The ultimate ROI – tangible business results.
SalesSHIFT programs provide the thinking and the skills to succeed in B2B selling today. We create awareness of your leveragable strengths and of your unproductive blind spots. When you act in context of this new knowledge and skill, the results are immediate.
Michael’s commitment to action drove immediate results.
Michael, a tele-sales Account Executive with a large North America-wide technology reseller, was an enthusiastic participant in our recent three day sales process/prospecting combination program. Within a month of the training Michael shared that the training toolset was providing “real tangible and, most of all, consistent results in my day to day performance.”
Part of the workshop process was to work on real world prospects and client opportunities and to role-play in class with the intent of developing plans to assure productive meeting/calls with these clients on return to the job… and ultimately accelerate the sales process. Armed with his newly formed call plans Michael took immediate action. I’ll let Michael’s words describe the results…
“Both role-plays we did in class for my sample customers have turned into real and exciting opportunities. My prospect role play prepared me to engage with a brand new contact and position my knowledge of their IT challenges in an incredibly effective way. Last week I was able to have a discovery call with the customer and am preparing to advocate a Microsoft office 365 solution for the first time.
For our advocating role-play I realized I needed to dial back the conversation to discovery. In the process of re-capping the issues I believed I was addressing for the customer I discovered some inaccuracies. This allowed us to modify the proposal to the right solution.
These were two of a total of four opportunities I had written in my Salesperson Action Plan. Of the remaining two I find myself on the verge of closing one of my larger opportunities this year. All in all I feel distinct progress has been made on 3 out of 4 priorities set out since training. Not bad!
Overall, keeping the concepts of the sales methodology at the forefront has allowed me to create and maintain relevant conversations and progress through the sales process at the customers pace, not my pace and not my vendors pace. I find these changes, along with small improvements and tools like using the customers own words to describe a solution, to be an incredibly effective sales strategy and game-changer in my approach.”
Shifting from ‘Nice’ to ‘Relevant’ = 3 new business opportunities.
Aine is the associate Director of Sales for a global luxury hotel chain. She recently participated with her team in a full day salesSHIFT Sales Lab. She left the day with fresh thinking about some of her most important sales goals and challenge… and, most importantly, a commitment to apply these new insights.
Like other smart sales pros, Aine researches her prospects prior to connecting with them. The Sales Lab helped her see how she could more effectively use the output of this research to assure faster access to new clients.
Within a week of completing the Lab Aine shared her first BIG success. A tough prospect, with whom she had been trying to connect for months, had agreed to meet.
What caused the turn around?
Aine’s thinking had shifted. And so had her actions…
- Before attempting to connect she put herself in the shoes of this very busy marketing professional who was inundated with calls from suppliers.
- Using her specific knowledge of this customer she re-crafted her message so that it offered immediate and relevant business value from the clients viewpoint.
- In her e-mail she was direct, professional and clearly demonstrated why it made sense to meet now.
As a seller in the luxury market, Aine took great care to be “nice” when connecting to new clients. She did not want to appear aggressive. A powerful realization from her recent success is that, while nobody likes an aggressive seller, buyers do want sales professionals to be assertive, get to the point and, above all, have something of high relevance to offer… so that it’s clear the client’s time will not be wasted.
The result of this shift? An immediate response and a productive meeting culminating in a new contract issued and two additional new business opportunities in the pipeline.
To quote Aine, “It certainly hasn’t happened in the past to walk out of a call with three leads – but hopefully this is now the future!!!”
Chris beat out six competitors in a cut throat bid by shifting his approach with procurement.
Chris is a seasoned sales professional. He sells and executes sales motivation programs and strategic business events to mid and large sized organizations in North America. Chris, and his colleagues spent three days in intensive training, the focus of which was not to teach them how to sell, but rather to “course correct” their approach to assure the greatest success in a highly competitive market.
Chris attributes his successful acquisition of three new accounts to what he applied from the training. His most notable success was to beat out six competitors for a large multi-year contract by shifting his approach to interactions with the client’s procurement team. He took a step back from the traditional mindset of trying to “sell” procurement on his services, and used what he learned in training to gain a deep understanding of the process and the people.
Involving his proposal development team in these early client meetings enabled the entire planning team to “make decisions that were ever mindful of what was most important to this client.” And, in the words of his client, the proposal “hit the mark.”
To quote Chris, “What’s changed for me is that for every important client meeting, I review my notes from your training just to remind me to always put myself in the clients shoes and to always focus on what is important to them so that I can do my best to satisfy their requirements…so far it has paid off more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve been selling in various industries for 16 years now…I only now feel like a true professional!”
From “price disadvantage” to “competitive advantage.”
