We all know that B2B selling is a process. A series of steps where if you skip the wrong one, you’ll need to make it up late in the sales cycle when it’s often more difficult. One could think of it as selling in a straight line. And, if the sales focus is too centered on the offering, with little client senior management involvement, and lacking good competitive positioning, it becomes even more of a straight line. But, what’s missing from this thinking is adaptive agility.
That is, quickly and easily modifying your sales campaign to ever changing conditions. We rarely work in a static client and competitive environment. So, in reality, there is no such thing as straight line selling. The question then becomes how do we build a flexible, yet effective sales campaign?
In our experience, it requires three things:
Tactical Proficiency – Build Your Foundation
We may be great at strategic considerations, but if we’re challenged, particularly when you are new to sales or simply need a refresher, by how to set up and prepare for a client meeting, how to dress for a meeting to reflect cultural compatibility, how to deal with objections, give an engaging presentation, produce a living proposal, or ask for an order, all the strategy in the world will not necessarily yield results. This is the foundation to our sales campaign.
Strategic Client Alignment – Focus Your Sales Campaign
This is all about value and political alignment. Mapping into the client value chain that is tied to an important client corporate executive priority. Along, with the operational initiatives to advance that priority and the departments that will enable such initiatives, like IT. Politically, we’re looking at alignment with the Situational Power Base within the client organization. A dynamic, fluid, and changing group of client individuals whose influence is often disproportionate to their authority. This is the focus to your sales campaign.
Strategic Competitive Positioning – Defend To Win
This centers on leveraging tactical proficiency and strategic client alignment through compete strategy to produce increased competitive advantage. It’s comparing your strengths and weaknesses to that of your primary competitor, and then managing the timing of events and tactics, while also determining when you’ll introduce unexpected value to certain client individuals. In this regard, it’s all about creating nontraditional sources of competitive advantage. This is the defense of your sales campaign.
Build you foundation, focus your efforts, and defend your right to win the business!