Sales Success Stategies provided by Red Card (http://www.redcard-solutions.com)
Accessing “C”-Level Decision Makers: The Key to Selling to Big Companies
By Jill Konrath
Getting in to see senior executives can be tough, but by following these guidelines you’ll be welcomed with open arms:
1. Target 5-10 companies that fit your ideal customer profile. On a macro level this means things like industry, size, geography. Other considerations may include current system in place, corporate culture, industry trends and industry position.
2. Spend a minimum of 2-3 hours conducting research on each company, including their web site, annual report, and any news from past 12 months.
3. Search for the alignment between your business and the targeted companies. Executives could care less about your products or services. All they want to know is how it contributes to their desired business outcomes.
4. Prepare a loose script for making an executive-level call. Be prepared for voicemail, actually reaching a live body or talking to the executive’s administrative assistant. In your script make sure you state that you’ve conducted significant research on their company and would like to share an idea about how they can achieve their objectives. Then ask for a brief meeting to share the concept.
5. When calling an executive, make sure you get the administrative assistant’s name. After you’ve tried several times to reach him/her – enlist the assistant’s help in setting a meeting.
6. When you meet with the C-level executive, do not talk about your products or service. Talk about how you can help their business be more profitable, get a jump on competitors, reduce costs, maximize use of existing technologies, drive sales through the channel — or whatever other business result you can deliver.
Results. Outcomes. Stated in business terms and tied to their organization’s needs. That’s the way to capture a “C”-level executive’s attention and get your foot in the door. But you’ll never get there unless you target appropriate accounts, invest time researching them, and develop a strong value proposition. Then you need to package this into a concise and compelling message that aligns their business needs with your company’s capabilities.
In truth, it’s not hard to get in to see senior executives if you do your homework!
Triple-tiered Sales Strategy
By Darrell Zahorsky
The insight gained for a competitive advantage comes from the marketplace not from your mind. The approach to use is what I call “Triple-tiered Sales Strategy”. Look at your client and the outside influences on their business. Approach all three tiers to understand your customer.
Tier 1: Associations: What associations does your target customer belong to? Contact the membership director and establish a relationship not for selling but to understand their member’s needs.
Tier 2: Suppliers: Identify non-competitive suppliers who sell to your customer. Learn their challenges and look for partnering solutions.
Tier 3: Customer: Work directly with your customer and ask them what their needs are and if your business may offer a possible solution.
The moral of the story is to gain a competitive advantage by looking at both sides of the equation, tactics and strategy. Use the triple-tiered approach to win business and outsell the big companies in your market.
Are You Supporting Your Reps?
By Darrell Zahorsky
It’s a common sales management blunder. A company hires a sales person, but fails to provide them with the level of support required to succeed. Not all sales reps require the same level of support. Even if a new rep is experienced in the industry and a top performer, he or she will still require help to get familiar with the new company, products, and markets. Proper sales force support requires formal training, of course; but it also requires a commitment to get to know each rep, and provide real hands-on management. Spending the time one-on-one and in the field with your sales team will not only provide support, but also convey a sense of the importance they have in your organization.
Unfortunately, many new and unsuccessful sales managers will confuse “hands-on support” with “management by intimidation or control.” The top sales performers know they have valuable skills, and will quickly leave for a competitor if treated poorly.
Sales management is a partnership between the sales rep and the sales manager, with each sharing in the responsibility to find the problems and bottlenecks in the sales process. Seek the solution together with your reps. Be their champion, and help them achieve their goals.
Three Requirements of Successful Sales Plans
By Darrell Zahorsky
All successful sales plans have these three characteristics:
Created by Sales Rep: Most plans fail because they are developed unilaterally by the sales manager, not the sales rep. To ensure a high level of plan acceptance, have your reps develop their own plans, under your guidance.
Regular Reporting: A successful sales plan focuses on results and activities. To provide flexibility in the planning cycle, make a sales plan every week, for just that week. Performance reviews can take place on a monthly basis, to determine missed opportunities and areas for improvement.
Sales Metrics: Establish the proper sales metrics to drive your business results. Metrics can include: number of client phone calls, number of contacts, appointments set, appointments conducted and sales closed. Don’t overwhelm your sales staff; just focus on the few measures that matter the most to your business.