Check out an interview that the VentureSHOT Team did with Al Lencioni and Allan Ellison of Sales Pro-On Call, your outsourced sales team and expert closers.
They recently spoke at VentureSHOT’s “Grow Your Revenues with Bigger Sales, Kickstarter Campaigns, and Digital Marketing” event yesterday evening. See what they have to say and if they can help you land more, bigger, and better sales.
Al Lencioni has a 35 year background in B2B sales, sales management, sales training, sales consulting, sales process development, systems development and client services. Co-developed 2 SaaS-based systems: an easy-to-use, effective CRM and a patented sales management system.
Allan Ellison has a 45 year background in B2B sales, sales management, sales coaching, sales consulting, sales presentation development and training, trade show training, sales process development and systems development. Co-developed 2 SaaS-based systems: an easy-to-use, effective CRM and a patented sales management system.
What are some common challenges that businesses face in sales?
Managing the sales pipeline. Sales is unlike any other aspect of a business in that sales pipeline information is "subjective" instead of "objective." Wading through the sales "stories" is a difficult task for management.
Immediate access to critical data to support sales efforts. Most companies are under-utilizing (or not utilizing) CRM tools that will provide a central repository of contact information, calendars, meeting notes, emails, etc. necessary to understand and support the selling efforts. Important information and necessary follow-ups can "fall through the cracks." Too much key data resides only in the heads of sales personnel, and employee turnover compounds this issue. It is such a large problem across many companies that doing this right can truly be a "differentiator" for an organization.
Lack of a truly "consultative" sales and marketing approach that focuses on the client environment to determine if and how your offering will be of benefit. This approach must incorporate an understanding of the marketplace, appropriate brand messaging to fit the offering to the marketplace, website, marketing material and sales material development to establish credibility and sales process development to ensure all appropriate actions are performed. Appropriate management oversight must be consistently applied to ensure consistent success.
Pre-revenue companies must work harder to find that first customer. They need to look for individuals willing to take a chance on the unknown. Try to look bigger than you are. It is important that the marketing message is professionally presented via a website. Product samples/mockups/previews must be readily available as part of a professional-looking sales presentation. It will be more difficult to establish credibility, so utilize past colleagues, friends, family, etc. to introduce you to potential prospects and vouch for your professionalism.
What are some tips to land bigger customers?
1. Obtain references from smaller customers that you can use in website and marketing materials. Any track record is good.
2. Stay confident in your approach. Bigger companies are not necessarily more difficult to sell. Often, the smaller companies with tighter budgets are more difficult to sell.
3. Understand that most buying decisions are centralized and elevated, and in bigger companies it may take longer and be more difficult to get to decision-makers. DO NOT fall into the trap of only dealing with "purchasing" or low-level "information-gatherers." Make sure you are selling to someone who has buying authority.
4. Keep GREAT, EASILY ACCESSIBLE records of all discussions and meetings. These sales may take longer and be more complex, and important things can easily be lost or forgotten. You must ensure that you and others in the organization have easy access to everything that was represented by your company and the prospect.
5. Make sure you can deliver for the bigger companies. If you cannot, it will hurt you more than not making the sale at all.
What if I don’t have an in-house sales force?
Nothing happens until sales are made. If you cannot devote enough time to selling, or lack the skills to conduct a consultative sale utilize an outside selling organization that can represent your company offerings.
"Do it right the first time" is a saying we often hear. It is key to saving a lot of time and money when launching or relaunching a product or service. One of the most important areas where this applies is in messaging. Messaging is the art and science of getting the proper story across to your prospect about your product or service. This proper message can only be developed by truly understanding the buying motive of your prospect, a step often overlooked.