Ben works for a large technology reseller that provides IT solutions to a wide range of industries and businesses of all sizes. Shortly after attending both our prospecting and consultative selling training programs he was approached by a manufacturing company in Eastern Canada that was seeking expert support with specific licence renewals. The customer was initially very focused on price and was seeking competitive bids.
Drawing on what he had learned from training, Ben was able to redirect and expand the conversation to focus on the bigger goals of this business – and specifically how the IT department was charged with supporting these corporate goals.
As a result he uncovered a wealth of other IT requirements for the upcoming three years. By engaging his team of technical experts early in the conversation Ben was able to offer a relevant IT solution that encompassed the customer’s broader requirements while also lowering the cost of his immediate licence renewal needs. Ben and his team also built a solid business case to support the customer in justifying this considerably larger expenditure and to help him secure the budget required to execute the strategy.
Ben’s approach to this sale turned a small tactical price-driven opportunity into a strategic partnership, initially worth one quarter million dollars in revenue. More importantly, and to quote Ben, “Using the four sales stages, I was able to differentiate myself from the competition. It allowed me to end the discussion of price competitiveness with the other reseller, and to begin working with the customer more strategically. From my own perspective, the sale itself was less stressful, as I knew there was little chance I could lose the deal to a competitor. I achieved the higher value in margin by taking price out of the conversation and, moving forward, I earned the right to be the first vendor brought to the table on future opportunities.”
Peter shifted his thinking, and immediately increased revenue from his client by over 300%.
A 17 year veteran in newspaper advertizing sales, Peter was skeptical coming into the three days sales training. He had been selling to many of his customers for 17 years. He knew them, knew what they wanted, and knew how they bought. He had a strong sales track record. What would he learn?
He returned to the job with a very different perspective and a written commitment to applying the lessons learned. He approached one customer, whose business had been static, with “a fresh set of eyes and ears.” Rather than pitching his recommendation, he took a step back and prepared for a different kind of client meeting. He opened up a new area of opportunity that represents a 323% revenue increase over the previous year, with a further revenue upside of more than 200% the following year.
Peter’s comments on the outcome: “The obvious advance that I made in the sales process was this – before, I was just another sales representative to them. Now I am a media partner and valued consultant to their business. By applying the same technique for all of my customers, I am confident that I will grow my business with existing advertisers and get the largest benefit possible from any new advertisers.”
Chris came out of the black hole to close a $540,000 deal.
Chris is one of over 100 technology reps that went through “phase one” of sales methodology training sponsored by his company last year. At the end of the four day process he came to me seeking advice about a proposal he was writing.
He shared that one of his prospects had disappeared into the “black hole.” The customer was not responding to his phone calls or requests for further information and Chris was concerned this would seriously hamper his likelihood of submitting a winning bid.
Based on the training we had just delivered, I had two questions for Chris…
Where is the customer in the sales cycle? And where are you?
The light bulb went on immediately. Chris realized that he was out of sync with his customer. The customer was at a completely different stage of the sales process. Chris needed to step back to align with his customer. He returned to his office and invested the time and energy to apply what he had learned to get aligned with his customer – earning himself a powerful win worth $540,000.
To quote Chris: “My victory over the other company was not justified on price as we were more expensive… I have to admit I owe much of this success to your approach… It put more work on my plate because I kind of had to start over, but based on the outcome it was far more than worth it.”
Alex improved his access rate by 66% in under a month.
By most people’s standards Alex is already a highly successful sales manager. Selling a relatively new online media product to a very traditional market, he was averaging four new meetings from ten telephone calls. An enviable access rate for many – but Alex wanted to do better.
Following a focused coaching call he shifted his thinking about, and his approach to, prospecting – and as a result he was hitting four appointments from just six calls.
What contributed to his success?
- Replacing the traditional “numbers” mentality with a mindset of “focus and leverage.”
- Diligently doing the “right homework” prior to each call.
- Shifting the focus of his message to get the immediate attention of each prospect.
- Understanding his customer’s perspective through emphasis on discovery.
Debbie closed a $40,000 deal at the first meeting with a new client.
Debbie is the account manager with a Canadian corporate event planning company. She was preparing for a meeting with a new US-based client who was sourcing a local expert to assist with the grand opening of their first Canadian office/showroom location – and she needed help.
She brought this opportunity to class and we used it as a working example. As a result, Debbie had a very different dialogue with this important customer and she ended up signing the deal on the spot.
What contributed to Debbie’s success?
- Diligent preparation and reviewing her call plan in the class ahead of time.
- Realizing there was a “gap” in terms of one critical and unanswered customer-centric question.
- Dedicating time to explore this question with the client in the meeting so that the customer took away a powerful insight about her situation.
- The client coming to her own conclusion (as a result of this exploration) that she needed Debbie’s company on her team.