Importance of Sales
In this lesson, we will cover the basics of Sales.
You’ll learn about the role of sales in an organization, how consumers make their decision to buy a product/service and some common sales trends.
As a financial bloodline of any business, Sales is the most crucial part of a successful company’s operations.
Sales is revenue, sales is cash flow, sales enables research and development, sales covers payroll, and sales drives profit.
So without sales, a business cannot function. Thus, sales is survival!
Over the past few decades, Sales has evolved from ABC (always be closing) to ABC 2.0 (always be curious) while some concepts remain relevant to this day.
Here’s one wildly popular movie scene that explains the always-be-closing principle from the film, Glengarry Glen Ross.
Sales 2.0 puts a different spin on ABC – always be curious:
Make sure you’re: empathetic to your buyer; providing real value and expert advice; being honest and showing integrity as a salesperson.
Contrast that with the video you just saw and aggressive hustlers that Salesmen were expected to be.
Developing or further enhancing your sales skills will be one of the best investments you can make – even if you don’t have to sell in business, you need these skills in life.
E.g. selling your resume to a new employer, selling an investor on your business idea or selling an airline to upgrade your seat.
To many people, the word selling implies manipulating, pressuring, cajoling–all the used-car-salesman stereotypes.
But if you think of selling as explaining the logic and benefits of a decision, then everyone–business owner or not–needs sales skills.
In essence, sales skills are communication skills. Communication skills are critical in any business or career–and you’ll learn more about communication by working in sales than you will anywhere else.
Here are some of the key ways in which sales impact an organization’s success:
Take for example, car sales. You typically go to a car dealership knowing that you’re looking for a car. The car salesperson will ask you questions about your personal life including family size, daily routine etc. in order to gain insight into what you would use the car for. They can then offer information about various cars in the dealer’s range that would suit your needs and guide you in making an informed decision about which car is the one for you.
This is often an attractive aspect for customers, as they may view the salesperson as the expert, which builds credibility and therefore trust.
Prospects and customers have always valued recommendations and reviews. Since they come from a third party, the perception is that reviews are independent of the seller and therefore carry more credibility.
In the digital age, reviews are extremely influential, due to the reach and power of social and online media. During sales interactions, encouraging the customer to recommend a friend or give positive feedback can have an impact on the growth of the business through increased brand awareness and sales.
Selling is a personal interaction between two people, which is a powerful thing. Never underestimate the personal connection between two people, and the potential effect this can have on your brand’s reputation.
Excellent salespeople are those who not only make the sale, but create a long-lasting impact on the customer. Long-term customer relationships lead to repeat customers, referrals and increase the brand’s reputation by word of mouth.
Too often, unhappy customers will not complain – they will simply switch to another provider and won’t recommend you to others.
It’s more cost-effective to retain customers than to win new ones, so look after your existing customers well.
The first reason is logic. Management consulting firms like McKinsey stress the need for organizations to buy rationally. So they provide heavy return-on-investment analysis. There’s plenty of dialogue on cutting out waste. There’s also heavy emphasis on corporate decision-making skills.
To this group, it’s all about specs and numbers; buyers buy from the seller that makes the most tightly reasoned case (especially B2B!). However, this is rarely the number one reason.
The next expert opinion on how best to sell involves emotion. If you talk to the Emotional Quotient (EQ) of people, all buying decisions are ultimately emotional buying decisions. Gut feeling comes first — fear, greed, irrational desire. Logic only comes in later – if ever.
These experts claim that buyers always buy from the heart and from the gut, and they find reasons to justify a purchase. The EQ case has plausible support. We’ve all bought things impulsively; we’ve all done things because we felt them to be right, without always having hard evidence.
The third idea is survival. It’s based on the Hierarchy of Needsdeveloped by psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow. Maslow’s studies showed that while many different drivers motivate people, some are primal and fundamental. And the most fundamental is the survival instinct.
According to Maslow, people buy in order to satisfy needs, and no need is more basic and powerful than the need to survive, both personally and professionally.
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tyIS1CCSlM
SPIN Selling, a 1988 Sales classic by Neil Rackham has produced a winning formula: be a good listener and use situation-problem-implication-need questions to close.
They found that in successful sales calls, it’s the buyer who does most of the talking, which means that the salespeople are asking questions and trying to build a rapport with the buyer.
– Problem Questions ask about the buyer’s pain and focus the buyer on this pain while clarifying the problem. These give Implied Needs.
– Implication Questions discuss the effects of the problem, before talking about solutions, and develop the seriousness of the problem to increase the buyer’s motivation to change.
– Need-Payoff Questions get the buyer to tell you about their Explicit Needs and the benefits your solution offers, rather than forcing you to explain the benefits to the buyer.
The last decade has brought Sales and Marketing much closer together. Demand and lead generation via content marketing has become the norm.
The birth of inbound marketing is designed to help Salespeople work on relevant leads generated by Marketing and to separate information gatherers.
Marketing Automation Systems have elevated the practice of email marketing to a sophisticated world class operation that captures the right prospects at the right moment in the buying cycle. This separates information gatherers from leads to be engaged via the Sales cycle.
Enlarged image: http://bit.ly/2kqdnf3
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