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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Information of Strategic Selling

I’ve recently integrated a question into our enterprise sales process that has helped us better read the existing politics and more importantly win the business. I take a step back and ask who should have been solving this organization’s problem in the first place? Sometimes that’s an easy question to answer. A marketing problem belongs to marketing; a supply chain problem belongs to the supply chain group. However, many problems are not as obvious when it comes to determining who should have owned it and solved it.

A cockroach clearly knows that there is an infestation, but, the cockroach never calls the exterminator.

After I identify the cockroach in the process I make it a point to figure out how to make that individual an ally. Why do they feel threatened by the enterprise solution we are discussing? Why would they feel that they are to blame or are at risk if we are to move forward? If that doesn’t work it’s time to figure out who else in the group would hire the exterminator. This is often a senior leader that may not even be aware their team member feels threatened, feels responsible for the problem, and this actually blocks progress.

Once you’ve identified the issue and had the conversation it’s amazing how quickly the tides will turn. Often the leader needs to reassure the cockroach that they have full confidence in him or her and in their abilities. That it’s OK to go outside for assistance and that they are entertaining a solution because no one in the organization presents the same expertise and experience that you do as an outsider. In fact, the leader typically would prefer that because as an outsider you are free to speak the truth relative to your observations and what is needed to rectify the current situation.

Always be able to identify the cockroach early in the enterprise sales process. You’re an exterminator; if you’re selling to the cockroach you are wasting your time and energy.

Targeted Prospecting Strategy

Existing Accounts
Since your existing customers are the best place to make more sales – via buying the same, cross-selling and up-selling – this is where your prospecting campaign should start. In these accounts you have or should have multiple contacts. You should also have worked your way to the C-Suite or General Manager’s office where you’ve developed relationships that consist of more than just saying hello in the hallways. Therefore, with all these positive relationships which you have nurtured you can ask these people for more business and to buy the other products and services you sell. These people will also be pleased to introduce you and refer you to other parts of their company – departments, divisions, product-lines, subsidiaries, etc. However, if you don’t ask and don’t pursue selling all the relevant products and services you offer, they won’t chase after you begging to buy them.

Now if you haven’t met, interviewed and develop a relationship with these other contacts and top people, then my suggestion is to begin this process. Set-up meetings using your existing contacts to meet others. Your reason, if they ask for one and you are struggling to come up with one, is “You’d like to be sure you are meeting their expectations and interviewing them and learning from them will be the only way you’ll know for sure how you are doing.”

Competitors’ Accounts
Competitors are trying to break into your accounts or increase their share in joint accounts. So you’d be stupid not to go after theirs. Competitors are selling the same products and services you offer. They may have the full share or a portion and those accounts should be ideal for you. The reason you haven’t cracked that account or become the preferred and dominant supplier is because you lack the positive, professional relationships. That is, many of the decision-makers, those directly involved and their bosses don’t see you as giving them what they want better than any other alternative.

The way to accomplish this is to set-up meetings and interview these decision makers to learn what each wants as it relates to your solutions and how they’d like to get these desires and/or solutions to their stated problems. This is the time to stop marketing i.e. telling them what you have and why they should have it and why they should buy from you, and start learning what each individual wants and how s/he wants to get it.

This is the time to pursue becoming their second source. So learn and ask, “What do I have to do to become your second source?”

The reason you’d like to be the second source is because customers are always having issues with their vendors – no matter what. They don’t switch typically because it’s takes too much effort and there may be a risk. However, if the customer has a second choice that has establish him or herself to their satisfaction, then they will call that source in a heartbeat.

So Listen to the answer and determine if you can do it. I would suggest you don’t say on the spot you can do whatever they ask. Give it some thought so you show sincerity. Then develop how a presentation of how you will prove you can deliver what s/he asked for. Be sure you do this with multiple contacts in that account, because usually multiple people will make the decision, especially the bosses and especially if a change is involved.

I tell everyone I coach that if you do this, I guarantee within 6 weeks you will get an order that would have gone to the competitor.

Greenfield Accounts
I call them this because if they can use your types of products or services, it’s hard to imagine you don’t have a competitor. So these could be accounts where they do it themselves or do it in another way. Again the solution is interviewing and establishing yourself… if you can. But be careful, this account may not be ideal for you. This implies you should have developed an ideal profile so you can determine after a few interviews whether or not this account is worth pursuing.

Part of your interview (which you can use with competitors and your own accounts) is, “What do you like about what you use or do now?” Listen intently and get details. Then ask, “What do you dislike or would change?” Again listen aggressively. Caution: don’t just focus on what they don’t like, because they are buying the part that they like. The answers to these questions will give you the specification of what you will have to do or deliver to win-over this individual. Again, be sure you do this with multiple people because usually multiple people will make the decision, especially the bosses and especially since this is a change.

Streamline Business Processes

A high-quality CRM system is one that saves businesses the worries and blues of data security. Such kind of system will be feature-rich and cloud based bringing granular control over every aspect related to the data and its security. More so, it lets businesses and their every part have a 360 degree view of their customers. More so, its implementation in the business has an impact on virtually all processes and operations. So, if it helps sales team to close deals faster, then it also lets marketing teams keep a track on campaigns. Similarly, the time taken to resolve customer complaints is cut down drastically.

