Do you train and train your staff in "principles-based selling"? No, I do not announce a new sales method or try to impinge on a few companies that call their methods "Principle Based Selling". describe the values we hold, for example integrity, honesty, respect for others. These are important, but not the subject of this post.
What I'm talking about when I use the term "principle-based selling", I focus on identifying the fundamentals that drive sales success for your organization. Do your people understand these basic principles, can they exploit them in situations that they have not encountered before?
What are the fundamental principles that promote the commercial success of your business? Here is something to think about:
- What problems are we the best in the world to solve and why? (The why helps you understand your value.)
- Who are the people and organizations that have these problems and why are these issues important to them? (This guides your prospecting and qualification.)
- How can we help them recognize the problem, commit to change, define what they want to do and involve others in the solution / solution of the problem? (This allows us to better understand our purchasing process and to align our sales process with this purchasing process in order to solve the customer's problem together.)
- How do we hold and value these customers / prospects? (This leads to the customer experience we want to create, both in their buying process and in their implementation.)
- How can we get things done in our own organization, especially when we do not know how to get things done? (This deserves his own message but, but it really is "Where can I get help when I meet something I do not know?")
- Why do we do things the way we do them? (It helps us understand both how to do business in our business, but more importantly what we stand for and how we want to be positioned in the markets / community.) This is part of what sets us apart and our value.
- How do we maximize our personal performance to achieve our goals? (This has to do with our ability to focus on things that produce results and stop doing things that do not.)
There are probably some principles you can add, but there are not necessarily many of them. You could rightly argue that 7 is way too much. In truth, I could probably combine 4, 5, 6.
Think about it, the whole universe of physics and mechanics is guided by just a few underlying principles / laws. We do not need much to guide our salespeople.
But why is it important? Why do I even bother to write this?
The problem is that our people will always face situations that are not described in a game book or covered in a script. They will face things that they have not encountered before – though they may have encountered similar situations, "this one is different."
Basing our people on these basic principles gives them the ability to understand things, to be able to handle every situation with higher chances of success.
Ironically, most of the trend in sales and program promotion is the exact opposite. We use tools, technologies, content, metrics, organizational models in ways that "stultify the salesperson". They become so specialized, so scripted, so focused on processes that they can not handle situations that do not fit they have been trained to do so.
Perhaps this is part of what underlies the collapse of sales performance data.
The problem is that each sales situation has common characteristics, but at the same time, each sales situation is unique because our customers are unique. They are people, human beings, who do not act in a logical, rational or coherent way. They change from day to day.
Combine the challenge of dealing with individuals, who can be ever-changing, with today's consensus decision-making for complex B2B sales, and the number of opportunities that skyrocket, just for that matter. agreement. Then look at all the offers of all our sellers, over time, the number of possibilities that we must "conceive" becomes infinite. (And the infinity is a pretty big number.)
Obviously, we can not design processes, develop playbooks / scripts that even deal with many of these situations. Moreover, as they change constantly, the life cycle of any script becomes very short.
In reality, we can not succeed by being totally prescriptive with what we train / allow our salespeople to do. We can not keep pace with the change or variability of each transaction / situation.
We must have salespeople with critical thinking and problem-solving skills to understand things. We need to train them in basic principles, so that they have the tools to develop the best answers to succeed in all the situations they encounter.
Have you developed the basic principles that underpin your company's ability to generate revenue and create value with customers?
Do you teach your people how to take advantage of these principles to help them find what to do in each situation?