Global sales excellence study 2012 analysis

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What makes the difference between top 10% of most successful companies and the bottom 10% according to the study.

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Global sales excellence study 2012 analysis

  1. 1. Sales Excellence Survey 2012 Global Results and commentary
  2. 2. Sales Excellence Study 2012 The Survey 1.150 phone interviews 72 Statements concerning sales practises 23 countries 15 different industries July/August 2012 © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB 2
  3. 3. Sales Excellence Study 2012 Differentiated selling Selling is not always the same. Salespeople are confronted with different situations. Sales situations vary because of the different expectations customers have on salespeople and due to the quality of the relation-ship between customer and sales person. The parameters can be described as follows: Customer expectations on salespeople: There are situations in which a customer does not expect any information or consultation from a salesperson. The customer regards them as primarily occupying a "doing" function. This is typically the case when a customer purchases the same products on a regular basis. They know each other and the mutual interactions are familiar and practiced. The customer expects a certain degree of customer orientation, looks for friendly service and perhaps enjoys the interpersonal contact. However they do not expect any information on service benefits, services, added values, etc. This is similar to situations in which customers believe that they do not need consultation. Naturally they will not seek or expect any consultation from a salesperson. This is generally the case when a customer is very satisfied with its current suppliers and believes that it has good level of market awareness. The situation is different when a customer does not routinely purchase from the supplier and lacks expertise of its own ,or has low market awareness. Customers then expect information, at the very least, from salespeople and in many cases expect consultation (or even that decisions be made on their behalf). In the survey we expressed the polarity of this parameter with the statements: We are facing prospects and customers who know what their needs are and which kind of solution they need... Aitude of the buyer towards the offer: A customer may have a very negative aitude and completely reject the supplier and their product or service ("against") or at least have a highly sceptical aitude ("resistant"). This frequently happens in the case of new customer contacts when the customer believes they have no need of the products or services or when the customer and salesperson do not know each other. The situation is different when the customer and supplier know each other or a We are facing prospects and customers who do not know precisely what their needs are and which kind of solution they need... customer has not yet found a satisfactory solution. The customer has a neutral or generally positive aitude towards the suppler ("receptive"). In the best case the customer and salesperson know each other well. The customer is satisfied with the quality of the solution and the relationship is characterised by loyalty. In the survey we expressed the polarity of this parameter with the statements: We have mainly to overcome resistance from prospects and customers in our selling processes... © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB We are mainly facing prospects and customers who are open and receptive to us 3
  4. 4. Sales Excellence Study 2012 Differentiated selling When these two parameters (customer expectation and aitude towards the seller) are combined in a matrix one can identify four distinct sales situations which require different selling styles: We have mainly to overcome resistance from prospects and customers in our selling processes... AGAINST Assertive Selling We are facing prospects and customers who know what their needs are and which kind of solution they need... DO IT RESISTANT INFORMATION Consultative Selling ADVICE DECISION RECEPTIVE Relational Selling IN FAVOUR We are facing prospects and customers who do not know precisely what their needs are and which kind of solution... Expert Selling We are mainly facing prospects and customers who are open and accept us © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB 4
  5. 5. Sales Excellence Study 2012 Differentiated selling The selling styles required for the different sales situations can be described as follows: Assertive selling: Salespeople encounter customers who know exactly what they want and are dismissive towards the salesperson ("I know what I want and I don't want to work with you"). In this case the sales-person faces two hurdles. The customer does not want any contact with him and does not need anything-or is satisfied with their current supplier/s. The task then is to establish contact and to aempt to create or establish a new/ additional need. Naturally, aerwards the salesperson has to show that his offer satisfies this need beer than the other suppliers' offers. This is a typical selling situation in proactive market development that demands a high degree of personal magnetism and charisma from the salesperson. Due to the changes in buying behaviour this is a situation that more and more selling companies are facing. Consultative selling: In this situation customers seek advice from a supplier. They face a new challenge and do not yet know how they can overcome it. However, they have a negative or sceptical aitude towards the supplier ("I don't know what I want but I don't want to work with you"). These customers are oen generally satisfied with their existing suppliers. Traditional discussion structures (demand analyses) are therefore normally ineffective here as reaching the same perceived level as other preferred suppliers is too difficult. The company's only chance is that salesperson positions the company not as a supplier, but rather as a consultant and makes a truly creative and differentiated offer. Of course this offer must make a stronger contribution to the customer's success than existing competitor offers do This demands specially skilled sales people. In addition to product knowledge they must also possess sector knowledge and commercial awareness. They must know the typical challenges in the market, the competitor's positioning/strategies and the implementation hurdles. The company will only win business by presenting an offer that is significantly different to that of the established suppliers. The new offer will need to enable the customer to overcome challenges beer and do it in a way that will provide credible added value - and greater success. This is another selling situation that growth oriented companies are facing more frequently. Expert selling: As in Consultative selling, in Expert selling customers face a new challenge for which they are still seeking a solution. But in this situation they are generally positive towards the offer ("I don't know what I need but I want to work with you"). The priority now is to understand the customer correctly and to produce the right solution. As opposed to Consultative selling, it is not necessary to work on establishing competence or to differentiate the company from competitors. In the eyes of the customer, the company already possesses an image of "the expert” that can be built on. The traditional route can be taken using a demand analysis. Relational selling: In this case the business relationship is already established and the customer places orders on a regular basis which do not have to be renegotiated each time or require input from the sales-person ("I know what I want and I want it from you"). Sales activity then focuses on the customer relationship and less on the product, services or a specific solution. This demands interpersonal and social competences from the salespersons, who must take ownership of the customer relationship . In this study we have investigated how oen these selling situations occur with individual companies. One can clearly see that there are differences between the companies surveyed. © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB 5
  6. 6. Sales Excellence Study 2012 Differentiated selling If we apply these percentages to the differentiated selling matrix it becomes apparent that Top 10% and Boom 10% are facing different aitudes among their customers. The Top 10% have to do less of Assertive and Consultative Selling than the Boom 10%. This is not by coincidence as we will see on the following page. Top 10% 30% 21% Assertive Selling 9% Consultative Selling 70% 30% 49% Relational Selling 21% Expert Selling 70% Boom 10% 40% 28% Assertive Selling 12% Consultative Selling 70% 30% 42% Relational Selling 18% Expert Selling 60% © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB 6
  7. 7. Sales Excellence Study 2012 Main competence strengths of salespeople Relational Selling competencies (being service minded, building rapport) are well developed within sales at all levels. But when it comes to competencies more related to the new demanding situations, the Top 10% are much more skilled than the Boom 10%. They have the right competencies in the crucial assertive and consultative selling. The biggest differentiators are in the “new” skills strongly linked to the two major challenges of the new buying landscape : facing buying autonomy and facing resistance. Among Boom performers, there is a competence gap, from the “classic “ sales skills to the “new skills landscape” . Yet this is where many companies still make their training investments. 84% ... are service minded, give the customer what he expects 79% 77% 83% ... building rapport and relationship, have social competence, are emphatic 75% 68% 85% ... are experts for the customer’s business their processes and markets 76% 67% 78% ... working in a very structured way (activity planning, seing priorities for customers and products) 67% 54% 85% ... are assertive, convincing, having charisma, being resistant to failure 69% 61% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Illustration 1: To what extent do you agree the following statements (top 2 boxes out of seven), n=1.150 Statements with differences > 20% between top 10% and Boom 10% are marked in red © Copyright 2012 Mercuri International Group AB 7

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