Hey, friends, It’s Gary Fly with The Brooks Group.
I want to talk a little bit about current challenges, trends, and questions that we’re seeing in the marketplace. As you know, last week, we did a little book release and made the book available to folks that were interested in it. As part of that, we asked them what their current challenges are inside of sales and, and their sales team. We got some great information, but there are five trends that seemed to be emerging. I want to talk about those and give you a thought or two about each of them. Hopefully, you’ll find some value in them, as well as a few nuggets that you can take back to your teams and use.
1. The first thing that we’re hearing about is value selling. We have seen that the sales process has changed. It’s no longer a smooth linear process if it ever even was that. Oftentimes, there are more people involved in the decision-making. Certainly, the C-Suite has been more involved than ever before. CFOs are now involved, so value selling has become critical. And it’s not just about really about cutting prices, it’s much more about understanding your client or your potential clients’ needs. Once you listen to understand, you can then map back to how your solution really works for whatever their current challenges are. One key to value selling, frankly, is acquiring good listening skills and great questioning skills to allow you to really root out the essential needs of your client.
2. Second is KPI development. Part of the challenge here is getting an understanding of what the things are that really matter. What are the top-of-the-funnel metrics that really matter? What about pull-through metrics? Really understanding your buyer journey, and the different points along the way, allows you to start to establish good KPIs that the entire team understands. These can be mapped back against and can be coached to.
3. Third thing is inflation and selling in an inflationary market. Value selling might be a component of this, but what we’re finding is that sellers oftentimes don’t know how to handle those conversations around inflation and around supply chain challenges. One of the keys here is transparency, the need for your client to understand or is aware that we’re in an inflationary period. You as a seller need to be able to communicate that and you need to do it confidently. Having the ability, to communicate clearly with your client is a critical piece to selling in this inflationary market.
4. Fourth thing we’re seeing is challenges between sales and marketing alignment. Some of this goes back to some of the previous three items. If there’s a KPI misalignment between sales and marketing, If the marketing team doesn’t understand the challenges sellers have selling in inflationary times, positioning their product or service as a value, then the marketing team is not creating the sort of collateral, the outbound campaigns, the communication and talking points necessary for the sales team to be successful. You need to have a good alignment between the two. That starts with having regular interaction between them, having aligned KPIs, having aligned compensation, all those sorts of things.
5. And then the last thing that seems to be a topic of critical concern right now is the sales talent. Hiring, retaining, and training good seller sellers, right? So for us, we believe it begins in the hiring process. You need to have a good clear job description and role responsibilities. You need to understand the key attributes that align with that role. We believe in assessments as a part of the hiring process. We use the Brooks Talent Index, and I’m happy to share that with you if you have an interest. Sales talent starts with good hiring. But then to maintain it requires training all along. To improve, we recommend clear interactions with the supervisor, clear expectations about performance, and real transparency between the salesperson and the sales manager to make sure that they are on the same page and able to work effectively together.
I hope those things make sense if we’d be curious if those line up with the challenges you have. I am happy to discuss and debate. I am also happy to provide more information.
I mentioned the book we just released earlier. We gave away 100 copies. If you have an interest in the book, let me know, we’ll be happy to send you a copy as well. I appreciate your willingness to watch this and always appreciate any comments you have. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any points you want to share on the subject.