this work, one of the fundamentals of effective selling is discovering the gap between your client’s present state and their desired future.
You improve the fundamental that is diagnosing when you improve your business acumen, when you spend more time with your dream client contacts, and when you work spend time with the people who have no power to give you a deal but possess a deep understanding.
Presentations and Preferences
If you are losing opportunities to competitors at the presentation stage, it’s likely that you are failing at the fundamental that is building relationships. More decisions are being made by consensus, and this means the value you create needs to meet the different needs of varying stakeholders. Without those relationships, you won’t have created the customized value propositions and a preference for you and your solution.
You improve your ability to win at the presentation stage when you have developed the relationships and preferences that make your presentation an academic exercise.
Pricing and Value
If you are always being forced to discount your pricing, you are failing at the fundamental that is selling the value that you create. It means you are struggling to prove that there is a difference between price and cost.
You improve your ability to maintain your pricing when you redirect your dream client to the cost instead of the price, when you provide a justification for your price that they can sell in their organization, and when you can prove that underinvesting is too risky.
If you want to improve your sales results now, your time and energy is best spent focusing on the fundamentals. Avoid distracting initiatives and focus instead on blocking and tackling.
In what areas are you presently struggling to produce results?
What are the fundamentals that underlie your ability to produce those results?
How can you develop a greater command of the fundamentals?
What should you add to your personal and professional development plan to gain greater competency in the fundamentals?
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Filed under: Sales 3.0