A Rather Incomplete List of My Beliefs on Sales

  • Both businesses and salespeople have to make a choice as to whether to be transactional or whether to create some higher level of value.
  • An individual salesperson has the power to create a higher level of value for their clients. But doing so requires that the salesperson knows and understands their role, as well as developing their ability to create value.
  • The nature of the relationships between sales organizations and their salespeople with their clients has changed. It is no longer enough to have a relationship based solely on a personal relationship. Lasting business relationships require an economic benefit as well.
  • All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still win. It is the salesperson’s role to ensure that all things are unequal and, by doing so, tilt the playing field in their direction.
  • It is better to do battle for mind share than it is to do battle on a spreadsheet. It is better to have a relationship that enables value creation, value conversations, and collaboration than it is to compete on measures that ignore subjective decision criteria and over weight allegedly objective criteria.
  • A process that enables opportunity creation is more powerful than a process that favors responding to existing client needs. Effective salespeople sell from in front of the buyer’s process, not from behind.
  • Business acumen and situational knowledge are more important than sales acumen.
  • Effective salespeople can explain the process of change to their clients. They share the value proposition for every sales interaction, deliver that value, and gain the commitments necessary to moving the process of change forward.
  • The foundation of every relationship is trust. The foundation of trust is caring. Effective salespeople create trust by being other-focused as opposed to self-oriented.
  • It is no longer enough to react to your client’s needs once they have recognized some form of dissatisfaction. Salespeople must now be proactive and lead their clients to the new outcomes they need, guiding their thinking and managing change.
  • The best opportunities are future-oriented, helping the client with their current challenge or opportunity as well as building a platform for future initiatives and future results. The best salespeople generate new ideas and present new initiatives quarter after quarter.
  • Sales organizations and salespeople own the outcomes they sell. They are now accountable for the outcomes, regardless of the product, service, or solution they sell.
  • Decisions that are expensive, complex, and risky require consensus. Salespeople need to enter into opportunities with the goal of identifying stakeholders and helping them build consensus.
  • If you create value, you are entitled to capture a fair portion of the value that you create.

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