Today I want to talk about current events in selling, specifically current challenges in selling as self-reported by sales leaders and salespeople.
Over the last several weeks, we have given away many copies of our new book, Agile and Resilient, by Michelle Richardson and Russ Sharer. As part of that giveaway, I asked people to send me what their current challenges are. In addition, we conducted an EQ webinar this week, where we also asked registrants to submit questions and let us know what they were thinking about. Those surveys provided valuable responses by salespeople and sales leaders. I think this is valuable because it allows us as leaders to help upskill our team or understand where they feel like they need some help and I think it also helps salespeople audit their own behaviors and gaps in their sales techniques.
We would like to hear from YOU and your challenges as well. You can send us those answers HERE. I hope that you find some value in these and can incorporate an understanding of them in your daily life.
- The first thing that sales leaders have been talking to us about is sticking to a process. They really want their team to stick to a process for a couple of reasons:
- It helps to coach. You can coach back to the process.
- You can understand deal movement and how healthy the pipeline is. Is everybody keeping things moving in the same direction? And for the salespeople, it provides a framework for them to be able to successfully navigate any sales challenges.
- The second thing is salespeople feel like they need help in rapport building. I’ve mentioned before that our methodology is a six-step methodology, but really the first three steps are all around rapport building and understanding the client, and being able to build trust with the client so that you can ask good questions and dive deep. This seems to be an area where salespeople feel like they need some additional training, and they want to know how to do it in a sincere way. Nobody wants to be the caricature of a salesperson. They really want to be a sales professional and they understand that rapport building is a critical part of that.
- The third thing comes from both salespeople and sales leaders, and it is the need to ask better questions. Questioning comes out of listening so listening skills are equally important. The ability to ask questions is really core to the sales process and sales success. We often hear that people don’t have the proper training for that or even the awareness, whether it’s self-awareness, or how to go about it. Asking better questions is on top of the pile for both salespeople and sales leaders.
- Current challenges such as pricing come up often. How you price things, how you talk about price and how you price in an inflationary market, also means that we need to help sellers sell on value and understand what their value proposition is and why buyers likely buy from them. I believe that wrapped up in this whole pricing discussion, is the opportunity to talk about value and to coach your people to sell on value.
- The last thing is important right now. We have had countless seminars, webinars, and workshops on it. How to have difficult conversations. Pricing is one of those subjects we have to encounter, supply chain and inflation are some of the things that we’re challenged with. The macro-environment we’re operating in is clearly something that salespeople need to be able to talk about in ways that they have confidence. If they build a relationship as a trusted advisor, having the ability to have these difficult conversations, can be critical to salespeople’s success right now.
I think as a salesperson, you can audit your own behavior against these and maybe map out an individual plan for improvement. As a sales leader, I think you need to be thinking about these challenges and notes as you move forward. You want to build your team and help them be successful in 2022.
I’m always happy to debate. We’d love to hear what you think about this, and please if you’d like more information, feel free to reach out directly to me at email@example.com.