Additionally, a powerful CRM system will give businesses the freedom of being run on any device. It will be built in a manner to scale with your business and supporting its future growth and expansion in an effortless manner. More so, businesses will have the ease of contact management together with mapping, tracking and analysing sales opportunities. It becomes easy to keep an eye on every lead and every customer – something businesses want badly. With all information at their fingertips and ready to retrieve anytime, it becomes extremely easy for business to reach to only right people and sell their wares.

More so, leveraging the cloud means businesses will always have social insights and up-to-date information regarding each and every aspect of their operations and customers. Similarly, there will be an opportunity to hire experts and handle them all what is not part of the core activities or operations. Doing this will free up resources and help businesses concentrate on the most vital aspect – the operations. The best thing about a cloud-based CRM is that it makes everything connected with an organization. So, it becomes easy to manage the operations and track the performance even while on the go, or when away.

In a sense, your business will benefit a great deal if it decides to go with a feature-rich and proven CRM system. It does not matter whether you are a small entity or a big corporation, you will need operations and systems to be organized and streamlined. You will need your business to benefit from Salesforce consulting services and grow by expanding its capabilities and competencies. So, you should only trust an expert or certified partner so that the business can benefit from the chosen CRM in the best possible way or manner.

Sales Meeting Primer

1. Have a specific GOAL, or list of OBJECTIVES, that will define the purpose of the meeting. When the meeting is called to discuss a specific project, then your goal is to get the information you need to determine how you will meet the client’s expectations and the project time-table. You must also determine whether you can do the job on your own, or if will you need to sub-contract some part of it. A few days before the meeting, start jotting down questions that will bring out the necessary info.

2. Create a meeting AGENDA, which can be that list of questions you’ve come up with.

3. Arrive EARLY to the meeting,15 minutes ahead of time. Go to the restroom and check your appearance.

4. Turn off your PHONE.

5. Do not TALK TOO MUCH. Remember that the meeting’s purpose is for you to gather information and for the client to communicate project needs and timetable, confirm that you are qualified to do the job and get a sense of how it will be to work with you. By all means, greet your client with some friendly banter that reveals your authentic self. A minute or two of social lubricant is necessary to relax everyone. Just don’t let the chit-chat go on and on. You are the one who must gracefully segue into the business conversation.

6. Don’t be PASSIVE. Remember that you’ve been invited into the meeting to make a contribution, to add your expert insights and opinions. Speak up when necessary. Ask questions, provide answers.

All about Direct Marketing

Nearly everyone you talk to about internet marketing talks about email lists and how they send emails using an auto responder service, offering their wears to the subscriber. I wonder how many emails are sent on a daily basis offering something for sale? Probably countless millions.

This means of course that everyone’s email inbox is getting more crowded by the day. How many emails have you received today? How many of them have you opened and read? How many of them have you clicked through to the sales page and bought something?

Because everyone is receiving so many emails they’re just not being opened by the reader. All to the internet marketers despair. So they come up with more creative ways of enticing the subscriber to open the email using more outrageous headlines, more offers and promises than they cannot fulfil.

So, back to the question, why is the Direct Marketing business on a growth right now? Well, the answer should be obvious if you have read the previous paragraphs.
Think of it from your own point of view. If you receive a letter through the door, do you open it? How many do you open? All of them probably, except your bills right?

The ‘savy’ entrepreneur is looking towards Direct Marketing because they have much more of a chance of getting their message read by the subscriber. People’s mailboxes are not that crowded any more, as more and more marketers are turning to email. Well, their leaves a great opportunity.

Let me tell you a story of when I was a young lad. I was really into my magic and loved card tricks. I visited my local library and found a book on card tricks with an advert in! Wow, an advert in the back of a book, who would have thought of such a thing? It was advertising a magicians club I could join for around £20.00 per year. Well back then at the beginning of the 1980’s £20 was a lot of money to a ten year old lad like me. But, I was sold with the promise of a monthly magazine and the opportunity to purchase lots of magic tricks! I wonder if that line would ever work again?

“You will have the opportunity to purchase lots of magic tricks from us.”

I did join and I never regretted spending that £20. I did buy lots of magic tricks from them and as an adult I still love magic and still spend a ton of money on cards and books.

Back then there were no computers like there is today. A monthly magazine is so easy to put together these days, with computers and word processing applications and printers are so cheap. All you need is content right?

Well that magicians magazine was very clever. The editor didn’t write anything except the introduction each month. He was clever enough to get a whole bunch of magicians to write for him for free! This was getting their name out there in the magic world, and they could offer their own magic tricks in each article that they wrote. Genius!

So as this relates to today. How difficult do you think it would be to get people to write in a monthly magazine that you are sending via the post, not email, for free? Would you write an article for a monthly magazine that you knew was being sent to thousands of subscribers each month? I bet you would, it would be a golden opportunity right? Get your name out there, with a link to your website. Get recognition, credibility.

If you choose a niche that has loads of people interested in and there is not much information on the internet about it, there lies a fantastic opportunity for the Direct Marketer. A yearly subscription for a magazine, one that you don’t even have to write in, full of expert advice from different writers that you get to choose.