(Reading time 4 mins. Why should you switch your sales philosophy?)
Finally, after years of pounding clients with calls, email blasts, intrusions, ads, campaigns, challenges, push and shove, inbound, outbound, cross sell, up sell, driving growth at any cost – we have reached a point of overwhelm and started talking about customer experience!
The part where a customer happily engages and does business with you.
What goes around comes around. No getting away from that.
Some are even calling customer experience as ‘the future of selling‘. I feel like laughing when the industry coined the term customer experience. Isn’t it a basic human need to feel safe in a transaction, not be overwhelmed or be obligated when we don’t want to?
First we abuse the system and now come up with an antidote. We end up giving it names such as customer experience, voice of the customer, etc. How weird!
Trust me. Buyers just want few things in the first place – solve their problem, meet their need, look smart in front of their bosses and go home on time to be with their family! Period.
Can you just offer them that? Can we not over complicate this with yet another bunch of jargons?
Most of the organisations are still hammering this ‘basic human need‘ to death, wasting resources, amplifying the hurt, shuffling and sacrificing well meaning sales folks every 12 to 18 months. In the name of chasing revenue.
Can we do this right for once?
Here are my thoughts. I am a more visual guy and I will explain this with a simple diagram. I call it the B4B Selling Wheel.
Now don’t be afraid. It is nothing to do with selling methodologies such as Miller Heimann, Challenger, SPIN or Value Selling. Nothing close to complex.
B4B Selling wheel injects humanity into the way we do things so as to keep customers happy. That simple.
Imagine a wheel with 2 sets of spokes. B in the diagram stand for business and H for humans. Symbolising B4B and H4H. The preposition FOR cements both businesses and humans by the invisible glue called ‘trust‘.
Spoke 1 along Y axis – EQ
Spoke 1 stands for sales vision, purpose, culture and impact. In the selling world, this spoke almost never exists.
A lot of sales folks get hired into a company, get oriented for couple of days and then set loose in the market place. Sales usually operates in a contract killer mode – 12 months to results or you are fired.
Sales folks are treated like mercenaries who have to bring in their contacts, connections and are supposed to quickly land companies into opportunities. Nothing wrong with that but don’t make it sound like the ‘Day of the Jackal’ hit job.
Do your due diligence to hire right people. Take your time. Once hired, assimilate them into your company well. Share your sales vision and purpose. Make them proud of what they are going to sell and how are they going to impact the customer.
Make them part of your company culture. They are your ambassadors who day in day out are influencing customers fending off competition.
Sales is a contact sport. It’s brutal out there.
Just like Navy Seals, your sales team are on a mission to go win. They should stand up FOR each other and hunt as a pack. Give them a creed to believe in.
They should be united by that common creed that oozes a clear vision, purpose and a mission. The kind that inspires every person in the team.
Not a number and hard knock on their head in every cadence call.
Spoke 2 along X axis – IQ
This spoke is all about planning, execution, training and coaching.
Any company that sends its sales troops without a plan is doomed to fail. You got to know your target market, segment, go to market, your role ( as a SDR, outbound rep, account exec) and what you need to do.
This has to be clearly communicated to each and every sales exec. Else you are not being efficient. Never land your sales team into a territory with a message ‘Go Figure’. That’s pure evil!
Once the plan is communicated, devil is in execution. This is where the process, tools, collaboration and reporting layer are anchored well. Robust yet simple to follow. Make sure it has a feedback loop that can be used to tweak actions based on results.
Finally, the troops have to be trained and coached regularly. Today, a sales manager’s key role is be a coach and help his or her team flourish. Training is offered 24×7 so that the sales team can practice a particular anytime anywhere.
Prime your sales team for success.
When both the spokes starts cranking….
Now when the two spokes get cranking magic happens.
The wheel gets connected and complete at the rim by great customer experience (CX). This is created by the combination of both EQ and IQ competencies (spokes) which equip each and every sales person to offer terrific experience.
Customer experience cannot be bought. It has to be created by your people. It will not happen by itself. It is an outcome of an intentional effort to inject humanity into the selling cycle.
When your business model is not so unique and not able to sell directly to the end users, it’s the differentiated engagement model that makes a big difference.
Your engagement model can be a major differentiator between your company and the competition.
By focussing on just one spoke you will either create a highly specialised unit who are un-empathetic and behave like automatons or end up creating a bunch of good people who don’t know what to do.
Both are bad.
There are many companies out there trying to do this by just getting one spoke right. Namely the IQ spoke. By just automating sales process, installing more tools and doing things scientifically (data, AI, bots) you will only get that far.
Customers have called the bluff and are shutting the door quite fast.
The safe way is to do it the right way. Work on both the spokes and build a world class team that stands up for – Business For Business (B4). Where both you and customer wins.
But if you still insist to be stuck, the choice is yours.
Follow through my other articles on B4B idea
1) Are you a B2B or B4B Company? Find out. [5 Minutes read. Plenty of examples and inquiry].
2) Why B4B Selling is the way to go? [3 minute read. Challenges B2B seller’s thinking]
3) B4B Companies are H4H companies too [3 minutes read]
4) B4B companies don’t F##& up their culture [3 minutes read]
About Agility Nexus
Agility Nexus (www.agilitynexus.com) is a Sales and Business Consulting and Coaching company serving business leaders in Technology Industry to accelerate revenue generation. We consult, coach, train and solve problems at the intersection of marketing and sales. We blend various strategies including Emotional Intelligence to help sellers better connect, engage with customers and offer great customer experience.
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