Much of what I help clients accomplish with modern selling strategy and sales training is about communication trends. The modern sales professional understands buying decisions and influences outcomes to help their clients, their organizations, and themselves succeed. A key ingredient to influencing outcomes is communication. So much has changed in our clients’ processes that communication approaches need to be continually evaluated as part of overall sales strategy.
There are some trends that are influencing sales strategy; they hinge on trust, relevance, attention, and integration.
1. Amplification impacts trust. At your favorite concert or show, the amplifiers are partly responsible for your level of enjoyment. They either enhance the sound or erode the sound in a way that’s deafening or not able to be deciphered. In today’s marketplace, there are so many voices with so much access to you (and your buyers), that the sound can become indecipherable noise. Your voice as a modern sales professional needs to be clear, on point, and with the right amplification that you build trust, not erode it.
2. Recency and popularity matter. This is the research behind amplification. Your buyers are paying attention to your recency in the marketplace, as well as your popularity. The right mix of expertise, relevance, and amplification of your voice (and your company’s voice) are required to stay top of mind with your buyers.
3. Attention spans continue to wane, so focus on focus. While I won’t compare your buyers’ attention spans to a goldfish, suffice it to say that there is much competing for their focus. Communication as part of sales strategy all must be geared at improving their focus and decision-making processes with the time you do get. Do that, and you’ll earn more communication time.
4. Integration of Marketing and Sales is not optional. Smart organizations know that investments, strategies and tactics in marketing and sales aren’t conducted independently, but in collaboration. Without collaboration, your communication is disjointed and doesn’t lead to qualified measurable leads and opportunities.
1. Who you’re with will influence your communication style. Are you spending the right amount of time with the decision makers and stakeholders in your key accounts and prospects? When you are with higher-level individuals, your communication style will likely be more focused on strategy, vision, and executive problem solving. Your staff and implementers are equally as important, but your interactions will likely have a different focus. You might focus your efforts more on the details of your solutions and get into the implementation planning and technical aspects of problem solving.
2. Master the sales conversation. Your sales conversations and subsequently your proposals are your main communication vehicles to compel change with your clients. Too many sales professionals leave these to chance or use approaches are too templated. The outcome is looking like everyone else, and not creating the right level of value to create change. Master the sales conversation as part of your sales strategy and you’ll amplify your results.
3. The road from rapport to relationship goes through expertise. This is counterintuitive to much of what we are taught in sales strategy or sales training, which is to focus first on the relationship. Relationship is important, but today we need to reverse the equation. Your executive buyer expects you to bring expertise and value first, to build the relationship. Focus your initial conversations on getting to know your executive buyers through the value they are looking for and then providing that value; you’ll earn the right to continue building the relationship.
4. Consultative and value-based selling are more important than ever. Consultative and value-based selling aren’t new concepts; however, they haven’t been mastered or they’re misunderstood by most sales professionals. Consultative selling involves a willingness to ask tough questions, qualify sales opportunities, and analyze those opportunities from angles that cause a client to think differently. Value-based selling involves the positioning of value over fees and price, confidently standing at the premium end of the market, and understanding the outcomes, success metrics, and motivations behind your executive decision makers.
Amy Franko is the leader in sales strategy and sales leadership coaching, helping you to design best-in-class sales programs and address communication trends that accelerate growth. To significantly improve the outcomes of your sales strategy, let’s schedule a conversation. Don’t let your competition get an advantage. Contact us to schedule a conversation with Amy.