Developing a professional sales organization culture


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The future of sales is there is no sales. Company representatives will behave more like film producers and will focus on finding the right projects and partners rather than driving a sale. This shift will demand significantly different behaviors and skills.

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Developing a professional sales organization culture

  1. 1. Sales 101 Developing a professional sales organization culture Jeremiah Fellows | Director, Sales and Marketing
  2. 2. A History of Sales From bad to better then back to bad Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 2
  3. 3. Traditional Sales Sales behaviors are based on information scarcity Sales are made by selectively releasing and withholding information to create misconceptions and dependencies. As information becomes ubiquitous it is easier for the buyer to compete. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 3
  4. 4. Solution Selling As customers have increasing access to information sales is becoming better at listening. Sales are made by listening for “pain points” and crafting a solution to address those pain points. There is little differentiation between sales people and the products and services they sell. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 4
  5. 5. The Present Customers can identify their own pain points and solve complex problems on their own. Sophisticated buyers make salespeople quote generators competing on price. Salespeople respond by reverting to hoarding and manipulating information. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 5
  6. 6. The Future of sales It’s about the right skills and the right customer Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 6
  7. 7. There is no sales. Sales is dead. Sales is being replaced by collaborative discovery. Sales people are looking more like film producers. Collaborative sales is defined by transparency, candor and mutual exploration. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 7
  8. 8. The Skills This is no longer an issue of introverted versus extroverted. Collaborative salespeople have emotional intelligence. They are smart, not clever. They have an intense curiosity. The future is salesperson is defined by creativity and improvisation. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 8
  9. 9. Targeting Find the customers willing to mutually explore the issues and collaborate on a solution. This is more work than issuing an RFP and treating vendors as commodities. These customers are harder find. These customers are not average. These customers exist in the fringes. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 9
  10. 10. Qualifying The solution and the customer issues must be in alignment. Understand the issues. Know the impact of solving the problem or capitalizing on the opportunity. Define success. You are not the star. Learn to coach. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 10
  11. 11. Issues A request for a solution does not define the problem. Dig deep. Use the Five Why’s. Understand the issue ecosystem. Understand the priorities. Be willing to walk away. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 11
  12. 12. Impact Quantify the result of solving the problem or capitalizing on an opportunity. Understand the measure of success. Define it in dollars where possible. Not every problem is worth solving. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 12
  13. 13. Decision Understand who, when and why of the decision process. There may be many processes. Why will they say yes? Why will they say no? Who should be in the discussion? How do they measure success? Don’t guess. Ask. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 13
  14. 14. Coach You developed the solution together. Let them be the hero. They might have the right access. They might pitch it better. Coach others to make your case for you. Coaching happens with people. Sales happens to people. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 14
  15. 15. Case Studies What I have done right (and wrong). Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 15
  16. 16. Case Study: Impact A client asked us to develop an online form with an integration to a back end system. This project was to reduce the time employees spent doing data entry. As part of developing a proposal and estimate we dug into the clients process. We determined they spend an average of 40 hours a year doing the data entry. We estimated it would cost around $150K to develop the software necessary to automate the data entry. We could have gone for the win and taken the opportunity at face value. Because we asked a lot of “Why’s” we escaped proposing a project that would take 150 years to realize ROI. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 16
  17. 17. Resources Brilliant people and what they have to say. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 17
  18. 18. Links & Books • The End of Solution Sales • Provoking your customers • Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship • To Sell is Human • This is Service Design Thinking • This book has great information about Personas and customer journeys told from the perspective of a service designer. Sales is a service. This information especially relevant. Jeremiah Fellows: Collaborative Selling 18
  19. 19. Jeremiah Fellows Director, Sales and Marketing Aspenware LinkedIn @JwFellows