Since I started Barrett in January 1995, I have met thousands and thousands of salespeople and sales leaders and whilst I can tell you many stories about these encounters the one thing I can say is that the motivation driving the vast majority of these sales and service people, and sales leaders is the desire to help people, their clients, be successful and do the right thing by them.
Very few people that I have met want to harm or take undue advantage of others, even when pressed to meet targets and hit budgets. Instead many people are motivated by the desire to help others, especially salespeople. Many enjoy identifying and fixing problems, helping people out of a tight fix, co-creating and discovering new opportunities. It is a thrill for many of us in sales when a client tells us how grateful they are for our help in sorting out an issue for them.
The sixth Sales Trend for 2014 is ‘Low Carbon Economy Sales Opportunities’.
Despite many governments lagging behind in terms of creating and endorsing low carbon policies and industries, forward thinking organisations are taking the lead on creating low / no carbon businesses and partnering with each other. And it’s not just big business, there is a growing number of SMEs (small to medium enterprises) driving change too.
Rather than only focusing on the cost of creating a low carbon economy, this sales trend is seeing smart companies and communities looking and acting on at the abundance of opportunity within new and existing markets and seeing potential in its many forms. There are massively big opportunities for innovation and product/service development in a low carbon economy as well as social evolution.
For the third year running I recently had the privilege and pleasure of attending, presenting and acting as MC at the CSE11, Asia Pacific’s Premier Sales Leadership Conference - "The New Era of Professional Selling; The Pathway from Supplier to Partner Status".
Over 150 delegates from Australia’s premium companies attended and we heard from some of the world’s leading experts on sales capability, strategy and culture. There was much talk about the rapidly changing face of our B2B (business to business) sales world and how we need to build relevant and sustainable partnerships if we are to flourish. One of the highlights was hearing from one of Australia’s top Procurement Leaders, Craig Rooney who is the Group Procurement Manager for Porter Davis Homes and former Coles Group Procurement Manager. Craig’s insights were well received and gave us all a clear picture of how to build a Pathway from Supplier to Partner Status with 21st Century Procurement Professionals. Like Selling, Craig pointed out that the profession of Procurement is undergoing dramatic evolution to adapt to the volatility of today’s business world.
The importance of Coaching to achieve real sales capability, results, and cultural transformation was a strong message as was the need to genuinely merge and unite sales and marketing, with the rise and rise of social media as a critical piece in the sales machine. And the emergence of Neuroscience to our effective and sustained performance in sales was a highlight at this conference with live experiments on show.
Another key and somewhat disturbing message was Adapt or Perish. The world of B2B selling is changing so rapidly that it is now polarising into two distinct areas, with the likelihood of a particular style of B2B sales person becoming extinct in the next few years.
Organisations of every size all have a collective personality that drives their thinking, behaviours and actions and can affect their performance for good or bad. These collective personalities may or may not align with an organisation’s publicly stated values and principles; they can change over time, and are usually defined, influenced and/or condoned by the senior leadership team.
Much of an organisation’s success, or lack of it, is influenced by its corporate attitude. It attracts, hires, and reinforces the behaviours, values and attitudes that the leaders exhibit.
A good sales proposal demonstrates real value; a quote just offers a price.
Many sales people are required to produce a proposal or quote after an initial meeting with a client or prospect. This is a critical part of the sales process. Many sales people however, loathe producing proposals and consider it a chore believing they dont get maximum value or return from their efforts.
Often reduced to quoting prices or at worst just a find and replace to change the client company name, sales people can do a lot better for themselves as well as their clients when it comes to producing winning proposals.
We all deserve better sales people and clients included.
So what is the best way to produce a winning sales proposal?