When sellers lose a sale, we often hear something like: The other vendor had an in. Our competitor offered a lower price. We didn’t have the best solution. They decided to do nothing at all.
The world around us is shifting—in virtually every way. Savvy sellers have caught on to the fact that B2B buying behavior is changing as well.
There's one question I wish I got asked more when working with leaders looking to invest in B2B sales training. That question is, "What will it really take to get the best results?" If you're a seller, you can probably relate to the experience of a well-meaning trainer giving examples from an industry that had nothing to do with yours. Or maybe they didn't have a credible track record to back up their claims. And when the training was over, it was back to business as usual the next morning.
Sales coaching—working one-on-one or in small groups with firms and individuals in a highly focused manner to help them increase effectiveness, revenues, and sales—is a large part of what I do on a day-to-day basis. Done right, it’s one of the most powerful, impactful ways to increase revenue and boost individual or group performance.
Most of my clients want to have better meetings with senior executives. Meetings that feel like conversations, not pitches. Meetings that build deeper relationships. Meetings that uncover more ways in which they can help their customers. Behind closed doors, when I ask what's holding them back, many will tell me things like, "I don't feel comfortable," "I have nothing to offer to them,"" or "I'm not at their level." Selling to the C-suite can be difficult, and getting a first meeting can be a real challenge. But, in my experience, the most difficult part is not getting the first meeting. It's getting the second one. Or the third one. It's keeping the relationship going.
Want to make more sales? Start by having better conversations. Think about it. You spent months chasing a senior decision maker or prospect, making calls, and sending e-mails, and they finally agreed to sit down with you. You invested significant amounts of time, effort, energy and—sometimes considerable—resources to win them over. And now you find yourself in a room with a senior executive. Now what?
What is the #1 challenge or issue you face when it comes to growing sales for your business? When I recently reached out to my network and asked that same question, 75% mentioned sales prospecting as their #1 challenge. The problem isn’t that people don’t know what to do; it’s that what they’ve always done no longer works. Want proof? Think about the last time you met an actual decision maker at a networking event, and that conversation led to a sale. How about from a cold call? Trade show? Advertisement? The simple truth is this: if you do what everybody else is doing, you’ll get the same results everybody else is getting.