What we do know is that in today's world of selling, there is less and less room for apprenticeship. Selling has become an exclusive club of highly skilled professionals, where product knowledge, time management skills, objection-handling, cold calling techniques, and the ability to distinguish between features and benefits for instance, are the cost of membership, not leadership.
Ongoing research demonstrates that today's 'average' salesperson is just as effective as the high performer in relating a service or product to customer needs and closing a sale. But, above this basic plateau of competence, the exceptional salesperson, the salesperson that is no danger of becoming extinct, is busy defining the "basic skills of tomorrow.”
Building an up-to-date foundation in sales competence does mean sacrificing some old notions of what it takes to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
For example, a salesperson can no longer just "win by knowing.” Every company needs to test their assumptions about what skills really contribute to sales success. Too often, operating on old sales theories means training and rewarding people to do the wrong things.
The reality is that when the buyer and seller act as partners, they are building a bridge to profitability – not just short- term gain, but rather long-term sustainable profitability.
Successful selling is definitely not about the "hit and run" sale. Sales achievers regard their relationships with key customers as a partnership and cultivate it as such. When customers face tough business challenges and complex technological choice, they rely on salespeople who can assist them in making the right decisions - these salespeople, have very wide commercial band-widths, and speak the language of buyers.
The primary objective of a sales partnership has to be - to create and sustain a mutually productive relationship, which serves the needs of both parties, now and in the future. The key word here is symbiotic. Partnership does not mean eliminating the tension between buyer and seller - it means that top-performing salespeople know how to strike a balance between achieving immediate results and developing the relationship fully.
In Summary - Why Do We Need A Fresh Approach To Selling?
Many organizations have developed without objective analysis of their purpose and structure. The buying power in many industries is no longer evenly distributed - in a large number of markets a few big firms control the majority of purchases.
The development of new marketing techniques has meant that some tasks,
traditionally performed by the sales team, can be more effectively handled by other methods. The prime objective of all sales staff is to gain business. From an organisational point of view, however, the manner in which they all achieve their goals must be defined in order to identify what kind, and the quality, of skills that are required.
It really is time we re-defined selling, isn’t it?
Copyright © 2019 by Jonathan Farrington All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission of the publisher.